A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

December 20, 2015

Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you
 to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, 
holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.
  Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed 
by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what
 is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

     Although this Scripture is not usually connected to the celebration of Christ's birth, I thought it was wholly appropriate for this season of celebration.  For who else than the Christ Child would grow into the One who would offer His body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God?  Who else refused to be conformed to this world, resisting all temptation, in order to perform the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God?  
     And, yet, we must not lose sight of the fact that these verses are directed to us, too.  Each of us must be transformed by the renewing of our mind, so that we, too, might live holy lives; sacrificing what this world has to offer for a life that is in agreement and harmony with the will of God.  But what does that really mean, and how are we to achieve it?
     What does it mean to present our bodies as a living sacrifice and that this would become our spiritual worship?  Well, the word "sacrifice" is defined as "an act of giving up something valued, for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy."  That seems to suggest that our worship is going to cost us something.  But what?  If the act of "presenting our bodies" implies that we are dedicating all of ourselves, or setting ourselves apart from something, then it must be in contrast to what others in the world accept and embrace.  And how would this result in a life that is holy and pleasing to God?
     A very wise friend of mine recently told me that a pastor had presented a theory how we could change the moral culture of this nation in two generations; three at the most.  The pastor said there were three things the citizens of this nation could do to begin to turn our country around.  We could: 1) decide not to engage in premarital sex, waiting until we were married;  2) when we get married, to stay married; and 3) teach our kids to do the same.  If we could commit to do those three things through two or three generations, we could eventually rid our society of orphanages, broken families, fatherless kids, sexually transmitted diseases, divorce, abortion, adultery, sexual experimentation and confused gender identities, and all the disease and sickness that comes from loneliness and degenerate lifestyles.  
     Don't you think it would be a lot easier to mature spiritually -- to be transformed -- if we would focus on Godly values and ethical/moral attitudes?  Wouldn't that make it easier to discern the will of God; of what it is He wishes us to do and not to do?  We know that it is His will that we love our enemies; that we repent of our sins; and that we be holy as He is holy.  If we truly presented our bodies as a living sacrifice -- giving up the ways of the world for a life committed to pleasing Him -- wouldn't it not only be easier to traverse our years on this planet, but make us much happier and more content?
     I know that sounds simplistic and doesn't take into account our sinful nature.  But we were not made to disobey God.  That comes from our free will decisions.  He has given us the power and the ability to sin and disobey, but if we truly renewed our minds and focused on Him, we would be progressively transformed into the image of our Savior.  
     So, as you celebrate Christmas in a few days, and you worship the Son of God and picture Him lying in a lowly manger, keep in mind that this child is our role model.  He came to live a life that was Holy; separate from the world, and He did not conform to it.  He was willing to sacrifice His mortal body in order to accomplish our Father's plan and purpose for Him.  Nothing less is expected from us.  And that is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God!  May your focus be on our Lord and Savior this season, and living a life that is pleasing to God.  Merry Christmas!

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