“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. ” (Romans 12:1, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Not all contributions (time, talent, treasure) are a sacrifice, although many who contribute might like to think so. On the other hand, most who make sacrifices, usually are not thinking about what they are giving up, but rather to whom or for what they are sacrificing.
In view of God’s mercy – Mercy is not getting the punishment that is deserved. Considering what punishment is being avoided, is it worth a contribution to the Kingdom or a sacrifice for the Kingdom?
Living sacrifices – God, through His Son, made one sacrifice for all of our sins, past present and future. Why should we not want to live out our days sacrificially living for Him?
Spiritual Act of Worship – It’s not that we are trying to pay Him back. We could never come close. It is a way of saying thanks, that goes beyond mere gratitude. It is reverence and adoration. But more than a state of mind. It is a call to action.
My Advice – A couple verses prior to the one cited above (that’s what the therefore is there for), Paul writes “who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” (Romans 11:35, NIV 1984). We are not looking for rewards, although there will be some. But God doesn’t want us to pay Him back either. He wants us to pay it forward. “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40, NIV 1984).