Read Romans 11
The mercy of God on Israel (Rom. 11:1-24). The mercy of God for everyone (11:25-32). A living sacrifice — just think, our hands, our feet, our mouth — all used for the Lord (12:1-2). Do things the way God says; it's always best (12:19-21). Respect authority, obey laws of the land, pay taxes, pay debts (chap. 13). He that loveth another hath fulfilled the Law (13:8).
Many believers have dedicated their time, talents, and abilities doing the Lord's work but do not understand why their efforts are so fruitless. Others have forsaken the world but seem unmotivated and useless when an opportunity arises to serve the Lord. They may have gone too far with God to please the world but also have come short of truly pleasing the Lord. They are like Israel, who had faith to leave Egypt but rebelled and refused to enter the promised land on the Lord's terms. Such believers succumb to selective obedience and then an aimless "wilderness experience." I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Rom. 12:1-2).
We cannot present (our) bodies without offering our self life to be crucified with Him. Without passing through death to self-interest we have nothing to present, nor is there anything God can accept, for our Savior and Lord has condemned all that is of the self life: If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23).
Before Christ, an animal was required for a sin sacrifice. It had to be without blemish or it was unacceptable. It was only when it was presented on the Altar that it was considered a sacrifice and became acceptable to God. Just as the animal had to be slain, so there must come a death to the self life — the ego must be broken.
There is a spiritual principle that Christ gives special blessings only to the extent we allow ourselves first to be broken. The five loaves and two fishes were broken before they could be used to feed the multitude. It was not until Mary broke the alabaster box that its fragrance filled the house and blessed Christ.
There should come a time in our lives when we consider our whole life as belonging to Him. Then Christ becomes the center of our life. When some of John the Baptist's followers left him to follow Jesus, John said to those who remained: He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30).
Thought for Today:Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (I Cor. 6:20).
For Rom. 11:3: See I Kin. 19:10,14. Rom. 11:4: See I Kin. 19:18. Rom. 11:8: See Is. 29:10. Rom. 11:9-10: See Ps. 69:22-23. Rom. 11:26-27: See Is. 59:20-21; Jer. 31:33. Rom. 11:34: See Is. 40:13. Rom. 11:35: See Job 41:11. Rom. 12:19: See Deut. 32:35. Rom. 12:20: See Prov. 25:21-22. Rom. 13:9: See Ex. 20:13-17; Lev. 19:18.
11:14 emulation, jealousy; 12:9 dissimulation, hypocrisy; 13:13 rioting and drunkenness . . . chambering and wantonness, unbridled lust, immorality and indecency.
Pray for Staff: Gina Lesnefsky • Country: Georgia (5.38 million) west and central Transcaucasia between Asia and Europe • Major languages: Georgian and Russian • Religious opposition to Christianity • 57% Georgian (and Russian) Orthodox; 21.2% Muslim; 5% Armenian Apostolic; .8% Catholic (Greek-Catholic); .5% Protestant (mainly Baptist); .5% Jewish; 15% Atheist/Agnostic • Prayer Suggestion: Confess and forsake all sin (Is. 59:12-13).
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 6:14