“What is offered to God in worship can be trusted with Him.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today –July 5, 2023
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1, ESV
Life circumstances can be a good commentary on Scripture…if I am paying attention. Last summer, while on vacation with four couples, we started the day discussing the book of Romans. This reassurance of God being in control and the clarity truth brings was timely for me, as I was facing some fear and trepidation about a medical treatment I would begin in the fall. When I began my faith journey, Romans 12:1-2 became a brick of foundational truth …memorized and marinated on for many years since. Yet, lovingly and somewhat astoundingly, the Holy Spirit lifted life-giving words from the pages and intersected my heart with fresh insight. My body is a living sacrifice of spiritual worship to God. A temple where the Trinity abides for me to worship wholeheartedly with love and affection, with fear and majesty, and with adoration and praise.
Christianity tends to turn the world’s perspective upside down, and the world’s view of the body is one of those examples. It’s common in our culture to obsess over our bodies. Look and feel young forever. How do I look? Am I social media ready? Pampered by overindulgences, numbed by addictive prescriptions, and addressing insecurities with cosmetic surgeries. Athletes are admired and paid handsomely as specimens of physical superiority. Very practically, the world worships the body, while Christians are called to offer their body in worship to the Creator of their body.
“For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20).
When our body is included in worship, then we bring our all to the Lord. We kneel in prayer as a physical expression of humbling ourselves before Almighty God. We close our eyes in prayer to tune out outside distractions so inwardly we can see with eyes of faith. We lift our hands in praise in thanksgiving for the glory and majesty of our God. And, in our everyday ordinary spiritual practices, we seek to worship our Creator in thanksgiving for all He has given us: forgiveness, peace, joy, family, friends, jobs, health…our body. As an offering to the Lord, we care for the body by not poisoning it with excessive food, drink, and drugs. We worship Father, Son, and Spirit when we are actively experiencing the Lord’s creation…keeping the body moving to move closer to God and those we love. Complete worship integrates body, soul, spirit and mind.
Trust God with your body, as Abraham did when he took the living body of his son Isaac to the mountain as a sacrifice in worship to God…and the Lord in His great love provided. Is your worship complete? Have you offered on the altar of God’s love all He has given you? Your spouse? Your child? Your job? Your finances? Your dreams? And yes…your body? What is offered to God in worship, can be trusted with Him. Open hands with all that you think you possess invites the Father, Son and Spirit to possess all of who you are…His beloved child.
“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son” (Hebrews 11:17, ESV).
Heavenly Father, I worship and praise you with my whole being, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Consider including in your prayer time, some of the time tested prayers of the church in the Book of Common Prayer.
Upperroom: On the Altar
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