Now It's Your Turn - Romans 12:1-2 - Skip Heitzig
Hey, you all look so good. Nice to see you today. Merry Christmas. I love the ornaments in here. Of course that's going to be our theme for this year's Christmas Eve service. And you'll see why when you come to Christmas Eve service. So we welcome you today. Nice rainy day in no in December New Mexico is a place where snows in December, and then rains in-- or snows in November. Rains in December so that by January you can get your shorts out, and get out in the sun, and enjoy the warmth.
Today, we're on the book of Romans chapter 12. If you would turn your bibles. And if we can get those lights on the side, that be great. Add a little bit more light in the corners. Romans chapter 12 this morning.
I remember hearing about how they catch monkeys in Africa. And I remember hearing about this. I wasn't quite sure if it was true. So I actually found a YouTube video of this. Not going to show it to you. But about how they catch monkeys in Africa by taking a coconut. Boring a hole in the coconut so that the monkey can get its hand in the coconut. But then they put like a piece of fruit in it. Like a little piece of a banana. so the monkey will reach his relaxed hand in the coconut, grab the fruit, and now he can't get it. The fist is too big to get through the hole.
Easy solution. You let go of the banana. But a monkey won't do it. So this works where they take the coconut, tie it to a tree, put a piece of fruit in it. Monkey goes up, grabs it, will not relax it. The hunter just walks up kind of nonchalant with a net ready to put it over the monkey. And the monkey just works harder to get that little fist out. But won't let go.
So you've got a monkey that's trapped because of its own greed. Now that little illustration I thought about that this week. I thought that there are what I would call Christian monkeys. Believers in Christ who act like those little monkeys grabbing a hold of some little prize. Life has become nothing more than what they get rather than who they are and what they give away. And when we should be surrendering, too often we're seizing. We're grabbing. And if you live that way, you'll be trapped.
Jesus said these words, "If you cling to your life, you will lose it. But if you give it up for me, you will find it." Now that's a setup for this transition I'm going to tell you about. For 11 chapters, the apostle Paul has been giving us a litany of the blessings of God. What he calls the mercies of God. Telling us all that God has done for us. He's forgiven us. He's declared us righteous. He's made us His children. He's given us promises like all things work together for good to those that love God or that are called according to his purpose.
And then he's given us much more. For He also reminded us that he who did not spare his son but delivered him up for us, how shall he not with him freely give us all things? So that's what God's done. Now it's your turn. For the next five chapters, the apostle Paul pivots and tells us what our response should be to those 11 chapters that he has given us.
So the next five chapters is about our response. What we are to give to God. He sets it up in the first two verses. Let's look at Romans 12:1 and 2 to get familiar. "I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies the living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good acceptable and perfect will of God." And that's what we're called to do.
Without doing what we just read, without doing this, we're going to be like Christian monkeys. We're holding on to the allurements of life. And it's all about what we get rather than what we surrender. I was reading an article this week about a fascinating sport for years in America. And that's dog racing. Greyhound racing. Where they take these highly trained and very swift animals, the Greyhound dog, and they put it on a track. And they race it around.
Now that's a practice that has been outlawed in many states. Though it is practiced in these five states if you want to go grab a Greyhound race. Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Texas, and West Virginia. Essentially, they put these dogs on a track, and there is a mechanical lure-- like a fake rabbit that is on a track-- either on the inside or the outside of that track. And it goes around, and those greyhounds just chase it, chase it, chase it, chase it.
What I was reading about in this article, when it was still legal in Florida, the Greyhounds were in their little kennels ready to go. And the gates opened up. And then the gates opened up, and that rabbit took off-- that mechanical rabbit. There go the Greyhounds chasing it around the track. And it was all good until they made the first turn then there was an electrical malfunction. The rabbit stopped and exploded. Just poof. Just into thin air. Just died. This fake rabbit went up in flames. So you got to like a wire, and a few little shards of cloth, and smoke going up.
The dogs were so confused. They did not know what to do when that happened. Most of them just lay down on the track. One of them chased its tail round, and around, and around, and around. And the rest of them just barked. Howled at the crowds. Not one finished the race.
I think that life is like that. I think that a lot of people live their lives exactly like that they pursue their chosen rabbits. It might be a career. Could be an education. It could be a relationship. All of these things are goals that give people purpose, and meaning, and motivate them. The problem is when that is taken away, when that thing is gone, they lose hope.
Everything was wrapped up in that relationship. That career. Finishing this education. Now we all need a goal. We all need a purpose. The Christian needs a goal. The Christian needs a purpose. The Christian needs a motive for living. And so Paul gives us one right here.
If I were to sum it up, I would say here it is. Paul is saying this. Because he died for you, you should live for him. Now he's done more than died for you. He's done a whole lot more. But because he gave His life for you in death, so give your life for Him in life. Live for Him.
So it's your turn. It's your move. It is your response. Now we're only going to look at two verses. But I want to separate a few things, and drill down, and unpack some truths here. Because I want to show you that our response to God comes in three stages. The presentation of our bodies, the transformation of our minds, and the apprehension of his will. So let's just take each one.
We begin where Paul begins in verse 1 of chapter 12, the presentation of our bodies. He says, "I beseech you therefore brethren." And we don't talk like that today. We don't say I beseech you. You don't go to a restaurant and say to the waitress I beseech you for more coffee. Right? You could translate I encourage you. I'm encouraging. I'm coming alongside of you to encourage you in this. I beseech you or encourage you therefore brethren by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice wholly acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
First of all, notice the audience. He is writing to brethren. In other words, this chapter is addressed to and all about the Christian. Our spiritual family. Have you noticed during the book of Romans that Paul makes a distinction between different groups. Gentiles, Jews, the church. The first few chapters he talks about the entire world. All of us. Religious, non-religious all under the wrath of God. And then he talks about the grace of God, et cetera. But then chapter 9, 10, and 11, he has a pinpoint point, focus on one group in particular. And that is the Jewish nation.
Romans 9, 10, and 11. Past, present, and future of the Jewish nation. Now he's writing to believers. So we who are Christians, we pay close attention to this because we're part of this group brethren. Now I'm belaboring this point because I want to say this. Don't expect unbelievers to live like this. This is for believers. Sometimes I think we Christians try to impose our values on the unbelieving world. We want a Christian culture and a Christian society. That's called Heaven. You won't get it here.
Don't expect unbelievers to act like believers. If you want a Christian culture, you have to have a culture filled with all Christians. And trust me, even that is imperfect. But if you want a Christian society and a Christian culture. Be an evangelist. Win them to Christ. That should be first and foremost.
But when it comes to imposing my belief system and value system, I will evangelize. But I will not expect the secular culture to adopt the Christian lifestyle. I do not expect sinners to do much more than sin. That's my expectation. I expect sinners to sin. And they're really good at it. But I expect Christians to surrender.
And that's who he's writing to. He's going to say to believers I want you to present your body. This is for us. Now that is based on an awareness. So we go from the audience now to the awareness. Paul is making his appeal. He is basing it on their awareness of certain truths. Truths that he is already covered in 11 chapters.
He says it this way. "I beseech you therefore brother and by the mercies of God." OK. So he's saying keep all that I have told you in 11 chapters in mind when I tell you this next commandment. Be aware of this. One translation says with eyes wide open to the mercies of God. Now we have spent 22 weeks in the book of Romans so far looking at the mercies of God.
Let me give you a few of them. First of all, Paul says we're all condemned under sin. We're under God's wrath, but we can be made righteous by Jesus Christ. That's chapters 1, 2, and 3 of Romans. Then he says you are justified freely by faith. Just believing in Jesus Christ. That's enough to make you justified before God in the same way Abraham was. And God accounted it to him for righteousness. That's Romans chapter 4.
Then he goes on to say we have access to God anytime day or night. We have the hope of heaven. And between now and heaven, we have life. And even in the worst part of life, the trials of life, God promises to shape us through the trials of life. That's chapter 5. In chapters 6, 7, and 8 Paul says we are slaves who have been freed spiritually speaking. We are freed from the law, freed from sin, we are adopted into his family. We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us.
Then chapter 9, 10, and 11, Paul says, look at all the promises God made to the Jewish nation of which he'll keep all of them. So chapter 1 through 11, that's the composite aggregate mercies of God. I beg you, I encourage you, I beseech you therefore brethren by all of those mercies that you live this way. Because of all that God has done for you, live like this.
Live as though you've been justified. Live as though you are forgiven. Live like you are bound for heaven. So chapter 12-- get this part-- becomes the graduation chapter. That's why the word therefore is there. It's there for a reason. It is a transition. Here's what you should know. Here's the basis and the foundation. Therefore do this. Therefore live this way. So it's the graduation chapter.
Chapters 1 through 11, Paul's taking us to school. Giving us the foundation. Now he puts the cap and gown on us and says, go get a life. Go get a job. Now it's your turn. In response to all that, do this. The mercies of God therefore present to us and provide spiritual incentive and moral dynamic.
I think it's healthy to think of the mercies of God to us individually. I'll give you an example using my own life. If I were to review the mercies of God, it would be something like this. I was an aimless teenager in Southern California experimenting on way too many bad things. Until in 1973-- yes, it's been a long time-- God reached down from heaven and saved my soul. That's a mercy. That's God's mercy to me.
Then I bounced around a few churches for a while. By God's great mercy he placed me in a Bible teaching church with a godly pastor named Chuck Smith who took me from Genesis to Revelation. And gave me a great foundation in the word of God. That's God's mercy. Then I think I was alone. And in 1981, God provided incredible life's companion. Christ centered, God centered woman named, Lenya-- mission minded to come alongside and be my life's mate and companion.
Then when I was wondering about what I was going to do, my future, I felt that God laid it on my heart to come to this crazy place called Albuquerque, New Mexico. Way back east. I'm going back east. That's what I told people to Albuquerque to go start a bible study. And what God has done with that. All of those things for me are the mercies of God. God's merciful to me. And when I look at that, and I take inventory personally, here's my bottom line conclusion. How can I not serve a God who's done that? Those are his mercies. So that's the first. The presentation of our bodies.
Now look at the appeal of that in particular. "I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies." You get the idea. Right? Here, God. Here's my body. Here I am. Here's my life. I'm presenting it to you. Present your bodies living sacrifice wholly acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Now notice the word present. OK. It's a technical word. It's a technical word for the priesthood. It's a priestly word. It's to Levitical word.
It's a word that was used of a priest in the Old Testament, who would present an animal to be sacrificed on the altar. So he would take the animal, lay hands on it, bring the animal to its death. And that animal would be consumed on an altar. It's a very apt word because you know that Peter says we are a royal priesthood. First Peter chapter 2, verse 5. We are a royal priesthood or a holy priesthood.
So the idea of all of this is as one of God's priests in the new covenant, I give him my life. I am worshipping with my life. So worship is an experience that should take place every single day as I present my body to him for him to use. Something else I want you to notice. And it's the word living sacrifice. Present your bodies a living sacrifice.
Now this is where it gets different because those who would read this originally and who knew about Jewish sacrifices would know that sacrifices when they were brought to the temple, and when the priests offered them, they were never living. They were always dead. Priests would kill the animal. Let the blood out. Drain the blood. Placed the carcass on an altar. The fire would totally consume it as a whole burnt offering.
But here he says, no, it's the New Testament. It's not a dead sacrifice. It's a living sacrifice. It is, in other words, a lifestyle that is sacrificial. Now here's the problem with the living sacrifice as opposed to a dead one. Living sacrifices have a tendency to squirm off the altar. If it's dead, no problem. It's not going to move. If it's a living sacrifice, could be problematic because it goes like this, God, I like I give you my life. I dedicate my life to you.
Well, just a minute there's this cool thing over here. There's this allurement. I'm going to go. Oh. wait, wait, wait, wait. I re-dedicate my life to you now, Lord. Oh wait, wait. I'm going to go do-- again, here I am. I'm rededicating my life again. You know that tendency. We have a tendency to squirm off the altar.
So the idea is to present your body, and do it once for all. But if you need to, do it regularly to him. So what does that mean to present your body? Why does God care about your body? I'm bringing this up because I've heard how Christians sometimes talk about the human body. They deprecate their body. Body is an important man. The spirit is really important. Do whatever you want with your body. It's the spirit that's important. You're going to get a new body anyway.
Let me tell you something. In 1 Corinthians chapter 6, Paul tells you why your body is so important. He says, it is a temple of the Holy Spirit. If it's a temple of the Holy Spirit, the temple is not just a place where sacrifices were made. It was the community center for everybody. OK. It was the base of operations for the community in Jerusalem.
Your body as God's temple is to become a base of operations for God to work his will around you. And the scripture is filled with great examples of people who presented their bodies to God. And God moved powerfully through them.
I think, for example, of Sarah in the Old Testament. Sarah's womb was barren. But when her body was dedicated to God, presented to God, by Abraham and Sarah, God filled it with Isaac. I think of Moses. God called Moses to be a spokesman. Moses said, you got the wrong dude. I can't even speak. I stutter. I stutter. God says, you're just the one.
You present your body to me Moses, and you watch what I'll do with it. And he did. And he became not only a spokesman for Pharaoh To Pharaoh, but for the children of Israel and giving the law of God. Think of David. The hands of a simple shepherd boy who was used to toe chasing lambs around the desert. But when his body was presented to God, those hands holding a sling and a stone brought a giant down to the earth named Goliath.
Think of Paul's feet spreading the gospel around the world because he presented his body to God. So your body and my body can be a base of operations for God to work through. He wants to touch the world through you.
Now your body was once a base of operations for the enemy. It was in full use. You surrendered at one time to the devil basically to do his work. Although you didn't see it as his work, you saw it as chasing that rabbit around, or grabbing a banana. It's all about getting stuff. This is cool. This is fun
But at one time, it was a base of operations for evil. I want you to see the difference. I want to compare something. If you don't mind, keep your marker here, or a finger here, or a ribbon there in chapter 12. Go back to Romans 3. Just a few chapters. Go back. Romans chapter 3. I don't mean we're going to read a few chapters. I mean just go back a few chapters.
Romans 3, verse 12. "They have all turned aside. They have together become unprofitable. There is none who does good. No not one." Now watch this. Watch what he does with these parts of the body. "Their throat is an open tomb with their tongues. They have practiced deceit. The poison of asps is under their lips whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways. And the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Human depravity is expressed through human bodies. And in the same way, just like you allowed your body to be used for evil, now let it be used for God's best good. Present your body to God. Just as human depravity is revealed through the body, human spirituality is to be revealed through the body. Feet that walk in God's paths. Lips that speak God's truths. Hands that reach out to help in God's name. Ears that listen to breaking hearts with the heart of Christ. Mouths that spread his gospel around the world.
Just as Jesus took on a body to accomplish God's work, God uses our bodies to accomplish his work. I sometimes get this thought. I've told this to you before, but I sometimes just sort of sit back, fold my arms, and marvel that God who without us could get the job of evangelism done. He could use angels. And they would do a much better job. Trust me.
I mean, just think. If you just hang a eight trillion watch speaker system from the moon, and broadcast to the earth via an angel, I think it'll get everybody's attention. But God has condescended to use human bodies to spread his message, and to do his work. The foolish things of the world Paul calls it in 1 Corinthians chapter 1.
So think how exciting your life can be tomorrow if you wake up with this thought. God can use my body today. I'm going to give it to him. I'm going to surrender it to him. I'm going to present it to him. Today and every day I'm going to wake up with that thought.
Now Paul says when you do that it's logical. It's your reasonable service. He would assess that at the end of verse 1, a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Smartest thing you could ever do. "Logikos" is the word reasonable. We get or were logical from it. Rational, reasonable, logical. Some translations translate it spiritual. Like the new international version, which is your spiritual act of worship it says.
I like that. I think it's a fair translation. I like the idea that says true worship isn't singing songs are going through rituals. It's living an obedient life by presenting your body to God. But I do like and prefer the translation logical, or rational, or reasonable. So let me put it together for you this way. Because God has been so good, so merciful, so abundant in his provision, the smartest thing, most logical, thing most rational, thing most reasonable thing, and hence the most spiritual thing I could do is say, here God. Here's my body. Use it.
That makes the most sense. Based on his mercies I should do that. So that's stage number one. The presentation of our bodies. Stage number two is the transformation of our minds. Our thinking. Verse 2. "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Do you notice there's two parts to that? There's a negative and a positive? Don't do this, but do that. Don't be conformed. But be transformed.
So on the negative side, do not be conformed. I love the fact that the Bible calls us to be nonconformists. I've always been one. And when I found this verse, I said, yes. I love it. Don't go with the flow. Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount told his disciples don't be like them. Referring to the world-- unbelievers. Do not be like them.
Now JB Phillips takes verse 2, and translates it this way. Don't let the world squeeze you into its own mold. Very powerful rendition. Don't let the world squeeze you into its own mold. Don't go with that flow. Any dead fish can float downstream. Stand up and stick out for the right reason.
Now that's not easy to do. It's easier said than done. One of our greatest fears as human beings is to be rejected by the group or a crowd. We want to fit in. We want them to like us. We do want to say, excuse me, but I disagree with you all. And so we conform. But this idea of nonconformity is a principle goes all the way back to the Old Testament where God was taking the children of Israel out of Egypt and bringing them into the land of Canaan. There were unbelievers in Egypt. There was unbelievers in Canaan.
So God said in Leviticus 18, "According to the doings of the land of Egypt where you dwelt, you shall not do according to the doings of them. Nor according to the doings of the land of Canaan where I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their ordinances." don't be like the rest of the crowd. John, in 1 John chapter 2 put it this way. Do not love the world. Now here Paul says, don't be conformed to the world. John says, don't even love the world, which has brought a lot of angst to some believers. I've had that-- what does it mean, don't love the world?
Am I supposed to hate trees, and grass, and the earth? I look at him and go, I hate that. Why are you doing that? Well, the Bible says, don't love the world. No, we are to love the physical world. Psalm 24 says the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. And as believers we realize I'm stewards of this earth that God put me on. I need to do my best not only to treat it well, but to love it the right way. Not to let that stand in my way of love for God. But certainly I'm not to hate that world.
In fact, I think as believers we have a greater appreciation for physical nature because it points to God. For the life of me, I don't understand how an unbelieving scientists can do it. They make some cool discovery, and it's like, oh, look at this beautiful accident. This random occurrence. Isn't that awesome. This fortuitous occurrence of accidental circumstance. Wow. It has no meaning at all.
As a believer we go, that has great meaning. My father, my creative father, made this. And it points me back to Him. So when the Bible says, don't love the world, it doesn't refer to the physical world. When the Bible says, don't be conformed to the world, it's not speaking of the physical world. Second, it's not referring to the world of human beings. The Bible says, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. We are to love people as well as the physical surroundings.
But when he uses the term world here, and when John uses it in 1 John love not the world, it refers specifically to the ethical world. The ethical world. It is the word cosmos, which means to order or to arrange. We get our word cosmopolitan from that word. It means the ordered system of behaviors, activities, ideas, and people that are against God. All under the control of Satan because the Bible puts it this way, "Satan is the God of this world who has blinded the minds of those who believe not."
We're not to be conformed to that. We're not to be the Greyhound chasing the rabbit around and around. Now look at the positive side. Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed. Metamorphosis a total radical change by the renewing of your what? Mind. Your mind is important to God. Your mind is important to God.
Jesus said, "You are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, strength." So if you've never heard this before, hear it now. It's OK to think as a Christian. In fact, it's mandatory. It's vital to think as a Christian. Be a thinking Christian. Some churches seem to have a sign that's invisible. But implied please check your brain at the door. Don't think critically. Don't bring up questions. Don't struggle with real issues. No, struggle with real issues.
If you have doubts, work through them. I've done it plenty of times. And I've come out the other end much stronger for it. James Montgomery Boyce said this, "People aren't thinking anymore. Brain cells are seriously under exercised. Contemplation has become an old fashioned word with little place in our fast paced, high tech world for thinking we have substituted entertainment. The substitution has been so effective that many of us believe that entertainment actually makes us think.
We think of ourselves as being the best informed generation in history because of television. Add to that now since he wrote it social media. But TV is not informing us. It's merely entertaining us. And there is a difference. So we're told to renew our minds. How do you renew your mind? And you know the answer to this. How do you renew your mind? Hold it up. Hold it up. How do you renew your mind? Hold it up high.
By saturating it in the word of God. God has given us his word, his values, his template. Saturate your mind in the word of God. A while back, it was I think second service on a Sunday morning. And I know this because a person came up to me afterwards. They were sitting behind a couple who was as I was teaching through the Bible-- maybe they were visitors. Surely they were.
But this woman said to her husband almost aghast, almost in an unbelieving tone, she went he speaking to me, goes he believes this literally. He's believing the Bible. He's taking it literally. I'm glad she picked up on that point because I actually do believe it literally. Grammatically, historically, et cetera. Renew your mind. You're thinking. Transform your mind by saturating in God's mind, which is conveyed in his word.
Now when you do that, when those first two are done, a third will follow. The presentation of your body, followed by the transformation of your mind, will lead to the apprehension of God's will. See how verse 2 continues? That you, or literally, so that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. Do you know God has a will? God has a will generally as well as specifically for your life.
He wants you to know his will. He wants you to do his will. And I've discovered every true Christian wants to do God's will. It's as natural as any child growing up. You come to a point after you get saved where you say, what does God want me to do in this life? What is His plan and purpose for me? I want to know God's will. It's one of the most often asked questions I get. How do I discover God's will?
The problem comes-- and some people think God's will is revealed mysteriously. It's going to be really weird. That's God. Is a weird enough? OK, it's God. Every weird sign has to be from God. So God is going to speak to me through an audible voice, or he'll spell letters out in the clouds, or an angel will be hitchhiking at the on ramp and tell me God's will.
I've discovered I've never had any of those things. But I have seen God work in my life supernaturally naturally. Very naturally. Very normally. But at the same time, the mystery of it is God is supernaturally working. Don't be like the guy who he went on a diet. He was very, very serious about his diet. So serious that he's decided he is going to reroute his normal way to work because the normal way to work was by a bakery where he'd stop every day and load up on donuts. So he goes I'm not going to do that. I'm going to just drive a different way. So he did.
But one day he comes to the office with this humongous coffee cake. Everyone in the office, come on, what happened? You made a commitment. We want to help you keep the commitment. He goes no, no, no, no, no. He goes, first of all, I accidentally drove by the bakery. I forgot my routing. And I just accidentally went by there. But then I thought, maybe this is God's will for my life. So I prayed. And I said, Lord, if it's your will that I go inside the bakery and buy that beautiful coffee cake in the window, I pray you provide a parking space right up front. And he goes and wouldn't you know it, the eighth time around the block there it was.
A transformed mind will produce a transformed will. You will want what God wants. When you present your body, when your mind is renewed, you're going to start wanting what God wants. That's why I'm going to boil down God's will to something very simple. OK. You'll understand what mean in the context of it. Love God and do whatever you want. You go, well, that's a little weird. No, it's not. It's actually very true because if you love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, if you're presenting your body to him, if your mind is being renewed in his mind through his truth, what you want is going to be exactly what he wants.
So love God, and do what you want. There's something about God's will that Paul says here in verse 2. He says, first of all, it's good. Did you notice that? That you may prove it is that good. You know God's will is always good. Doesn't always feel good, but it is good God's will isn't always fun. It's not always pleasurable, but it's always, always, always good. Romans 8:28, "God works all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose."
Then the will of God is acceptable. Notice that next word, acceptable, what does that mean? The NIV renders it. It is pleasing. When you do God's will, it's going to be pleasing. Who is it going to please? It's going to please God. It is going to please God, but it's also going to be pleasing to you to please God. It's going to please you to please God. The Bible says, in Psalm 37, "Delight yourself in the Lord." You know the rest of that verse? "And he will give you the desires of your heart." Don't misquote that. It doesn't mean just don't be delighted in God, and God will give you all your little heart's desires. No, it means that when you delight yourself in the Lord, He will actually plant within you a desire for the right thing. He'll give you the desire.
Finally, he says the will of God is perfect. That you may prove what is a good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. The word perfect, cool word. Teleios. It means complete. It means full grown. It means mature. I take it to mean a mature satisfaction. The experience it says, ah. I am satisfied with my life. Listen, if you come to the end of your life, and you are dissatisfied with it, it means you've been conformed to this world. If you come to the end of your life, and you are dissatisfied, it only proved that you were living for yourself and not for God.
I have never yet met somebody on their deathbed who said, I committed too much to God. I should have been more selfish in my life. More time for myself. I've never met a person who's said that. If you're dissatisfied, it means you've been living for the wrong reason. So we present our bodies to the control of God. Our mind is renewed by the spirit of God in the word of God. And then we are able to discern the will of God.
If we love God, and do what we want because he plants those desires what he wants in our hearts. Now, as we close, I just want to say that I have practiced this generally for years. That is, when I am in my bed, and I wake up early in the morning-- sometimes I wake up early, like today 4:30. Just my eyes were open. I'm up. So I do the normal thing. Take the dogs out, get my wife coffee later. Not at 4:30. She wouldn't have it. But I get up.
Before I get up, my eyes are open. And I generally say, Lord, I commit my day to you. Before my feet hit the ground, I'm just committing my day to Him. Then get up, get coffee, grab my Bible. Open it up to get my mind renewed in His word. Renewed in His thinking. Then I commit my plans to Him. I yield my plans.
I have a schedule like y'all. I've got appointments. But I yield my schedule to Him. And I say, God, you have editing rights over my script. You know what I mean by that. I have my plans. But they may not be His. He might say, no. I'm going to actually splice this part of the reel. Throw it out, and put this. This is what you're going to face today. I don't want that. Yeah, but I do. And I want you to go through it.
Well, that's not good. No, it is good. I doesn't feel good. But it is good. So I commit my script to him, and I give him editing rights over it. That is better than being a Christian monkey. Of having a hand in the coconut, grabbing a hold, not letting go. I want it. I want it. I want it. Live surrendered. Not seizing.
His way is always better than your way. So Father, we want to conclude this little study in Romans 12, that exaltation that Paul gives-- that instruction that he gives. We want to close by doing exactly what he said we should do. Here we are, Lord. There are thousands of mouths, and hands, and eyes, and feet at your disposal. We present our bodies to you for you to use to reach a world. To reach a community.
We pray, Lord, that as we do that. And as you renew our mind, we would just walk in and discover what your will is, which is always good. And always pleasing to you. And always satisfying to us. And so, Father, we commit on this Sunday, this Lord's day, this first day of the week, our Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday all to you for you to do what you want to do in us, and through us, and for us ultimately. Which is always for good in Jesus' name, Amen.
How will you put the truths that you learned into action in your life? Let us know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And just a reminder, you can support this ministry with a financial gift at calvarynm.church/give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Church.