It is not always easy to do the right thing.

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“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. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)

            It is not always easy to do the right thing. Often, when we are confronted with the choice to either do the right thing or choose comfort or convenience, it is easier to simply choose to ignore the need. It is easier to get angry at the person who just cut you off in traffic than to be kind. It is easier to hate someone who constantly wrongs you then to forgive them over and over and over. However, it is possible. What makes this possible? Why is it that we will choose to do right over wrong? Even if it seems to be ordinary or mundane, why do we ever choose right over wrong? As Christians, it is because we are no longer conformed to this world. To be conformed to the world means that we allow ourselves to act as the world does. Instead of going to church, we catch a few extra winks and sleep in or watch the game. Instead of supporting our fellow Christians, we talk about their struggles behind their backs. We get drunk or high or we abuse those around us. We take what God has ordained for marriage and twist it into something unnatural. This is no longer us.

What does it mean to be a living sacrifice and to be transformed by the renewal of your mind? This means that all those things people do when they are conformed to the world are thrown out of our lives. This is not something we can do. We can’t transform ourselves and we certainly cannot renew ourselves. This is the work of the Holy Spirit when we become a Christian. He comes and creates within us a new person. No longer are we sinners, but we are now saints who have been made new. It is because of this that Paul urges us to live out the holiness that Jesus died to give us. When we do this, we present ourselves as sacrifices before God, so that we may do the will of God. God’s will is the good, acceptable and perfect work that we do through the renewal of the Holy Spirit.

This week, live out the holiness that God has given you. Present yourself to God as a living sacrifice and share the love of Christ with those around you through your works and words.

August 7, 2017