Service That Makes SenseRomans 12:1-2Theme: Reasonable sacrifices.This week’s lessons explore the reasons we should be eager to offer ourselves to God. LessonIn the final analysis, only that which is spiritual will last. Everything else, everything we see and touch and handle and sometimes even covet here, will pass away. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away” (Matt. 24:35). If that is true of the heavens and the earth, it is certainly true of the small perishable things you and I give so much of our lives for. On the other hand, although “the world and its desires pass away,” we are also told that the one who “does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17). And so do his works! The Bible says, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord…. They will rest from their labor, [and] their deeds will follow them.” Learning to think this way is part of what it means to think spiritually. It is a start in developing a truly Christian mind.
I close with two illustrations. Jim Elliot, that young missionary, wrote on one occasion, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” He gave his life to God in what he judged to be the most reasonable service, and he gained a spiritual inheritance forever.
The second example is another missionary whose name was William Borden. He came from a wealthy, privileged family, was a graduate of Yale University, and had the promise of a wonderful and lucrative career before him. But he felt a call to serve God as a missionary in China and left for the field even though his family and friends thought him a fool for going. After a short time away and even before he reached China, Borden contracted a fatal disease and died. He had given up everything to follow Jesus. He died possessing nothing in this world. But Borden of Yale did not regret it. We know this because he left a note as he lay dying that said, “No reserve, no retreat, and no regrets.” Like so many others, he found the service of Christ to be eminently reasonable and gained a lasting reward. Study Questions
Why is it reasonable to give everything you have to God?
How does one learn to think spiritually?
PrayerOur Father, we thank you for these truths. We recognize the hardness of our hearts, the secular thinking that holds us back. And, our Father, we ask by your Spirit that you would overcome that in us, that by your grace, we might become increasingly the kind of people you would have us be. And we ask that each one of us, one by one, might surrender his or her life completely to you and so find your service and your will to be not only desirable, but acceptable and perfect as well, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.