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. LessonToday I want to continue to list answers to yesterday’s question: Why is it reasonable to serve God sacrificially?
It is reasonable because such service is God’s will for us, and his is a good, pleasing, and perfect will. Christians often get greatly hung up on the idea of discovering “what God’s specific will is” for their lives. In my judgment, there clearly are specific plans for our lives that God has determined in advance, because he has predetermined all things. The difficulty is that he has not revealed these to us. But although these specific details are not made known, general but very important things are, and the most important of these general things is that God wants us to be like Jesus Christ.
Sometimes we also get hung up on the idea that God’s will must be something hard, difficult, or irrational. Paul corrects that error by giving us three adjectives to describe the nature of God’s will.
It is “good,” he says. God is the master of the understatement. So if God says his will is good, he means good with a capital G. He means that his will for us is the best thing that could possibly be.
God’s will is also “acceptable,” says Paul. This means acceptable to us, since the fact that God’s will is acceptable to God goes without saying. Do not say that the will of God is hard – or difficult – or irrational. If you are thinking along those lines, it is because you have not yet learned to surrender to it. Those who do surrender to God’s will, offering their whole selves as sacrifices to him, find that the will of God is the most acceptable thing there can be.
Finally, Paul argues that the will of God is “perfect.” No one can say more than that. Our ways are not perfect. They can always be improved upon and often must be corrected. God’s ways are perfect. They can never be improved upon. So isn’t it the most reasonable thing in the world to serve God and to do so without reservation, with all your heart?
It is reasonable because God is worthy of our very best efforts. In the fourth chapter of Revelation we read:
You are worthy, our Lord and God,to receive glory and honor and power,for you created all things,and by your will they were createdand have their being. (Rev. 4:11)
Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strengthand honor and glory and praise! (Rev. 5:12)
That is the testimony of the elders, the four living creatures, the angels, and the entire company of the redeemed. Their testimony means that God is worthy of all honor, including the very best we have to offer.
Do you believe that?
I think that is the problem. If we did believe it, we would judge it reasonable to live for Jesus now and we would do it. Instead, in many cases we only say, “Jesus is worthy of all honor,” and then go out and fail to live for him. Our actions refute our profession. On the other hand, if you do live for him, giving God all you can ever hope to be, then you are testifying that God truly is a great God and that he is worthy of the best you or anyone else can offer.
What three words in Romans 12:1 describe God’s will?
Who finds God’s will acceptable?
How do we learn that it is acceptable?
Why is he worthy of your service? Do you believe this?
Further StudyLiving for God testifies to the goodness of his will. Take time to read again through the passages mentioned in today’s lesson: Romans 8:28-29 and Revelation 4:11; 5:12. What do these passages say about God’s will? What do they say about why it is reasonable for us to serve God? How does God’s worthiness motivate you to serve him and seek his will?