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. LessonYesterday I mentioned the night the angel came and wrestled with Jacob to bring him to the point of personal submission. But let’s not wait for the angel to wrestle with us. Let’s deal with this matter of sacrificial service to God now. Why is such demanding service so reasonable?
It is reasonable because of what God has already done for us. We are under the wrath of God, on a destructive downhill path and unable to help ourselves. Paul has shown that we are not even inclined to help ourselves. Instead of drawing close to God who is our only hope, we run away from him, suppressing even the truths about God known from the revelation of himself in nature.
Yet God has not let it go at that. God intervenes to save us by the work of Jesus Christ, who died for us, and by the work of the Holy Spirit, who enables us to understand what Jesus has accomplished, repent of our sin, and trust him for our salvation. Then he has also joined us to Jesus Christ to make us different people from what we were before.
Let me make that personal. Are you a believer in Jesus Christ? Are you trusting him for your salvation? Has the Holy Spirit made you alive in Jesus Christ? If he has, what can be more reasonable than to give yourself to him? What is more logical than to serve God wholeheartedly in this way?
It is also reasonable because of what God is continuing to do. The salvation of a Christian is not just a past thing. It is also a present experience, because God is continuing to work in those whom he has brought to faith in Jesus Christ. It is difficult to make changes in our lives, break destructive habits, form new ways of thinking, and please God. But this is exactly what God is doing in us. It is what this text is about. God does not start a thing and abandon it. When God starts something, he always brings it to completion. He is doing this with you. Therefore, it is absurd to oppose his purposes. It is futile. The only reasonable thing is to join God and get on with what he is leading you to do. Study Questions
Why is it reasonable to serve God sacrificially?
What is our natural response to God?
How does God reach out to save us?
ReflectionRead Philippians 1:6. In light of this verse, why is it reasonable to obey God whole-heartedly? Recall a crisis or temptation in your Christian life which is now well behind you. Think about God’s persistence in bringing you through that time in your life. How has Philippians 1:6 been demonstrated in your life?