Why do we need to give ourselves into the Lord's Service? Consider this text. It's full of deep meaning. Romans 12:1,2 says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
There is certainly a ton of 'meat' in this passage, so let's just start at the first few words. 'I beseech you therefore' First of all, we see that this uses the word, therefore. Therefore shows a conclusion of a matter, so we must look in the previous chapter to find the true context of the passage were're reading, (after all, the Bible originally, wasn't separated into chapters and verses).
Let's back up to Romans 11:33 it says, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."
So now we see that Paul is saying that in light of how great God truly is, it only makes sense that we serve Him!
Next word after therefore is, 1.'brethren', after that we read the phrase 2. 'by the mercies of God", and 3. 'living sacrifice'.
2. Mercies of God
3. Living Sacrifice
So it's a bit like this: Brethren + Mercies of God = Living Sacrifice
In other words, if we are truly brethren in the faith, and we truly appreciate what God has done for us, we will unquestionably sacrifice this life of sin for a life of unreserved surrender!
The last part of verse 1: "which is your reasonable service"
This means that isn't too much to ask to give up ourselves to His service because of all the things God has done for us! It shouldn't be too much to ask!
Micah 6:6-8 says, 'Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He that shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?'
In other words, the Lord doesn't want our stuff, He wants you and me. He wants willing obedience and service from us because we love Him, not because we're obligated to do so.
We are not to come before the Lord with all the stuff that we are giving to Him, thinking that we are worthy of His favor, simply because of the dues we are paying to Him. Instead, we are to come unto the Lord empty, just waiting for Him to fill us up with His Spirit and willingness to do what's right!
I'll talk more on Romans 12:1,2 next time. :)