Scriptures: Romans 12:1-2
Pretend someone told you God asked them to give you their car. You gratefully wait in the driveway as they pull up in a truck and dump out a car engine, a steering wheel, four tires, and the driver’s seat. Perplexed, you stare at the pile of car parts as they pull away pleased with their offering…
Even though they gave you the big and important parts for driving a car, they didn’t deliver the whole car, so the gift is useless. A whole car is made up of more than wheels and an engine; it contains countless nuts, bolts, screws, belts, etc. which hold the whole thing together. When Paul speaks of us giving our bodies to God as holy and pleasing sacrifices, that’s what he’s talking about:
Our whole lives. The big important parts and the little boring bits too.
Think of marriages: A marriage contains a honeymoon, making a home, anniversaries, memorable holidays, sometimes pets and kids…all of these are highlights! And yet, marriage also includes loading the dishwasher correctly, picking up a gallon of milk, and filing your taxes. That’s all marriage too…in fact, it would be the equivalent of dumping just the important car parts in a driveway to have a spouse say they’re only married to you on anniversaries and holidays.
Paul asks us to give our whole lives as a sacrifice in view of God’s mercy. Not in view of expectations, but with God’s mercy as our filter. Combined with yesterday’s reading, a good sentence to remember is:
God’s merciful hope for my life is that I would be faithful with what I have.
What does it look like to offer ourselves as spiritual sacrifices to God?
I’ve adapted an analogy from the preacher Fred Craddock to help explain…
We like to picture giving our whole lives to God as a $10,000 bill that we slide across a table and say, “Here, God.” The more accurate and helpful way to picture the offering is God saying, “Very well, I accept your life,” and then exchanging the $10,000 bill for a $10,000 bag of nickels, and handing the bag back to us. “It’s mine,” God says, “But I want you to give it to me a nickel at a time.”
There will be a few five dollar experiences but most of your life is given to God five cents at a time as you discover the Lord’s good, pleasing, and perfect will in the ordinary moments of living.
written by Matt Orth | www.lesswithoutyou.com