Saturday, June 25, 2011
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. (Rom 12:1-2)
What are you doing to dedicate yourself as a living sacrifice to the Father??? Do you even have any idea what you are supposed to do or why? There's a lot more to serving as a living sacrifice than attending church on Sunday or reading this post. Isn't it time you stepped up your contribution?
I found a checklist (or a series of questions you can ask yourself) to help keep you on the path of righteousness (Matt 6:33) and allow your relationship with Jesus to grow. No, they are not mandatory, but they are helpful. Be honest with yourself when you answer them, don't look for the technicality in them. Look at the actual - if you're doing them, you are probably walking the right path...if not, you may want to revisit what it is that the Lord is calling you to do.
I am a baptized member of my church
I am serving my church
I have indicated to God that I will go and do whatever He desires
I make spending time with God a priority
I purposefully look for opportunities to give financially to God's work
I purposefully look for opportunities to serve others
I take care of my sins immediately
I have a pure thought-life
I get along with others
I have joy regardless of my circumstances
Some of these I can answer "yes" - some I cannot. So I guess that means I keep working at it. This list is not intended for you to run out and join any church or dump all of your money into a non-profit organization. It's just a guide. The first three involve a commitment to God. They acknowledge your belief in Jesus and your faith in His promises. It's a great place to start. Once you've accomplished the first three, the next four are on-going. Praying, tithing and serving are a continuation of the faith we acknowledge in the first three. Taking care of our sins immediately is also on-going (and rather important). If each and every time we sin, we stop and ask for forgiveness (humbly and honestly), we will be better equipped to conquer the last three.
There are no rules to follow other than what is written in the Word of God. Jesus isn't going to count the number of times you went to church this year as if you had a "quota" to reach. Remember - entering the Kingdom of Heaven is based on your rebirth, and your faith that through grace you are saved by the blood of Jesus. What you do will be counted (that's another post), but it will not get you in.
Take the time to get to know God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The power of prayer, the power of love and the power of forgiveness flow endlessly from the throne. Do all that you can and then a little bit more! Be grateful for what you have and that you have the ability to go before Him and ask for forgiveness. Share His love with those around you and lift your hands in praise! Dedicate your life and your work; be the imitation of His word!
(photo by Stephanie Stevens)