Romans 12:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)
Living Sacrifices to God
12 I beseech[a] you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your [b]reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
You’ve probably read this scripture or even heard it before in sermons
This is a powerful scripture if we take the time to analyze what it is actually saying
Although often times scriptures like these can be overlooked but Christians need to cling to scriptures like this
It says to present our bodies a living sacrifice. (like a gift, we want it to be perfect for God) Not just the parts we want to offer
It is not just referring to our physical bodies but our whole body, mind, soul, and spirit as well
Jesus sacrificed himself that we may be saved
He doesn’t ask much, well except lay your life down and die daily for Him
That means you lay everything at the feet of Jesus
Your goals, plans, desires, dreams, and relationships
That’s how we continue to renew our minds
By constantly seeking Him, because that is all our life should be about
We should be yearning to honor God with our whole lives not just the parts we want to give him.
By the end of this sermon hopefully I will have given you practical ways that you can present your body a living sacrifice and renewing your mind
Story about working out
The main thing I realized through this was that these things nutrition, the workout, and rest can be applied to our spiritual lives as well
Where are you getting your nutrition from?
Is it from the things of God, like the word, worship, prayer, church, sermons and godly relationships
Or does most of it come from the world. Movies, music, social media, or ungodly relationships
If we want to honor God with our whole lives, we must make Him the priority over everything
Everything we say or do should be filtered through His word
Joshua 1:8 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you[a] shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
His word should be the primary source of our spiritual nutrition
It shows us the character of God and what he expects from us
It encourages us when we’ve become weak
Its inspiring to see the way He loves us and the extent that He goes to show us how loved we are by Him
It also shows us the uncomfortable things, the stuff in our lives that need to be changed
The word teaches us how to die to self through the examples that God has laid out from the people in the bible
If the word isn’t a priority in your spiritual life then you are off the mark
Believe me its easy to let the word fall to the wayside.
In past I’ve allowed that to happen in my own life
What I do is make it the first thing I do
Reading in Nehemiah
Theses people listened to the word for half of the day
For some people the only scripture they see is when they see a scripture someone else posts on facebook
If you let the word fall by the wayside then where does your nutrition come from. Is it the people around you?
I want to be very clear on this because the bible is very specific
There are people that you do not need to associate with
Psalm 1:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the [a]ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he [b]meditates day and night.
If the people you spend the most time with have a negative influence on you more than you can influence them for good, then stay away from them
Story about union work
I’m not saying to avoid people all together that aren’t saved, if we did that how would we reach people
I’m saying don’t put a majority of your time in those relationships
Only you know if you are allowing these types of relationships in your life
If they began to affect your heart and mind you won’t be able to honor God with your whole life
Instead allow the people of God to be your main source of friendships
We should want to be around His people there is a benefit in spending time in Godly relationships.
What type of music or movies do you allow yourself to watch?
Because there are things that the Lord absolutely doesn’t want us to watch or listen to
Proverbs 4:23 New King James Version (NKJV)
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
Another word for keep is to guard
Which means we need to protect the things that we allow to go in it
Music is another subtle thing that can have an effect in our lives
It may not be popular opinion to some who love their music, but it’s true
Anybody ever listen to rap?
The reason music does this is because it actually has effects on us, like real effects on our minds and bodies
There have been quite a few studies done on music and the affects on the mind and body
Your heart beat actually syncs to the beat of the music
It can release dopamine in your body and adrenaline as well
Music can also change the way you perceive reality and the things in the world
If your main source of music is worldly especially with today’s music just stop
Why would you have a problem if you say you want to honor God listening to music that glorifies him.
The reason I wanted to touch on these 2 things people and music is because in most lives it takes a lot of time out of our lives.
So, What are you filling yourself with?
the Lord asks us to lay our lives down for his sake
we need to apply his word to our lives – Yes we actually have to do work.
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
We are saved by grace, but there is work than needs to be done in our own lives
If God didn’t want us to obey what he says, then there would be no need for those things to be in the bible
We must workout our own salvation with fear and trembling
That means constantly examining ourselves before the lord
We can’t just change a few things in our lives when we give our lives to the lord and expect that to sustain us
We can’t try to workout our salvation by only doing a few things,
We must work it out by doing all that must be done
That means when you are done with one area, you work on the next
It is a lifelong process, we must continue til the end of our life
2 Corinthians 13:5
5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you [a]are disqualified.
I don’t want to be someone that in the end of my life I become disqualified
If we stop trying to seek the Lord in areas where we need work, we will become complacent which is exactly where the enemy wants us
The enemy wants to render us to be ineffective for the kingdom
But as believers we must reject complacency and do the work in our own lives even when its hard
1 Peter 1:13-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
Living Before God Our Father
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your [a]stay here in fear;
In order to allow the Lord to work on us we must rely on spending time with the Lord
That is where our growth comes from, remaining in His presence
Story about volume
It is important that we spend time with the Lord in prayer so that He will reveal things in our life that need work and so we can stay away from temptations in our life
The Prayer in the Garden
36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Even in Jesus last days he went and prayed for hours
Now this is volume
When was the last time you sought out the Lord in prayer for an hour or more at a time?
If we followed Jesus example it would probably be a lot more often
This world has so many distractions that it’s easy to not give God the time he deserves from us
And there is plenty of excuses, I’m too busy, I work too much, I don’t have much time for my family.
At the end of the day that’s just what these are… Excuses, because we will make time for what is important to us. And God should be the most important
We shouldn’t just “fit him in” when it benefits us
How many hours a week do you sit around and watch tv? Or spend on facebook
More than you realize probably
I did some simple math
Say you only pray for a total of 10 minutes a day, that would be 3650 minutes in a year
which would only be about 60 total hours in a year
In more perspective out of 365 days that’s only a little more than 2.5 days
Now I’m not saying this is everybody if you know the amount of time you spend with the Lord you can do your own math
But being honest with myself there is times where I’ve only prayed for about 10 minutes throughout the day
We must be people that are willing to put volume in our relationship with God
Just like any other relationship it takes work
If I only spent 10 min a day with my wife a year, I wouldn’t even know her well
I spend a lot of time with her over 10 years and I still don’t know her that well
We must be people of prayer allow God to refine you so you can workout your salvation
Now while working out all the things in our life we can’t forget an important aspect
We must take time to rest in the lord
Story muscle growth is done in the rest
If we want to be refreshed spiritually, we have to make rest a priority
38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at [a]Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
41 And [b]Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
While all the work was going on Mary decided to rest at the feet of Jesus
Then Jesus had to correct Martha
Mary put away the distractions and the work and decided to spend time listening to Jesus
We need to be people that put an importance on rest
We get tired and weak
Resting will be able to spiritually restore our heart and mind
But we have to prioritize a time to rest with the Lord
Jesus knows the importance of rest, he in fact rested himself
30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
This was right before the feeding of the 5000
The disciples had been busy, Jesus did not want them to be drained or weary
So, He commanded them to rest
A few scriptures later after the feeding of the 5000 Jesus went by himself to a mountain to pray
Jesus himself was resting
If you want to be spiritually ready for the next struggle in your life you must rest
Now praying and reading the bible go hand in hand with rest
But there are times when we must quite the noise and silently wait for the Lord
I’m going to do an illustration
See I was talking the whole time but you probably could make out what was being said
Sitting in silence with the Lord and thinking on him is a great way to hear His voice
Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.
2 He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my [a]defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.[b]
David repeats this same thing in verse 5 as well
If you feel like you haven’t heard from the Lord in awhile try sitting in silence and allow the Lord to speak to you
Its hard to just do nothing and rest in the Lord but it is beneficial
If we make these 3 things nutrition, workout, and rest a priority in your life you will be spiritually restored more often and ready for the things that God has planned for your future
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