Thursday, December 20, 2012

Praise and Renewal

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect" (Romans 12:1-2, New American Standard Bible).

What is the biggest transformation you've seen? As believers, God transforms His people because of His love. This transformation begins when we are first saved, but we can continue to grow after we have been redeemed.

A living and holy sacrifice to God. While Jesus was on earth, He showed us how to be a living and holy sacrifice to God. Although we are not God and are not perfect, walking with God is our goal. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10), so we walk to live out that faith. We can follow God's Word by His power that works through the Holy Spirit that is given to believers. We can have transformed bodies and minds with His power, as we grow closer in our relationship with Him (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

A service of worship. Worship is done out of devotion to Him, to praise Him. In 2 Corinthians 9:7, we are told that God loves a cheerful giver. This is a matter of heart, since God cares more about our relationship with Him. He wants to transform our hearts (Isaiah 29:13). We were dead in our sins, but as believers God makes us alive in Him (Romans 6:13).

The world's will vs. God's will. The flesh's will and God's will stand in contrast, since God's will is good, acceptable, and perfect (verse 2). We have seen His perfect love and mercy in His Son, Jesus, who came to rescue us from a life caught up in sin (Galatians 1:4) to bring us into life with Christ.

Dear Lord, we want to savor You and Your Son. Help us praise You with our lives. Help us share more of who You are with others this weekend. Amen.

Recommended reading: "The Sacrifice of Praise" by John Piper - you can find it on the Desiring God blog here.
Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo of Yolanda Adams is a Getty Photo found on
Hear a song sung by Yolanda, "Lift Him Up" at