“I appeal to you… to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship…” (Romans 12:1)
It seems that the only thing that we can give to the God Who has everything is ourselves. This is the essence behind the apostle’s admonition in our verse today.
What God seeks from us is a full and complete surrender – and this surrender is the very foundation of how we are to worship God. It’s what it means to give ourselves to Him.
But here’s the really important thing… So many believe they have gifted themselves to God only to live their lives for themselves. Because they have said a prayer, or think occasionally (or fondly) about God, or have accepted that Jesus came to be the Savior of the world, or have been baptized, or attend church on a (semi-)regular basis, or practice any number of religious rituals – these types of “actions” can give the impression of commitment without really being completely gifted to God.
The danger is that we can fool ourselves (and everybody else) into thinking that we are a child of God – when our lives do not really reflect our “Parentage.” But God is never fooled. He knows our hearts. And those who are actually His (who have truly and completely gifted themselves to Him) bear an unmistakable resemblance to the One Who welcomes them into His care.
We live in an age where so many people are confused about what Christian faith really entails. Because of the confusion, so many people try to add Jesus to their existing lives – while continuing to pursue their own paths and passions. They turn to God only when He is needed – when they reach a place in their lives when they are out of all other options.
But this is not the faith that Jesus came to proclaim. He came to call people to Himself. To live daily as His disciples. To call those who would willingly surrender their lives, their dreams, their ambitions, their pride – and to lay everything down before the Master… permanently.
The gift of ourselves is not something we do when things are tight, or when we have no other options, or because we like the sound of being close to God.
It is something we do because we see the glory, honor, and majesty of the Living God – and we cannot help but give Him the only thing He is wanting…
Fully surrendered hearts. Fully enamored souls. Fully dedicated lives.
C. S. Lewis once said…
This is really at the very core of the gospel!
Jesus was the Gift of God given completely to us so that we would be enabled to give ourselves completely to Him. He came to make us acceptable gifts to God – the giving is entirely up to us.
Everything in a true expression of Christian faith must begin with giving God the only thing we can give Him – all that we are.
But the return is amazing… those who give all that they are receive ALL that He is.