I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Romans 12:1
For eleven chapters, Paul has been building a case for true belief in God’s plan for salvation. After we’re convicted of our sin and respond the God’s gift of grace through Christ, how should we respond?
In light of God’s plan of salvation, “therefore”, we should present our bodies as living sacrifices. Therefore indicates that a living sacrifice is a reasonable response.
This morning’s sermon featured the account of Joshua who challenged the people of Israel to do the same. They could serve God or choose to serve the gods of their land, “but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).
How did Joshua describe what that kind of life would look like? A few verses later Joshua uses language that Paul would use during the first century.
He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD, the God of Israel.”Joshua 24:23
Joshua was challenging those who wanted to follow the Lord with a commitment of total surrender. First, they would need to reject everything that opposed God in their lives and then “incline your heart to the LORD.
“Incline your heart” speaks of a wholehearted commitment to the LORD, much like a living sacrifice who dies daily to his/her own desires to live instead for Christ.