And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
If I were to ask you to envision Christian worship, I expect you would imagine your church gathered for Sunday services, or something like that. Indeed, when God’s people assemble to offer praise and thanks to God, this is an essential element of true worship. But it’s just the beginning!
Romans 12:1 affirms what we learn throughout the Scripture, namely, that true worship includes everything we do in life, and not merely our participation in weekly “worship” services. The original language of this verse explains that when we offer our bodies to God, living for him in all we do, this is our “logical worship.” The noun translated as “worship” is used in the Old Testament for the actions of priests in the temple. The adjective, logike, is related to our word “logical,” and means “sensible” or “fitting.” In other words, the worship that makes sense for us is offering our whole selves to God, all that we are and all that we do.
Most of us are accustomed to thinking of worship as that which we do in our church buildings, but not the activity of our daily lives. It takes time for the truth of Scripture to permeate our thinking. But when this happens, when we understand the true extent of Christian worship, our lives will be transformed, saturated with new meaning and purpose.
When you enter your workplace today, think of it as a sanctuary for worshiping God. When you sit down for a meeting you’d rather skip, let it be for you an occasion to live for God’s glory. When the school bell summons you to class, let this be a call to worship. And when you sit down for supper with your family or friends, may this be the table of the Lord.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you think of worship as involving all of your life? Why or why not? How might Paul’s teaching on true worship make a difference in your life today?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, as I wrap up this four-day reflection on Romans 12:1, I feel as if I could easily spend another week meditating on this exceptional verse and its implications for my life. In truth, I could probably spend a lifetime discovering what it means to offer myself as a living sacrifice to you, worshiping you in everything I do. May that be so, dear Lord! As I leave this verse behind, may its truth stay with me.
Today, Lord, I will seek to worship you in everything I do, every word and deed, every thought and feeling. I will strive to love you with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Even as I say this, gracious God, I am only too aware of my own foibles. So I ask for your help. May your Spirit stir within me, teaching me to give you all that I am, all of the time. Amen.