I Am Not My Own

Opening Prayer

Lord, I offer my body as a living sacrifice today, holy and pleasing to You; this is my spiritual act of worship (Rom. 12:1).

Read Romans 12:1–8

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Humble Service in the Body of Christ
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Reflect

Picture yourself laying the demands on your attention on an altar and offering them to God, so that you can give yourself fully to him.

In verse two, Paul tells us not to conform to the pattern of this world. What might that mean in the 21st century? Of course, on one level Paul simply means that we should stop sinning, but on a deeper level I think he means we should not live according to the world’s values. What do you think they are?

Looking at the later part of the passage gives us a clue—by seeing what we should be transformed into, we can deduce what we need to be transformed from. A key idea for our age is verse five—we as believers are one body and each member belongs to all the others. This is completely opposite to the individualistic, self-sufficient pattern of modern Western culture, and requires a huge shift in our thinking. It’s one thing to be surrendered to Christ, but to each other? How would that work?

Apply

How can you carry out the spirit of this passage in your church body? Could you pray for your leaders? Give to someone in need?

Closing prayer

Heavenly Father, show me what it means to live as interdependent parts of one body, each needing—and needed by—the others.

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider