I often learn new insights into God’s Word when I read familiar verses in a different translation. I am not saying that the meaning is changed. Instead, I am saying it’s like when we hear a familiar hymn sung by a person from a different country. The singer brings an interesting accent, phrasing, and emphasis. It’s that fresh experience I had this morning when I read Apostle Paul’s inspired text in the New Living Translation.
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. Romans 12:1
“This is truly the way to worship Him” I wonder how often Jesus shakes His head when He sees the heavy burdens I carry. They are not the light burden He made for me. This is acutely apparent when it comes to my worship of God.
Jesus, my Lord and God (John 20:28), made known to me His power. He walked on water, healed the sick, cast out demons, and raised the dead. With His ascension back to heaven and seated in His rightful place (Mark 16:19), He presented His blood as the single sacrifice once for all eternity (Hebrews 9:23–28. So why do I fail to ask for His help? Why do I practice prescriptive Christianity instead of intimate Christianity? Why have I put Jesus in a worship box, one that has a hymnal, a few worship songs, and a clock for assigning the time and length for when I worship God?
What we see in Romans 12:1 is that with all of the good ways to praise God, the one He desires the most is our worship by the sacrifice of all we are, giving our lives wholely and unconstrained to God’s will; that is worship that God desires more than anything.
So now I stand at a chasm. I see a great divide between my worship and true worship. Can I cross this? No, I don’t have the strength, but the Holy Spirit can carry me there. For the Holy Spirit plucked Phillip out of the water and carried him to the small village of Azotus, located just north of Gaza after Phillip baptized the eunuch. (Acts 8:26–40) Since the Holy Spirit has done that and so much more, I know He can carry me across this great divide, and He will do the same for you if you, too, have put your praise in a box.
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