#886. Therefore, I urge you - Romans 12:1 (29/8/23)
Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional. This week, we continue with our summer series. Our message on Sunday from Romans 12:1-2 inspires our devotions this week. I hope you find this helpful.
‘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.’ (Romans 12:1)
Lesson: Even though we are saved, kept and transformed by God’s grace, our cooperation is vital.
The Christian life is not automatic. God does not take us over like puppets who automatically live a life of worship. In saying that salvation from beginning to end is God’s gift and is dependent upon His mercy and power, this does mean that we have to cooperate with Him and ‘make every effort’ (2 Peter 1:5) in our growth and obedience; sanctification requires our repentance and faith each day. Jerry Bridges wrote:
‘The pursuit of holiness, though requiring diligent effort on our part, is dependent upon the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.’ (Discipline of Grace: Jerry Bridges p97)
We see a similar pattern of a teaching section followed by encouragement to apply it in Ephesians:
‘As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.’ (Ephesians 4:1)
As with the Romans, Paul urges the Ephesians to live worthily of God’s calling.
The author to the Hebrews teaches us that we need to be in church community in which we urge each other to live a life of worship:
‘And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’ (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Even though we are saved, kept and transformed by God’s grace, our cooperation is vital. Martyn Loyd-Jones likens it to the image one jumping into a river and swimming -applying effort- with the flow; likewise, we are to prayerfully choose to do God’s will knowing that our spiritual growth is ultimately dependent upon the ‘river’ of His Spirit and mercy. In our various relationships as friends, leaders, parents... let's prayerfully seek to 'urge' people to 'view God's mercy' and live a life that's pleasing to Him.
In case you missed it, here is a wonderful song that you might like to use in order to reflect on God's mercy:
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
Until September I'll not be producing a group study. However, if you meet with your group why not simply use one of the devotionals as a basis for your discussion together?