S59P1 – Acts of worship: physical sacrifice

Rom. 12:1

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.

Before he came to Christ, he made no attempt to hide his lack of self-control.  He even boasted that he had the weakest will of anyone who ever lived.  He wore that as a mantle and thought it was something of a joke, but it would become a great obstacle in his walk through sanctification.  When it was time to worship in song, he was there.  In church, in the car or in the shower, he sang God’s praises loudly.  He talked so much about how he loved to worship God, but he did not understand that worship is not about words but about honor.  When faced with the temptation to defile the vessel God gave him, he simply could not deny his flesh.  He would worship God with his voice but worshiped himself with everything else.

I think we sometimes forget the significance of our being made in the image of God.  An image is a representation, a picture.  It shows you something about that which it portrays.  The fact that we are made in God’s image means that He has allowed us to represent him with the physical selves He has given us.  We are a picture of him painted with his holy brush.  For the Christian, this goes even further.  The living God himself resides within us.  We are now a representation of him not only on the outside but also on the inside.  We have given ourselves to him completely, and worship is nothing more than giving.  To say that we have surrendered everything over to God is disingenuous and simply untrue when we hold back our very selves from that surrender.

Worshiping God by sacrificing our bodies is a surrender of our physical faculties and members.  We want our eyes to honor God by what they look upon and allow to enter our minds.  We want our hands to honor God by what they touch and build.  We want our feet to honor God by where they tread.  We want our tongues to honor God by what they speak.  This is about understanding that even the things that seem to be intimately our own, the physical bodies that contain the soul and spirit, are actually not our own.  Even these are his and should be devoted to glorifying him.  Father, thank You for the beauty with which You have made us, and remind us that we are to honor and respect these images of You as our act of worship.