Read Romans 11:32-12:2
“Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”
This verse has always stayed with me since I memorized it for Bible Quizzing about 20 years ago. I believe the Holy Spirit helped it to stick in my mind (and eventually my heart) because as I grew into a worship leader, it has become central to how I understand what worship really is.
“Therefore…” is how Paul begins this amazing verse. What he is about to say next is in direct response to what he has been saying up to this point. His previous words (11:33-36) are referred to as a doxology, or a formal ascription of praise to God. He praises God for being above all in all things. That is what the “therefore” points back to!
He then says, “I urge you brothers.” This is a big deal. “I urge you brothers,” he says, “in view of God’s mercy.” So not only are we about to respond to who God is, we also keep what He’s done for us in view as well. God’s mercy is that he made a way on the cross so that we didn’t have to pay the death penalty for our sin! Just pause for a moment and think about that! What kind of God does that? Only the One, True God… Jesus!
So because of who God is and what He has done, here’s what you should do. He says, “offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” Your body is not an Old Testament sacrifice with an altar, and fire, and blood. Jesus satisfied all of those requirements with his sacrifice on the cross. When Paul says “bodies”, he is referring to our whole life… everything we are… our time, our passion, our money, our energy… our whole heart! We are to offer that as a “living sacrifice”. In other words, we are to live out a life that is in full submission and surrender to God! That’s how we really worship! It is more than a song or a worship set. It’s lifestyle that says “I no longer live for myself. Everything thing I have, everything I am is for Him.” At Grace we like to simply say “It All Belongs to God”.
To sum this all up, I’d like to share a very simple definition of worship with you from Louie Giglio:
“Worship is our response, both personal and corporate, to God- for who He is and what He has done. Expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live”
Are the things you say and the way you live a worshipful response to who God is and what He has done? Ask God to reveal to you those areas of your life that need to become a part of that living sacrifice.