We get to hear the word worship a lot after becoming Christians. Who wouldn’t? We started going to church, singing songs of praise to God, giving our tithes and offering, even take the step to volunteer at church.
And those are acts of worship! As Christians, we are to worship God in spirit and in truth.
But are those all it takes to give the perfect worship that God deserves? Is merely going to church, singing hymns, giving our offerings, volunteering at church works, enough to give God the perfect worship that is due Him?
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.
Romans 12:1 ESV
As I was reading Romans 12, a lot of realizations came to mind. It starts with us having to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God. The rest verses are the necessities to be able for us to obey that word.
And that is what perfect worship looks like: to make ourselves holy and acceptable before Him.
Being holy means not walking in the ways of the world
Surrendering your life to Jesus is the start of our journey as a person who is “set apart”. That means, we are no longer a child of this world but rather a child of God. No longer slaves to sin. Jesus is already in our hearts. The title and the seal is immediate once we believe in Jesus Christ as our savior.
However, the change of our hearts, our transformation takes time to process. The way we speak or act may not directly change but slowly, we will arrive to that point. Although it won’t happen if we still allow ourselves to be consumed by the ways of this world. In verse 2, we are told to not be conformed of this world, rather to change our mindset.
The people around us may influence us big time. But God’s grace is enough for us to stay away from temptation in the workplace, in school, at home or even just while having fun with friends. When the world says it’s okay to do it, if God didn’t say so, then don’t. And that is an act of worship.
Moreover, we can push ourselves not to go with the ways of the world by changing our mindset. And changing our mindset means thinking of God’s will. Romans 12:3 says that in order for us to change our mindset, we are not to think highly of ourselves, which is a deadly thing, than we currently are.
Thinking highly of oneself will result to us not relying on God’s plan for our lives and we tend to do the things that we think what’s best. Which in fact is not, since we fail a lot of times.
Rather, we are to think which proper evaluation as to what God wants us to do. God’s plan is always the best for us. He holds the universe and everything in it. He knows the future so well and He knows us too well that He doesn’t want us to rely on our own thinking.
Since He knows what’s best for us, He wants us to seek His ways all the time.
Doing what is acceptable means serving others with love.
The succeeding verses tell us what to do as part of the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit in us empowers us to serve others with the gift and talents that we have.
As much as the body has different parts and functions, we also have different talents that we can use to honor God.
To serve in whatever good ways possible, in family, church and in community. To share your knowledge and teach others well. To encourage others in times of distress. To give generously, especially to those who have none.
To lead and take responsibility seriously and being mindful of the team. To show kindness to everyone genuinely and with a cheerful heart. These are making the best out of your abilities.
If you can do it for the Lord, then why not, right? If you think you have that gift/s, then press on!
Although, merely doing those things are not good enough. Sometimes, we act out of obligation. We get tired. We think that since we are Christians, we are ought to do it because God says so, or because we just enjoy doing them, satisfying out selves.
But let me tell you that hose wonderful acts are just nothing if they are not done with love.
To love God back means loving His children also.
Thus, love must be seasoned in everything we do. To honor one another, help each other, bless even those who hate us, celebrate with other’s success and mourn with other’s loss.
Be united with other people. Be humble and not let yourself think highly than others. Love even your enemy as much as God loves you.
This is the perfect worship that God wants us to give Him. This is the acceptable living sacrifice that God wants from us. To love Him by loving others genuinely.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The end verse summarizes everything up. It tells us to overcome evil with good. You are not ought to put some dirt in the water, rather, removing that dirt using water.
Doing what’s good is performing the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. Doing the good, acceptable and perfect will of God is what being holy and acceptable living sacrifice means.