Romans 12:1, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (NASB)
In the light of Christmas season, where family time involves exchanging of gifts, what do we give Christ the reason for the season? On birthdays we give gifts to those we celebrate their birthdays. On Christmas day, we celebrate the birth of Christ and exchange gifts. What best gift can we give to Christ?, I will take Romans 12:1 and make it my Christmas gift to the Lord.
“Present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice”, this verse is strengthened it terms of understanding in the light of Galatians 2:20 which says, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”. Presenting all our members and faculties devoted and consecrated to God as acceptable sacrifice, instruments of righteousness. This is our spiritual service of worship because of who He is. It is more than lip service. We are not giving God what is LEFT but what is RIGHT. David in 2 Samuel 24:24, said “…to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God with that which costs me nothing.” David sought for a land to buy to build an altar to sacrifice to the Lord. Araunah offered him a piece of land free of charge, David would not. To present a living and holy sacrifice too will not be free. It will cost you everything for He is worthy of it.
We think the most about the birth of Christ at this time, however I prefer starting from “the cross” because then the birth of Christ becomes more powerful when the cross is the starting point. The cross paints the whole picture. The world today has a problem with Jesus, why embrace His birth if they have not understood the cross?. Paul in writing says in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified”. He preached the cross first. Without the cross, the birth of Christ sounds like a nice story historically.
Why start at the cross? To quote Paris Reidhead, ” Why should a person come to the cross? Why should a person embrace death with Christ? Why should a person be willing to go, in identification, down to the cross and into the tomb and up again? I’ll tell you why! Because it’s the only way that God can get glory out of a human being. The only possible way that Jesus Christ will get glory out of a life that He’s redeemed with His precious blood is when He can fill that life with His presence and live through it His own life”
The wise men were led to where they laid Him not to spectate or even think how cute and lovely the baby was but to worship Him. As we think about the cross, we will be driven to reflect on where the whole journey started here on earth, with the birth of Jesus, and then “… let’s come and cast ourselves at the feet of the nail pierced Son of God and tell Him that we’re going to obey Him, and love Him, and serve Him, as long as we live BECAUSE HE IS WORTHY!”, Paris Reidhead. That we present our bodies crucified with Him (Galatians 2:20) and “MAY THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN RECEIVE THE REWARD OF HIS SUFFERING!”. Think about the Cross, think about the Savior who gave His life and give Him all the Glory in your life by how you live for great things He has done.
Hymn: To God be the glory, great things He has done; So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin, And opened the life gate that all may go in. chorus: Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory, great things He has done. blessings Ev