When someone mentions the word “reasonable”, I think it would be safe to say that most of us would have a good grasp of its meaning. For example, if I was to say it would be reasonable for someone from Philadelphia to have rooted for the Eagles last night in the Super Bowl, I’m sure we would all understand that I meant that it would only be sensible, rational or logical for that to be the case.
Our reading this morning also points out something that is reasonable. Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
Paul makes the statement that for a Christian to offer his or her body as a living sacrifice could only be defined as reasonable. In other words, it is a logical form of worship to the Lord for what He has done for us. Specifically, this would refer back to the teaching in chapter 11 in which Paul explains that the gospel has come to the Gentiles because of Israel’s general rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. So because God has offered salvation to the Gentiles (Romans) as well as the Jews, it is only reasonable that we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice.
Unfortunately, this often is not the case. My children attend a large Christian school and, as it would be the same just about anywhere else, for someone to be a sold-out, dedicated follower of Christ would certainly not be the norm. Instead, that person would stand out as unique, even “odd”. However, this is not the way God intended. It should be the norm for professing Christians to be distinct and ardent followers of Christ; having sacrificed ourselves and our desires to God and His will for our lives.
While for many this point of surrender can be specifically nailed to a time and place (whether at salvation or a dedication), I think of this idea of being a living sacrifice in many ways is more of a day by day or even moment by moment decision. So as we start this new week do I consider myself to be a living sacrifice for God’s glory and kingdom? Are you? Remember, it’s only reasonable!
The fool has said in his heart there is no God (Ps. 14:1). There are many people in this world who readily say that there is no God. The very word atheist has often caused me to wonder. I know that “theist” means a believer in God and “atheist” means a non-believer basically speaking. Those, who stand behind the moniker of atheist, do not believe in the God of Heaven and they simply ignore His existence. Can I deny the water in the glass I am drinking from? I can ignore the obvious, but not deny it. I do not believe that there are any true atheists in our world. Instead, they are God-haters for some reason known only to them.
This usually manifests itself in their hatred for believers (John 15:18). If you (as theists—believers in a Holy God) ever meet up with a supposed “true” atheist you will see that they have nothing but raw disdain for the likes of the child of God. But remember, the root of their hatred of a God that loves them is foolishness. God calls them fools.
Years ago, while living in Las Vegas, NV, I was walking through the parking lot of Walmart. I still remember as if it were today. I will live with it until the day I die. It was a time when the Holy Spirit was prompting me, and I disobeyed. I quenched the Holy Spirit (1 Th. 5:19).
There was a large, well-built younger man, with children (sad to think they will grow up under his tutelage), walking out of the store. He presented as an angry man, based on his facial expressions. I was sure I could have lit a self-strike match on his chest—he looked that tough. But what bothered me was the slogan on his t-shirt “wash your hands after touching Christians.”
I literally stopped and stood there, my mouth agape, in disbelief. As the Holy Spirit prodded me to ask him about his shirt, my flesh started to reason (make excuses). Rather than rely on the power of God (Mk. 13:11), I caved to thinking that this guy would probably wrap me up and stuff me back in my car. After all, who needs that?
This man, undoubtedly, had a dislike for God and His own. The man was a fool according to Scripture. I too played the fool in not following the Spirit’s direction. Yet, my deepest prayer is that someone has spoken to him since I did not. I pray that he has turned from his foolish ways and accepted the Savior.
Even fools deserve a chance at saving grace (1 Co. 1:18). After all, we all played the fool before we came to Christ; whether in thought or deed. Fools need God!