For more help use this Bible Study method
Lectio – Read today’s passage through once. Then spend some time praying and asking God to show you what you need to pay attention to in the text. Read it again. Now ask God to help you see what this text, and the part that has stood out, may mean for you. Don’t expect to get a clear word every time but always be ready to really hear from God through His Word.
Therefore, I Urge You
by Mary Alice McGinnis
Have you ever come into the middle of a conversation and wondered what you had missed? Chapter 12 of Romans begins with the phrase, “Therefore, I urge you, in view of God’s mercy.” This “therefore” begs us to question, what we have missed? Paul spelled out in the first 11 chapters of Romans the unsearchable mysteries of God’s undeserved kindness, compassion, and favor. His mercy!
Here are few highlights.
Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 5:7-8, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Finally, in the verses immediately preceding Romans 12:1, overwhelmed by the gift of God’s grace and mercy, Paul pours out this song of praise:
Romans 11:33-36, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!
‘Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?’
‘Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?’
For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever! Amen.”
In this context, Paul urgently urges us, in view of God’s lavish mercy, to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to God. Typically, sacrifices were made to the “gods” to GAIN their mercy and favor. Often, we endlessly try to live a life to be or do enough to please our gods of money, pleasure, significance. It is a hopeless pursuit.
Instead, we are urged to give our whole selves to God, to honor Him with our whole being BECAUSE we already have
His great mercy!!
Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” The sacrifice of our lives is not a dead sacrifice, but a LIVING one. This is the only rational response of praise and worship to the One who has sacrificed Himself for us - giving our lives over to Him who graciously has given us all things!
Oh Lord God, the depth of Your riches and wisdom and knowledge, how unsearchable are Your judgments. You know us completely - we deserve only Your condemnation. Yet You sent Your Only Son, Jesus, to die in our place. I now lay before You my life, my whole self, in worship and praise to You.