Thursday, June 16, 2011

Taste and See: Living Sacrifices

Does how we live matter? What do our lives say about us? about our faith? about God? Should what we say we believe be making a difference in how we live our lives day to day? Are you choosing to live for God or for yourself? Are you "forgetting" God in your daily life?

I believe that our lives do matter. That how we live our lives matter. Not because salvation is by works. It's not. Salvation is a work of God in our lives. God by his grace gives us the faith to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. Not because God is a God to bargain with or bribe. He's not. Not because we are competitive with one another--wanting to brag on Sunday morning and Wednesday nights. Boasting and pride are tricky sins that need to be confessed and repented of.

Our lives matter because we are to live for Christ. We are called to present ourselves as living sacrifices. We are called to be God's hands and feet. We're commanded to abide in Christ, to remain in his love and teaching. We're called to serve out of gratitude, out of love, out of awe and worship.
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)
I've read a couple of theology books the past month, and there are a few passages that have stayed with me, that have challenged me to reflect and consider. I thought I'd share them (again) with you. I hope that you will take a few minutes to comment, to share your thoughts and reflections on these passages and on the questions I've asked.

The inspiration and authority of the Scriptures are of value to us only so far as we change our beliefs to conform to its principles and alter our behavior to coincide with its imperatives.  ~ Sam Storms, Note to Self, Foreword (12)
In other words, for the Bible to be of value to us it must actually function to shape how we think, feel, and act as well as what we believe, value, and teach. ~ Sam Storms, Note to Self, Foreword (12)
Tolerate nothing in your life that might diminish your hunger for God's Word. And apply it with vigor and spiritual energy!  ~ Sam Storms, Note to Self, Foreword (19)
The bigger and more biblical your understanding of who Jesus is, the more likely he is to be such an object of love and adoration that the idols that aim at capturing your attention and swaying your allegiance will lose their power. ~ Joe Thorn, Note To Self, "Jesus is Big" (47)
It is the gospel that allows you to be real. It admits us all as sinners and establishes us all as saints. ~ Joe Thorn, Note to Self, "Stop Pretending" (68)
Repentance requires a daily intentionality. Repentance is both an attitude and an action. It is more than being sorry for sin, and it is more than cutting out a bad habit. ~ Joe Thorn, Note To Self, "Repent" (99)
Theology is not meant merely to be known, but to be made known. This means the theology you have developed is not finished until it is articulated and spoken for others to hear. ~ Joe Thorn, Note to Self, "Theology Talks" (119)
It is a folly also not to worship God, when we acknowledge his existence; it is our wisdom then to worship him. To deny him worship is as great a folly as to deny his being. ~ Stephen Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God, "Discourse I: On the Existence of God (87)
A God forgotten is as good as no God to us. ~ Stephen Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God, "Discourse I: On The Existence of God" (88)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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