Let’s read Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”  This is the Apostle Paul’s strong plea for personal dedication to the Lord in view of His mercies towards us.  The word ‘beseech’ means to strongly urge, so Paul is urging his ‘brethren’, or fellow believers in the Lord Jesus to present themselves to the Lord for His service.  Paul had written earlier in Romans 6:19, “…yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.”  The word ‘present’ in Romans 12:1 and the word ‘yield’ in Romans 6:19 come from the same Greek word, so we see the connecting thought between these two verses.  It is the Lord’s desire that we present, or yield, our bodies to Him.  This should not be considered strange because as those who have received God’s grace, we belong to Him.  1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

This is so different from so many who determine what they can do for the Lord and then set about doing it.  Here, we are exhorted to present ourselves to the Lord to be used according to His perfect will.  This is a needed lesson for us.  The servant does not do his own will; he does the will of his master.  We need to learn to simply and humbly submit ourselves to the Lord to be used as He sees fit.  Under the law, the Jewish people offered sacrifices that were slain and presented dead.  In opposition to this, we are to present ourselves as living sacrifices, giving our energies to the Lord.

Paul goes on to say in Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  Today, so many believers are trying so hard to ‘fit in’ with the world by conforming to its behaviors, language, styles, and practices.  Speaking of the Lord Jesus, we read in Galatians 1:4, “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.”  The Lord Jesus sacrificed His life to deliver, or save, us from this PRESENT EVIL WORLD.  How shameful; how dishonoring that we so often try to become part of that evil world that the Lord delivered us from.

Rather than be ‘conformed’, the Lord wants us to be ‘transformed’ by the renewing of our minds.  The Greek word for ‘transformed’ is “metamorphoo.”  It is where we get the English word “metamorphosis.”  Through being occupied with Christ, by giving time for studying God’s Word each day, by being before the Lord often in prayer, we are changed.  We become more like Christ and less like the world.  Our hearts long to be imitators of Christ.  Our desire is to witness to the world, not try to be like the world.  When we do that, we are able to prove, or discern God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will.  It takes a renewed mind to determine God’s will for us.  I’ll conclude these thoughts with this solemn verse.  1 John 2:15 tells us, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  (180.1)