I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Hannah Solomon Mesfin (WITHIN Devotional Contributor)
This past weekend we celebrated the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to encourage us to recall the words of Jesus written in Luke 22:19, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Before His death, when Jesus was speaking to His disciples at the communion table and telling them about His death, which was His body, and the new covenant, which would be His blood, Jesus was implying to His disciples that His death and resurrection would bring forth a response of heart. That response would be living a life of remembrance, daily, by offering ourselves to Him.
In Romans 12:1, Paul writes, “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.” Paul starts his sentence with therefore, which is a call of response, in view of God’s mercies. The response is offering our lives to Jesus, not just to simply respond out of an obligation or religious requirement, but rather with a heart of thanksgiving and remembrance of His great mercies. This is called worship. I love how the amplified version uses the word “logical.” It is logical or an intelligent behavior and attitude that is expected from all believers to respond to such a display of love.
Our response to offer our lives to Him is in correlation to understanding the depth of His love for us. In Ephesians 5:1-2, we are told to follow God’s example and walk in the way of love as He loved us and gave Himself up for us. We are to imitate Christ by offering our lives to Him as a living sacrifice, as He offered His life on the cross. If we simply reduce Christ’s death and resurrection to just a holiday which we celebrate once a year, without a response to His act of love, then His death becomes pointless – even meaningless.
His sacrifice offers us hope in this world and an eternal life of communion with Him. The price paid on the cross is not just a world-wide invitation to intimacy, it is also a personal one. And as we pass through another Easter, let’s remember that He is still risen and what He has done for us on the cross and in resurrecting requires our response, not just on Easter, but every day after that.
Let’s not let another Easter go by where we utter a simple “thank you for the cross, Lord” and yet our hearts continue to be far from Him. May we live a life set apart, offering our lives as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is OUR rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship (Romans 12:1).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:
Ephesians 5:1-2Questions to Reflect on: