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Reprinted with permission from The Navigators 

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The Lure of Grace

Todayís Scripture: Romans 12:1

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ďPresent your bodies as a living sacrifice.Ē

What consideration did Paul bring forward as the basis or motivation for making the total commitment he asked for in Romans 12:1? He did not appeal to a sense of duty but to the mercy of God ("by the mercies of God"). He asked for a response based not on obligation but on heartfelt gratitude.

Now, the fact is, we do have a duty and obligation to God. Heís the sovereign ruler of this world, and in that capacity he has laid down "precepts to be kept diligently" (Psalm 119:4). He motivates us to obedience, not on the basis of his sovereign rule but on the basis of his mercy to us in Jesus Christ.

Martin Luther wrote on Romans 12:1, "a law-driver insists with threats and penalties; a preacher of grace lures and incites with divine goodness and compassion shown to us; for he wants no unwilling works and reluctant services, he wants joyful and delightful services of God."

I was asked to speak on the lordship of Jesus Christ at a conference. I knew the intended objective was to challenge the audience to submit to Christís lordship in the affairs of their everyday lives. But I began the message by speaking on Godís goodness. After Iíd spent fifteen or twenty minutes on the goodness of God, then I began to talk about the lordship of Christ in our lives. Why did I develop the message in that fashion? Because submission to the lordship of Jesus Christ should be in response to the love and mercy of God. In view of Godís mercy, Paul urged the Roman believers to offer their bodies as living sacrifices. We must respond with a similar motivation to his lordship in our lives today. (Excerpt taken from Transforming Grace)


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