Posts Tagged ‘God’
“Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1
This has always been a really interesting Bible verse about sacrifice to me. There are a lot of elements in this verse worth talking about. First off, I find it really interesting that Paul says that we are living sacrifices and not just sacrifices. What does that mean? To me, being a living sacrifice means that I always have a choice. I’m constantly in decision on whether to stay on the altar or to get up and leave. Paul is saying that each of us has the choice. He’s pleading with us, starting off, “I urge you brothers.” That means that the choice is with each of us. Will we have the sacrifice and selflessness of heart to offer ourselves in service to God?
But probably the most interesting part of this verse is how Paul declares that when we sacrifice, it’s actual a spiritual act of worship. That’s pretty amazing. Most people consider worship to be sitting in church and singing a song or two. But what if real worship is really all about sacrifice? What if God doesn’t want to hear praises from a person that hasn’t surrendered or had the selflessness to offer their bodies as living sacrifices to Him? That would be something that all of us really would need to think about.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
Now this is definitely one of the toughest Bible verses about humility to read. I don’t think anyone enjoys reading this verse. I can’t think of any command that’s more difficult to accomplish than this one. Isn’t it so contrary to human nature, so contrary to everything our thoughts and emotions tell us? From childhood we grow up striving to fulfill our own desires, searching for happiness and pleasure, and not much thinking about anyone else in our lives. But God commands the opposite. He tells us that other people should actually be more important to us than achieving our own happiness and desires. That’s just plain tough.
But that’s the mandate that Jesus gives us. And He has the right to demand that from us. After all, He himself gave up everything and came down to Earth to give up His own life in order that we might come to have a relationship with Him and God the father. So when He says that we ought to consider others as better than ourselves, what He’s really commanding is that we become more like Him, because that’s exactly what He did. So when you take a look at it from that perspective, it becomes clear that if any of us desires to be more like Christ, we need to have the kind of humility that Jesus had. And that kind of humility isn’t something that comes easily. It’s probably the hardest thing we’ll ever work for. But the good news is that we don’t have to do it alone. If anyone truly desires to have the kind of humility that Jesus had and wants to consider others as better than themselves, then God is eager to give that person a helping hand. God loves to give us humility and won’t hesitate to lend a hand.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
This is an often quoted Bible verse about wisdom. I’ve often thought about this passage and have done my fair share of asking for wisdom. It’s so cool that a promise like this exists in the Bible. There aren’t any other character traits that I know of that the Lord has said to expressly ask for and it will be given. It doesn’t say anywhere else in the Bible, ask for patience and it will be given to you, or ask for perseverance and it will be given to you. It’s really quite amazing that God wants to give wisdom to all who ask, because the Bible says that wisdom is the supreme virtue. If you read the last post on wisdom, you saw that Solomon said that nothing you desire can compare with wisdom.
I love how accessible God makes wisdom. All we have to do is ask. This is really relieving to me, because wisdom often seems like a virtue that’s out of reach. When I consider my life and how I often live, wisdom seems like something that’s far off. But that’s why I take such comfort in the verse from James. If I ever get down on myself that I’m not a very wise person, all I have to do is ask God and He will give it to me. All He requires is that I eagerly desire it and that I believe that He’ll give it to me and not doubt.