This devotion originally appeared on The Love Offering Blog, read full devotion Here.
The blank sheet of paper taunted me as I walked into the classroom and took my seat. Begrudgingly, I listened as the teacher instructed, “Open your Bibles to Romans 12:1 and take a few minutes to meditate on this verse. Then, rewrite it in your own words.” Is it too late to see if the nursery needs an extra pair of hands?
Reading Scripture and paraphrasing it afterwards was common practice for our Wednesday night group, but that evening was different—my brain went blank and my hands went still. I silently prayed that this time the teacher wouldn’t call on me to share. Nonetheless, I flipped open my Bible and read Romans 12:1: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (NIV).
Glancing over previous chapters, I made a connection: “therefore” referenced back to Romans 11:36, which states that ALL things are from God, through God, and for God. “Therefore,” believers should live their lives in light of this.
Now what, exactly, is God’s “mercy”? It is God sending His only Son to take my undeniably deserved place on the cross. Jesus paid the price for my sin; He took my punishment and by His amazing grace, He saved me from condemnation and the wrath of the holy and righteous God Almighty. Instead, He offered me eternal life in His glorious kingdom. “Therefore,” I am to offer myself as a sacrifice to Him, to be used as an instrument of worship and service. “Therefore,” according to the riches I enjoy because of God’s mercy, He requires me to be pure and holy as I serve Him through worship, thanksgiving and obedience.