What do you owe God? What can he, earnestly, demand from you? Your time? Your money? Your life?
It’s often tempting to ignore these questions. And besides, doesn’t God offer grace and mercy freely, to all people? Surely there is no price we must pay to God for our salvation! Surely we owe God nothing!
‘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.” Romans 12:1
So how do we make sense of this call in Romans to ‘offer our bodies as living sacrifices?’
God demands up to give up our lives for him! True worship is giving God our all: time, money, relationships, communicative abilities, skills, gifts, and everything else. Not in order to become worth of God’s mercy, but in light of it. The only true and proper response to the mercy of God, enacted through his son Jesus Christ, is the sacrificing of our lives to the work of the Lord!
When I rediscover this call, I find it difficult to obey. God is asking for every part of my life. Giving some of my money is not good enough. Giving some of my money is not good enough. None of my time belongs to myself. Jesus bought it with the price of his own blood, shed on the cross.
These thoughts prompted me to write this poem:
I was on a voyage,
Down the well worn path
A journey of self pleasure
‘Joy for myself!’ I laughed
Through fields of indulgence
With the trinkets I had bought
‘This must be the peak of life!’
Or that is what I thought
Passing through another town
I stopped to satisfy
The cravings of my worldly flesh
My desires, I could buy!
My cart was full of treasure
When He got in my way
I looked out onto the path
It was God!, what would He say?
The Lord he looked upon my wares
He viewed my hoards of wealth
I though that He would clean me out
Demand it for himself
I prepared to hand it over
Sullen, in a huff
My Lord me looked and shook his head
“That isn’t good enough”
“My Lord” I said in great despair
“That is all I own!
I cannot give you any more
Not even sticks or stones.”
Then God he showed me Calvary
The shedding of great blood
Jesus, pierced and crucified
The spear opening a flood
“That’s the price” he said to me
“With which I bought your life.
Are you now sure, that all this gold
Is a good repayment price?”
“No” He said, “it’s not enough”
“I demand much more
My son was killed upon a cross
For you he gave his all”
So it was there, upon that path
Where I first saw it clear
My gold, my silver, heart and mind
My life was his to steer
Now down a different path I head
No longer seeking health
Now after something far more great
His glory and his wealth.
Liam Denny is a former radio journalist and newsreader, now working to bring the good new of Jesus to media workers in Sydney through the ‘Christians in the Media’ ministry. In his spare time, you’ll find him having coffee with his wife Jenny in cafes around Sydney’s inner west, playing sport and taking his dog for a swim in the harbour.
You can read his other work at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/liam-denny.html