Romans 12:1-2 – “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” NASB
The New American Standard Bible renders this ‘spiritual service of worship’. The KJV and NKJV – – ‘reasonable service.’ I believe both are correct in the translation of the verbiage and applicable.
The idea presented by the apostle Paul is that we present to God our bodies (temples of clay), as Living and Holy sacrifices of service. We are also instructed to reject being conformed to the world and receive the Transformation of our spirits by the renewing of our minds and thereby prove or demonstrate the Will of God for our lives in our present world.
If we are to fulfill what we call The Great Commission and take the Gospel message to the world some things must transpire. If we, as living stones, in the Body of Christ are to be fitly framed into a Spiritual House for God’s service and purposes it is imperative that we seek to have Paul’s instructions become practical and daily realities in our lives. We are told in Scripture that we are not our own but have been bought with a price thus identifying that we belong to God and His purpose, will, and desire is to be paramount in our lives.
When we present these temples of clay to the Lord, we are to be mindful that defiling these temples is not an acceptable option. We are to be mindful that while, as Paul declared, bodily exercise profits little he did not say it profited nothing, and seeking to be fit and healthy should be a reasonable objective physically, emotionally, and spiritually. However, I believe that verse is directed at far more than our individual temporal or physical bodies but the Body of Christ. We need to be whole to be the best we can be for the Kingdom of God.
I am not a fitness freak so don’t think that this is my focus. I have learned after years of neglect and lack of discipline that when I discipline my physical body, I am better able to walk in spiritual discipline. I have made a lifestyle choice that includes a desire and effort to walk in health. Yes, I still battle sickness from time to time but my desire and effort are to present God with the best temple of clay I can give Him and expect Him to develop in me the best spiritual man that can be viewed from this temple. I also want to present to Him the best stone in the Body of Christ possible. I am pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ. I have not arrived but see the goal and I am looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. I want what the angels declared in the field to the shepherds the night of Jesus’ birth – – “Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men.”
May God be with you as you go through your day!