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 Updated Version renders this ‘spiritual service of worship.’ The KJV and NKJV – – ‘reasonable service.’ I believe both are correct in translating the verbiage and applicable.
The idea presented by the apostle Paul is that we Present to God our bodies or these temples of clay that house our spirits as Living and Holy sacrifices of service. We are also instructed to reject Conformation with the world and receive the Transformation that comes through renewing our minds and thereby prove or demonstrate the Will of God for our lives in our present world.
Suppose we are to fulfill the Great Commission and take the Gospel message to the world. And 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. We must 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 to be paramount in our lives.
When we present these temples of clay to the Lord, we must be mindful that defiling these temples is not an acceptable option. We are to be cognizant 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. We need to be whole to be the best we can be for the Kingdom of God.
I am not a fitness freak, so please do not think that this is my focus, but 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.
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 press toward the mark of the prize of God’s high calling in Christ. I have not arrived, but I 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!