06 Jan Day 2: By the Mercies of God
Clinton and Missy Wivell
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Romans 12:1).
Paul opens this chapter with a major transition. This transition hinges on the word, therefore. He is transitioning from the previous 11 chapters of doctrine to practical application. The previous 11 chapters cover a ton of truths about God – wrath, sin, faith, sanctification, etc. Paul sums it all up as “the mercies of God.” He says now that you know God’s truths, live a sacrificial life.
For Paul “the mercies of God” were piercingly clear. As he describes in 1 Timothy 1:12-16, God showed mercy to the worst of sinners, Paul, so that “Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life.” Paul understood how opposed he was to God’s truths when he was persecuting and killing Christians. Justice for Paul would have been God’s wrath. But out of God’s infinite mercy, He showed Paul grace so that he could save souls. Enamored by God’s truth and mercy, Paul chose to live a sacrificial life. Here are a few takeaways:
- You’re here for a reason. Every breath we take is by the mercy of God. Just as Paul deserved God’s justice, so do we. But God showed us His mercy through the saving work of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we can conclude that just as Paul was given mercy for a reason, so have we. Take refuge in this truth. God’s infinite mercy is for you and in itself demonstrates you have a purpose in God’s sight…the only one that matters.
- A firm foundation. Living a sacrificial life by definition requires sacrifice, which is counterintuitive to our sinful desires. God’s mercies in Romans 1-11 combined with the mercies God has shown each of us personally, gives us a firm foundation to build sacrificial lives on. In times of weakness or doubt we can draw strength from God’s mercies and be confident of the firm foundation He built for us will stand strong.
- Ask the Lord to reveal His mercies to you in times of weakness or doubt. Ask that His mercies would remind us of the firm foundation our faith stands on and enable us to persevere through any challenges.
- Ask the Lord to lead this church to stand firmly on His mercies each and every day and can boldly proclaim His truth to our neighbors, coworkers, and community. Ask for His mercies to well up and overflow out of this church in a way that makes our bodies a living sacrifice for His name.
- Practical steps: Write down the mercies God has given you. Put them in a place where you can regularly remind yourself of the compassion of God. Let this be your firm foundation that you draw strength from daily to be a living sacrifice.