Romans 12: 1-2
Step 3: Make the Determination to Turn your Life over to Jesus Christ as LORD!
This is about your response to God! For you to recover you must make the determination to turn your life over to Jesus Christ as LORD! And the great News is this: the Gospel of Christ is also the transformation of your life, thinking, and relationships leading to your recovery.
This is how then we must live, because the Gospel is the transforming and converting power of God, because it transforms fallen social relationships by virtue of the dynamics of love, which is the fulfillment of the Law! By what Christ has done, must affect our lives and attitudes, and the people around us. Christianity is an offering to others in gratitude, by what Christ has done. Pleasing ourselves is not the goal of the Christian life as so many pursue. We are to follow Christ and be imitators of His character, so it transforms our very core of our being of who we are. We are to do this through love and acceptance of others, just as Christ did with us when we did not deserve it.
In the midst of your trials and troubles, you need to focus on Christ and see who He is and what He has done for you-how He can enable you for the better and for your recovery. You have been saved, not of any effort or reason on your part except by faith; so now what do you do with it? We are to take it to the streets in how we live to ourselves, others, and even our enemies. Yet, most Christians with dependency and addiction problems respond with a rear end firmly planted in a bottle that goes nowhere in service or glory to Christ. They hold on to a will or a hurt that will not allow conviction or change to their routine of dysfunction or life. Thus, the "crutch" of what we use to get high or take us away from our problems is just a club for our comfort that leads to our destruction when our problems could be a "huddle" to strategize and put forward how to engage the Christian life from our orders and help received from the "coach." We need to know that Christ calls us to change our minds and remove our hurt like we change the oil in the car, to be a, "devote themselves to him; and avoiding conformity to the world" Christian. In other words, He wants us to be a changed person so we can be a change agent to others. Not to be infected by the world, but to help it along to His purpose. We cannot do that when we are poured out to our will, disease, or desires only and not to our Lord. We are "to be conformed to his holy will"… "to think humbly"… "to exercise faithfully"… "to mutual love, diligence, patience, hope, prayer, hospitality, compassion, and condescension" …. "and becoming conduct towards all men"! Our devotion to Christ must be rooted in the mind and then the doctrine translates it to the feet and the rest of our bodies in between, the body of us as a human being and a body of believers in relation to all those around us, our duty. Yes, with Christ you can overcome whatever you have been through and live a life of distinction, happiness, and purpose for His glory and your betterment. You can succeed and do this with His help!
· I beseech you/ I urge you. Paul's main concern was whether his teaching would be applied, just studied, or ignored. The apprehension was that Christians would turn out like Pharisees, having the knowledge, but ignoring the application. The irony as that many of us are! Being a drunk or a drug addict or a smoker or a glutton with food gets just as much in the way as anything. Being a living sacrifice is a key aspect into maturity, and growth in the faith that leads to your recovery. The purpose of doctrine and study of His Word is not just the knowledge, (which is very important), but it is what we do with that knowledge that is our supreme goal.
· Brethren/brothers, meaning in Christ. We, as Christians, are to be deep friends that are bonded as family.
· Present offer-our relationship with the Lord must be transparent and not secretive (unless you live in a closed Muslim country)!
· Mercies of God flow from our obedience and trust and gratitude for what our Lord has done and for who He is (Luke 10:36-37; Eph. 4:23); they are the compassion for the needy and the lost. Our lives must be motivated by who we are in Christ and His love, and nothing else!
· Living Sacrifice, for the ancient Jews, meant to praise God as a continual lifestyle of worship. This motive continues and refers to the fact that we belong solely to God, not to ourselves or anything else (Rom. 3:25; 6:12-17; 8:13; John 15:13-15; 37-38; 1 John 3:16), His shed blood paid for us! You truly have dedicated the right to yourself to Christ! We give Him our all. It is easy to die for a cause, but are you willing to live for Him in perfect obedience, so your life is poured out, that as your strength is gone, you rely on His?
· Reasonable service/Rational/Spiritual act of worship means to think right without distractions or personal agendas; this means our judgments must be logical and concise on God as Lord and Motivator.
· Service meant the work of the priests in the Temple, holy before the Lord. In context, this refers to being a sacrifice and extending mercy to others. This is a part of our worship to Christ, part of who we are and must be. As the Jews placed a lamb on the altar, Christ is our Lamb, and we should place ourselves on the altar too. Not because we have to, or to earn something, but because we are dedicated to live for our Lord.
· Prove. When we allow God's standard to be our "carrot on a stick", then our paths will be straight and we can overcome our habit and dysfunction. Then, every aspect of our life can be governed by our Lord, in perfect harmony, including our urges and temptations.
The proof test of Christ's work in you is this: Do you use people, or serve them? Do you just gather information, or do you apply it? When we become a Christian, either by birth in a Christian family or through evangelism as an adult, a time must come when the reality of who we are in Christ hits home in power and conviction. We will need to completely change the black dirty oil of the mind with the new golden anointing oil of His love and precepts. This will transform into a practical application of our faith that just does not happen on its own. Something wondrous must take place within us to transform us so we can. In other words, we must become the people of God in order that we are capable and willing to do the work of God.
Remember: we are never to separate theology from practice. Theology is the "who" and "why" that translates in to the "do" and "be" of life. The question is will we be dedicated to our Lord or to ourselves?
For information and studies on God's will, see our God's Will channel.
1. What does it mean to you to turn your life over to Jesus Christ as LORD?
- Have you made the determination to turn your life over to Jesus Christ as LORD? If not why not? How will this help your recovery?
3. When you worship Christ (in church or at home in your devotions), what is going on in your mind?
4. What does it take for you to totally hand over your life, will, desires, and troubles to God? What gets in the way? What do you need to do?
5. Is the word duty something that comes to your mind when you leave church on Sunday?
6. How important is duty to you and your faith? What about your recovery?
7. Why do you think Paul never separates duty from doctrine?
8. If a non-Christian asked you what you do with your faith, how would you respond?
9. What life style do you think Christ has called you to?
10. How have you responded to His call?
11. Why would you consider not responding?
12. Every aspect of our lives is to be governed by our Lord, in perfect harmony. So, does this scare you?
13. How can being 'governed' by Christ be your greatest comfort?
14. How can being "governed" by Christ help you make better judgments and decisions?
15. The incentive for us to surrender our will to Christ is that His way is better than ours! Is this incentive exciting to you or a put-off?
16. Has Paul's fear become a reality in your life? If so, what can be done about it?
17. Why would being a living sacrifice be a key aspect of maturity and growth in the faith and your recovery?
18. What is the difference between cultural and duty versus devotion and lifestyle?
19. The proof test of being a mature Christian is do you use people, or serve them? Do you just gather information, or do you apply it? So, what does this proof text say about you?
20. What does the term "Living Sacrifice" mean to you? Does this term scare you? Why? How can you get over it?
21. What does the term "Mercies of God" mean to you?
22. Do you give Him your all? If you love Jesus, you will find a way to make Him real in all aspects of your life. How can you make this more so?
23. What can you do to make a commitment to have a Christian mindset away from your selfish nature and/or the world's over to His character? Now commit that you will make better judgments and decisions! Write this out as a promise and keep it with you.
Remember, you are in God's care, so allow His hand to move and heal you!
Mediate on these passages for the next week or more: Gen. 3:1-7; Psalm 99:3-5; Isa. 55:8-9; John 3:16-18; Rom. 5:6-11; 8:12-30; 12: 1-21; 15:7; Eph. 2:8-9; Col. 2:13-14; 3:13; Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-5; 1 Pet. 3:18; 1 John 4:9-10
©1998, 2001, 2003, 2008, Richard Joseph Krejcir, Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.org