Rom 12:1 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.
Rom 12:2 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.
Present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
What does it mean to present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice? Paul instructs the Roman's to live in such a way as to be a living sacrifice to God. In a nutshell it means that I need to die to my sinful ways and live my life holy before God. In verse two Paul helps me to see how this can be done. By not conforming to the ways of the world but by being transformed by the renewing of my mind.
I heard it said once by a pastor, "Why would anyone want to be a part time Christian? It is like being engaged... you have all the headache of being married and none of the benefits." That question has really been burning in me over the past couple of years and I am beginning to ask myself the same question more and more lately. Why would they? Why would I?
I think the answer is pretty simple actually. Because it can be difficult to understand what it means to have the transformed life that Paul is talking about in Romans 12:2. Conforming to the ways of the world is a pretty easy thing to do. Spending our time entertaining ourselves, engaging in the water cooler gossip, the pursuit of personal success and selfish gain are all ways that we conform to the ways of the world. And Paul says to the church, "come on guys, I am urging you, be different than that." And then to add the fact that as Christian's we still have to endure hardships, suffering, and trials, it can become easy to just throw in the spiritual towel and allow our old nature to take over and just keep on staying conformed to our old ways.
Unfortunately, once a person becomes a Christian nothing is going to happen without the renewing of their mind. It is a process that takes place as we embark in the journey of getting to know God. The only way to do that is to get into His word daily. I know that when I first met my wife I spent hours getting to know her. I longed to be in a relationship with her and the more time we spent together the more I began to fall in love with her. The same thing is true if we want to renew our minds and get into complete relationship with the Living God. We need to spend time with Him.