Inspiration

Offer Yourself to God

"So then, my friends, because of God's great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer." (Romans 12:1 TEV)

Offering yourself to God is what worship is all about.

This act of personal surrender is called many things: consecration, making Jesus Lord, taking up your cross, dying to self, yielding to the Spirit.

What matters is that you do it, not what you call it. God wants your life - all of it. Ninety-five percent is not enough.

- Our total surrender to God is blocked by several things, including:

- Our ignorance of God - not knowing what he's really like.

- Our sinful nature - the desire to be God ourselves.

- Our misunderstanding of surrender and the trust that it requires.

Trust is an essential ingredient to surrender. We won't surrender to God unless we trust him, but we can't trust him until we know him better. Fear keeps us from surrendering, but love casts out all fear. The more you realize how much God loves you, the easier surrender becomes.

How do I know God loves me? He gives us many evidences:

- God loves you (Psalm 145:9).

- You're never out of his sight (Psalm 139:3).

- He cares about every detail of your life (Matthew 10:30).

- He gave you the capacity to enjoy all kinds of pleasure (1 Timothy 6:17).

- He has good plans for your life (Jeremiah 29:11).

- He forgives you (Psalm 86:5).

- He's patient with you (Psalm 145:8).

- He sacrificed his Son for you (Romans 5:8).

God loves you infinitely more than you can imagine!

"Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship" (Romans 12:1 HCSB).

God is not a cruel slave driver or a bully who uses brute force to coerce us into submission. He doesn't try to break our will but woos us to himself so that we might offer it freely to him. God is a lover and a liberator, and surrendering brings freedom, not bondage.

Talk About It

- What do you understand better about God when you consider that loving him is a choice he allows us to make?

- Rest in the knowledge of God's love today. Then, let it inspire your worship of him.

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional © 2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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