May 18, 2007

Saved to Serve!

Romans 12:1-8

In view of God's mercy ... offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. Romans 12:1


Years ago, while living in southern California, I spent a day in the commune of a religious cult. I was visiting a young person who had joined the group. A cult leader told me there that the reason churches were losing so many young adults was that the church requires nothing of them. He said, "What I know about your church is that your people are totally committed to being uncommitted."

After 40 years of ministry I am thankful to be able to say that he had it wrong. Most evangelical Christians understand that we are saved to serve, and they know that if we have experienced God's grace in our lives we are called to reflect God's grace through service. Says Paul in Romans 12: "I urge you ... in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God." Eugene Peterson in The Message paraphrases it this way: "Here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering."

People who have been saved by grace know that they are saved to serve! As we celebrate God's faithfulness in the past and rejoice in his goodness today, we want to rededicate ourselves to serve and to place our entire lives before him as an offering of gratitude.

Lord our God, give us the grace each day to give our lives fully to you as an offering of thanks, celebrating all you have done for us. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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