Today’s Scripture: Romans 12:1
“I appeal to you . . . to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.”
How do we respond to the challenge to commitment—to present our bodies as living sacrifices; to, as it were, take an oath to obey God’s righteous laws; to resolve to allow no exceptions to our obedience? I suspect all of us think first of the impossibility of totally keeping such a commitment. And we’re reluctant to make a commitment we know we won’t keep. But the question still persists: are we willing to make that our aim, our goal in life? Are we willing to commit ourselves to a goal of obedience without exception? Such a commitment is necessary if we are to make progress in the pursuit of holiness.
In his classic work, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, William Law commented on why a particular sin was so common: “now the reason . . . is this, it is because men have not so much as the intention to please God in all their actions.” How about us today? Is it our intention to please God in all our actions? That’s the commitment Paul called on us to make when he urged us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God.
The intention to please God in all our actions is the key to commitment to a life of holiness. If we don’t make such a commitment to obedience without exception, we’ll constantly find ourselves making exceptions. We’ll have a “just one more time” syndrome in our lives. But the truth is, the “one more time” manner of thinking undermines our commitment. Every time we give in to a temptation, even though it may seem small and insignificant to us, we make it easier to give in the next time. (Excerpt taken from The Discipline of Grace)