For my personal Bible study, it’s not likely you’ll see me whipping out the King James Version. However, Romans 12:1, in this version, came to light in a mailing from the Christian Law Association, which defends Christian liberty.
I find the term reasonable service interesting to ponder as I consider where and how to serve inside and outside of the church. Some translations of Romans 12:1 describe this service or worship as intelligent, logical, or appropriate, others spiritual. All of those make sense, too.
Still, reasonable service is proving itself sticky, for me.
What’s reasonable to give back to the God who gives me life again and again every day? What's reasonable service to the One who gave me my husband, children, family, friends, health, and a peace that passes all understanding?
He’s the God who made everything and called it good. But after that, he didn’t just step back to watch. He’s involved. Even when we (or, ahem, I) mess everything up, start to finish. He’s wants me, and you, us. What’s reasonable to give back to a God like that?
The CLA newsletter shared a story about a Russian family (pre-liberation) whose daughters were tortured because their dad wouldn't give up pastoring, and he wouldn't deny Christ.
The three oldest daughters were singled out, but said later what happened to them was, in fact, their reasonable service. Seriously?
You can read the article here:
What a strong, worshipful perspective for those daughters, now young women, to have.
I've heard commentary jokes in the Christian community about our fickle nature as followers of Christ. The joke (with a message) that comes to mind for me related to this story from Russia is, the trouble with living sacrifices is that they crawl off the altar.
These three, even as young girls, stayed on the altar. And, in terms of the condition of their hearts, they don’t look back with regret.
Probably, I won’t endure the conditions of persecution these daughters did. But I hope when I feel pressed or struck down with opposition, the Holy Spirit gently lights my heart and mind for His glory with this story, Romans 12:1, and the phrase reasonable service in particular.
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©2012 Helene Bergren All rights reserved