Romans 12:1-2 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)
I rushed into my Sunday School class a few minutes late and rambled through the lesson because it was my duty to teach it. Starting late, the lesson was not finished on time, so it made us all late to church services. The congregation was singing the first hymn when I arrived and finally opened my book to the right page. I had forgotten to write my cheque for the offering, so I did this while the pastor made announcements.
The sermon was from today's scripture, Romans 12:1. Christians are to worship God with all they are, with their bodies and their spirits. The thought hit me, "What are you doing here?" I'd taught the Sunday School class as though it were a job I had to do. I had written out my cheque as though it were an obligation I owed. I was not worshipping. I would have done just as well to have stayed at home. I was not offering my worship freely to Jesus. This was Communion Sunday. By the time I'd received the bread and wine, I had calmed down.
My experience reminded me that it is important to ask God to renew our minds and purify our motives for teaching and for giving. If we serve and give without giving self, we become a false symbol of his image.
Prayer: Lord, transform us today by the renewing of our minds. Help us to see that serving and giving gifts to you can be done in the wrong way and for the wrong reasons. Help us to serve willingly and to give our gifts to you cheerfully. Amen.