"YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE"
I. PAUL OPENS THIS EXHORTATION WITH A PLEA, "I BESEECH THEE" OR I PLEAD WITH YOU.
A. I am amazed that God should plead with man. In chapter 10:21 Paul quotes from the prophet Isaiah, who speaking for God said, "All day long have I stretched forth My hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people.
1. Ezekiel tells us how that God pleaded with the people to turn from their sin, for He asked, "Why will you die?"
B. Throughout the New Testament we find the apostles pleading with God's people.
1. In chap. 15 Paul pleads with them to pray for him.
2. In chap 16 He pleads with them to mark those who cause division.
3. He pleaded with the Corinthians not to have any divisions.
4. He begged them to follow him, as he followed Christ.
5. He begged them to submit to the leadership in the church.
6. He in God's stead pleaded with them to be reconciled to God.
7. He pled with them not to receive the grace of God in vain.
8. To the Ephesians he pleaded that they would walk worthy of their calling.
9. He exhorted the Thessalonians to walk pleasing to God.
10. Peter pleaded with the people to abstain from fleshly lusts.
11. John begged the elect lady and her children to love one another.
C. The basis upon which he makes his plea, "The mercies of God."
II. WHAT PAUL IS PLEADING FOR THEM TO DO.
A. That they present their bodies unto God as a living sacrifice.
1. To the Corinthians Paul wrote, "Don't you realize that your bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, that you are not your own, therefore glorify God in your body and your spirit which are His."
2. David recognized that whatever we give to God belongs to Him anyhow. When the people gave the money to build the Temple because they gave so willingly and so abundantly,
David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed [be] thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.
Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
Both riches and honour [come] of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand [is] power and might; and in thine hand [it is] to make great, and to give strength unto all.
Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things [come] of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.
3. To the Corinthians Paul wrote, Jesus died for all thus we should not live for ourselves but for Him who died for us and rose again.
III. WHICH IS YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE.
A. It just makes good sense to offer your body to God as an instrument to be used by God in the accomplishing of His purposes.
1. I think of how people abuse their bodies.
a. With alcohol, and drugs. That just doesn't make sense.
b. With promiscuity. Exposing yourself to all kinds of sexually transmitted diseases.
c. Often times there is the attitude, "It's my body and I can do with it as I please." This is one of the big lies of the pro-abortion crowd, the woman's right to do what she pleases with her own body.
d. That is not quite true, it is God who has given you life and it is God who sustains your life. Daniel said to Belshazzar, "The God in whose hand your very breath is."
2. I think of how people use their bodies for so many worthless purposes.
a. They well tax their bodies to the limits in the pursuit of earthly goals.
b. Expedition in search of the treasure of the virgin Guadelupi. It was toward the end of the day and we had been digging in this area and were bone weary and tired, blisters on our hands, when we thought that we had uncovered a shaft, and you should have seen the dirt fly. We overtaxed our bodies in hopes of discovery of a treasure.
c. Jesus said, "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"
1. Stop and think for a moment, that makes sense.
2. If you gain all of the glory of the world, if you gain all the fame in the world, if you gain all of the wealth of the world, how long will it last?
3. Is it worth spending eternity in hell?
B. The problem with man is that so often he does not stop to reason things through.
1. In Deuteronomy God said,
O that they were wise, [that] they understood this, [that] they would consider their latter end!
a. That is just the problem, people do not stop to consider the ultimate consequences of their actions. They do not look down the road to see where it is leading.
b. If people would only stop to consider where the path is leading them, they would never go down that path.
2. Through the prophet Isaiah God said,
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
a. Earlier in verse 3 God said, "They do not consider."
b. That is a great problem, people just do not stop to consider.
3. Most people spend their entire lives in things that have no eternal value.
4. Their bodies are used in activities that will bring no lasting reward.
5. If the truth were expressed on their tomb stones would be inscribed, "This life was a waste."
C. It was while I was taking my college prep courses, and planning on studying to become a medical doctor, that I felt God speak to me and say, you can go into medicine and help mankind, but the help you bring will only be temporary, for he will ultimately die. There is a deadly malady that all men are suffering, if you will devote your life to bringing them healing from the malady of sin, it is eternal. Do you want to devote your life to things that are temporal or eternal?