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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”—Romans 12:1 (NIV)
The idea behind the exchanging of wedding rings is interesting, isn’t it? “With this ring, I thee wed” we say. The tradition is supposed to date back to Egyptian civilization, with the ring representing eternity, with no beginning or end. Personally, knowing this makes me appreciate wedding rings a lot more. It’s a costly offering from me to my bride that symbolizes the solemn vow and unbreakable bonds of matrimony I’m pledging to her.
When I read today’s verse, the idea of weddings vows and a wedding ring comes to mind. Paul is giving us, the bride, our wedding vows to declare to our Bridegroom, Jesus. And he’s also telling us what our ring is: our bodies! So, instead of saying, “With this ring, I thee wed,” we’re saying, “With this body, I offer myself, I pledge myself entirely, all of myself, to You.” This is the only true (logikēn: logic working through the divine reasoning known through faith) and worthy (latreian: sacred service; worship) ring we can offer Jesus.
So what does this look like? Well, it’s an all-inclusive exhortation for both the inward and outward life. Consider how the metaphor of sacrifice runs through the whole of the phraseology of this verse. The word offer (parastēsai: to bring of present; to place on) is a technical expression for the action of offering.
And so if we examine it in that vein, the heart of Paul’s message regarding the life of a Christian is sacrifice. This includes the surrender to God and self-surrender—putting others first. It’s a call to give ourselves completely to the work, will, and worship of the Lord in our private lives, in our use of time, talents, and treasure, and in our actions, our relationships, and our attitudes. Basically, in every aspect of our lives. It’s a reminder to take up our cross and follow Jesus wherever He takes us.
This is the only acceptable response to our Lord (Revelation 3:16). This is our sacred service and outward act of worship, and our inner surrender, which is a response to the divine reasoning made known to us by a supernatural faith from the Holy Spirit.
Remember, this isn’t a one-sided pledge, because Jesus offered us the most valuable ring a bride could ever receive. He poured out His life for us when He offered Himself on the cross. Our Bridegroom died for us so we could live in and with Him. The least we could do is live for Him!
DIG: Read Romans 12.
DISCOVER: What do you believe is true and proper worship of God?
DISPLAY: Today, I challenge you to think about when you first surrendered your life to Jesus. Are you still living with the same fire and passion for the Bridegroom as you did then? If not, I encourage you to renew your vows today! Use Romans 12:1 as your vow, and offer your life—both inward and outward—as the ring of promise to One who gave Himself fully for us!
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.