When I played college basketball, I made a conscious decision at the beginning of each season to walk into that gym and dedicate myself totally to my coach—doing whatever he might ask me to do.
It would not have benefited my team for me to announce, “Hey, Coach! Here I am. I want to shoot baskets and dribble the ball, but don’t ask me to run laps, play defense, and get all sweaty!”
Every successful athlete has to trust the coach enough to do whatever the coach asks them to do for the good of the team.
In Christ, we are to become God’s “living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1). We say to our Savior and Lord: “I trust You. Whatever You want me to do, I am willing.” Then He “transforms” us by renewing our minds to focus on the things that please Him.
It’s helpful to know that God will never call on us to do something for which He has not already equipped us. As Paul reminds us, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us” (v. 6).
Knowing that we can trust God with our lives, we can abandon ourselves to Him, strengthened by the knowledge that He created us and is helping us to make this effort in Him.
Heavenly Father, no one deserves our sacrifice and dedication more than You. Help us to realize the joy that comes from abandoning ourselves to You.
There is no risk in abandoning ourselves to God.
In many ways, Paul’s letter to the Romans is the most theological of his epistles. Yet it is also intensely personal and wonderfully practical. The first eleven chapters of Romans describe God’s grace and how it relates to our rescue from sin and restoration to God. This is the heavily doctrinal portion of the letter, but it is also marked by encouraging and comforting words of the depth of God’s care for us. Chapters 12–15 bring us the practical implications of the teaching of Romans 1–11. The call to be living sacrifices, exercise spiritual gifts, and so on, all find their basis in the work of Christ that has brought us back to God.