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" All Things Considered," Romans 12: 1--8, Pastor Richard Strode

There are milestones in our lives by which we determine that we have "arrived." Some examples are getting a promotion, becoming an empty nester or retirement. We then conclude that we are free to do whatever we want to do. Paul's letter to the Roman Church, which also applies to Christians today, teaches that salvation is the first step in becoming transformed into a Christian disciple. The next steps are sacrificial life, making living like Jesus a priority and consecration, a life-style which does not conform to worldly values but values what Jesus values. Living sacrificially is like writing a blank check and agreeing to do whatever the Lord requests of you. Living a holy, consecrated life means that we dare to be different, non-conforming when compared to what the world measures as success. Sacrificial living and a consecrated life-style transforms us into a closer image of Christ. To help us make the informed and correct decision, we, like the disciples, must consider how we have already benefited from God's grace and mercy. Therefore, we are urged to make a life-changing commitment as Christians because we understand the eternal consequences.

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