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Every Hour of Every Day


Romans 12:1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Dr. George Tiller was a committed and cynical abortionist who had a bloody hand in the butchering of over sixty thousand unborn children, most of them late term. In 2009 this murderer was killed himself when he was gunned down at, of all places his church. He was shot in the side of the head during a worship service in a Lutheran church where he served as an usher. One of Tiller's fellow congregants was quoted as saying, "The church has stood behind Dr. Tiller," while describing him as "a Christian, [a] good man." Remember this ‘good man' had cruelly snuffed out the lives of thousands of unborn and defenseless children. The staggering implication of the congregant's words regarding Dr. Tiller is that they saw no incongruity or inconsistency between being a church usher on a Sunday, and a murdering abortionist on a Monday.

The story of Dr. Tiller is a gross example of something that we all need to guard against, and that is separating acts of worship on a Sunday from our behavior and lifestyle the rest of the week. True faith is an active thing, it is a life transforming principle, it gives shape and substance to all that we are and all that we do (Gal. 2:20; James 2:18; Heb. 10:38). It is a grave error to think that isolated acts of worship can make up for a life out of sync with God (Matt. 15:8).  One's liturgy on the weekend and one's life on weekdays cannot be divorced; they must be married (1 Sam. 15:22-23). If our lives are false throughout the week, our worship can never be true on Sunday. A life that is divorced from the will and word of God makes worship an insult to God (Isa. 1:10-17). 

In light of this danger of separating life and liturgy, work and worship, how critical is Paul's admonition in Romans 12:1-2? Here Paul appeals to the Christians in Rome in the face of God's mercy shown to them in Christ to present their bodies as "living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God." This was their reasonable service; this was their logical worship. Reason and logic tell them and us as C. T. Studd, the missionary statesman, would later put it, "If Jesus Christ be God and died for me then no sacrifice can be to great for me to make for Him." In making his case, Paul reminds every Christian that living for Christ each and every day is logical and not only that, but it is integral to worship that pleases God. The trueness of our worship cannot be properly judged by one hour on a Sunday, but by every hour of every day. Worship takes in all of life; there is no wall between the sacred and the secular. 

 In fact in Romans 12 and 13 the apostle Paul outlines what worship looks like throughout the week, by underscoring Christian behavior in relation to certain relationships. This apostolic worship checklist focuses on (1) how you relate to yourself (Rom. 12:3, 3-8); (2) how you relate to fellow believers (Rom. 12:10, 9-16); (3) how you relate to your enemies (Rom. 12:17, 17-21); (4) how you relate to secular authorities (Rom. 13:1, 1-7); and, (5) how you relate to Christian standards (Rom. 13:13, 8-14). All of life is an act of reasonable worship, therefore we cannot sing like angels on a Sunday and live like devils on a Monday, and expect God to say amen!