Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)
The funny thing is, when writing about the text, Edie skips over the text "Therefore, I urge you, brothers." My pastor once told me whenever you see the word THEREFORE, you need to stop and ask "What is it THERE FOR?" To do that, you must read what comes before.
Romans 11 tells of God's mercy. God originally came for Israel. He did not reject his people, rather they rejected him. So now gentiles were offered grace, "grafted in" Paul says. We were not part of the originally plant (or plan). But because of the rejection by the Jewish people, gentiles were included. My study bible further explains that God's merciful plan to include the gentiles in his great salvation plan should humble them, not fill them with arrogance. Israel's hardening to Jesus is partial, not total; and temporary, not permanent.
In 11:22 it tells of the kindness and sternness of God. My study bible says "Any adequate doctrine of God must include these two elements. When we ignore his kindness, God seems a ruthless tyrant; when we ignore his sternness, he seems a doting father." This seems like the perfect example of God, kind yet stern; loving yet just.
"THEREFORE" - in view of God's mercy ...God has been merciful to us gentiles by grafting us in, where we don't belong, so much more so we should be changed because of it. "Transformed by the renewing of our minds."
So, have you been transformed? Or do you take this merciful gift God gave, (a gift meant for Israel, but given to us gentiles because of mercy,) for granted? I admit, I do. I take for granted that Jesus died - a horrible death - for ME. For YOU. We so readily accept the grace that we forget the price. So today I urge you to focus on God's mercy.
We have been allowed where we don't belong. We have "all access back stage passes" so that we can go where others can't. We can be with God in heaven. We can have eternal life. We aren't groupies, we are invited guests. Because of the mercy of the host...the Heavenly Host.
Dear God, thank you for your great mercy. Forgive me for so callously accepting the gift of eternal life. Let my life be transformed by you, so that I may be able to know your will and apply it in my life. In Jesus name, amen.