If you spend much time studying the Bible, you learn how important transition words like “therefore” are to understanding what is being written. In this case, Paul has just finished offering a prayer of praise to God at the end of chapter 11, taken from Isaiah and Job. In this song of praise, Paul speaks of the depths of the riches and wisdom of God.
By using the term “therefore”, Paul gives us our motivation for being a living sacrifice. Because He is a God of infinite wisdom, knowledge and mercy who has done so much for us, our response should be to offer ourselves as living sacrifices.
But then notice that as living sacrifices, we have the ability to please God! What an amazing thought…that we as finite creatures have the ability to please the infinite! Instead of trying to earn our salvation, our motivation becomes pleasing God, which grows out of our thankfulness of having already received salvation. We live, not to earn, but to please. This ability to please the very God who made us should bring us joy and further motivate us to seek ways to live sacrificially for Him.
Paul then goes on to tell us that this is the essence of worship. We often think of worship only as the time we spend singing hymns to God on Sunday morning. But Paul expands this definition. For Paul, worship includes everything we do daily when it is done as an offering of thankfulness to God.
As physicians, we have the ability to cultivate an attitude of serving our patients for the purpose of pleasing God. Yes worship includes the time we spend in church on Sunday morning, but it also includes the act of serving others. When we begin to look at our patients as an opportunity to serve someone rather than a means to enrich ourselves, then our work becomes pleasing to God and an acceptable form of worship.
Prayer: Lord, help me to see the patients I care for as an opportunity to please and serve you. Remind me through the day that I am to be a living sacrifice because of what you have done for me.