Text: 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.
(Ro 12:1-2 NIV)
Introduction: After a great gathering of Christian youth, the offering was being counted. At the bottom of the offering, the counters found a picture of a teenage girl. They all made the same immediate assumption. Some boy had taken a girl's wallet, taken out the picture and thrown it in the offering basket as a practical joke. That's the kind of thing teenagers sometimes do. Then someone turned the picture over. There was something written on the back. "I have nothing to give, but I give myself."
I. Give Up: Surrender Your Body (cf. Rom. 6:12-13)
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. (Ro 6:12-13 NIV)
A. As a Present to God
B. To the Purposes of God
C. For the Pleasure of God
II. Give Over: Surrender Your Mind (cf. Rom. 8:7)
the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. (Ro 8:7 NIV)
A. A Check on the Status of your mind
B. A Charge to Surrender your Mind
C. A Change to the state of your mind
III. Give In: Surrender Your Will (cf. Eph. 5:17)
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (Eph 5:17 NIV)
A. Examine God’s will
B. Endorse God’s Will
C. Enjoy God’s Will
Conclusion: Florence Nightingale, just before she died, looked back over a long life and said: “If I could tell you all, you would see how God has done all and I nothing. I have worked hard, very hard, that is all; and I have never refused God anything.”
“Never refuse God anything” – there is the secret of the life of service she lived. She worked hard, very hard, but God had his way with her life. She worked hard, but it was God working His will in her and doing His work through her.
If our lives as Christians are not wholly successful it would be well to try them by Florence Nightingale’s test” – “I have never refused God anything.”