PURSUING GOD’S HEART
OMF INTERNATIONAL MISSIONARY
TRANSFORMATION REQUIRES COMMITMENT
I. FOUNDATIONAL ISSUES
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. (Rom. 12:1)
1. I urge you. The Greek behind the NIV
“urge” is parakaleo. It is stronger than
ask, weaker than command.
Exegesis: Offer your bodies
2. Offer your bodies. Rom. 6:13, 16, 19; 1 Cor.
6:20. You are making a decisive dedication of
your body to God.
Sacrifice has three ideas: consecration (set apart
for God’s use), expiation (covering of sin) and
propitiation (satisfaction of divine pleasure).
Ancient Judaism often used sacrifice figuratively
for praise or for a lifestyle of worship, so Paul’s
readers would have readily understood what he
Exegesis: Living sacrifice
3. Living sacrifice just means that it is an
ongoing sacrificial lifestyle. We need to
continually crucify our flesh, deny what our
flesh naturally wants because ―those who
belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the
flesh with its passions and desires‖. (Gal.
Exegesis: Living Sacrifice
Jesus offered his body as a sacrifice thus
opening the way for complete forgiveness,
reconciliation and sanctification.
Therefore, as we offer our bodies back to
God, it too opens the way for complete
forgiveness, reconciliation and
4. Your spiritual act of worship or your
The word service alludes to the work of
priests in the temple and the word
reasonable refers to the proper way to
1. II Tim. 2:19-22, 26
Paul gives a succinct statement on human
responsibility and very clearly defines how we
are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices.
Why does Paul urge us, and not command us, to
make our bodies a living sacrifice to God? Why
does he stop short of a command?
The answer lies in Jesus’ attitude:
17 The reason my Father loves me is that I
lay down my life—only to take it up again.
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down
of my own accord. I have authority to lay it
down and authority to take it up again.
This command I received from my Father."
Paul wants us to do the same, willing to die
to self. We are to have the mind of Christ.
. Robert Boyd Munger, an author,
highlighted this truth: Jesus Christ, through
the Spirit, makes the body of each believer
his home. As the presence of the Lord
once filled the temple in Jerusalem, so he
now dwells in the hearts of all who belong
4. Basically when we offer our bodies it is for
His service. It is to live a life of holiness,
separating ourselves from the world and
drawing near to God. We must offer our
bodies as dead to sin and the temple of
the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:15, 19)
II. TRANSFORMATION BUSTERS
A. FLESHLY SINS THAT NEED TO BE
PLEASE REFER TO YOUR HANDOUT
Circle the ones that are a hindrance to your
transformation. Keep it for the end of this
session and also for the end of the third
B. EXPERIENCES THAT NEGATIVELY
AFFECT MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
1. Experiencing abuse as a child will cause one
to view God as far away and not as Father
God. Our first reaction is to blame God: why
didn’t He protect me?
Some people have turned to atheism and
homosexuality as a result of abuse. In their minds,
God wasn’t there for them. Some became
Christians but never could break through to God,
always remaining on the outside looking in. This of
course is connected to rejection.
2. Experiencing some type of trauma like
accidents or near death experiences.
Here people wonder where God was and
how come He didn’t stop the trauma or
prevent it. They wonder too if God is
more than able or whether He really
cares about them.
3. Rejection of any kind. This wound is
even more agonizing than shame.
Usually this stems from some form of
broken relationship. In its earliest form, it
is caused by parents who reject their
own children. It takes the form of harsh
punishment, verbal abuse, physical
abuse or anything that is expressed in a
harsh, negative way.
Or it takes the form of abandonment, failure
to show love or acceptance. Divorce is
another form of rejection. Jesus
understands our rejection because He
endured rejection in its most agonizing
form: rejection by a father. At least one
quarter of adults in America today suffer
from shame and rejection. Indications are
that it is rising.
4. “Jung nan ching nyu”: regard boys more
highly than girls. This one makes you
feel worthless, like a second-class
citizen. Many women experience low
self-esteem, self-hatred and self-
rejection as a result. This is a South East
Asian problem. Muslim women suffer the
same fate. This feeling causes you to
hide from God, unable to accept His
5. Circumstances can have a negative effect
on my relationship with God.
EXAMPLE: Norma and Mother Theresa.
Circumstances are there to mold you into
the image of Christ, not to cause you to fall
C. SPIRITUAL PROBLEMS
• Our relationship with God should not be one of striving, but should
• Striving indicates that something is amiss in your relationship with
• This often comes from a family background where parents put
pressure on the child to perform, to become great, to bring honor to
the family. They take this pressure into their relationship with God,
always trying to prove their love to God.
• Striving comes out of conditional love. Unconditional love is not
something that they can understand.
• They have to prove something to themselves and to those around
2. Spiritual immaturity
You cannot substitute a fake spirituality for
Spiritual burnout results when you go around
trying to be pious, trying to be holy.
It is one thing to want to live a godly life, but it's
another to actually master our habits and
behaviors! Human willpower isn't sufficient on its
own to tame our natural impulse toward sin--we
need the help of God's grace.
Self-control doesn’t work
Living under the law, man-made rules and
Having a form of godliness only. (II. Tim.
3. Wordly living vs. godly living
– refusal of believers to separate themselves from evil
will inevitably result in the loss of fellowship with God
(2 Cor. 6:16), of acceptance by the Father (6:17) and
of our rights as children (6:18; cf. Rom. 8:15-16).
– Amusements and worldly pleasure » A proof of
spiritual death (1 Timothy 5:6)
– Friendship with the world. “You adulterous people,
don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred
toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of
the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
III. ACTION STEPS
1. Matt. 5:27-30Jesus is not teaching us to self-
mutilate! The principle here is that we should
deal drastically with sin.
2. James 4:7-10 7 ―Submit yourselves, then, to
God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Actually verses 7-10 are a series of ten
commands on how to eliminate pride in one’s
3. Paul certainly understood the struggle in Rom.
7:21-23. Get some professional help.
Right now we are going to do some
confession. Take out your sheets.
Keep the sheet; don’t throw it away as we
will need it for the last lecture. No one will
see the sheet of paper.
V. QUESTIONS TO PONDER
• Group Questions
• What TV shows or movies could corrupt our minds?
What video games, online games, magazines or
websites would not glorify Christ? What about music?
Think of some current examples and discuss the
danger of their content in relation to a Christian’s walk
• What does the church consider to be worldly pleasures
that are in direct defiance of God’s Word?
• How far should we go in chasing fashion? How far is
• Is it a sin to wear name-brand apparel?
To own name-brand goods? When does
it become problematic?
• I want to be a living sacrifice for Christ,
but my reality is that I have Chinese
parents who have expectations for me.
Where is the happy medium for me?
• What constitutes ―friendship with the world‖?
• What should be the Christian’s relationship to
• How does offering my body as a living sacrifice
• How does the enemy use our bodies to
alienate us from God?
• What tools has God given us to protect us from
the enemy’s attacks?
• How do I pursue God through
commitment? How have I lacked in my
commitment to Christ?
• What issues are hindering me right now
from spiritual growth?
• What issues has the Holy Spirit
convicted me of tonight?
• What does it mean for me to be a living
• Where has my feet taken me that I would not
take Christ to? What have my hands done that
is harmful, shameful or even dangerous? What
has my eyes seen that would grieve the Holy
Spirit of God? What things have I heard or
listened to that makes me uncomfortable when
I think of Christ?
• Conversely, what has my feet, hands and eyes
done to extend the kingdom of God on earth?