Read through the lesson below (if you are in a group take turns reading). Then have a discussion, possible questions are included at the end. If you are alone, try to pair up with others in a small group though texting or even a phone call.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform 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 NIV).
As a small boy growing up in the west, I dreamed of being many things when I grew up. Usually something that had to do with being a hero, like a jet pilot, a cowboy, a police officer, or firefighter, or even a navel ship’s captain. See the trend? Little boys want to be the hero and little girls, well they want what they want. Sorry girls, I really don’t know what you would have wanted, so I will just leave that up to your memories. By the way, when I grew up and joined the Navy, I was completely at the other end of the ship in the engine room. The point is, however that our will is fickle and ever changing. It is in no way perfect, is not always good, and often we find out it is only pleasing to ourselves.
God’s will is however all of these things: good, perfect and pleasing. So why would we not want to know and follow God’s will? And at a time when we seem increasingly divided should we not seek out God’s perfect will to unite us all as Christians under Christ?
Paul writes here to implore all to offer all of themselves as what he termed a “living” sacrifice”. See, not only is our will fickle but our commitment is usually not complete either. Being a Christian is not just a mental or a spiritual exercise. No, it is an ‘all’ exercise. Meaning God wants all of your commitment, not just your intellect and spirit, but also your physical being too—your all including your bodies. Why? Because God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our will is fickle and our commitment is usually incomplete. God also knows what it takes for us to become completely human. The humans He intended us to be back before our original parents (Adam and Eve) messed up. Their mind, spirit and bodies were complete and fully human devoted to God until they gave into temptation.
This is what God wants of us today, but He knows it will take His transforming power to carry out this in us. So, we need to be devoted to this process of becoming fully holy in spirit and body. Why? Because of what Christ did for us. This I why Paul writes, “in view of God’s mercy.” Jesus suffered and died to redeem all of creation from this terrible blunder of our original parents, and we are the most important part of that creation because we have a will, a mind, a spirit, and a body. He died for it all.
Because of all this Paul urges us to be devoted to this process of being transformed. Why? Because he knows that the Kingdom of God has broken into this world. It has come and is also still yet to come. But it is here with us now too. We are to be committed to this God’s Kingdom now. No longer do we belong to this world and therefore should no longer conform to it. Instead we should be committed totally to being transformed into what we need to be to be in God’s Kingdom. To know the difference between the two kingdoms. To know God’s perfect, good, and pleasing will and to follow it.
1. Who really is the Sovereign Lord over this world, creation, now and to come?
2. Who is your Sovereign Lord?
3. Do you live your life like Jesus Christ is your Sovereign Lord?
Thank you, Pastor Perry
 William M. Greathouse and George Lyons, Romans 9–16: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition, New Beacon Bible Commentary (Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2008), 127.  Ibid, 128.  Ibid, 128.  Ibid, 127.  Ibid, 126