“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1).
God blessed us with our children so we could teach them how to live right with Him. We see these gifts from God as “our children,” which can cause us to forget that the ownership of these souls belongs to Him. God instructs us to be good stewards, or managers, of the gifts He gives us (1 Peter 4:10). We should strive to be better teachers of God’s truth so that the children we have been blessed with will not only hear God’s word but see its power through our faithful lives.
Paul “urged” the church to be totally devoted to God because God is totally devoted to us. As parents, we should show our love for God by sacrificing the desires that our flesh uses to deceive us, and put our devotion into God for His glory, which He will bestow on us if we walk in the glory of His truth. There are many so-called religions out there but God has shown us that there is “one body” and “one faith” (Ephesians 4:4-5), and we should strive to make sure the children He blesses us with are properly instructed in the truth about the church He built.
Paul says, “by the mercies of God,” showing God has never done things because He had to, but because He loves us and wants the best for us. Paul’s writings in the book of Romans illustrates God’s mercy in justification, sanctification and even in baptism, revealing to us that God went to great sacrifices to see that we have everything we need to live in a way that is right with Him. Paul shows the proper response to God is to love Him as He loves us and this can only be done by sacrificing our bodies to our goals and purposes and live for His glory. The children in our lives need to be “urged by the mercies of God” to deny their own desires to live right with God. The most effective way to reveal God’s grace to children is to make sure they see us walking in faith.
We do this as our “spiritual service of worship.” The Greek word, “logikēn”, is used for our word “spiritual,” to be understood as, “the logical way to worship God,” keeping in mind that this is God’s logic, not ours. God gives us children to show them His way: “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Sacrificing our wants and desires to walk in God’s way is how we become good stewards of the children given to us by our God.