Picture this... a table of middle school and high school boys at Chic-Fil-a and a large tray of nuggets. Now picture this... the tray after about 10 minutes! Two totally different pictures appear in your mind, right? One moment a full tray of crispy nuggets, the next only a platter that held the nuggets remains. There is nothing left that resembles what was once on that tray. The life of a mom with all boys! The word "consume" perfectly depicts this image. There is a worship song I have been listening to recently that talks about us allowing God to "consume" us... allowing him to enter every part of our life...allowing him to change us... renew us, so that what remains bears no resemblance to what was once there. As Paul is writing in Romans, he calls us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to the Lord. Romans 12:1 (NKJV) reads, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." God is calling us as his children to give our whole lives over to him. I believe Paul is prompting us, as we wrestle in our humanness, to give everything to God. Listen, when I go to my favorite bundt cake shop in Texas, and order my gluten free mini bundt cake, I paid them for a WHOLE bundt cake. Now, if she brings me a container, and they have decided that all I needed was half a cake... (which is probably true, but beside the point), I would be upset, because I paid for a whole cake! Now that will preach! God paid it ALL for us, so isn't that a novel idea that we give our WHOLE lives to him! Come on somebody... We need to remember the mercy that God has shown us. Mercy is defined as compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone even though it is within their power to punish them. How can we hold back anything from a heavenly father who gave all to save us from our sin. Paul is telling us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. Before Jesus became our ultimate sacrifice, sacrificial offerings had to be made. Think about what happened. A living animal was placed on an altar and what remained after the sacrifice was ashes. What was on the altar after the sacrifice bore no resemblance to the living animal that was laid on that altar. Oh, how our lives should be just like that sacrifice. We are to give our lives over to the Lord,” a living sacrifice” and when we do, what is left on that altar should bear no resemblance to what we were before. God desires to TRANSFORM us! Too many times we just want him to do a "wardrobe change" on us, instead of changing us completely. When we allow God to consume us, give our lives to him, he gives us "Beauty" for the ashes that remain from our sacrifice. Isn’t that awesome. I love how Paul ends this verse. He says, giving our lives to the Lord, “ is our reasonable service”. I want you to get this. The dictionary defines reasonable as, “fair and sensible, not extreme or excessive.” You might want to read that again... "FAIR AND SENSIBLE, NOT EXTREME OR EXCESSIVE". How often do we hear people say, or we may have said it at one point ourselves… I’d love to give my whole life to God BUT! We treat turning our life over to God as something that is so extreme, that God is asking so much of us. But Paul says in this scripture that it is our “reasonable service.” Being completely sold out to God should be the “sensible thing to do”. After all God gave everthing he had for each one of us. What are you holding on to today, that God is saying “let go”, lay it all on the altar. God doesn’t want a partial sacrifice! He needs “all of you”. God created you for an awesome purpose, so give him "ALL" of you, so he can do ALL he desires to, through you!