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.Romans 12:1
Sacrifices are not always pleasing to God. The prophet Isaiah in the first chapter of his prophetic book to the nation of Israel speaking for God says,
The multitude of your sacrifices— what are they to me?” says the Lord. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your evil assemblies. 14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; 16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. 18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1:11–18 (NIV84)
God desires sacrifices that have meaning. Sacrifices must come from a clean heart not an evil one. They must come from a person who does what is right. Who seeks justice, encourages the oppressed, and pleads the case of the widow. Sacrifices must come from those whose hearts are broken from their own sin and turn to do what God desires from their own ways.
Specifically, we are told
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States of America redefined marriage. In
American culture, marriage is no longer between a man and a woman. This is an example where we must not conform to the pattern of this world but rely on knowing God’s will. He instituted marriage between Adam and Eve. No court of this world can change what is true about marriage by redefining it out of existence.
How this will affect those of us who hold to God’s definition is yet to be seen. However, we will continue to preach and teach the truth of God’s word that marriage is between a man and a woman. We seek to please God, not man.