I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God                    Romans 12:1a       

This verse marks a transition in the letter to the Romans. Paul has used the first part of the letter to explain how apart from the mercy of God reaching into our world we would have no hope. Romans 11:28-32 reveal that God is the one who gives the mercy that is to be received by both the Jew and the Gentile in the order that God has determined. Mercy is not getting what is deserved. We deserve death, yet in the mercy of God we are given life—abundant life. This moves Paul to break out into the doxology of Romans 11:33-36. Romans 12:1 calls the follower of Jesus, as a receiver of mercy, to worship God alone. The next few days we will look at worship more closely. First and foremost, it means recognizing that we have not been given what we deserve—that is what mercy means. Each person has been designed to worship. Sin in our world has defiled that worship so that people will naturally worship anything and everything other than God. Unless he steps in and changes a heart, that heart will seek to worship things other than God. The heart of a person that has been rescued by the mercy of God is a heart that is filled with thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the doorway to true worship.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Psalm 100:4  

So, as you begin your week thinking about worship, take time to thank the Lord for his mercy in rescuing you! Look for ways to be thankful so that you can enter into the presence of God. Notice the contrast between resentment and thanksgiving as you go through your day.   

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