Like many of you, as a Cub Scout, I took the Scout Oath: “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”
Memorizing and reciting the Oath earned my first merit badge. Additionally, by memorizing the motto, it would be available for reflection, consideration and hopefully become the foundation for actions in my, and other Scout’s lives.
The Scout motto begins by one giving his word that he will do his best. Truthfully, we do not always give our best. But, in our heart of hearts, most people really want to do their best.
With this in mind, let me ask, as a Christian, are you doing your best for Jesus? Of all the areas we need to do our best, being our best for Jesus should be a top priority. Here are some thoughts from Romans 12 on how to be your best for Jesus.
Paul’s epistle to the Romans falls into two main divisions. The first 11 chapters deal with theological doctrine, while the final 5 chapters present practical applications. The final section begins in Romans 12, this way: “Therefore I urge you brethren…” (verse 1). It starts with Paul’s exhortations for them, and us, to apply doctrinal truth to real life. It is never enough just to know doctrinal truth. To be affective, learning must be translated into living.
In Romans 12:1-8, Paul answers the question: How can you be your best for Jesus—as a Person? He then shares four ways to be your best.
First: Surrender Yourself Unreservedly (verses 1-2)
In most cases when you surrender, you lose, but as a Christian when you surrender to God, you win! You surrender to God by giving Him your Body—“Present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1).
Before you were saved, you did what you wanted with your body, but after coming to Christ by faith, your body becomes a temple of God. “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own…For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
As you surrender your body to God, you are a living sacrifice, not a dead one. This surrendering is only logical, because Christ gave Himself, including His body, for us on the cross.
You surrender to God by giving Him your Mind as well—“And do not be conformed to his world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
The battle Christians face in surrendering their bodies to God, is first waged in their minds. Your body will only do what your mind commands. Paul said the world system wants Christians to be conformed to its way of life, deeds & actions. But God wants Christians to be transformed, or changed, by the renewing of their minds.
Howard Hendricks paraphrased it, “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.” Instead, our lives are to be transformed, changed, from within, by renewing our minds, as we hear, read, memorize, and meditate on God’s Word (2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 4:12).
Why not begin your day surrendering your body, mind and spirit to God? Spend some time in His Word, then pray for God’s leading through your day.
Second: Humble Yourself Individually (verse 3)
Don’t be haughty of your opinion or of your gifts—“I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think” (Romans 12:3).
It is normal to think more of yourself than you ought. We often think we are better than others. But if you want to be your best for Jesus, you must think well of others and less often of yourself. True humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. It is putting others first.
Avoid pride as you exalt Christ and others. Remember: “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
Third: Consider Yourself Corporately (verses 4-5)
As a Christian, you are one member among many—“For just as we have many members in one body, and all the members do not have the same function….” (Romans 12:4).
In your church family, find out where you fit, and how you can serve in the body, corporately. Prayerfully consider what God has gifted you to do in His service, and then fill that spot, ministry or service, using the gift or ability He has given you.
Though you are only one member, you are an important part of the body, and are necessary in making it function for God’s glory. Six strings on a guitar, tuned together and working, create a beautiful sound by the hand of a musician.
Fourth: Employ Your Gift Faithfully (verses 6-8)
God has given—“Gifts that differ” so “Each of us is to exercise them accordingly” (Romans 12:6).
If you do not exercise your gift, the church body will be lacking in some way. The perfect illustration is that if a body is missing a part, it cannot function as God intended. In fact, the whole body will be hindered. You need to faithfully use your gift, because “God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired” (1 Corinthians 12:18).
To be your Best for Jesus as a person, you need to surrender yourself, humble yourself, consider yourself as a part, and employ your gift for His glory! Be your best for Jesus!