A Beautiful Thing - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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Hillcrest Baptist Church

Day 3 Devotional
Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing, and perfect will." -- Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

As the renovation discussions began, we were quickly filled with excitement for the attractive transformation to the worship center.  We also soon realized that this would be financially challenging for us, and our thoughts began to drift to the things we wanted to buy for our family.  A larger car would be great for shuttling the kids around, an updated TV, improvements to the house and yard -- the list was endless.  With all of our plans, how could we possibly find funds to support our church renovation project as well?

As we reflected on the mercy and provisions that He has given to us, we recognized that we have more than we could ever need -- a house, cars, plenty of toys.  With this perspective, we were able to consider more carefully where to invest our resources.  Much like the worship center, our bodies -- including our thoughts and desires -- are a sanctuary for God.  When we focus on holiness and personal sacrifice, we are able to fully worship our Lord with everything we do.  Our minds are indeed transformed and are free to enjoy His blessings and understand His plans.

God's wisdom is nothing short of amazing.  He has created perfect plans according to our true needs and the needs of the world around us.  However, we often attempt to take control of our world expecting that we can create success and happiness.  With noble goals, we forget to seek His guidance and instead carefully craft elaborate plans which can distract us from His true calling.  As our church body moves forward to create a holy and pleasing sanctuary for God, we need to prepare ourselves, God's sanctuaries, to be pure and holy, so that we may discern "His good, pleasing, and perfect will."

Our Heavenly Father, help us to obediently surrender our possessions, body, and actions to your service.  We ask for you to open our hearts and guide us to your will.  "Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true.  And with thanksgiving, I'll be a living sanctuary for You."

Prepared by Lance and Amy Karm

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