I have a confession to make. I write in my Bible.
While attending school I remember my teachers giving us clear instruction to "not write in our text books". I am sure the motivation for this instruction was that future students would need these books for many years to come....these text books would need to be used over and over again. The only appropriate place to write in a text book was on the inside of the front cover and that was to make sure that you kept up with your own book. To be honest, I didn't like most of the subjects enough to write down a note or comment anyway!
My Bible is different than any other book. It is certainly not a text book or just a book that contains history. The Bible is God's word, and my Bible is my copy of God's word. With that said, I will more than likely be the only owner of my black, leather, NKJV, red letter edition with tabs....Bible.
So, I write in "my" Bible. Here is a page from my Bible...in fact, Romans 12:1-2 are some of my favorite verses in all of the Bible. Near the bottom of the page I have some notes in the margin commenting on my favorite verses. These two verses will help us understand the task at hand in "proving" that Jesus Christ is who the Bible says He is....
Jesus changes peoples lives. He came from heaven to earth to be our Savior and Lord and when a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ their life changes. Jesus changes peoples lives.
However, when a person comes to faith in Christ they do not "by default" live a life that honors Jesus or proves that Jesus is who the Bible proclaims Him to be. Once a person becomes a Christian the Holy Spirit seeks to transform the persons life by renewing their mind with the Bible which happens to be the Word of God. The persons life becomes a living sacrifice as they live in obedience to God's will.
In the O.T. flesh hooks were used as utensils around the sacrificial altar. The sacrifices were already dead and the flesh hooks helped the priests grab hold of the meat. The fat of the sacrifice together with the breast and the shoulder were presented by the worshipper to the priest. The fat was burned on the altar, and the breast and shoulder became the portion for the priests. The flesh hooks secured the sacrifice.
Romans 12:1 says that we are to "present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."
So, what does that look like today in the life of a Christian? We are living sacrifices....we are not dead. What about the flesh hooks? What keeps our lives on the altar for God?
First, Jesus Christ has the ability to "keep" us in the faith regardless of how unfaithful or disobedient we become. 1 Peter 1:5 says "who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. "
Secondly, we do need to stay close to God and continue to be a living sacrifice, daily placing our lives on the altar of God in the area of submission to His will for our lives.
Back to the notes in the margin of my Bible. I mention that two flesh hooks that keep us close to God's purpose and will for our lives are Devotion and Discipline.
Being devoted to the things of God...Being devoted to the person of Jesus Christ....Being devoted to His church and the mission that we have been given....Devotion to God will help us stay close to the altar, which is where we need to live.
Being disciplined in prayer, the study of God's Word, application of Biblical principles, and the ongoing pursuit of holiness will once again help us stay close to the altar, which is where we need to live.
Romans 12:1 may serve as the "what" we should do....Romans 12:2 likely serves as the "how" we should achieve this goal of being a living sacrifice. The key is being transformed by the renewing of our minds. Once again, this comes back to being devoted to the discipline of reading God's Word. Also allowing God's Word to change us from the inside out.
When we present our bodies as a living sacrifice...
When we do not conform to the world....
When we pursue transformation by renewing our mind with God's Word....
When we do all of those things....we "prove" what is the GOOD, and ACCEPTABLE, and PERFECT will of God. So, what is the will of God for mankind?
2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."
The world wants proof.....give it to them! Show them your transformed life that stays on the altar as a living sacrifice, willing to be devoted and disciplined to whatever God leads you to do as He pursues the souls of men, women, boys and girls ! Your changed life will become proof to them that God can change their life and eternity!