Glorifying God in Your Body

Glorifying God in Your Body

“Following” Jesus is synonymous with “obeying” Jesus. To follow is to obey, and obeying involves a long series of decisions that I make to glorify God by laying my life, my preferences, and my desires at His feet. Laying down my life is a daily choice.

Following Jesus means acknowledging that I am not my own, that I’ve been bought with a price. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Now, please notice, Paul encourages us to glorify God in our body. Our body, soul and spirit all belong to Jesus if we’re truly saved, but Paul specifically mentions the body here.

Of course, we need to glorify God in our soul (the seat of our desire and emotions), and in our spirit (the place where we commune with His Spirit), but it can’t end there. God wants the love we have for Him – the love that lives in our invisible places, our “inward being” (Psalm 51:6) – to find its way to the outside. He wants the love we have for Him to break out into the material world.

The vehicle that God gave me to glorify Him in this world – to make Him shine brightly before my family and friends and co-workers and neighbors and even my enemies – is this all-too fragile human body, this animated dust. In it, He wants me to live out the Christian life in real time and space – to move through this life in obedience to His perfect will.

And here’s the thing: If I say I love Jesus, but don’t obey Him, I’m simply lying to myself. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments … Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me … Whoever does not love me does not keep my words” (John 14:15, 21, 24).

Clear enough?

If I love Him, I will want to keep His commandments; if I don’t love Him, I’ll disregard them. And the vehicle through which I express my love in obedience is my body.

Paul writes, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).

So, we do that. We present our body as a living sacrifice. We present our hands and pray that they do only those things which bring God glory. We present our feet and pray that they bring us to places that please the Father. We present our mouth, and our eyes and ears, and pray that they say, see or hear nothing that would bring shame to our Lord.

We present our bodies to Him, lay them daily at His feet. And there’s no legalism here. We’re not saved by the good things we do. Rather, we serve Him because we’ve been saved.

Obedience is simply the outward manifestation of the love we have for God in our inner man. We long to obey Jesus because we love Jesus, the One who first loved us.

“So, glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20).


To consider

  • In the Great Commission, Jesus instructed us to “make disciples” by (1) “going,” (2) “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” and by (3) “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). The “teaching” aspect is interesting because it identifies the specific thing to be taught as obedience to the Lord’s commandments. This clearly connects discipleship with obedience to God. Have you considered that following Jesus is more than just learning? It’s living for Him. How are you expressing your love for Jesus in the physical world?
  • Obedience is very practical – it’s obeying God physically as we move our bodies through space and time. Do you think this practical, physical aspect of following Jesus gets underemphasized in the modern Christian Church? Do you think that “actually” obeying God gets lost in the fog of those areas of Christianity that are supposedly more “spiritual” (prayer, contemplation, etc.)?
  • How serious are you about literally obeying the Lord with your body? Have you ever considered making the presentation of your body a morning confession? Try it! Say, as you start your day, ‘Lord, take my hands today and use them for your kingdom. Lord, guard my tongue today – I give it to you. Lord let my hands do only those things which glorify You,’ etc.

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  1. My goal for school yesterday was to teach the kids that God has a plan and if we don’t obey him and do things his way even we don’t understand why (and by extension, his designated authorities, our parents) and instead, only do what we want to do, we can really mess things up. So we read the story of Jonah. How God gave Jonah a task and Jonah deliberately said “no” and did exactly the opposite of What he was told. And then there were consequences.
    So then we did an object lesson. We made slime. First I put a selection of ingredients on the table. Applesauce, ketchup, glue, laundry detergent, lemon juice, leftover birthday cake…do it your way, guys. They had so much fun blending and mixing…”Mom! Can we do this everyday???” But in the end it wasn’t that goopy mixture that you can play with and doesn’t stick to your hands. So we clean up. Then Mama says, “Now…Mama knows the recipe! Let’s see what happens when we follow the directions!!! So I follow the directions I found online. I pour glue and laundry detergent into 5 bowls. They stir…waiting for magic to happen…nothing. so I add a bit more glue. (×5)…nothing. More glue…nothing. Finally, I go back and check the recipe. I had read it wrong! So now in order to fix the proportions I had to dump in GOBS of glue. (Mind you…the whole time thinking that this is an OBJECT LESSON. It can’t go wrong or I’m going to mess up my kids’ minds!!!) Still no slime. Now the kids are telling me to add this and that and I’m remembering other recipes that had you adding baking soda or salt or cornstarch. Frantically trying to put a fig leaf over my mistake. In the end we made about a half a gallon of lumpy, styrofoam cement sludge and a Mama with some pretty ugly egg on her face.
    Sooooo….does it it work when we don’t listen and do what Mama(God) says and do things our own way? Nooooooooo!
    What if we SAY we’re doing things the right way (God’s way) but don’t bother to read the instructions carefully (listen to Mama carefully /read your Bible carefully)? We still mess up! Then what do we do? We go back and check and then try to fix things if we can. Sometimes they can’t be fixed though and we have to live with the reality that we made a royal concrete mess.
    By the way. I secretly went back with the remains of my gallon of glue, followed the instructions carefully and it still didn’t turn out. Be careful who ypu are listening to?

    • Teri that’s marvelous what an applied lesson, love it!

    • Teri, you made me laugh. There is still a good lesson in your little disaster. There are many times we do what the Lord tells us and it seems like things didn’t happen the way we expected. I think of Joseph. He loved God, obeyed God and still, sold to slavery and put in prison. But all that was exactly what God wanted to prepare Him to be God’s man at the perfect time. I’ve been encouraging our group to learn to listen to God because there will be times we will question ourselves. The more sensitive we become to His voice the more confidence and courage we’ll have when things aren’t working out the way we expected. But we’ll know we are right where He wants us to be. As so many have been telling you, you guys are doing a great job with the kids. The fruit of your labor will soon be realized. Hang in there. Love you guys.

      • Kathryn Boisvert : November 14, 2017 at 11:45 am

        Thx for that, PSM! This certainly is another way to look at it. Joseph must’ve thought it one point or another although he did not send in his thoughts as far as we know by reading scripture God are you sure you know what you’re doing? Of course he always does. His plans are perfect – He can never make a mistake. I need to remember that the next time something is going on in my life and I realize it’s not what I thought it was going to look like.

      • Thank you, Steve, that was an amazing response!

    • Teri that was awesome story how true that is . I know in my life when I’m building things or putting things together and I don’t follow directions I ether have extra parts or I it don’t look right it’s because I didn’t follow directions. So you are so right the Bible is like a manual if we follow it we will get it right.I know one thing I’m so blessed to have that manual. Amen

    • Kathryn Boisvert : November 14, 2017 at 11:38 am

      Great example Teri! I’m sure it’s one your kids won’t soon forget! 😉🙌🏻

  2. What an intensely penetrating word of fellowship!
    (Following” Jesus is synonymous with “obeying” Jesus.) I recall that verse 1 Sam. 15:45 to obey is better than sacrifice,
    Our daily routine is filled with opportunities ordered by our Fathers hand,to gain Christ via the act of obedience. Even as I write this, my pellet stove is not working as it should, and I suddenly realized right here is a test! Do I pop a blood vessel, and note right after having it tuned up! or do I say thank you Lord for this opportunity. God is so, so sovereign. cs

    • I really had to discipline myself not to have a tantrum when nothing worked! I had to keep reminding myself that little eyes were watching me. In the world “little eyes” are always watching our testimony! Even then they still picked up on the frustration and panic. They told me I was having a tantrum (I wasn’t).

      • Hopefully they also saw, that even in your “imagined” tantrum, in spite of the failure, you could pick yourself up and move on. That’s what we need to remember when we mess up with God. We can fail, possibly have a tantrum or “pop a vessel” and yet still turn to our loving Father and ask for his help in getting it right and He’s RIGHT THERE. But we absolutely have to die to our selfish pride, arrogance, whatever it is and allow him to work in and through us. I love this whole illustration that Teri used. So much in there for all of us to learn from!

  3. Kathryn Boisvert : November 14, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Wow Kerin! I had forgotten all about that game. I used to play that with my sisters. I placed complete and total trust in them that hey wouldn’t et me fall. Now the question is do I trust God to not let me down? Especially when I feel I’ve let myself or someone else down and I go back and repent and ask him to fix the mess do I trust that he can do that?

  4. Maybe we’ll do this object lesson tomorrow! Do you trust God enough to do his will without protecting yourself…

  5. Amen

  6. Reading all the comments today was amazing- Teri I am laughing and sympathizing at the same time. First that you were brave enough to let them mash all that first list of stuff (lol) and the second mixture. Yes following the directions is essential but sometimes even the person who wrote the recipe made a mistake when sharing it. But we KNOW THAT OUR GOD NEVER MAKES A MISTAKE – His Word is true and His directions can be totally trusted. Isn’t that wonderful to know?

  7. I always am left with a feeling of peace and blessings (and a few laughs) after reading the messages and the comments. I appreciate all the different personalities that make up our Church. The quiet, but oh so inspiring people. The more vocal, but enlightening ones. We are all on this journey to become even closer to our Lord. You each help me on mine. Thank you!

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