Romans 12:1: I Appeal To You Therefore, Brothers, By The Mercies Of God, To Present Your Bodies As A Living Sacrifice
 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. (ESV)
There is a key word in this verse. Do you know what it is? "Therefore." Among the many corny puns that are used by ministers is this one: "Whenever you see a "therefore" in Scripture you need to find out what it is "there" "for." The word therefore lets us know that this verse is in response to what has been said prior to this verse.
In the previous verse, Romans 11:36, Paul says, " For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." Since everything in our lives is for the Lord's glory our lives ought to be lived as sacrifices unto him. It is an act of absolute gratitude in response to all the many gifts that the Lord has bestowed upon us.
I love this phrase that Paul uses, "living sacrifice." Chuck Swindoll used to say that the problem with living sacrifices is that they tend to crawl down off of the altar. More significantly, we understand in the first eleven chapters of Romans that the sacrifices of bulls is not sufficient to make us right with God. Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice. We are to give our very lives to Jesus.
Like many of Paul's epistles he expounds on the theology of God's grace given to mankind in the first part chapters. The remaining chapters of his letter are for practical instruction on how we should live. If we believe properly we ought to act properly. The motivation for our proper actions is proper gratitude.
How is your worship? Are you offering yourself to God as a living sacrifice? Take a few moments and celebrate the gifts that God has given you. May that create an attitude of grateful living for God's glory.