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Coram Deo

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that
ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto
God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed
to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your
mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,
and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

Have you ever heard the phrase “Coram Deo”? It is a Latin term that literally means to live in the presence of God, or in the face of God. Living in the presence of God, under His authority, means knowing that He is watching everything we say and do. It means living in such a way as to glorify Him, rather than ourselves. After all, He created us for His glory (see Isaiah 43:7) To live coram Deo is knowing that whatever we do, wherever we go, we are never out of the sight of our Heavenly Father. We cannot hide from Him.

To live “Coram Deo” is to understand that God is God, and we are not. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and all powerful. We no longer live just for ourselves, doing whatever we feel like. If we acknowledge Him as Sovereign, we must therefore also acknowledge that He has every right to rule over us. We do not belong to ourselves, but to Him. We offer ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice, surrendering our own will to His will for us. We do not submit to His reign over us reluctantly, but with joy and gratitude, living in a manner that brings Him glory and honor.

To live “Coram Deo” means living honestly and consistantly before God. There is consistency, unity and integrity in our lives; we are the same person at church on Sunday morning as we are going out on Saturday night, the same as we are Tuesday at work. We think and talk and act the same no matter where we are or what we are doing. We live to honor our Lord whether in or out of church, regardless of who is with us. It means doing everything we do as if we are doing it for the Lord – because we are!

Trying to separate our “Christian” life from our working life or our playing life leads to a life of inconsistency, confusion and conflict. We are either a Christian all the time, or we are “double-minded”, unstable, and lacking integrity. So many people look at Christians as hypocrites, because so many times our actions do not match our words. To live “coram Deo” is not not only talk the talk, but to walk the walk, giving God glory and honor in every part of our lives.

To live “Coram Deo” means living our lives with integrity, according to our principles, not according to the changing whims of the world around us. We are not to live for the approval and admiration of others, but for only God's approval, as He is the only One who redeemed us from our sins and gave us the gift of eternal life. Living "coram Deo" means allowing the Word of God to be our only guide, our conscience, our authority.

This idea of living to glorify and honor God is directly opposite what the world teaches. Worldly wisdom says things like, "Do whatever is right for you; do your own thing." or "You only live once so get all you can while you can." The world tells us to focus on ourselves and our own desires. The world teaches us to pursue popularity, fame, and fortune instead of Godliness. Yet God's Holy Word is clear: we are not to conform to this world, but be transformed by renewing our minds daily.

Living "Coram Deo" recognizes that there is no higher goal we can aspire to than that of offering honor to God, knowing He is worthy of our best. And when we do, we realize that there is no greater satisfaction in this life than living a life that honors God. Let this be our goal, our only ambition. Let us strive to always live lives of integrity, to bring Him honor and glory. Then, when our time on this earth is finished, we can be assured that our Heavenly Father will welcome us into heaven with the sweet words, “Well done, my child, Welcome home.”


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