There are people who will never hear the Gospel message if we do not reach out to them. These people are not going to show up in church services but do interact with us on a daily basis. They could be a person we bump into at the convenience store, while out taking a walk, or even the person bringing our mail.
We will not touch the world around us following our own plan. This is why it is so critical for us to identify the plan of God and pursue it. In a very real sense, we are carrying other people’s miracles inside of us that they will never receive if you and I do not find the plan of God for our lives.
1 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.
2 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.
These verses provide keys to finding the will of God for our lives. It all begins with becoming a living sacrifice which is where many Christians fail. We live in a world focused on self and it is easy to allow ourselves to be influenced. A person who has become a living sacrifice is a person who crucifies their “self” nature.
Old timers used to talk about “dying to self”. We still hear this phrase at times but it mostly has disappeared in the modern church. Paul was not talking just to ministers or heads of large ministries in regards to becoming a living sacrifice.
To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The book of Romans was written to “all that be in Rome”. Paul’s intended audience was every Christian in the city. His message is just as relevant today for every Christian as it was for those who originally received the letter. This includes his exhortation to become living sacrifices!
People become uncomfortable when ministers start to discuss “dying to self”. I understand this but is it unreasonable to think that if Jesus died for us we should in turn be willing to “die” for Him?
Paul tells us that it is our “reasonable service” to present our bodies as living sacrifices. Some translations expound on this and call it our reasonable Christian duty. Every Christian should be a living sacrifice but how many of us are willing to pay the price to become one?
And be not conformed to this world…
This is a big statement in a culture that is focused on self. Self does not want to be criticized or rejected. It will always seek recognition which will require conformance to the world around us.
How many people at our workplaces know we attend church? Do our lives reflect Jesus or are we just another coworker going through the routine like everyone else around us?
The number of Christians who seem to have allowed themselves to become conformed to the world around them outnumber those who have not. This is why we are not seeing God’s power manifesting in greater measures.
I hear people talk about desiring revival and an awakening. This will not happen if we continue to allow ourselves to be conformed by the world. Paul tells us that we protect ourselves from this by becoming transformed by God’s Word.
…be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The word “transform” was translated from metamorphoo. This Greek word is also translated “metamorphosis”. It depicts the process of a caterpillar entering the cocoon and emerging as a beautiful butterfly. If we want to be transformed and protected from being conformed by the world around us, we will have to enter into the “cocoon” of God’s Word and stay there until it transforms us into the person God has planned for us to be.
Our self nature will seek recognition. The concept of sitting out of view meditating on Scripture for hours on end is not easy. It will require us to pay a price. This price will be in time and it will also mean being willing to miss our favorite television program or sporting event.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
The Word of God is our number one tool to be used in our pursuit of mind renewal. It contains God’s thoughts and values. We will never be renewed in our minds until the Word becomes revelation to us.
A person who does not know God’s Word is conformed to the world around them. There are no exceptions. It is not possible to not be affected and pressed into the mold of the world without a deep foundation in the Word of God.
I acknowledge that it will take time to develop in revelation knowledge. This will require us to pay a price in time. We can choose to continue living under the guilt and condemnation of the world or we can choose to follow God’s instructions to Joshua. God has left the choice with us and will not force us to pursue Him.
The vast majority of Christians today live in defeat. We suffer the same sickness, experience the same worry, and are depressed just like our unsaved neighbors. This will not change until we make the quality decision to immerse ourselves in Scripture “day and night”.
…that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The word “prove” depicts a manifestation in the physical realm. If we will pay the price required to meditate in the Word of God; we will see the “good, and acceptable, and perfect, will” manifested in our lives!
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