Daily Readings – Number 1-3, Romans 12
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
This might be the single most important passage in the entire Bible when it comes to our role as marketplace missionaries.
There are so many people we have the opportunity to minister to in our normal day to day walk if we are willing to embrace God’s good, pleasing and perfect will in our lives. When we truly offer ourselves up as a living sacrifice, very quickly we see these opportunities pop up wherever we work, in our living rooms, at the coffee shop, etc. The harvest is plentiful!
But conforming to this world…that is a desire that is always there and powerful indeed! That is the age old question: How do we stay ‘in the world’ so that we can have a maximum impact without becoming ‘of the world’ and conforming to what society tells us we are supposed to chase after?
The idols are everywhere and they long to be worshipped. Being transformed by the renewing of our mind sounds fantastic, but how do we do it?
One of the reasons that I love Romans 12 is that Paul goes on to tackle the “how” in beautiful brevity. Paul is not long winded in his advice on what a transformed mind looks like. This entire passage is so good that I included all of it today. It is worth reading over and over again throughout the coming weeks to truly internalize it.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Our hearts and minds are transformed by love. They are transformed by focusing entirely on loving others, serving others, supporting others, and rejoicing with others. Conforming to this world pushes us in the opposite direction.
That passage contains so many simple and direct calls to action.
If you want to see true transformation in your life and a renewing of your spirit, try this simple action step for the next 30 days. Save this passage on your phone where you can access it with a single click. (If you are not positive how to do this ask a technologically savvy friend) Every time you grab your phone out of habit for any reason, read this passage first. Don’t go to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, E-mail, etc. Make a decision to replace your normal habit with a simple one minute beautiful reminder of what we are called to live out as Christ followers.
Ask God in that moment, which action step Paul laid out could you work on most today. For a lot of us, we will end up reading this passage 50+ times that first day!
If you form this habit of constantly reminding yourself, all day long, to live a life focused on loving God and loving others instead of worshipping the false idols our society places in front of us, you really will see a renewing of your mind and the type of transformation that God has promised us!
Thought to ponder
On top of the cell phone idea, what other consistent triggers throughout my day could I use to remind me to allow God to renew my mind throughout the day?
As always, thank your for all of your comments, shares, etc. They are a constant encouragement and mean a lot to me! Also, we see on average an additional 20 visits to a specific post per share on Facebook. So if you have ever wondered if any of your friends actually take the time to read what you post, they do! If you think this could be an encouragement to others, don’t be afraid to share!