“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
Today is January 3, 2011, the third day of the new year and the resolutions are fresh in our minds. The need to express our resolve, commitment to action, is generally driven by recognition of a failing, obstacle or shortcoming that we wish to overcome. Christians of every make and model would be well-served to heed the apostle Paul’s urging in the above scripture. We are asked to resolve, “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Is that asking too much of believers in the new year?
It is difficult to offer ourselves when we are conformed to this world, when we behave in a socially acceptable or expected way, and not a godly way. One of the shortcomings of the idea of majority rule is the constant pressure to conform. Christian discipleship is based on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on adherence to a belief or a creed or a man. “If any man come to Me (Jesus) and hate not the world, he cannot be My disciple.” There is no fussing, arguing or compulsion, but simply and directly—If you would be (want to be) My disciple, you must be devoted to Me, this is your reasonable service.
Webster, the dictionary guy, defines transformed as a verb; a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance. As we begin the year of 2011, many have seen the cross and profess a belief in its power, but not all have come to the cross. When you come to the cross, it is a profound experience that transforms people’s lives forever. If you can change what you think, the renewing of your mind, you can change what you do. The cross, changes us and others, but you must come to it, it will not come to you. If you don’t change there will be no change.
An honest review of 2010 will clearly show that God, by His mercy, has done more for us than we deserve. This year resolve to do more for Him, offer yourself not so much for you, but for the benefit of others. Ask God to help you to do what you have been charged to do in this life. As the old rhythm and blues song suggests; “If you want a do right man you have to be a do right woman and if you want a do right woman you have to be a do right man.” The same holds true for God, if you want Him to do right by you, you have to do right by Him.
2011 provides an opportunity for each of us to experience the transforming power of God’s grace should we be willing to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice devoted to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Consequently, we discover we are bringing the process of one thing into accord with another, allowing ourselves to toss aside the annual ritual of resolution-making. Then and only then, we “may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Let go of the world and let God in 2011. Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- Changed From The Inside Out (pastorpaulvbsblog.blogspot.com)
- Christ into Christianity: Essential Self-Giving (queeringthechurch.wordpress.com)