Today I’d like to share with you some thoughts on Romans 12:1-2. I spent part of Friday evening meditating on this passage, and then as the Lord would have it, our message at church was on this very passage. I’m saying all this to tell you up front some of these thoughts are mine, and some were gleaned from the message Sunday.
Let’s start by reading the passage:
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. 2 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.
Oops…there’s a therefore in verse one, let’s see why real quick….
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”
36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Because of His riches of wisdom and knowledge, because of His judgments, because all things are of Him and through Him…..present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God.
I don’t know about you, but over the years I’ve had varying images of what it means to present my body as a living sacrifice. Many times the images in my mind included some kind of abstinence. Abstinence from sex before marriage, refraining from overindulging in alcohol, not eating that last cookie…..All good things mind you, but I learned on Sunday that these images are not exactly what the passage is talking about.
Pastor explained Sunday that the wording used here carried deeper meaning for the Jewish people. You see, as they would come to the temple to sacrifice, they didn’t just walk right up to the alter with their sacrificial animal. They were required to turn the animal over to the temple workers where the animal would be placed in a pen to be inspected. This is the image that Paul is conveying here…..Our Heavenly Father is asking us to put ourselves in that pen. He asking us to allow our hearts to be inspected by Him. The act of offering our bodies as living sacrifices is the act of willing saying, “Okay God, here it is, here is my life, inspect it. Show me the blemishes in my life.” Which can be a thousand times harder than not eating that last cookie…..
Why does He ask us for this? Because He want to transform our minds. As I studied further into verse two I wanted to know how to transform my mind so that I would not be conformed to this world. Guess what I discovered….the word used for transform there is only used 4 times in the Bible. Twice to describe Jesus’ transformation on the Mountain with Peter James and John, once in Romans, and once in 2 Corinthians to describe our transformation into the image of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Transformation of my mind is not something I can do! It is a miraculous and divine intervention! Pastor gave us a great word picture for this concept. HGTV. You know, complete makeover type shows where a crew comes in and guts your house and then puts all new shiny stuff inside. That is what the Lord wants to do in transforming our mind. He wants to remove all the old thought patterns from our mind and replace them with His thought patterns. Can you imagine someone getting an entirely new house and clinging to their old worn out sofa….because it’s comfortable! But we do that all the time don’t we? God says “Hey, this thought pattern, I know it’s comfy and familiar, but it’s not from Me, let’s change it.” And what is our typical response, “But I don’t wanna! I like my cushy thought pattern! That new thought pattern would make me uncomfortable!” Which in reality is more ridiculous than hanging onto an old sofa!
As Christians, the Lord has the RIGHT to seek inspection on our hearts and lives, and He has the RIGHT to transform our minds. He desires to transform our minds so that our focus in life is pleasing Him, not pleasing self.
I know that it is not easy, but will you join me by inviting the Lord to inspect your life? Will you open your heart and mind to hear from Him the changes He desires for you? Will you invite Him to transform your mind?
* Feel free to download/print todays Bible verses. :)