Tue Jul 21-From the Inside Out

Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, which is good and acceptable and perfect.


In Romans 12, Paul is talking about total transformation that is from the inside out.  As Paul says, the change happens first through the “renewal of your mind.”  Sometimes it means rethinking our patterns and ideas about life, our neighbors and/or the ways of God.  Whether we grow up attending church or we become disciples in a moment of conversion, accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is just the beginning! It is then that the real work happens. It is not enough to just accept Jesus’ gracious offer of salvation.  We must also allow God to train us to do the right thing – and that starts with our thinking.

Certainly Paul realized that even with the best of intentions, we will stumble. Paul did too. His life bore witness to the difficulties of challenge and change for our Lord’s sake. Remember that the apostle Paul, in his former life as a Pharisee, infamously persecuted Christians before meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. Even after meeting the risen Lord, he later lamented how hard it was at times to do the right thing. In Romans 7:15, Paul wrote, “… what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”  Surely Paul knew and shared the grief of not always feeling renewed in mind and spirit. 

How many of us know and share Paul’s grief of not always knowing or living out God’s way for us today?  How many of us during COVID-19 have felt particularly challenged to change, grow, or even just to pray daily – only to feel we have missed the mark and the chance for renewal?  Or maybe you feel that so much has changed that you just want to feel some sense of normalcy. Whichever one describes your attitude, I encourage you to not just conform to this world. but to let God transform your way of thinking and doing!

By Barbara Carlson

For Pondering & Prayer

Discernment is not easy. Maybe it would get easier if we spent some time looking at our thinking processes. Do you pray at a regular time or in a special way each day?  Or maybe you are more random in your style.  Consider how frequently you invite God to connect with you. What do you think is God’s will for you for today?

Prayer: Holy One, thank you for reaching out to me, even when I struggle to know or understand your way.  Thank you for the chances to connect and to renew my mind. In all that I do, help me to always seek your truth.  Help me to courageously walk in the way that you lead. Holy Spirit, show me the way!  Amen.

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