Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God— this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer 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.”
As we’ve seen over the past week, the kind of change Paul talks about means we’ve got to be intentional. Take a moment and think about your life. Think of where you’ll be a year from now. Granted, there are things out of our control, and Lord willing, we will be here a year from now. But, the point I want you to grasp, is that we will be changed—intentionally or unintentionally. Think about it. Everything we face each day has an effect on us. We’re going to be shaped by what we experience—our thoughts, feelings, habits, what we do with our time, the kind of shows we watch, the music we listen to, the books we read—all of it shapes us into the person we’re going to be.
Rather than sitting back and letting change happen to us, Paul urges us to make a choice. We can choose, by God’s grace, to intentionally form our spirit into one that looks like that of Christ! This is what Paul urges us to do.
Notice to that Paul is “urging” us. The word for urge, “parakaleo”, is an interesting one. It means “to come alongside.” It’s meant to be an encouragement. What I like about it is that it implies community—coming alongside one another. God has given us the Church, the body of Christ, to walk alongside one another and spur each other on. Think about what this means for us; it’s huge! We have a God who has poured His mercy out on us who has spoken to us about His will—His good pleasing and perfect will—and He’s given us like-minded people to walk alongside us.
So what do we do with this? Our role is to make space for transformation in our hearts. We do this through being intentional and disciplined, training our inner self in the ways of Christ. The question for us is…will we do our part?
The answer for us needs to be yes! “Yes” to whatever the Lord wants to do. We need to be willing to lean in and live decided. Determine to do what it takes to not conform to the patterns of this world and actively work to renew our minds in Christ Jesus.
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest. Romans 8-16 For You: For reading, for feeding (God’s Word For You – Romans Series Book 2, Keller, Timothy.