Daily Devotional

November 25th 2018

SUNDAY

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. —Romans 12:1,2 (MSG.)

“Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture.” This is not a call to recklessness or to the exercise liberty without consideration of responsibility. We live always on four planes: The physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual. In order to be balanced, well-rounded individuals, all of these aspects must be considered. But we must never forget that, above all else, we are spiritual beings. We are not here to accumulate wealth or to glorify ourselves. We were made to please God, to glorify our Creator. Therefore, it is the spiritual that should determine the mental, physical and emotional concerns that garner our attention. Thus, Paul is not talking about behavior, but motivation. If our motivation is conformed to the things of this world, then wrong behavior will result.

“Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture.” The question must be asked, “What exactly is Paul talking about?” The overriding thing that Paul is talking about is Sin. Conforming to sin produces terrible results in society. Conforming to sin messes up our minds and corrupts our spirits.

But there is another way. Paul points out an alternative to conforming: “Fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.” Note that he does not say, “Change your way of thinking,” as if he is suggesting that we can change ourselves; rather, he says, “Let God change your way of thinking.” Though we can’t change ourselves, we will be changed if we place ourselves in the hands of One who is able to make a change in us.

“How is this accomplished?” It is accomplished as we stay in the Word of God. John reminds us that the Word is Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One: “In the beginning, the Word was already there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning…The Word became a human being. He made His home with us. We have seen his glory. It is the glory of the one and only Son. He came from the Father. And He was full of grace and truth (John 1:1, 2, 14).”

We can’t get any better until we get deeper in the Word; we can’t get any stronger until we start feasting on the Word; we can’t go any higher until we start standing on the Word. There is power in the Word; there is wisdom in the Word; there is instruction in the Word; there is counsel in the Word; there is joy in the Word; there is hope in the Word; there is comfort in the Word; there is love in the Word; there is victory in the Word; there is transformation in the Word; there is renewal in the Word.

Prayer: Lord, as we go today, help us to make the choice to not conform to old patterns of living. Help us to, rather, be transformed by the renewing of our minds. And help us to know that our minds are renewed as we commit ourselves to Your Word. We pray this in the name of Jesus, who is our living Word. AMEN!

(We invite your comments. Feel free to share this devotion with your friends and invite them to subscribe by forwarding their email address to the Pastor at: fredjeffsmith@cox.net.)

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