O what we will do to change our image – makeup, clothing styles, behaviors, activities, medical help, etc. We will even change the rules of the game so we can justify our behavior and pretend we do not have to abide by what the real rules are. We say it is unfair when someone else imposes their rules on us.
We live in a world that has had more influence on Christians that most Christians have had on it. We see Christians engaging in divorce, sexual immorality, pornography, cheating on their taxes, lying about their actions, stealing from their employers or showing hatred towards someone of a different behavior or persuasion. It has gotten to the point that it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian.
Our influence in the world has been watered down to silence because many Christians are afraid to stand up, speak up and engage the culture about God’s rules and love. Are you having a struggle with that in your life? (Or are you unaware that you are having a struggle with influencing others for Christ in your life?)
Would you like to change your image in a way that pleases God? Paul gives us some good instruction in Romans 12:1-2.
LIVING SACRIFICES as an act of worship – v.1
In the Old Testament, sacrifices were killed. Paul is not calling us to die, but to sacrifice (kill) our old life and commit to living a new life that turns away from temptation and seeks to please God.
Worship is ascribing worth or value. You can tell what a person really worships by observing what they spend significant amounts of their money on and time doing. When we truly love God and Jesus Christ, we will not want to engage in behaviors that show disrespect for the teachings of the Bible.
When you attend worship services and Bible studies; that is worship. When you watch Christian movies or television programs or other Christian events; that is worship. When you stand up in city councils, school board meetings and speak God’s truth in a way that helps them see what policies they need to go by; that is worship. When you talk to someone to get to know them and engage in their spiritual condition; that is worship.
2. STOP the SINS of my past. – v.2
How can we call ourselves Christians when we continue to sin like evil-doers? We are holy, set apart, special, unique, sanctified, “better than” the world. We need to reflect that in how we live our lives. We don’t continue in those sins that we took for granted in our past, but have changed our behavior to reflect that Jesus has changed our life.
When you no longer engage in that habit, sin, wrong behavior; that is transformation. When you don’t go to the places where you engaged in sinful behavior in the past; that is transformation.
3. Jesus changed my HEART and MIND. – v.2
Many Christians compartmentalize their lives. They keep their business separate from their home and keep their religious life (faith in Christ) totally separated from everything else. On SONday mornings, the are good little church goers with Bible and offering in hand. SONday afternoons, they revert back to the cursing, worldly, ball watching beer drinking person they are the rest of the week. Then they wonder why their children don’t turn out better.
If our past is what got us into trouble, we don't want to continue down the same path. That involves replacing bad habits with good ones. The solution is to let Jesus come in and help you take away any desire to sin. He will not allow Satan to tempt you beyond your ability to turn away from the temptation. – I Corinthians 2:2. If Jesus hasn't changed you, then do you truly believe in Him?
When you no longer go to those places or do those things that you know are sin; that is a changed heart and mind.
4. Life I live today proves Jesus is RIGHT. – v.2
All mankind knows that there is an absolute right & wrong. Many just don’t want to live by God’s standard. God's way is always better. Older, bigger, smarter, more powerful. What God is preparing is better than what I have. To be transformed means to be changed, and transformation is taking place all around us all the time.
What examples of transformation — of any sort — come to mind?
Although we use the term spiritual transformation, we often use it casually without giving it much thought. Describe what spiritual transformation means to you.
What do you consider to be the indicators of spiritual transformation?
How can we tell if you have experienced a spiritual transformation?