40 Days Following Jesus: Day 23
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform 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. Romans 12:1, 2 (NIV)
Have you ever put a picture of yourself on the refrigerator to motivate you to lose weight or to keep off the weight you lost? Every time you go to that rectangular cold box you see that image and you have a choice: “I can eat something healthy and improve.” Or, “I can eat something that I want to eat and remain the same or go back to what I came from.”
If you had already lost the weight, that picture is a reminder of the effort it took to get you where you are now. You don’t want to waste all those days. You don’t want to throw away the pain of the extra exercise or the discipline of saying “no” to what would have tasted really good.
In light of where you have come from you make a choice to change from those habits and choose to discipline yourself one more time as you grab that plumb instead of the piece of pie your friend “accidentally” left.
When we look at the picture of ourselves before we met Jesus, we were in “bad shape.” We couldn’t meet the standard that God had set to have a relationship with Him. We could try, but every time we just fail with each attempt.
Then we look at ourselves after our encounter with Jesus’ mercy. We have a new life. All the excess baggage we carried around like guilt, condemnation, imperfection, anger, pride, greed, and jealousy are now a part of that “used to be” photo on the refrigerator. And all this is because God, in His mercy, sent Jesus to do for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves.
In light of God’s mercy we respond like the dieter who looks at the old pic of themselves and how far they have come. We look at ourselves spiritually and we see how much Jesus has done for us. All that He did that we couldn’t do. Living the perfect life. Fulfilling a law that only pointed out our inadequacies. Paying a fine that we owed for our sin by giving his life as the payment. Then rising again and inviting us to participate in this new life with Him at no cost to us. We see where Jesus has brought us to and what He’s brought us from. It’s easier the. to be disciplined when that girl walks by, or that opportunity comes to serve someone. It’s not as hard to “offer our bodies” as an act of worship.
It becomes easier to honor God with my conversations. It isn’t as difficult to say no to things I know I shouldn’t do.
Why? Because I see it all in view of God’s mercy of where He has brought me.
Then it becomes a lot easier to not adopt the worlds thinking. I find myself changing the way I think. It all comes into alignment when I place it in the shadow of God’s mercy for me.
God’s wi will always find a life like this.
So let me ask you? Do you see where God has brought you from whenever you face a decision to conform to this world or to be disciplined and “offer your body” as an offering?
Do you think about what God’s mercy has done for you before you chose to do something He isn’t pleased with?
Only when we align our eves by remembering God’s mercy will we be able to be transformed into Jesus likeness and not conformed to this world.
My next step:
Remember what God has saved me from before I chose to make a decision that would reflect who I used to be before I met Jesus.