Monday, March 2, 2015

Be Transformed - March 2nd

It seems the winter weather has changed the schedules for our Transformation Series.  We will continue the series on Mental Health in NEXT WEEK’S DEVOTIONALS.  This week, let’s stay focused on transformation with some additional thoughts on Romans 12:2 and our SPIRITUAL and PHYSICAL transformation. You will find the questions from your Transformed book at the end which you can answer in the Notes pages or on the blank pages in the back of your Transformed book.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:1-2 NASB

Be Transformed
An old saying states, “The largest room in the world is the room for improvement. I don’t know that any of us would disagree.  The question is how can we improve?  Recognizing that we are body, soul and spirit, it is evident that real change requires addressing more than one area of our lives.  Our first step in this process was to focus on our spirit.  How about a little review…

The process by which God makes a man into the image of His Son is called transformation. While it is possible for a man to change his body by exercise and his mind and behavior through education and law enforcement, a man’s nature can only be changed by God. Therefore, a Christian should spend less time trying to BEHAVE and more time seeking to BE HIS. We shouldn't be so concerned about what we do as what it is within us that causes us to do it. God is desirous of altering the cause and thus the effect of sin in our lives. For the person who wants to BE and not just ACT different, God gives direction for change. 

Transformation Requires Responding To Gods Mercies
Don’t rush past these next words because they are very importantOur transformation is God’s workHe extends His grace to us in salvation.  He calls us to Himself with His love. He places us with others who are committed and molds us by affiliation with believers.  Together we hear and understand the acts of God then personally respond to those acts by opening our hearts and minds to His desire for our lives. Christianity is a personal faith response to a personal God lived out in fellowship with His church.  

Transformation Requires Sacrifice – Notice these words in Romans 12.
• Sacrifice of Flesh - "present your bodiesGod does not want only your soul and your spirit. God does not want only your prayer and thoughts. God wants to use our physical life for His kingdom.
• Sacrifice of Involvement - "a living sacrifice" -  Unlike the Jewish sacrifices which were presented dead, the picture is a life on the altar of God and thus in the service of God. You cannot give your life to Christ without giving Him your time.
• Sacrifice of the Best "holy sacrifice " - A little boy and his sister decided to play "flood".  They gathered all of their toy animals together and herded them onto the ark.  After the flood was over they remembered that Noah made a sacrifice to God.  As they sought out what they would give the little boy went back in the house and found a dirty unwanted lamb. "This is good enough for a sacrifice," he said. Any sacrifice brought to God was to be "without spot or blemish"... the very best. So it should be with our lives.  God deserves the very best.  Our leftover or affordable gifts to God bring Him little honor or glory and us little power.
• Sacrifice in the Proper Spirit - "acceptable unto God" - God is not pleased if we bring Him great amounts of something He doesn't ask for.  That which is acceptable is that which God requests and that is a sacrifice from our hearts
• Sacrifice which is Worship - "service of worship" - The word translated "service" has an interesting history. Initially the Greek word "latreia" meant to work for hire or pay.  The word came to mean to dedicate for use and finally for use by the gods. In the Bible it never means human service but always refers to service to and worship of God.  Here then is the highest place of sacrifice to God.  For real worship is the offering of one’s body and all that one does every day with itto God. Real worship is not the offering of elaborate prayers to God. Real worship is the offering of everyday life to God, seeking his changing and transforming power of every area of our lives and thus our nature.  That opens the door for transformation.

Scripture to Claim:
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.  Psalms 51:16-17

Questions and Prayer:

What Did You Hear?
What Do You Think?
What Will You Do?
Now Talk to God...

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