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Monday, September 29, 2014

Changed in the Spirit of My Mind

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).
What is the grace of God? It is kindness from Him that I don't deserve. There is nothing I can ever do that will earn His favor. His favor is a gift. His mercy delivers me from the punishment my sin deserves, and His grace blesses me even though I am not worthy. His grace that is sufficient for my every need would not be real if Jesus Christ had not loved me enough to die for me. But He did, and because of His sacrifice, His love, mercy and grace have rescued me. 
In view of His tender mercy that forgives my sin, I choose to offer myself as a living sacrifice, and live each moment in surrender to the amazing love that saves me. I choose for my mind to be constantly renewed and molded by His grace and His power. In choosing to live a righteous life, I honor His faithful obedience to sacrifice His life for me (Ephesians 4:23-24). An obedient heart is one that chooses to sacrifice self out of love and commitment. He was obedient to death on a cross. No sacrifice of mine can ever be as great as His sacrifice.
Be renewed in the spirit of your mind!” Paul declares to the Ephesians (Ephesians 4:23, KJV). “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind!” He instructs the Romans (Romans 12:2, NIV). This instruction is life-changing. To be renewed and changed by Him is an obedient decision that I make. In return He brings His power to transform and renew my thoughts and my desires. It is my choice to “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” Ephesians 4:24, NIV). It is my decision “to make every effort to add to my faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love (2 Peter 1:5-7, NIV). His promise is that if I constantly add these things to my life and if I am continually renewed in the “spirit of my mind”, I shall be effective in all that I do for Him (2 Peter 1:8).

The Message reveals Paul's message in 2 Peter: 1:5-8 in this way. “So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.”

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