Have you ever changed your mind about something? What caused you to change your mind?
The book of Romans is all about how much God loves us. He loves us so much that he would do everything in his power to save us. Even when we were sinners that didn’t love God, he loved us and sent Jesus to give his life for us and to us.
The first eleven chapter of Romans is all about God’s great love and mercy towards us. God gives his righteousness to us. He takes away our sin. He connects us to Jesus. He makes us alive inside. He rescues us from having to keep the law in order to be saved. He removes all our guilt. He gives us the Holy Spirit. He promises us complete victory. And he does it all for anyone who would cry out to him. Why? Because he is a great and merciful God.
And now, here in Romans chapter 12, Paul starts to talk about how we should respond to God’s great love. Read these first two verses of chapter 12 and see if you can hear what we are asked to do:
Romans 12:1-2. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Paul tells us to be “living sacrifices” that “renew our minds.”
What in the world does that mean?
Well, in the Old Testament a sacrifice was an animal that gave its life to cover the sins of the people. But that animal didn’t have a choice did it? It didn’t think about what was happening or use its mind to decide to care about the sinful people.
But we have a choice. We can think about the “mercies of God,” and then we can stop thinking about ourselves and think about others instead.
So what do you think about all day? Or an even better question might be WHO do you think about all day? If we’re honest we would admit that we usually just think about ourselves. What do I want to do? Give me that. Do this for me. I’m hungry. I’m bored. I’m in charge.
But God doesn’t want us to think that way. He wants us to change our minds. And when we change how we think, we can change what we do. When we stop thinking only of ourselves then we can be kinder, and more caring, and more like Jesus.
But the most important part is to start by thinking about God and his love and mercy. You can’t start by trying really hard to be nicer and kinder – that only leads to being proud if you are, and sad if you aren’t. Instead think about how kind God is to you. Think about how being connected to Jesus means you already have everything you need from God. And then let that thought of God’s great love for you in Jesus become how you think about others too. And that’s how you can be a living sacrifice for him.
Because of Jesus we have receive all the mercies of God.
With Jesus we can be a living sacrifice with a renewed mind.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Make a plan as a family for how you can keep the mercies of God in front of you each day. Obviously you can read a blog like this one together or sing songs of God’s love together. As long as you keep focused on Jesus and the cross it will renew the mind over time.
And here’s a fun song to sing and dance to:
Change how I think. I want to think about God and others before thinking of myself. Thank you for giving me all God’s mercy so that even when I fail you still love me no matter what.
To see today’s post from the TLIC Daily blog –> Click Here