A former pastor of mine spoke once about being in a testimony meeting in Europe where several people spoke of what Christ had saved them from. There were former drug dealers, prostitutes, and sinners of about every stripe. Finally, one little older lady stood up and noted how all these folks were saved out of lives of deep sin and she said she didn’t have that kind of a testimony but that she thanked God she had been saved just the same from sin and then she said when she did accept Christ that “Jesus gave me such a jerk I’ve been out of joint with the world ever since !”
Such is the deal with Romans 12:1-2. It’s a favorite place in this great book (though fav’s are hard to pick here) and it starts a clear division in the book moving from the doctrinal to the practical. Now Paul is telling how to do what we have been taught. So he begins with a passionate plea to give ourselves entirely to God on the basis that God has given us so much in the first place: “I beseech you therefore brethren BY THE MERCIES OF GOD that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.” Love ought always to spur us on to live for Christ since He died for us and has given to us so very much (salvation, eternal life, prayer, the Bible, the indwelling Spirit, our church, physical blessings, etc.).
But then verse two says, “AND be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Most Christians would rather fit in to this old world but God tells us not to, but instead to opt for becoming more like Him, in short, more godly than worldly ! Why? Well, for one God commands that of us and also one of the perks of spiritual transformation is the ability to understand God’s will. But this “renewing” is key. If you have ever heard a message on this passage you may know that the word looks like the english word metamorphosis. I recall as a boy finding a caterpillar for science class and putting it in a jar to watch it start and finish the process of changing into a butterfly ! That’s the deal here. As we renew our mind by reading and meditating on the Scriptures we are steadily transformed to be more like Jesus Christ ! So the verse suggests we have some work to do and when we start, frankly, we’re about as “pretty” as a caterpillar but we become much more beautiful as we become more like Him ! So its a new day, time to help the process along by doing my part and getting my nose in the Book and God WILL take that old mind and refurbish it to think more in tune with His. And if you find it a little hard at times and you want to skip a day, just remember, He loves you incredibly !!