Conformed or Transformed!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer 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.”
People worship in many different styles and forms. Some love to raise their hands when singing choruses, while others feel very uncomfortable with that style. What is the proper form of worship? According to this passage, Peter indicates that it is neither. It is death to self that is the true spiritual act of worship.
I recall a humorous story about a preacher who was preaching his lungs out. He urged the people to get on the gospel bus before it was too late. He preached hellfire and brimstone so powerfully that some of the people thought he had been born and raised there. He screamed out that he wanted to see everyone on the gospel bus headed for glory.
He called for the hands of all those who would be with him on the way to the Promised Land. Everyone raised their hand except one young boy about ten years of age. Finally the preacher came back and stood directly in front of the boy and demanded if he was going with them to heaven or not? The boy replied that he was, but he had no idea that the bus was leaving right after the service!
We can chuckle about such incidents, but what we see and what Scripture says, are so often very far apart. Peter says we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices. That means we continue to live, but we live a sacrificial life for Christ. That means a continuous dying to self in order to live for Him. It is spiritual, and holy, and it is what pleases God. That is what worship is all about. We do it in the morning, at noon, or in the middle of the night. But as often as we yield ourselves to God, we are involved in worship.
Peter gives us a warning in today’s Scripture. He says that we are not to be conformed to this world’s pattern. If we are not extremely careful, that is exactly what will happen. From time to time I watch emergency medical programs on T.V.
In certain head injuries, the brain swells. It is possible for the swelling to become so pronounced that it affects the shape of the skull. The only remedy is brain surgery. The surgeon removes a piece of the skull. When this is done you can see that the soft brain tissue has pressed against the skull and leaves indentations in it.
The bone has become conformed by the slow, steady pressure exerted upon it. If we stay close to the world, we are always in danger of being distorted and deformed from what is spiritually normal, to what is spiritually abnormal.
Peter, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gives the solution. Are you ready for it? He says we are to be transformed! Can you picture that? BAM!!
We are to have a new character and an entirely new way of behaving—which is only possible by the renewing of our mind. That is achieved by a new focus and direction of our thought process. It means spending time in God’s Word and making Jesus the Lord of our life. It does not require intelligence—but obedience.
Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.
— Pastor Cecil
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