Romans 12:1-3 Amplified Bible
12 [a]Therefore I urge you, [b]brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be [c]transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].
3 For by the grace [of God] given to me I say to everyone of you not to think more highly of himself [and of his importance and ability] than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has apportioned to each a degree of faith [and a purpose designed for service].
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! Amen.
One of the most precious things a person can be given by God is a heavenly mindset, a mindset formed by the cross, a mindset that sees earthly reality in view of Scriptural truths.
Romans 12:2 teaches: “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.”
During seasons of Lent, when we encounter the living Christ through Scripture, and Prayer, Devotions, Sermons and Service, our minds need to be opened to being changed and transformed as when we first come to know Savior Christ.
The more and harder we seek after Him, the greater the transformation we see, we will gradually come to experience within the thoughts of our minds.
We need begin an unplanned approach, with the goal of coming to the end of ourselves, then steadily ask for a bit more of God’s Spirit to come and change us, to conform us to spiritual realities rather than the principles of the world.
Here are some suggested ways we can prayerfully expect to see, feel our minds being subtly, utterly, transformed into greater and greater union with Christ.
What Matters Is What Will Last into Eternity
The things of this earth will be seen as finite, temporary and transient.
There is surely goodness to enjoy on this earth.
But what matters is the spiritual work of God in us, and that spiritual work we participate in mission and ministry and acts of aid and service with others.
His Suffering for Us becomes Our Most Precious Thought
The reality that God came in flesh to suffer on the cross for our sins becomes precious beyond comparison.
We revere this truth and treat it as holy.
Our Savior has become so precious to us we can hardly bear the thought of Him hanging on the tree for us.
We treasure His sacrifice deeply.
His Work in This World Is Our Priority
Jesus has given the church a mission: to make disciples of Jesus around the world.
His work of doing that, at home and abroad, takes deep roots in our hearts.
He loves His gospel, and we love His gospel.
We want to do our part to see His gospel shared and to see it shine around the world — no matter where we live and what our daily calling.
The Person and Character of Jesus Is Our Loveliest Treasure
Jesus is held up as our priceless treasure.
When we come to know Him better, to take in His character, to learn about His truth and His ways in the Scriptures, to behold His grace in our lives, we realize that we are all treated impeccably by the perfect One of all time and all eternity.
Jesus becomes our richest prize, our first and only singular aim and goal.
God’s Goodness Is Never in Question
We balk at the idea of God’s goodness being in question, when He is the One who bore with all of our failures, all of our rebellion, all of our sinfulness and still — in His immeasurable kindness — offered salvation to the world.
What kind of God is this?
We cannot and will not come to entertain the thought of Him not being always considered the good God He is, was, and forever will be.
The Salvation That God Offers Is Unfathomably Good
Evil is having its day.
The world and worldly values around us threaten to pull us in on all sides.
By contrast, the things of the Lord and of the Scriptures are pure and holy and righteous.
We come to love the righteousness that has been revealed to us.
Salvation into the things and ways of the Lord is an unfathomable reality — one that we will never fully grasp for all of eternity.
We will glorify, praise God always for the greatest gift He has ever given to us.
Sin becomes Utterly Undesirable
When we are thinking and focusing precious thoughts about Jesus, the sinful ways of our hearts and natures fall completely out of favor with us.
In fact, our ways of rebellion, the sin which has seeped into our pockets as we walk through the world, the fallen ideas that have passed through our ears, all come to be undesirable to us.
God shows them to us for what they are, and we want to abandon evil ways — whatever they are — and not allow them to take root within us.
God hates sin, and so do we; that becomes our true heart’s desire.
There Is Accountability before God for Everything That We Do
Because we know that God hates sin, we take seriously that we will stand before God for all that we think, say, and do in His world.
All of our wrongdoing will be covered by His grace.
But He wants relationships of truth with us.
So, we will stand before Him for our doings, whether good or bad.
I want there to be so much goodness, so little badness when I stand before Jesus.
The greatest words that I so want to hear are “well done, good and faithful servant.”
We take seriously everything we do when we are thinking precious thoughts of a Savior who died to remove our sins from us.
All of Life Is Lived by the Rule of Grace
Grace is the rule by which we live our lives.
Jesus loves His gospel of grace.
He loves that He offers us forgiveness as far as the east is from the west.
He loves that He has won a people to Himself.
When we come before Him with our sins, He welcomes us and washes us with his blood.
And He does that by His incredible grace that we can never exhaust.
It is truly amazing grace.
Each one of us is a small picture of His gospel, when He looks at us who believe.
We don’t fear sin because there is no punishment.
Rather, we live by His cleansing grace, and honor it highly just as He does.
To Fear the Lord Is Easy because God Is Great in Our Eyes
When we are thinking precious thoughts about the goodness and greatness of Jesus, we do not question whether or not God is to be feared.
He is the great One.
We possess a holy disposition before the great God of our souls.
Our hearts bow because God is very high.
Our hearts yearn for His glorification.
Our minds know that He is exalted and His thoughts and ways are not ours.
We stand apart from Him and know that He is to be magnified.
The Lordship of Christ Is Longed for So That We Can Reflect Jesus
Jesus is the Lord — and we are so grateful that He is.
We long for Him to lead and guide us in the ways of truth.
We long to follow Scriptural patterns of goodness.
We fully long to walk the straight and narrow path that brings holiness and righteousness to our days.
In short, we yearn for Jesus Christ to be the Lord of our lives.
We don’t want to lead but want to submit to His control.
The Care and Comfort of Jesus Exceeds Our Desires
When we think highly of Jesus, we value our relationship with Him very highly.
We draw near to Him, and He draws near to us.
So, when we reach out to Him for help and comfort, His care for us exceeds our desires.
We feel enveloped by His comfort and love.
The fact that the holy God of the universe would pour His love into our hearts is beautiful beyond description.
We thank Him greatly and welcome all that He gives and brings to us, as He is the vine and we are the branches.
We Have Contentment Based on Our Relationship with Jesus
Because the things of this earth matter less and less to us, we are transformed into a spirit of contentment.
We know that there is nothing we can gain that is of any value but Jesus Christ Himself.
We know that it is good to know God.
So, we can let possessions and values of this earth go.
We Are Willing to Be Called into Service of God, However He Wills
When Jesus is our highest prize, we wait upon Him to see if He might call us into His service.
We are honored so highly if He allows us to serve Him in any way.
And we leave open the possibility that He might call any one of us at any time to take His gospel to a lost world.
Turn the Fullness of Your Thoughts Upon Jesus
Romans 12:1-3 The Message
Place Your Life Before God
12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
3 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
My friends, let us practice thinking more precious thoughts about Savior Jesus.
Let us practice becoming ever more separate from this world, and practice being ever more, upper-most clinging to the Way, Truth, Life of our Savior.
Let us care about spiritual realities more than earthy realities.
Let us become more and more transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Let us make a greater effort, practice of daily approving of what is good and great according to the Lord, and seek Him — draw near to Him — so that He and His gospel, His Resurrection, alone might be so very highest in our sights.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Father, teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your Holy Spirit lead me on level ground. I see your faithfulness and goodness in what you have done for me throughout my life. I think about these things, and I thirst for you. Let me hear of your unfailing love every morning and every night, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Keep me on firm footing for the glory of your name. Shift, transform, my thoughts away from the world and unto you alone.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.