“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
-Through these transitional verses, apostle Paul introduces the attitude that Christians should have apart from the world in which we live. The world presents the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life that do not come from the Father (1 John 2:16). This is an appeal to Christians not to let sin reign in our mortal body to obey its lusts and present the members of our bodies to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but to present ourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and our members as instruments of righteousness to God (Romans 6:12-13). It is a call to action to be alive from the dead by dying to self and living for God. As living sacrifices, we submit our lives to the power of Christ’s death and resurrection, knowing that if we believe in Him, we died with Him and have been raised to new life in Him through His mercy and grace. As we confess that we have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer us who live, but Christ lives in us, and the life which we now live in the flesh we live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and delivered Himself up for us (Galatians 2:20). Paul’s words are a call to action to make a decisive commitment to take action. It is the will of God that we live holy lives since God Himself is Holy. Through repentance and sanctification, we are renewing in the mind and die to sin more and more until we are perfected in glory. The Holy Spirit takes charge of this process as He reveals the perfect will of God in our lives and transforms us daily into the likeness of God, in knowledge, righteousness, holiness, love and peace.
Abba Father, we thank You for giving us the ability to see this new week in perfect peace. Thank You that it is Your intent for us to walk in peace and wholeness, help us to always do Your will. You are Holy Lord, forgive us all our sins and sanctify us by the washing of Your precious blood. Guide us in Your wisdom Lord to always seek the things above which are eternal and not things below which only comprise of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, and do not come from You Father. Grant us the grace Holy Spirit to walk in love and be in the same mind as Christ Jesus. Grant us the grace to be Spiritually-minded, which produces much fruit yielding life and peace through You Christ Jesus. May Your hand of mercy touch all those who are sick in hospital and at home for by Your stripes we were healed. May You hope and strength encourage them and all those who have lost hope in life for You promised in Your Word that You will never leave us nor forsake us. Our Father who at in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgiven those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”
-To be renewed in the mind is also to trust in the Lord wholeheartedly. When the Lord delivered the Israelites from the land of Egypt, they grumbled and complained. The complained for lack of food and water, and the Lord gave them manna from heaven, quails and water from a rock. They were lost in the wilderness and the Lord led them by a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. God became their eternal Rock but they failed to trust in Him. As the Lord led them to the promised land they were afraid of the Amorites. In Deuteronomy 1:30-36 we see that, “The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go. When the Lord heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore: “No one from this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your ancestors, except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.”” The Lord was their eternal Rock but the Israelites did not trust in Him. When He gave them an opportunity to enter into the promised land, they sent twelve spies from each tribe because they feared the Amorites. The spies saw the land was good but gave a bad report apart from Caleb and Joshua, who obtained favor from the Lord and they inherited the promised land with their descendants. The Lord calls us to trust in Him despite the situation we are going through that seems like the fierce Amorites. He is our eternal Rock and Salvation, and He will keep us in perfect peace if we trust in Him.
Your grace is sufficient for us Abba Father, we put all our trust in You. Thank You for satisfying our hearts and minds with Your peace. Thank You for the far You have brought us and the far You are carrying us Your children. Like Caleb and Joshua, help us to realize the eternal inheritance that You have given us with our descendants, that we may find comfort and strength in Your perfect peace. Only You are the Rock of our salvation, our Almighty Father, our Refuge and Strength, we put all our trust in You. Even in the middle of the storm You are there with us Jesus, thank You for loving us. You will never leave us nor forsake us, thank You for Your gift of salvation to us and our entire generations. Renew our minds dear Jesus and establish our faith in You. Remember many among us who do not know You and worship foreign gods, that cannot speak or hear, mounded by human hands. Bestow unto them the gift of salvation loving Father. Jesus You are the only door to eternal life, let all the people and the nations trust in You. May Your peace that surpasses all understanding dwell in our hearts and minds through You Christ Jesus. Amen
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
-King David after going after Uriah’s wife and fell into the sin of adultery, he repented. He acknowledged that God is the Creator and is able to recreate his heart from his fallen nature of sin. Since the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, it draws us into sin. As we know, Mark 7:21-23 tells us that, “from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man”. Like David who fell into sin knowing very well that Bathsheba is a married woman, we too in our own unique ways fall into sin and need to repent and ask God to renew our minds. Sin is birthed in the mind and conceived in the heart. We are called to meditate on the word of God day and night that we may do according to what is written in it, so that we may prosper and have good success (Joshua 1:8-9). Through feeding on the word of God, praising and giving thanks, our spirits are renewed and our hearts refreshed and made a new that we may discover and realize the true purpose of God in our lives.
This is the day that You have made Lord, we rejoice and are glad in it. Thank You for Your mercy and grace upon our lives. Lord You are good and Your mercies endures forever. Lord we come before You as our Father and Friend, and most importantly as our righteousness Judge. Forgive us for all our righteousness and cleanse us with Your precious blood. Your blood speaks better things than that of Abel, wash us, our families members and entire bloodline with Your blood, so that anything that may cause a curse or delay in our lives is broken right now in Your name Jesus. Through Your sacrifice on the cross You have broken every chain that may affect us, our families, children, grandchildren and our nation. Cover us all with Your precious blood and deliver us from every accusation that the devil has against us. Cover us with Your pinions and Your hedge of fire Holy Spirit, we humbly ask You. We belong to You Jesus Christ, and rest upon You the Rock of our salvation that we may find rest for our souls and favor in You and among men. You are the bread of life, fill our hearts, minds and souls with Your wisdom. Teach us Your precepts and direct us always in the way we should go. You are the light of our salvation Jesus, establish the work of our hands and prosper us in all our ways. All glory, honor, power, praise, blessings and salvation belongs to You Lord, now and forever. Amen
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
-As we discussed yesterday, meditation on the word of God is key for renewal of the mind. Here apostle Paul draws our attention to comprehensive exhortation that are founded on Christ. He exhorts us to fix our thoughts on what is true denying all falsehood and hypocrisy. Jesus referred to the Pharisees as hypocrites and brood of vipers, for they heard the word of God but it had no effect on them. He gave the parable of the sower to describe that our hearts should always be ready to receive His word so that we can bear fruit, some thirty fold, other sixty and a hundred fold. To think about things that are pure and chaste, refraining from any obscene language and action. To be renewed in the mind, we are also called to focus on the things which are lovely and founded on love. If we are called to love like Christ, then we should realize that “love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). We are also exhorted to think of the things which are honorable, admirable, respectable and praiseworthy, like the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31.
We look to You Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, transform our hearts and minds so that we may be like You our King of kings. Give us hearts of flesh so that we may receive Your word of truth and bear much fruit according to Your will. We cast our eyes on You Jesus, transform us, our children, churches, leaders, societies and nation according to Your divine will. Only You are able Lord, only You are righteous, only You are our Savior and King, transform us to Your image so that we may meditate on those things which are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, praiseworthy and give a good report. Give us the grace to love You and our neighbors as ourselves with pure hearts. We look to You Holy Spirit, our Helper and Comforter, be our ever present help in our time of need. Nothing is impossible with You Lord our God, fight for us and grant us victory in all things. We cast our burdens and cares unto You Jesus for You care for us. We believe that all things work together for good to those who love You Lord and are called according to Your purpose, we praise Your holy name and lift You high. Help us to receive Your kingdom like little children, that we may enter and dwell with You forever. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forevermore. Amen
““When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
-The parable of the prodigal son describes the process of renewal of the mind. He went astray with prodigal living, wasted his inheritance and ended up feeding with swine’s. When he came to his senses, he made a decision to go back to his father. Renewal of the mind begins when one comes to his/her senses and decides to go back to God our Father through repentance. After making up his mind, he took action and went back to his father as each one of us is called to carry his/her cross and follow Jesus. The prodigal son did not consider himself as a son but a servant, humbled himself and asked for forgiveness. Repentance requires that we go back to the Father with sincere hearts and ask for forgiveness, and our Heavenly Father who is full of compassion and love will forgive us and transform our lives.
Renewal of the mind proposes that our minds are made new in Christ Jesus. The process of renewal of the mind begins with decision making, where a person chooses to change. To change in thinking, speech, character and behavior to be like Christ, holding fast love. It is through this process that we are transformed and become Christlike. Isaiah 11:2 tells us that, “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD”. It is through the indwelling and infilling of the Holy Spirit that our minds are renewed and we are able to realize the good, perfect and acceptable will of the Father through Christ Jesus. Since our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, we are called to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. If then we focus on the things above which are spiritual in nature and shun away from fleshly lusts. As we know, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). Like David and the prodigal son, we come boldly to God’s throne of grace with repentant hearts where we find mercy and grace to help us in our time of need. After making that decision to follow Christ wholeheartedly and let His reign in our mortal bodies, we make Him the Rock of our salvation and He takes over our lives. If we acknowledge that it is no longer us who live but Christ who lives in us, then we submit all our desires and intensions to His perfect will and His joy, love and peace takes over our hearts and minds. We then meditate on the word of God which presents the things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, praiseworthy and those that give a good report. As we continually dwell in the presence of the Lord with meditation, praise, prayer and thanksgiving, we find hope of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
Thank You Jesus for journeying with us throughout this week. We praise You Lord at all times, for You are good and Your mercies endures forever. We will constantly speak of Your praises Lord and boast only in You. We will tell of Your greatness and exalt Your name forever. We boldly come to Your throne of grace dear Jesus that we may find mercy and grace to help us at our time of need. Give us the grace to forgive all those who have offended us and grant us peace and love with one another. Forgive us all trespasses and cover us with Your precious blood. Give us the grace to carry our own crosses and follow You. Renew our minds Lord and help us to dwell in Your presence forever. We humbly invite You Holy Spirit to reign in our hearts and minds that we may realize Your good, pleasing and perfect will. Reign in our families that we may love one another as You bind us together with codes that cannot be broken. Reign in our businesses and work places, that we may work as if we are working for You Lord, and recognize You as our only Helper and Provider. Reign in our relationships and interactions that we may represent Your true nature through our thoughts, speech and actions. Reign in our churches so that only Your true word may be preached and many will come to You. Reign in our nation that we may only be led by You and realize exponential economic growth. Help us Holy Spirit to meditate on Your word day and night and be careful to observe all the things written in it, that You may prosper us and give us good success. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forevermore. Amen