Posted by: pastortomvabeach | November 14, 2012

Thought for the Week November 18, 2012

I don’t know if you noticed but I think that the message about living a lifestyle of worship dovetailed very well with the previous message about standing in the gap in prayer. The reason I say so is that being a worshiper at heart is the catalyst that moves me to being serious about prayer and passionate about interceding for others (standing in the gap). If worship is just an exercise I attend each week, then prayer will only be a ritual before meals or at bedtime. Do you see how this fits together?

I was thinking yesterday about this idea of transformation in Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…, and the DNA illustration come to me again. Remember, the word “transformed” is from the same Greek word that gives us the word “metamorphosis”. In metamorphosis a caterpillar is “transformed” into a butterfly. Why does that happen? Because the DNA inside that caterpillar is actually a butterfly. The pretty part is on the inside and eventually as metamorphosis happens the animal is transformed from something most of us think is ugly into one of God’s most beautiful creatures.

I believe that this is precisely the process that Paul has in mind by saying “be transformed”. Notice he doesn’t say “transform yourself”. That is because you and I have no power to change what we are on the outside into something better. But we do have a DNA inside of us that will work its way out in a process of “metamorphosis” if we will go along with the process.

I am certain Paul knew this because of the many ways he describes Christians throughout his letters in the New Testament. What follows is a few examples. Romans 7:22 I delight in the law of God according to the inward man…, shows our inner man has changed to fully agree with and desire God’s law. Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…, even though we don’t look like it on the outside (yet). I Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…, which says Christians are “holy” (saints). II Corinthians 5:17 If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new…, which means you are not the same old person. Ephesians 2:6 Raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…, which is where we are right now!

These are a few of the descriptions Paul uses for those who believe in Christ. There are so many more that I don’t have space to list them all but what these show us is that God has made a profound change in the fundamental makeup of every believer that is every bit as real and powerful as DNA. Though we may not look like it on the outside yet, we are already children of God, holy, renewed, complete, etc. The real you is who you are spiritually on the inside and that person is constantly in the process of changing who you are on the outside.

This is why Paul says “be transformed”. It doesn’t happen from the outside-in but from the inside-out. All we have to do is submit to the process and a major part of that process is to start seeing ourselves as butterflies instead of caterpillars! How do you do that? Paul gives the answer in the same verse – by the renewing of your mind. As you get God’s true picture of the person He has already made you into your mind, as you begin to believe that what God says about you is true, as your heart focuses more and more on what is really real, that reality begins to filter out through you in your behavior, demeanor, speech, and choices in life. You are transformed!

I want to challenge all of you faithful readers to try to find at least one thing that Scripture says is real about you as a believer each week and then internalize that truth until you believe that it is really real. I mean meditate on it, say it to yourself, personalize it. Let God’s truth renew your mind. If you will do this you will not be able to prevent the DNA inside of you from making its appearance as you slowly begin to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). That is the image God put in you and He wants it to come out!

What would happen to the church and the world that we influence if every Christian was being “metamorphed” by the DNA of “Christ in you, the hope of glory”? Can you come up with any ideas? Now that I’ve thought about this – put your thinking cap on. This is a thought to ponder.

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