Bible Reading: Romans 12:1-21, Psalm 143:10
It is an understood truth, that as years go by, a person should be growing up and maturing in some way. In eighteen short months, my daughter has gone from motionless to sprinting around the house. She has also gone from a milk-only diet to enjoying many different types of food. Her vocabulary is just now starting to grow. I love watching her progress and grow up. But imagine with me for a moment, if ten years from now, my daughter still spoke like her eighteen-month-old self. That is a problem! Her life should look vastly different ten years from now, and vastly more different twenty years after that. That is the process of growing up and maturing.
Our faith in Christ is no different. Our daily lives should be growing and maturing to look more like a child of God every day. Growing and learning how to live like a Christian is a process we call sanctification, which essentially means to growing in holiness and godliness. In Romans 12:2, Paul uses the word, “transform”, to talk about the believer’s life. He writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” What is to be gained through this transformation? That you will know what the will of God is, and that you will know, “what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
We may think, “That is all well and good, but can you help me see what that truly looks like?” That is a mature question to ask, as we all need to know how to take something that is real and true in our hearts and minds, and then apply it to our body and work. Paul knows this, and so he writes down what are some signs of solid Christian character. He says that we should use our strengths and gifts to serve others, hate what is evil, rejoice in hope, patient in tribulation, and strive to outdo one another in love and service. There is a genuine love for Christ and others that forms as you mature in your faith. Do you see this kind of growth and maturation in your life with Christ?
Call to Action: Psalm 143:10 says, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!” To grow in godliness, you must know God, and spend time in His presence. The world demands a large amount of our time, energy and life, and we often do not question what it demands. However, we far too often question the demands God makes of us. Memorize Romans 12:21, which says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” The world may try to control your time, but you can overcome that by giving your time, energy, love and heart to God and His people. Find a way to plug into the church and serve. If you see a place you can do good for someone, do it. As you surrender more of your life to God, He will work in you to show the world the marks of a true Christian.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, this world demands so much of us. Teach us to say “No”, to the world’s demands, and “Yes”, to You. Work in us to know your will and teach us how to be godly men and women in this world. May all our good serve to overcome the evil in this world and bring honor and glory to You. We love you, Father. Amen.