Every day Paul is urging his fellow Christians to present their bodies to God as a living and holy sacrifice. That means that every day that we are alive we should be living for God. We should be leaning into the day in order to live for God. Paul says this kind of sacrifice is acceptable (well-pleasing) to Him. This is our spiritual (rational, reasonable in the Greek from logos) worship. No more shedding of blood from animal sacrifices was required, so Paul is telling them to live for Christ! Every day!
But he doesn’t stop there in how we are to live our lives. As believers we have been changed. We no longer live for ourselves. We have given our life up to God as a sacrifice, telling Him that we want to live for Him, and Paul goes on to tell us not to be conformed to this world, this age, this present time in which we live. He says to be transformed (metamorphousthe in the Greek), the same verb used of Jesus at the transfiguration in Matthew 17:2. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
The word renewing means “342 anakaínōsis (from 303 /aná, ‘up, completing a process,’ which intensifies kainō, ‘make fresh, new’; see 2537 /kainós)—properly, a new development; a renewal, achieved by God’s power.” (Strong’s Concordance) Complete the process of making your mind fresh and new: a renewal achieved by God’s power. Why? There is a reason. When we have been transformed by the renewing of our minds, it is so that we may prove what the will of God is! Haven’t you ever said that you’ve wanted to know God’s will? Well, this is how to know His good and acceptable and perfect will.
These verses have become my life verses. I have them memorized. I keep them close to me at all times. I need them to remind me of my purpose and position before Christ. They remind me how to worship Him and show Him that I am His and He is mine. Every day. Every day!
Do you live for Him every day? Do you seek transformation and renewal?
Lord, renew my mind. I do not want to be conformed to this world. Help me to be a living sacrifice for You every day.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So, Too, My Heart
The wave swells to a white foamy crest. It tumbles headlong over itself to spill all therein. Once spent of all its power…and its direction forward… The undertow pulls the spilled contents back once again To form yet another opportunity to release all. Sand and shells tumbling along with the pull Find their rough edges smoothed over time… After successions of crashing waves…turbulent releases Of salt water and microscopic specks of terra firma… These larger pieces are tumbled until soft and bald. Often collected, if one dares to enter the wave’s reaches, The stones and shells can capture the attention Of one’s eyes, wherein their beauty is beheld. Where one might be stepped upon and crushed, The same is picked up and cherished in the hands of another. The wave swells once again…and again…and again… Always bringing something new…churning up something new. Spent and then renewed…emptied and then filled… Drained and then empowered…so much is there… So much involved…
…so, too, my heart…
How is God emptying and renewing your heart?
Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to me as I go through the outward parts of me wasting away. I do not want to lose heart. Keep me close. Help me to fix my eyes on You and eternal things.
2 Corinthians 5:17
The Same Moon
Just want someone to sit up with me In the dark night of my soul. Just want someone to hold on to me When my world’s spinning out of control. When I feel like the caterpillar Morphing in his cocoon, Just want to know someone is there Staring at the same moon. Just want the miracle to happen now, Rip off the bandage fast. Just want to leap out and fly away, But God knows my wings won’t last. When the time’s not right, I tend to squirm and fight Against the walls of the chrysalis. And when this life goes wrong, That’s what’s making me strong, To survive outside the chrysalis. Just want someone to sit up with me And watch the rising of the Sun. Just want someone to hold on to me Though my world may feel it’s undone. When I know I am the butterfly, Risen up from her cocoon, Just still want to hold someone’s hand And stare up at the same moon.
Do you ever think about how you’ve changed since you first believed in Christ Jesus? Who is the one or who are the many people who have helped you along the way? When is the last time you’ve thanked them?
Thank You, Lord, for those You’ve placed in my path to hold my hand and stay up with me along the way. You created us for relationship. Thank You for making me a new creation.
Isaiah 40:6-8; 1 Peter 1:23-25
“The Spirit blows upon the flesh, and that which seemed vigorous becomes weak, that which was fair to look upon is smitten with decay; the true nature of the flesh is thus discovered, its deceit is laid bare, its power is destroyed, and there is space for the dispensation of the ever-abiding word, and for the rule of the Great Shepherd, whose words are spirit and life. There is a withering wrought by the Spirit which is the preparation for the sowing and implanting by which salvation is wrought.” (Charles H. Spurgeon)
Preparing Me for HimThe withering of the Spirit Is preparing me for Him. Turning up the soil in my heart, Churning up the thoughts in my mind, Stirring up the eternity in my soul. Yes. I feel Him move. I feel His wings flutter under me, Guiding me in my flight, His pinions stretched out To support my own and Fill in any gaps Where I am lacking. He has stirred my nest and Has asked me to trust Him. The knowledge of Him Surrounding me, lifting me, Guiding me, supporting me, Leaves me free to fly. to risk To step out, to trust In His strength In His covenant love In His compassion In His Fatherly tenderness. Holy Spirit, Do Your withering work in me. Plow me under. Push up new life. May my tears only water new growth. May I receive with joy what You plant. The withering of the Spirit Is only preparing me for Him.
Are you still holding the handle to the shovel? Will you let the Holy Spirit have it so that He may turn up the soil of your heart and have His way with you?
Father, thank You that You love me enough to not leave me how I am, but are ever working in me to prepare me for You.
2 Corinthians 3:18
At a Navigator summer training program in my college years, each morning I would hike the camp grounds to a place where there was a wooden cross. Here, sitting at the foot of the cross, I would have my quiet time. We had read the story of Moses on Mt. Sinai being permitted to see the “back” of God after He had passed by. Moses came down the mountain, and the people were afraid of him when he appeared before them because his face was shining from having just seen the Lord’s glory pass by. I would close my eyes each morning and turn my face full on into the sun’s light that I might have just a little taste of what that must have been like for Moses. Because everyone was afraid to come near Moses, he wore a veil over his face to shroud the glory (Exodus 34).
Paul tells believers in this verse, “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” We have had the veil removed.
“The brightness on the face of Moses was only skin-deep. It faded away, and left no trace. … But, says Paul, the glory which we behold sinks inward, and changes us as we look into its own image. Thus, the superficial lustre … becomes an illustration of the powerlessness of law to change the moral character into the likeness of the fair ideal which it sets forth. And, in opposition to its weakness, the Apostle proclaims the great principle of Christian progress, that the beholding of Christ leads to the assimilation to Him.” (Alexander MacLaren)
As I contemplate the Lord’s glory, I am gradually being transformed. I cannot help but be changed by being in His presence and abiding with Him. As I look to Him in trust and love, He molds me into the likeness of His beauty. My face shines because of an inner change that will never fade. Now, I lift my face to the Son and reflect His love.
How are you still being transformed? Do you need to consciously remove your veil and meet with Him face to face?
Lord, may my face shine forth Your love and transformation to those around me. Use me to be a light to reveal You to others.
- Strong’s Concordance. Copyright © 1987, 2011, by Helps Ministries, Inc.
- Charles H. Spurgeon’s quote is taken from Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 17, July 8, 1871.
- Alexander MacLaren’s quote is taken from Expositions of Holy Scripture, text courtesy of https://biblehub.com/sermons/auth/maclaren/transformation_by_beholding.htm