Daily Devotion for May 3, 2017

'True Transformation'

Romans 12:2a NLT
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.

Over the years, I've seen many so-called transformation/become-a-new-person shows, haven't you? One particular favorite is the show where a person gets the works done: new hair color, new hair style, new clothes, new makeup, new diet, new work-out regime...you get the picture! The problem is, unfortunately, those changes can't last (that make up has to be washed off...and reapplied! The hair color will need re-application in 3 weeks! Those fancy clothes can't be worn for every day! The hair style will have to be re-done EVERY MORNING! Donuts DO taste great! Working out is NOT so fun! The body is always getting OLDER!). Moreover, sometimes people try to transform themselves into a “new” people by changing their attitudes or actions on their own—but sooner or later they stub their toe and the bad words FLOW, or they blow up on their kids/co-workers/spouse again, or they go back to old ways of living when pressure bears down...

Humanly speaking, a person cannot truly transform themselves on the outside or inside—not in a way that will last. The only way to permanently transform oneself is to be internally changed by something/someone BIGGER than self. And the only way to change on the inside is to be given a new nature—by God. That new nature comes only through faith in Jesus Christ...

When the person with a new nature (through faith in Jesus Christ) “looks at the Word of God and sees the Son of God, he or she is transformed by the Spirit of God into the image of God for the glory of God” (Warren W. Wiersbe). Those truly transformed “give (their) bodies to God because of all He has done for” them (Romans 12:1). Moreover, through their choosing to daily bathe in the Word, they “LET God transform” them through the Spirit, who draws them away from the “behavior and customs of this world” while at the same time “changing the way (they) think” (Romans 12:2). He changes the way they think so they increasingly behave, love, respond, and ACT like their Savior, and so they will “learn to know God's will for (them), which is good and pleasing and perfect” and lasting and satisfying (Romans 12:2)...

You know what truly “transformed” people look like, folks? They are people increasingly doing Romans twelve through the transforming power of God: through their new nature in Christ, they desire and “let” God's Word and Spirit work in them, changing them, so...

They “Don’t think (they) are better than (they) really are”
They are “honest in (their) evaluation of” themselves
They “belong to” other transformed individuals. “God has given (them) different gifts for doing certain things well,” and they use those gifts “gladly”
They “Don’t just pretend to love others;” they “Really love them”
They “Hate what is wrong” and “Hold tightly to what is good”
They “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other”
They are “Never...lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically”
They “Rejoice in (their) confident hope,” are “patient in trouble, and keep on praying” “When God’s people are in need,” they “help them”
They are “Always...eager to practice hospitality”
They “Bless those who persecute” them, and “pray that God will bless them”
They are “happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep”
They “Live in harmony with each other”
They are not “too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people”
They “don’t think (they) know it all”
They “Never pay back evil with more evil”
They “Do things in such a way that everyone can see (they) are honorable”
They “Do all that (they) can to live in peace with everyone”
They “never take revenge”
They “feed” their enemies, and “If they are thirsty,” they “give them something to drink”
They “Don’t let evil conquer (them), but conquer evil by doing good”

Hmm...

Lord Jesus, I ask two things today. First of all, for those who have yet to place their trust in You, I pray Your Spirit causes them to CRAVE You and crave Your true transformation! Moreover, for those of us who already have a new nature through faith in You—let us increasingly DESIRE MORE of Your true, lasting transformation! We “LET” Your Word and Spirit work in us! We GIVE our bodies, minds, and wills to You on account of all You have done! Keep changing us, Lord (and don't let us settle—we do NOT yet always act like You!)! Help us daily 1) LOOK at the Word of God, 2) SEE the Son of God, and 3) be TRANSFORMED by the Spirit of God into the image of God for the glory of God. We ask this in Your name, that real transformation be what we seek, because this is how we “learn to know God’s will for (us), which is good and pleasing and perfect” and lasting and satisfying...

AMEN!!!

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