Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 February 2015 Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Well Friends and fellow believers in Jesus Christ, once again the cycle of 7 days morphing into a week has begun. This is the day of the Lord, the first day of the week, and to show proper respect and our grateful appreciation for His goodness and LOVING-kindness last week, and this coming week, we ought to go to His sanctuary and offer up praise, worship and thanksgiving with other believers and receive the strength, encouragement and confidence to face another week in this mish-mash, predominantly ungodly world.

I already had my churching for today. And Friends, the ole fella read the scripture in church and shook my tambourine with much pleasure. Mama Mia! I like this church. It doesn’t seem to have a choir or organ, but they have an African drum and tambourines and the voices really are loud and proud, filling up the whole church with prayers, praises, songs of worship and thanksgiving!

And the female lay reader preached a mighty powerful sermon this morning on the meaning of Lent; a time for introspection, for growing, for giving up things of the world, so that we can get closer to God. And as usual, I saw people from my youth, people I have not seen in many a day. I guess there’s no place I can go in Tobago without meeting someone who knows me, my, mother, my father or my grandfather.

Unfortunately it will be my last visit on this trip. Next Sunday I’ll be back in my cold St. Francis church back in the North Country, but it’s only the surroundings that are cold, the people are warm and lovely and friendly! Hi there my people back at St. Francis! I missed you all, but not the cold weather. (smile)

And since Lent is a time for us to grow in the nature and image of Christ, this morning when I read this most appropriate passage from The One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, I obviously couldn’t pass it up. It’s titled ‘Grow Up.

And it says: ‘Picture with me: a piece of gnarled bark tossed to and fro over the crashing breakers. First one direction, then another, back and forth, over and under. Aimless. No set purpose. Drifting… always drifting. What an accurate picture of an immature Christian. Nothing but spiritual puttering. Up and down, in and out. One study group for a few weeks, then another. One church for a while, then another.

Undisciplined, unsteady, one day soaring, the next day wading in self-pity. No consistency. The apostle Paul tells us to grow up! Not grow older, but grow up into Christ. What we are today is more important to God than what we were yesterday. Our life journey with Jesus is now – this very day, this very hour. Why yearn for change if we’ve made no effort to follow the direction God has already given us?

To grow spiritually we must be single-minded. Our one goal? To be conformed to the image of Christ. He longs for our willingness to let Him root us, cultivate us, water us. Above all, God wants our total commitment. He will take anything we give Him, except second place.’

Oh my people, those are such moving words of truth that I don’t see how we can ignore them if we truly want to be a mature Christian. Like everything else in this world, it takes, diligence, patience, perseverance, endurance, faith, prayer and the sweat of our brow to grow, to come up higher in Christ too. That means we can’t be wishy-washy and wavering, sitting on the fence, jumping down to one side or the other as the fancy takes us, or where the grass seems greenest.

And the promise for that passage is our inimitable Bit, memorable words from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. And we’ll start with the first verse of the chapter. ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:1-2)

Oh Friends, that is the perfect recipe for the wandering, wavering, wishy-washy Christian! In fact for any Christian at all, because that’s how we become true children of God, reflecting the true image and character of Jesus Christ, which is God’s eternal plan. And the scholars have some very good explanations on those verses, so let’s check them out.

’12:1. By the mercies of God summarizes all that God has accomplished for the believer in Romans 1-11 in justifying the believer (chs. 1-5), enabling the believer to live a righteous life (chs 6-8), and being faithful to Israel (chs 9-11). That ye present refers to a definite act of presentation. The verb is used of offering a sacrifice that became “holy” under the Levitical system (cf. Ex.29:37).

This shows that the Christian life begins with total commitment and irrevocable presentation. Your bodies: The body has been an instrument of sin (ch 6). Now it is to be presented to God as a channel through which the righteousness of God is manifested.’

12:2. Be not conformed (lit. “stop conforming yourselves”). They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.’

Oh my brethren, that last sentence says it all! We supposed Christians, followers of Christ are being too influenced by the mores, vales and conduct of this evil and ungodly world. So how can we expect to be true Christians when we’re not following the will and work of Jesus Christ eh?

That’s why so many unbelievers look down on us with scorn and serious misgiving, comparing us to the hypocrite Pharisees of Jesus’ time and thus refuse to attend church or commit their lives to Jesus. And they’re quite right too! How can we expect people to join something that’s so conflicted, divisive and two-faced?

In other words Friends, we’re not helping God’s cause with that kind of behavior, but driving it into the ground. And there’s no better time than this Lenten Season to check ourselves and see where we may be coming up short for Jesus, and seriously communicate with Him to help us change, grow, mature, and thus do better in furthering His glorious kingdom.

So let’s concentrate on that today nuh my people, for all of us can use God’s help to improve our earthly witness. Much LOVE!

…the best testimony for Jesus…is through our true and righteous lives…anything less is not good enough…

 

 

 

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