February 23, 2018
READ: Romans 12:1-2
Let God transform you into a new person (v.2).
My grandmother was famous for her cornbread. She poured golden batter into cast iron skillets and slipped them into the oven, making all the grandkids wait and salivate until half an hour later, when she’d retrieve the piping hot cornbread. Typically, Grandma used standard circular skillets, but sometimes she’d pour the batter into a skillet shaped like the state of Texas or one with rows shaped like corn on the cob. But no matter what shape the cornbread was in, it tasted amazing!
The apostle Paul warned against a kind of shaping (or a type of moulding) that can do great harm—the shaping that comes from the “behaviour and customs of this world” (Romans 12:2). This moulding is a force that works on us from the outside, attempting to lure us into ways of living at odds with God and His kingdom.
In opposition to this, Paul encourages us to “let God transform [us] into a new person by changing the way [we] think” (v.2). The word transform reminds us that, in contrast to the external shaping of the world, through His Spirit, God transforms and recreates us from the inside out. In other words, God doesn’t merely pour the same batter into a new mould. Instead, He also changes the batter. God makes us a truly new person, able to resist the world’s mould and become like Him.
The system of the world isn’t merely an alternative lifestyle choice. It’s a way of living at odds with the God who would make us new—the God who would make us like Jesus. But as we allow God to recreate us into new people, we will begin to learn “God’s will” (v.2). We will begin to comprehend God’s mind and heart, and start to see ourselves and our world as He does. And in this way, we will find true freedom.
365-day plan: Deuteronomy 29:1-29
Read Ezekiel 36:26and reflect on how God has made it possible for our hearts to be transformed.
How is the world trying to push or shape you into its mould? How does God’s work of transformation offer you a different way of living?