Monthly Archives: September 2017

Be Transformed

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Have you ever found yourself doing something that you know you probably shouldn’t? Ever struggled with a bad attitude? We have all fought with negative behaviors at one time or another. At times, we can be unaware of the problem. Or perhaps, we recognize the issue but are unwilling (or feel unable) to change. So we go on doing the same things over and over again. For those of us who come to the point where we actually want to change or want to improve, it can be a struggle to figure out where to start. Well, the Bible gives us a clear picture of what we need to do in order to change.

In Romans 12:2, Paul tells us that we must be “transformed.” He doesn’t tell us to be transformed by doing the exact same thing we have always done. He doesn’t tell us to be transformed by blaming others for our troubles. Paul says that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind.

Our minds are a battleground. The world wants to have us pondering violence, unrestrained sexual pleasure, self-gratification and enmity towards others. But the Bible calls us to help the weak and downtrodden. That means we may have to change our attitudes toward the less fortunate. The Bible calls us to purity. That means that we have to reject and avoid sexually immoral images and themes.

Romans 12:2 is a key verse for the Christian walk and how we are to avoid being overly influenced by the world. But it goes on to remind us that a transformed mind prepares us to hear God and obey His will. A mind that casts off worldly influences is better able to embrace what is good, acceptable and perfect.

If you are stuck in constant quarrels or arguments, seek a transformed mind. If you are stuck in an endless cycle of bitterness and negativity, seek a transformed mind. If your outlook on life is bleak, seek a transformed mind. Jesus came to bring us life, not misery. Let us embrace Him and be transformed by Him.

A God Who Is Relational

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Have you ever stopped to consider how you think about God? Recently, while reading a book on the names of God, something struck me. It is very easy for people to believe in a distant, all-powerful God, while also keeping Him at a distance. It is another thing entirely to believe that God cares for you and desires to be close to you. One is believing in the “concept” of God and the other is believing that God loves you and wants to have an intimate relationship with you.

When we hear of names like Yahweh and Jehovah in the Bible, it can be difficult for us to visualize what those names were intended to convey. The name of Yahweh (otherwise known as Jehovah), as with many other Hebrew names, was given to Moses for a very specific purpose: to proclaim that God is the “self-existent One.” Nothing His creations could ever do would change who He is as God. He is not dependent upon anything in nature or the cosmos in order to survive, because He is the One who will be whomever or whatever He needs to (or decides to) be.

But, He also reveals Himself to Moses as the intimate One. Yahweh desired to dwell among the people of Israel. He wanted to be with His creation in order to develop a relationship with His people. He did not intend to be distant and un-related. And, that same concept bears out in the New Testament when we see the introduction of the name of Jesus. This new name, “Yahweh Saves,” reminds the people that Yahweh is ever-present with His people and exists in the person of Jesus. How amazing is that?! God truly desires to be with His people, and yet, many of us are only thinking about God when we need something from Him.

This week, try to connect with God without needing something from Him. Talk to Him, engage with Him, and listen to Him as you intend to deepen your relationship with Him. In the same way that we cannot develop a deeper relationship with other people without conversation, we also cannot get to know God without conversation. See what happens when you converse with Him!