Developing A Renewed Mind
This lesson is part of the series I did at the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Pine Haven Wyoming, which is the church that I used to pastor. I shared with them the fact that God wants us to have a renewed mind.
This comes from a deep conviction that I believe the Lord is sharing with me concerning the future of our nation and what we as Christians need to be prepared for and start doing if we are ever to see another great awakening in America.
In this message, I will be looking at two things. Presenting your bodies as a living sacrifice, and having a renewed mind.
I believe as we once again get about our Father’s business and make those tough choices that will set us apart and above from what is going on in our nation, that once again we will be the people that offer a better alternative to what is being offered in the world.
We have spent way too much time trying to be liked and accepted by the world. It is time we focused on being liked and accepted by God.
Romans 12:1-2 Living Sacrifices to God
12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Step 1 To A Renewed Mind – Present Yourself As A Living Sacrifice.
The Christian faith is not about how God will make you happy, wealthy, and wise. Although there are a lot of blessings that go with being a Christian, the real and powerful Christian faith is one of giving yourself over to be a slave to Jesus.
Now I use the word slave on purpose. I want to shake you up just a little bit. Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sin and to provide us with salvation. We were bought with a price so, in a genuine sense, we are now His slaves.
Thank God that He is a benevolent slave master. Because of this, we are to present our present lives, the life that we are living now, as a living sacrifice to Him. We are to give control of our destiny and decisions to Him.
This is not easy for the average person, especially us freedom-loving Americans who think that nobody can tell us what to do. Yet, that is what God is asking.
He is asking for us to give our life here on planet earth over to Him. All of it. We are to become the Thanksgiving turkey so to say for the kingdom of heaven. Our life is no longer our own. We are his slaves.
Step 2 – Walk Away From The World
The first part of becoming that slave for Jesus is to decide to be different than the world. We must no longer allow ourselves to allow the world and the way the world thinks to be a motivating factor in our life. We are to walk away from the world’s way of doing things.
As I get older, I find fewer and fewer people that remember that this verse used to be used to try to tell people what they couldn’t do. As much as I love those saints of old, it has little to do with what we can’t do as much as it is talking about how we think.
The world has a mob mentality. As long as everyone else thinks it is ok, then it must be ok. That is not how God wants us to think. He wants us to stop believing the way the world thinks and to start thinking how He feels. That is part of having a renewed mind.
This can affect every area of our lives. It can affect the choices we make for a career, the choices we make and the criteria we use for a spouse, it can impact the way we raise our children, it can affect our decisions on what is our Sunday priorities, it can influence where we go and what we say or don’t say.
It will change everything about our life. God’s priorities are much different than the world’s priorities and we need to stop allowing the world’s way of thinking to be the way we make our decisions. We must start thinking with God’s preferences to have a renewed mind.
Step 3 – Be Transformed By Renewing Your Mind.
It is only when we stop thinking like the world that we will understand the will of God.
As long as we continue to allow the world’s way of thinking to guide us, we will never see the will of God for our lives. We won’t walk or think with a renewed mind.
Recently I spoke about what is going to be the legacy you leave for your life. We all want to leave our mark on this world. The question is what is the mark that God wants you to leave in this world.
When you stop thinking as the world thinks and allow God to renew your mind, then you will be able to see what His will for your life is.
This will only happen when you start to put His priorities ahead of your priorities or the world’s priorities. You are going to have to get to the point that you have decided that come hell or high water; you are going to follow Jesus and allow Jesus to tell you what to do for the rest of your life.
I used the Apostle Paul as an example in Acts chapter 20 where he tells them that he is heading to Jerusalem and that he must do it even though he knows that he will suffer hardship and imprisonment.
Now we all know that in the end, Paul was martyred for his faith. However, he got to that place of having to be a martyr by the decisions he made much earlier in his life.
So the question to ask yourself is not whether or not you would say no if someone demanded you deny Jesus, or whether you would take the mark of the beast.
The question to ask yourself is whether or not you are making decisions based on godly convictions today.
Are you making the tough choices to stand for Jesus in your everyday decisions of life? Are you making decisions based on a renewed mind?
If you are, then you will be prepared when the time comes, if it does, to make the tough choice when your family is on the line. When they ask you to deny Jesus or your children will be martyred. Those are the tough decisions that may come someday.
If you make the tough choices now, you will make the tough ones.
Even if it doesn’t seem like that big a deal. Like whether or not you will bow to political pressure to change your companies support of traditional marriage, or whether or not you will stop holding a Bible study in your house. Or whether you will worship Jesus on Sunday or play at the lake.
Those choices now will prepare you for the tough choices later. The ability to follow through on the right decisions is directly proportional to how much you have allowed God to give you a renewed mind.
Blessings, Pastor Duke