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Romans 12: 2         GW

Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.

Yesterday we touched on the need to think differently, and it brought this verse to mind. I was saved when I was about 14 years old, but to tell you the truth, I already believed Jesus was Lord. The reason I bring it up is because of the scriptural imperative that we be transformed from the ways of the world and into the ways of God’s Kingdom. Can you see how that melds with yesterday’s word to seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness? Well, I was only fourteen so how much did I need to change, but the point still stands that I wasn’t taught there were other ways to think or that our Father’s kingdom operates by different rules.

This version of Romans 12: 2 would have been an appropriate teaching. Little did I know that becoming a Christian meant that I was supposed to change the way I think. It is still a good teaching because this verse makes it clear that there is a different way to think.

When I was saved, I did not learn that my life was to change or that there was any transformation going forward. The only thing I learned was do good and be good. I think the total Christian theology was “don’t be a sinner.” Now, I realize that transformation is at the heart of what Jesus brought to us. He gave us a way to change everything in our lives so that we can live in the midst of the Kingdom of God right here on earth. You do realize, don’t you, that the Kingdom of God is here and now. Jesus has already done everything. He has ushered in the Kingdome of God. He said, “It is finished” and gave us all the tools for living in this kingdom realm just as he did. We often confuse the Kingdom of God with the Kingdom of Heaven, but we need not.

So here is my point, salvation is not the end game I thought it was when I “got saved.” It is only the beginning. It is like being accepted into your dream university. You are in the door and your tuition has been paid but it is time to learn and grow. This process continues through the entirety of our lives. Moreover, this is not about being a sinner or not. Face it, the scripture already acknowledges that we all fall short of the glory of Christ. I think, perhaps, this is where the church has missed it. We have been so wrapped up in sin that we forgot that Jesus showed us a way to live.

This verse is intended to plunge us into a life of transformation. It calls us to approach problems, as well as life generally, differently. We are to think as Christ thinks. What does that mean? It means we approach sickness from a kingdom perspective. It means we look at finances from a different vantage point. It means, we follow Biblical teaching on everyday life. It means understanding that our words have importance and to use them to construct the life we are meant to have. Be transformed. It means to accept Biblical truth over worldly truth.

I will leave you with a little hint about the Kingdom. It doesn’t work the way the world does. Actually, it pretty much takes everything from the world and turns it on its head. One of the best examples is that God teaches us to give in order to receive. In the world, that makes little sense. People in the world do give, but the world system does not teach that as a financial model. You would be hard pressed to have any financial planner, even a Christian one, teach you to give away your money if you want to be rich. That illustrates thinking like God versus thinking like the world.

I hope you will take some time to think about this today. What does salvation require of us? Is it done when we say our “I do” or is it the beginning? What does it mean to change the way you think? I hope this devotional will cause you to change the way you think about the way you think. Seek first God’s Kingdom and His ways, including His way of thinking.

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