I saw a post recently that shared a thought that was intended to be humorous but was more than funny. The post simply showed a woman, bent over, glasses raised, and she was straining as if she was trying to focus on something in the distance. The caption below read, “Waking up and looking outside to see what chapter of Revelation we are in today.” We are in some of the most interesting, volatile, hostile, and divided times that recent history can recall. All the while, we are reminded, as believers, that Jesus told us of these times in His Word.
As if Covid-19 did not divide people enough, now we have been thrown into a series of restless nights, unanswered questions, violent riots and looting, and non-violent demonstrations because of acts of racism and injustice in our nation. Our politics can cloud our views, our history can cloud our views, our culture can cloud our views, and our preferences and comforts can cloud our views. The Word of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit must renew our mind. Romans 12 has echoed and echoed in my mind and my heart the past few days and weeks:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Here are some important questions for you to meditate on this week:
1. Do you keep God’s mercy in view?
• a. What is mercy?
• b. How has God shown you mercy?
• c. How has that mercy impacted how you treat others in the area of mercy?
2. Do you offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, daily?
• a. How do you define worship?
• b. How have you sacrificed to the Lord?
3. Point to evidence in your life that by the Spirit’s power you have not conformed to the pattern of this world but instead transformed.
• a. How are you doing in the following areas that are patterns in the world: Fear? Racism? Anger? Bitterness? Pride? Entitlement for change? Entitlement to keep things the same? Over-indulgence or gluttony (not just of food)? Dividing (in your home/in your marriage/in your friendships/on social media)? Negativity?
• b. How are you doing in the following areas that are patters of the transformed: Forgiveness? Trust? Love? Peace? Humility? Expectant for God to act/intercede? Generosity? Uniting? Encouragement? Interceding for those less fortunate? Gracious? Kindness? Self-control?
4. What is your process to discover the will of God?
Notice the adjectives to describe His will: good, pleasing, and perfect. Notice the adjectives not used: easy, predictable, comfortable.