We are reading and studying Romans 12:2 in Sunday School today. This is one of my favorite passages of the Bible. The NIV version is the more familiar version:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of Godâ€™s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to Godâ€”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 Godâ€™s will isâ€”his good, pleasing and perfect will. (â€Romansâ€¬ â€12â€¬:â€1-2â€¬ NIV)
This is the version in “The Message:”
So hereâ€™s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary lifeâ€”your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around lifeâ€”and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Donâ€™t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. Youâ€™ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (â€Romansâ€¬ â€12â€¬:â€1-2â€¬ MSG)
One of my favorite parts is “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..” The message says this well: Donâ€™t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
These verses particularly speak to me when it comes to discerning God’s will. As a metaphor for this, I think about a marinating steak. I need to “marinate” myself continually in God’s Word to follow these mandates, recorded by the apostle Paul. I need to spend time in prayer each day. I need to regularly seek the community and fellowship which comes within the body of Christian believers.
Oh how I need the encouragement of these verses from Romans! Praise to God that He sent his own son to earth, and provides ways today for us to live in relationship with Him!