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Friday, March 15, 2019

Learning To Stop Following a Culture That Doesn’t Follow God

In review of Romans 12:2 it say, “Don’t copy the behavior or values of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (NLT).

Today’s verse is Romans 12:2. It says, to not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Then I will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.

So this means I’m not to copy the behavior and customs of this world, which is selfish and corrupting. But I still must be careful, for It's possible to avoid most worldly customs but still be proud, covetous, selfish, stubborn, and arrogant. Only when the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates, and redirects my mind am I truly transformed.

This morning, I’m reminded of two other passages that also mention the world. They are written by the same author and seem to send an opposite message:

First is, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them” (1 John 2:15 NIV). That’s pretty clear!

Second is, “God so loved the world . . .” (John 3:16 NIV).

The world” is used two ways in these verses. The first verse refers to the world’s value system, and the second refers to the world’s people. I am to love people, no matter what choices they make, but I’m to hate the value system (e.g., prejudice, racism, injustice, sexism, war).

The problem is, I can often get it reversed. I love the value system and hate the people. Instead of being different, I can be just as materialistic, just as hedonistic, and just as enmeshed in the culture. That’s backwards.

For the rest of my life, I’ll face great pressures to conform to the culture. This was Israel’s biggest problem for thousands of years. They wanted to be like other nations. Yet God gave them all kinds of moral, civil, and ceremonial laws to make them different on purpose.

God has done the same for me. I don’t live under Old Testament law, but God has told me exactly how I should live and how I get the wisdom and power to stand out in this world: “Don’t copy the behavior or values of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2 NLT).

One reason I may not know what God wants me to do in life is because I may be too acculturated with this culture. Often this happens without me realizing it. But I can’t think like the world and think like God thinks. I have to make a choice.

The problem with following culture is that it’s all temporary. I need to follow something that is eternal: God’s Word.

Fill my mind with God’s truth, and let it transform my life by changing the way I think.

Bottom Line:
Don't follow along with our culture and it's lifestyle and popular ways of thinking. Be transformed in your thinking by God. Then we'll know what it is he wants from us.

What this means to me:
I am to not to be swayed and follow the pattern of the culture I'm living in. Rather I'm to let God and the Holy Spirit transform me by renewing my mind. Then, I'll be able to test and approve what God's will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will for me.

In summary, I'm to not conform to the pattern of this world, rather I'm to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Then I'll be able to see God's will. I must be cautious for its possible for to avoid worldly customs but still be selfish and corrupting. There is the world's value system and the world's people. I'm to love people, no matter what choices they make, but hate the value system. However, I can often get it reversed, loving the value system and hating the people. I can't think like the world and think like God. I have to make a choice and follow something that is eternal, God's Word.

This morning Father, I pray that I continue to let my mind be filled with your Word and your desire for me. Help me to love people regardless and not love the world’s value system. I also ask you to provide me with your wisdom and guidance in how I manage and do the tasks I’m responsible for, for how I lead and how I respond to others. I ask this through your Son Jesus name, amen!

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