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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Today’s scripture reading:
Paul warned Christians: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world” that are usually selfish and often corrupting. Wise Christians decide that much worldly behavior is off-limits for them. Our refusal to conform to this world’s values, however, must go even deeper than just behavior and customs; it must be firmly planted in our mind: “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” It is possible to avoid most worldly customs and still be proud, covetous, selfish, stubborn, and arrogant. Only when the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates, and redirects our mind are we truly transformed (see Romans 8:5 [below]).
Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves; on the other hand, some of us overestimate ourselves. The key to an honest and accurate self-evaluation is knowing the basis of our self-worth–our identity in Christ. Apart from him, we aren’t capable of very much by eternal standards; in him, we are valuable and capable of worthy service. Evaluating yourself by the worldly standards of success and achievement can cause you to think too much about your worth in the eyes of others and thus miss your true value in God’s eyes. (NLT)
Romans 12:1-3 – And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
As God’s messenger, I give each of you this warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you.
[God] who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. — Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
John Bagdanov (California) titled his story “TRANSFORMATIONS;” here is a portion of John’s story:
“. . . I realized that the weeks of labor we devoted to transforming our kitchen were nothing compared to the time and effort God puts into transforming my life. I am a work in progress, being transformed over a lifetime — day by day — by a loving God.
“We seek God’s transformation when we read and meditate on the scriptures — taking the time to discern what thoughts, attitudes, and actions do not bring glory to God and then praying about them. When I am impatient with others, remembering God’s kindness brings me a peace that helps me respond with love instead of anger. When I pray for those who frustrate me, God’s Spirit replaces my contempt with compassion. The job of transforming each of us is not over, but I am assured that God will complete the work begun in us — replacing our old ways with ‘what is good and acceptable and perfect.'”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I can’t wait to see how God will work in my life today!
Prayer: Dear God, help us to accept the challenges in our lives as you transform us to make us more like Christ. Amen.
Prayer Focus: SOMEONE WHO FRUSTRATES ME
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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Paul divides people into two categories: those who let themselves be controlled by their sinful nature and those who follow after the Holy Spirit. All of us would be in the first category if Jesus hadn’t offered us a way out. Once we have said yes to Jesus, we will want to continue following him, because his way brings life and peace. Daily we must consciously choose to center our life on God. Use the Bible to discover God’s guidelines, and then follow them. In every perplexing situation, ask yourself, What would Jesus want me to do? When the Holy Spirit points out what is right, do it eagerly. (NLT)
Romans 8:5 – Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.
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