Romans 12: 1-2 teaches us that for us to experience radical transformation, we must renew our minds. We had a question from a CVC attender, “What specifically does renewing our minds look like?”
Here are a few thoughts about that.
Being transformed is the process of actually becoming more and more like Jesus Christ. Sometimes it’s called sanctification in the Bible. It’s “morphing” to be all you can be for the glory of God! That’s what God intends for us. We are to change, to morph, to grow! Staying the same isn’t an option.
Question: How can I be transformed?
Answer: By renewing my mind. Paul not only uses this language in Romans 12, he also refers to mind-renewal in Ephesians 4. “Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and… be renewed in the spirit of your minds…” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
We don’t just hear God’s Word once and figure we’ve got it down. We continually review the truth in the Word. We can’t renew our minds unless we are taking in the Word of God. And when our minds are renewed, we’re transformed. But how specifically do we do this?
Think about your hand – five fingers and the palm.
1) The little finger stands for hearing the word.
Come to Sunday services! Take notes. Use your CVC app or the Moody Radio app. Listen to messages from a wide variety of Bible teachers while you run or walk of lift weights. Join a CVC LifeGroup. Participate in a CVC Men’s, Women’s, or Young Adult retreat.
2) The ring finger stands for reading the word.
A solid Bible reading plan for every follower of Christ is not optional. It’s why here at CVC we have a church-wide plan every year. Sometimes people resist following the church plan, “I want to follow my own plan.” OK. Are you working your plan? Really? Even for followers of Jesus, life happens and crowds out Bible intake. Listen, following the church Bible reading plan is better than not following your own Bible reading plan. Just follow the church’s plan. You can find the plan on the CVC app. Or you can pick up a copy in the CVC foyer. Read your Bible and hang out with other people who are reading theirs. Follow the CVC Bible Reading Plan. Purchase and use LiveNew Journal available at the CVC front desk in the foyer.
3) The tall finger stands for memorizing the word.
To “be renewed in your mind” means that you will not allow yourself to forget what has happened to you! You go on reminding yourself of all that God’s Word says is true about you. Bible memory is a necessary ingredient for reminding yourself of what you already know.
4) The pointer finger stands for meditating on the word.
We must struggle with God’s Word until we truly understand it. The Holy Spirit teaches us as we use our minds to understand. Second, understand the truth. Write verses down and carry them with you throughout the day.
5) The thumb stand for praying the word.
Sometimes, we don’t know what we ought to pray. Why not turn the scriptures into prayers? You don’t have to be all that creative. Just paraphrase a few verses. Praying Romans 12:1-2 might look like this: “Dear Jesus, help me present my body as a living sacrifice to God. Help me not be conformed to the image of this world. Help me to be transformed by renewing my mind. Show me what Your will is for my life because I know that Your will is good, acceptable, and perfect. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
6) The palm stands for applying the word.
Jesus said that if we love Him then we will keep His commandments. The test of our love for Christ is our obedience to Christ.
Because of the fall and because of our tendency toward sin, we can be creatures of bad habits. We can think in old patterns – old ways – even after we get New Life in Christ. Our minds slip back into the old ruts. We have to pull our minds out of the old ways of thinking and start thinking new.
Renew your mind. Remind yourself of some precious truths from Romans:
- Chapter 3: You are forgiven of all your sin.
- Chapter 4: You are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
- Chapter 5: You have peace with God.
- Chapter 6: You are dead to sin and alive to God.
- Chapter 7: You can obey God in a new way by the Spirit.
- Chapter 8: There is not condemnation for you in Christ Jesus and nothing can separate you from the love of God.
- Chapter 9: You have been chosen by God.
- Chapter 10: You are saved.
- Chapter 11: The promises of God apply to you.
If we don’t have thoughts like these in the forefront of our minds, we can fail and fall as if we didn’t know Jesus at all. But if we will renew our minds, radical transformation is happening and will happen.
Renew your mind. You will morph, change, and grow to become more and more like Jesus.