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Be Transformed, Not Conformed | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

Be Transformed, Not Conformed

Last Sunday evening, District Assembly began with a celebration service at Huntsville First. It was a powerful service. Dr. Gustavo Crocker, our presiding General Superintendent, preached from Romans 12:2.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2 ESV).

In this text, you will see that I bolded two words- conformed and transformed. Dr. Crocker challenged us to think about these words. Let’s take a moment to focus on these two words.

Paul is telling us ‘not to be conformed to this world.’ I hope we can all see that each one of us is conformed to something. We live lives in the context of internal and external influences.

The challenge for each of us is be centered upon being conformed not to this world, but to the good news of Jesus Christ. It is this good news that has the power to transform our lives.

Thus far, I think we all would agree with these statements– Paul is urging us to be transformed by the gospel, not conformed to the message of the world.

The issue isn’t this message. The issue is the question rolling around in your mind, “How am I transformed to the way of Christ?” This is where Dr. Crocker’s message hit home.

Dr. Crocker narrowed his focus upon these words, “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” What does it mean to have your mind renewed? Amazingly, if one does this, Paul tells us that we will be able to “discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Renewing your mind, Dr. Crocker argued, involved a couple things.

First, it involves a decluttering of your mind. We fill our minds with all kinds of things- some of these things are good, some bad. Many of us find ourselves focused on the negative of the world. Our minds are cluttered by the 24-hour news cycle, by the internal dialogue to people who have hurt us, by the destructive shards of glass the devil places in our minds to sow unhappiness and resentment.

Paul is calling us to do a little spring-cleaning in our minds. Throw out the things that separate us from the love, grace, and hope of Christ.

Second, we must replace our bad habits with good habits. These are the habits that show the love, grace, and hope of Christ. These habits open up our minds to hearing the voice of God.

This decluttering and new habits open the door for the life Paul is pointing to in Colossians 4:2-6, “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone (NLT).”

May our conversations be gracious and attractive as we are transformed.