A QUESTION FOR THE MASTER
Someone once approached a his Master and said, "Sir, I would give the world to know the Bible as you do." The teacher looked at him and replied, "And that's exactly what it will cost you."
Romans tells us; "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Friends, in light of what we know about God's mercies, I would urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship.
Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.
A LIVING SACRIFICE
Paul urges those who read and hear his letter to respond to the good news by offering their bodies... eyes, ears, mouths, hands, and feet... as a "living sacrifice." Paul knows well enough that sacrifices end in death, not life.
Nonetheless, the sacrifice of Jesus changes everything. His resurrection "steals life from death" and He makes it possible for those who trust in Him to become a sacrifice and yet live.
But, how do we live? We do not live as before, wrapping ourselves in the world and its bankrupt values. We live in constant renewal and transformation of our minds.
HOW CAN OUR MINDS BE TRANSFORMED
It will only happen through the study of God's Word. In ACTS 17:10-11 we read about those in the synagogue at Berea who listened very carefully when Paul and Silas showed up. "These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men."
I love that they listened eagerly and checked up on what they had to say. They were checking out none other than the Apostle Paul, who wrote a good part of the New Testament. That is the right way to listen.
THE MASTER'S VOICE
Jesus said, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
JOHN 15:7 The word abide means planting your roots deeply into Christ, soaking up the nutrients, growing each and every day, staying in a given place. It is staying in fellowship with Him.
To me this means that we all study God's Word. It means we do our best to memorize it and hide it in our hearts, so that when we need it... we will know it. Ultimately, it means that it affects our thinking, our living, and everything we do. We need to approach God's Word this way.
THE TRUE VINE
Jesus also said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
At a time when all of Jesus' disciples are feeling as if they are about to be uprooted, Jesus sketches a picture of this new life as a flourishing vineyard... a labyrinth of vines and strong branches steeped in rich soil, abundant grapes hanging from their vines ripening in the sun.
A NEW VIEW
Jesus molds a new garden of Eden in the minds of those who will hear Him, that is bustling with fruit, sustenance, and satisfying aromas. This truly is the "Kingdom Life!"
It is all about our connection, the necessities for our existence in Christ Jesus. However, within this promise of life is the warning that people must be in Christ or they will not experience all these blessings... He has in store for us!
If You Abide In Me (A NEW VERSION) - Maranatha Kids