Monday, July 2, 2018

July 3, 2018

"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." Romans 12:2

Someone has said. "The biggest room in the world is the room for change."

It's hard to argue with this unless you happen to be perfect. If you think you are perfect check with your spouse.

Change is, in fact, inevitable. You will change for the better or you will change for the worse. 

So, the operative questions become, "Will I take charge of my change?" and "How will change happen?"

Change generally happens in one of three ways; by conforming, by reforming or by transforming.

In the above text the great Apostle urges a spiritual transformation. Transformation denotes a fundamental change in essence of your nature. When He wrote this phrase, Paul chose the Greek word "metamorpho". Does that sound familiar? It should! We get our English word "metamorphosis" from this root.

Metamorphosis describes the process that changes a lowly caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. Obviously, it is a radical change in nature!

So, what do you need to do in order to have your nature fundamentally transformed? Look back to the previous verse, "...offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God...".

You do the offering and He will do the transforming!

How do you know if you have been transformed?

You will have a renewed mind! A mind that thinks like Jesus and values like Jesus and makes wise decisions like Jesus and loves truth.

Are you conforming and going with the flow? Are you just going along to get along and being shaped by the culture around you?

Are you reforming by trying to somehow improve yourself?

Or, are you willing to surrender yourself to the transforming power of God?

July 2, 2018

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." Philippians 3:20-21

The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own citizenship laws based on its own policy. Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth. 

A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may not lose the citizenship of the country of birth.U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another citizenship does not risk losing U.S. citizenship.

Followers of Jesus Christ possess dual citizenship. They belong to the nation of their birth and they are citizens of Heaven. While we live as citizens of this world we are to be preparing for the next. At the same time the Scriptures tell us, "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:4-7

Ironically, our citizenship in Heaven was made possible by One Who, as a citizen of that world, came to take up citizenship in this world to die for our sins.
This Citizen Who made our citizenship possible, came from a righteous place and was born in a righteous way to qualify Him to become a sacrifice for our sins. But between His righteous birth and His sacrificial death was a lifetime of righteous living. He was righteous when He left Heaven, He was righteous when He arrived in the manger in Bethlehem, and He was still righteous as He was being nailed to the cross. But, He became unrighteous as He took our transgressions upon Himself on that cross. Because of His righteous obedience to the will of His Father in making righteousness available to you and me, He regained His righteousness!

Are you thankful to be a citizen of the great USA?

As you celebrate your freedom as an American over this long Fourth of July week, will you also celebrate your citizenship in Heaven?