Saturday 7/12/14 Pastor Wray Sermon Transforming Our Hearts & Minds

Saturday 7/12/14 Pastor Wray sermon Transforming Our Hearts & Minds part 1 Romans 12:1-2

How can we change from being the kind of person who lives one foot in the world and one foot in the church? Change to being ALL that we can be in God’s sight. If you were to evaluate your spirituality and your closeness to God, how would you rate it? Please be honest because God knows if you are telling the truth or not. Would you answer…..I believe in God and Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Would you answer…..I have committed myself to doing the things He wants me to do and I feel at peace within. Would you answer….I spend time pouring out my heart to Him in prayer and reading His word. And I try to show my faith in how I live and treat others.
Would you answer that you are weak and dead spiritually and are not interested in the things of God. Frankly, I am here at church today but I would rather be doing something else.
Or…..maybe you would answer that you are somewhere in between, with one foot in the world and one foot in the church. You switch back and forth. When it is appropriate to be a Christian, you are it but otherwise, you are like most of the people around you.

What Answer fits you? A problem we have with our relationship with God is that many of us have flirted with the relationship most of our lives. Society encourages this attitude. Most of us have never been tested with our faith. We have never been persecuted like the Christians are persecuted in communist China or in Iraq. We live in a country that tolerates us. People around us may not embrace our faith or even condone it, but they say it is okay for us. Just do not try to impose it on them. They tolerate us, Sabbath and all! Our going to church and doing Christian things is tolerated! We have never been really tested.

The question that should be in all our minds is if I am tested, will I pass the test? The US military boot camp effectively de-programs soldiers from their civilian way of thinking and programs them to the military way of thinking. As Christians, we need this too. We need to be de-programmed from the world’s way and be re-programmed to God’s way. We need the re-programming so we can be committed to God’s way. In our text, we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God. We are to be holy and acceptable to God and not be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. How is this possible? How can we change from being a person with one foot in the world and one foot in the church? How can we live to be all that we can be in God’s sight?

First, we must realize that we cannot do it by ourselves but need the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. The Bible says the Holy Spirit is convicting the world of sin and righteousness and it’s need of Jesus Christ. When we respond to that, the Holy Spirit continues the work of transforming our hearts and minds. Notice in our text that we are challenged to change our minds about three different things:
  1. Change our mind about God: How do we perceive God? Do we see Him as a merciful God or just as a tyrant? We should see God as one who will lift us up, encourage us and embrace us. Jesus tells us that God loves us and is concerned about our safety, daily needs and our salvation. God will welcome us with open arms when we come home again, back to Him. God loved us so much that He send Jesus to die for our sins.
  2. Change our mind about our body: Our bodies do not belong to us. Our bodies belong to God. They are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are not our own but we were bought with a price. The price of Jesus on the cross. Therefore, honor God with your body.
  3. Change our mind about the world: Don’t do the ways of the world. The ways of the world have always been in conflict with the ways of God. The difference is getting greater and this is so real that almost everyone can sense it. The world sees things one way and God sees things another way. The world’s thinking has changed drastically over the last few years. What we grew up with as normal has changed. God is challenging us today to live God’s way in the midst of a changing society. The world’s thinking has become so skewed that it can take a perverted script and interpret it as a family film. We can see daily displays of that which is against God being portrayed as God’s will for us today. If you walk in the ways of the world long enough, you get all twisted around and begin to think that sin is normal and acceptable!
The challenge for each of us today is to examine ourselves to see if we are being conformed to Christ or conformed to the world. A favorite gospel hymn says, “We need to turn our eyes on Jesus and look to Him. The things of the earth will get strangely dim in the light of Jesus and His Glory and Grace”. May this be the experience of each one of us, is my prayer.