I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:1, 2
To be truly transformed, you have to be a living sacrifice.
But what does that even mean?
How can you be the living sacrifice God wants you to be?
And how do you know if you have the same perspective on life as Jesus?
Ask yourself these questions:
Has the love of Christ so enraptured you that your mind has been renewed?
Has the very essence of your being been transformed so that the things of this world grow strangely dim?
Here in Romans 12, we can’t have verse 2 without verse 1.
There is no margin for error.
No grey area that allows for unconfessed sin.
My flesh squirms when I read this.
It hates to hear this.
More significantly, it hates to accept this.
So how do we overcome?
How Can You Transform Your Life Through Jesus?
You transform your life when you step out in faith.
And, when you present yourself (that is your body) as a living sacrifice.
Paul in Romans 12 is beseeching you.
He’s begging you as brothers and sisters in Christ to acknowledge God’s mercy.
Acknowledge that it’s by faith in Christ that you’re not destined for hell.
So your response to His mercy should be to present yourself holy and acceptable.
But the only way you can accomplish this is by the blood of your Savior Jesus Christ.
You can’t do it all one your own.
Apart from Him, you can do nothing!
So it’s “reasonable” for you as a Christian to respond this way.
Because it’s a response of gratitude for His help, grace, mercy, salvation, and everything He’s given you.
You can reason in your mind that to be more like God, you have to be
renewed and transformed.
Because you have to change.
You have to shed your tendency to sin.
You have to rise up against your sin nature that desperately wants to say:
“Hey everybody else is doing it, why can’t I?” or “It’s just a little thing, I can handle this.”
You have to rebuke any thoughts leading to the sinful actions that have sent too many of us down the path of destruction.
And you have to have a Christ-like perspective on life.
Becoming Like Christ Is a Step-By-Step Process
Once you take that step of faith towards God and away from the ways of the world, you can walk in the light as He is in the light.
You can become more like Jesus!
“…If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” – John 1:7
However, it’s not like you take one step and that’s it.
You have to walk – through the trials, through the fires, through the rejection, and through the persecution.
You have to be able to say in these moments:
It’s helpful to realize how different God is from mankind.
- He is a spirit (John 4:24). We are flesh (Psalm 78:39).
- He is good (Romans 2:4). We are evil. (Matthew 7:11).
- He is love (1 John 4:8). Our hearts are disparately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).
- He is eternal. We are temporal. (2 Corinthians 4:18).
- He is holy (Isaiah 6:3). We are dirt. (Genesis 2:7).
You get the point.
Once you tap into the things of God, you enter into a whole new perspective on life.
A Christ-like perspective assures you of your purpose!
There is a plan for your life.
And God is in control.
It is no coincidence that the helmet of salvation in the armor of God mentioned in Ephesians 6 is designed to protect your mind.
Because it’s in your mind where the battle rages.
Thoughts and ideas pop in your head that are either in God’s will or not.
The thoughts that are not God’s will, you have to immediately determine whether or not you’re going to act on them.
And when you act on an idea that is not God’s will, it is sin and it’s a recipe for disaster.
But what a difference it’ll make if you think like a follower of Jesus Christ.
5 Truths to Help You Have a Christ-Like Perspective:
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” – Philippians 4:8
Just focus on what is true for a minute:
1. You are alive.
2. You know something about God.
3. You can observe His creation.
4. You can hear His promises to you in His word.
5. You have a certain degree of hope.
These things are true!
And truth gives you something to hold on to.
It gives you a sense of certainty.
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” – James 1:6
Without truth, you don’t have Jesus’ perspective.
And without Jesus’ perspective, life is unstable and filled with doubt.
God’s Perspective vs. the World’s Perspective:
For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)
As we saw, God is very different from us.
But regardless of our differences, His heart is to have a relationship with us personally.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8)
So how do we connect with a holy, eternal, all powerful, all knowing God?
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26)
When you are born again, God takes residence in your heart.
You truly become a new creation and you see life entirely different.
And you begin to see life from Jesus’ perspective, not the worlds.
Knowing His Love Through His Perspective is an Eternal Joy!
“…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)
In other words, can you possibly comprehend, in your mind, the full dimension of God’s great love for you, for me, and the world for all time?
This agape, unconditional love is so great, that there is a fourth dimension added that we do not know.
It passes knowledge.
But what a joy it is to experience God’s love.
Do you know His love today?
Present yourself to God.
Be renewed in your mind by changing the way you view the world.
And come to know Jesus and His perspective for your life.