Read Romans 12: 1-2
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 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.
Why should we strive for holiness? How can we participate in the renewal of our minds?
I have been a Christian almost all of my life. So nothing is more frustrating to me than my continued struggle with certain areas of sin in my life. I know that God has called me to be holy as He is holy. The trouble is, I do not always act holy. Even though I greatly desire to. Can you relate?
The apostle Paul could relate. In Romans 7:24-25 he wrote, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from the body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!..”
So what can be done? Paul says that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God. We do not sacrifice animals in order for our sins to be forgiven but we sacrifice ourselves daily by submitting our lives to Him because He has already forgiven us. Because we have already received His great mercy, we seek to live in a way that pleases and glorifies God. To do that, we should not conform to the thinking processes, value systems, and behavior of the world. Rather, we should allow the Holy Spirit to transform us by the renewal of our minds. The Holy Spirit changes our outward behavior by changing our internal thoughts.
This is why time spent with God in His Word is so critical. Through His Word, the Holy Spirit commands, convicts, prompts, guides, and encourages us. In the Scriptures, we are shown how God wants us to live. In the Spirit, we are gradually transformed, more and more each day, into a human being more like Christ.
Friend, if you are frustrated with your sin, I understand. Spend time in the Word daily and ask the Holy Spirit to use the Word to change you. Stay the course and be encouraged by the mercies of God.
Lord, I am so thankful that You have not given up on me yet. Please continue to work in my life to make me more and more like You. I long to be holy as You are holy. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford