Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Does Any of This Apply to Me?

Divinely designed priestly garments, a signet plate of pure gold, inscribed with the words "Holiness to the Lord" worn on the front of the turban, an altar which has gone through a seven-day atonement ceremony to make it holy and fit for use... (Exodus 28) I read of these things and think, surely none of this has anything to do with me!

Until I recall the words:

"I appeal to you, therefore, make a decisive dedication of your bodies, presenting all your members and faculties as a living sacrifice (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship." (Romans 12:1 Amp.)

And exactly how does one do that?

"Do not be conformed to this world – this age, fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs. But be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind – by its new ideals and its new attitude – so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good, and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (Romans 12:2).

What does a world-conformed life look like? Watching an evening’s worth of TV commercials, for example, illustrates the fashions and superficialities our society values. We’re pressured to go after riches, good looks and sex appeal, a secure retirement plan, a car that enhances our image, the right social and business contacts, products which will make our homes reflect well on us, and on and on.

Those of us belonging to Christ, though, are not to be conformed to and strive after these things. Instead we are to be transformed and changed, with a set of different values. One can’t help but think of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5,6,7) as a template of new values, ideals, and attitudes.

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