As we study the book of Romans, we find that the apostle Paul spends a great deal of time  telling us what God has done. And finally, he begins to speak in more detail about who we are and what we must do. And we can't really follow instructions, or take orders or pursue God's  will, until we really know what God has done. But once we do, then, God does give us  instructions on what he calls us to do. And so we're going to focus today on the beginning of a great section of Romans, that speaks of how Christians live and how we live differently. The  Apostle says, Therefore, I urge you brothers in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as  living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship, do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,  then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is His good, pleasing, and perfect  will. As we consider this small portion of God's word, we're going to focus on four main things  that the apostle speaks of that lead us into embracing God's will. The first is to trust God's  mercy. The second is to offer your body. The third is to renew your mind. And then having  done all that, to attune your will to really be in tune with God's mind and God's will. So we'll  look at each of those in more detail. But the first is simply to trust God's mercy. That's what  the Apostle has been up to, in trying to communicate all through the letter of Romans thus  far, is that the gospel is the gospel of God's mercy. And God's people live by His grace, by His  mercy, by his love and generosity in giving to us life and salvation. When you read, in  Romans, you find that everybody, no matter who you are, has the same problem, and has it  so badly that nobody can rescue ourselves. I use the picture of someone being a little better  than another one, a person in a wheelchair, for instance, isn't nearly as mobile as an  outstanding mountain climber. And so you'd say, well, who's better at moving? You'd say,  well, the mountain climber is definitely better than the person who is wheelchair bound. But  then if you were to ask the question, who's got a better chance of making it to the moon, it's,  neither of them has any chance. You don't need climbing lessons. To get to the moon, you  need a rocket, you need something other than your own resources. And the Bible teaches us  that our own resources are simply leaving us trapped in sin but the resources of the Lord  Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, lift us up into a whole new life and set us free. And so we  must trust God's mercy. And first of all, that means that salvation is Jesus plus nothing.  Nothing that I can do, can add to what Jesus has done in terms of deserving or earning God's  favor. Jesus has done it all. God has done it all. And so I can receive it by faith without thinking about, well, what do I have to do to get on God's good side? It's Jesus plus nothing, but the  apostle then goes on to say in Romans six through eight, that it's also Jesus minus nothing.  There's a danger sometimes in knowing the gospel of grace to say, and therefore, I'm just  going to stay the same old me I'm going to do whatever I want, because I'm in anyway. And  the apostle says, no, you die to sin, and you live to God, because salvation is Jesus minus  nothing. It's the whole me in union with the whole Christ, by the Holy Spirit, who lives in me  and gives me life. And so remember both of those equations of Christianity, as you think of  God's mercy, salvation is Jesus Christ plus nothing, but also Jesus Christ, minus nothing. When you're born again, you're born again to New Life by the power of the Holy Spirit. And the  Apostle says, If you don't have the Spirit of Christ, you don't belong to Christ. And if you have  the Spirit of Christ, why then you have a whole new life and a whole new power at work within you. So trust in that mercy in chapters nine through 11, the apostle is getting into more detail about God's dealings with Jewish people, as well as people from other nationalities. But even  in dealing with that issue, what's it all about? It's all about God's mercy. Near the beginning of that section is God says, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy. Salvation does not  depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. God makes the riches of his glory  known to the object of his mercy. You Gentiles have received mercy, and Jews will receive  mercy as a result of God's mercy to you for God has bound all men over to disobedience, so  that he may have mercy on them all. How many times does he need to say it? Mercy, mercy,  mercy, mercy, mercy. And then after teaching all of that mercy in all of those chapters of  Romans, then he says now, in view of God's mercy, and in fact, it's not literally in view of  God's mercy. It's in view of God's mercies. The old translation of the King James is better in  that particular case, I beseech you by the mercies of God. It's all about God's mercies. So you  begin by trusting God's mercy. And then in light of God's mercy, all the other changes take 

place. I trust I've made it clear enough that this section of Romans that we're moving into how to live the Christian life can't be separated from the earlier part. Because if you just pick it up  in Romans 12, and say, Wow, that sounds like a great way of life, a way that I would really like to live. Or if you dive into Jesus Sermon on the Mount and, say, that sounds great, I'm going to 

try harder. If you try harder on the Sermon on the Mount, you will feel like the most defeated  person ever, because you can't live up to the Sermon on the Mount just by giving it a little  more umph. And you can't live up to the next chapters of Romans, just by making a little  more effort, you're going to find as you look at them that, that these chapters upcoming in  Romans are very similar to Jesus teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. And both are  impossible, without the one who preaches the Sermon on the Mount, and begins it by  declaring his blessings on the broken and by declaring his grace and then everything else  follows from there. In view of God's mercy, though, then you can get more attuned with God's  will and embrace God's will. And that begins, according to the apostle by offering your bodies  as living sacrifices, holy, and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship, offering  your body to God. It's kind of a odd way to launch into here's what you need to be as a  Christian. I thought Christianity was about being spiritual, what's this body thing. And yet, he  says it is your spiritual act of worship, to offer your body or the word spiritual there translated  spiritual worship is actually logikos or logical. And translators are always a little bit befuddled  how to translate that the old King James had it. This is your reasonable act of whor, this is  your reasonable service, your reasonable worship, and that it's logical. It's a logical in view of  God's mercies to offer your body. It's spiritual, also to offer your body. We don't usually  connect the body with logic, or the body with spirituality, but it's logical to offer your body  and one of the most spiritual things you can do is offer your body to God. What is your body?  Well, here it says your body's a living sacrifice. In the Old Testament, people offered various  kinds of sacrifices, bulls and heifers, sheep, doves, you offered these sacrifices and one thing  that was always true of the sacrifice when you offered it, it was dead. But they are not to offer dead animal sacrifices, but living personal sacrifices they're to offer themselves to God. A  story about a little girl one day when the offering plate was passed, and she just took it and  stood in the middle of it and just stood in the middle of the offering plate. She was asked,  well, what are you doing? I'm offering myself she gave herself in the offering. And the Bible  even uses that kind of language. When it speaks of offerings offer your they offer themselves  first to the Lord. And then they offer their gifts as well. So you give yourself even before you  to give any offering, but you're not offering a dead animal as a sacrifice, you're offering your  living self as a sacrifice. It's also worth pointing out that this doesn't exactly call you to be a  martyr, in the same sense as Stephen, who was killed by enemies of the Gospel, or the other  great martyrs of the faith. That's not to say that nobody should ever be a martyr. But here,  you're not being told offer yourself as a dead sacrifice someone who's willing to die for Christ.  But as somebody who's willing to live for Him, you can ask yourself, well, would I really be  willing to die for Jesus? Suppose somebody held a gun to my head and said, either reject  Christ or you die? Would I have the courage and faith to do that? I don't know. And I'm not  being asked to do that right now. Right now, I'm not asking to offer a heroic death for Christ.  I'm being instructed to offer myself as a living, sacrifice. And if I live for Christ should that day ever come when I'm called to die for him? I trust he'll enable me to do it. But right now, that's  not what he's telling me to do. Not to make that one heroic sacrifice of a moment, but to give  a whole life and a whole self to God as a living sacrifice. And just a reminder, again, of why  the body matters so much. Your body is a marvel of God's creation. Scripture says that you're  fearfully and wonderfully made. Your body is linked with Jesus body. And one passage where  the Bible makes that point is a not very pleasant one. It says, Don't you know that when you  join your body to a prostitute, you're joining the members of Christ to her. So if you get  involved in sexual sin, you're actually involving somehow the body of Jesus in that as well.  And it's also your body is linked with Jesus positively as well, where the members of the  church are members of His Body, and, and your body is his, your body's the Holy Spirit's  temple, God sent the Holy Spirit as a great gift to live within each one of us. And so our bodies are dwellings for the Holy Spirit. As we see, in this passage, the body is an offering to God, it's what we give to him. It's one of the great gifts he's given to us. And now a great gift we can 

offer back to him, your bodies are equipment for action, as we see earlier in Romans chapter  six that you offer the instruments of your body, that is the parts of your body, as God's tools,  as His instruments to serve him. Your body is you're gift to your spouse, if you should ever be  

married, or if you're already married. And so that's another reason to keep your body pure  and, and to keep it healthy. And finally, your body is going to be raised and glorified. It's not  just disposable. We live in a disposable time where you use stuff for a little bit and you chuck  it, and then you grab another one. That's not how resurrection works. Resurrection takes the  bodies we've already got and makes them perfect and glorifies them, but it doesn't just  dispose of them. And so for all these reasons, your body matters. And it matters a lot. And in  a moment, we'll look at how you don't conform to this world. But I'll just point out one way  that the Christian view of the body is very different from the world's. My body, my choice.  Okay, that's a worldly way of thinking. It's my body, I do what I want with it and End of  discussion. The Bible's view of the body is your body is a gift from God. You're not your own.  You were bought at a price. Christ offered his body and blood for you. Now, you offer your  body to him as a living sacrifice. And he gets to call the shots also on what you do with your  body. And so your body matters a lot and you offer your body to him as a living sacrifice. And  as apostle put it earlier in Romans 6:13. You offer your body parts the various parts of your  body to God do not offer the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness, but  rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life and offer  the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. I think that's an ongoing thing.  Offering your bodies as a living sacrifice offering the parts of your body to his service. It also  can be a decisive consecration or dedication. And so I do want to consider and challenge each one of you to think about that? Have you ever just taken a time where you made up your  mind that your body belongs to Christ, and you are going to use the parts of your body for his  honor. Say, Jesus, take my whole body, it's my gift and my sacrifice back to you. Help me to  use it for your glory, help me to use my eyes, to see others in need, help me to use my eyes  to see your glories in creation and to praise you help me to use my ears to listen to your  word, to use my ears to listen to others, and to really understand them, and seek to love  them, to use my ears to listen to the music that glorifies you, and lifts you up, help me Lord to use my tongue, not as a poison, or as the kind of thing that starts fires. But as the kind of  things that bring the kind of thing that brings healing, i Lord, I give my mouth and my tongue  you help me to use my stomach in a way that isn't just given over to gluttony, and to craving,  but to be thankful for all the blessings of food that you give me, help me to use my hands, to  work for you to do things that build others up, help me to use my feet to go to the places that  you call me to go. Help me to use my reproductive system to glorify You should give us  children help me to raise them for your glory. There are there are so many blessings in so  many different parts of the marvelous body God has given. And so first of all, say Lord, I give  my body to you, I consecrate my whole body and offer it up to you. And then think about the  various parts of your body. And having made that act of consecration of dedication to the  Lord, then keep on doing it. Keep on renewing, that consecration, that dedication, that  determination, to offer the parts of your body as instruments of righteousness. Therefore, I  urge you brothers in view of God's mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy. You  want to have a holy and pure way of handling your body, and you want to please God with  your body. So on almost any bodily action, that you're going to undertake, ask two questions.  Is this holy? Does this please God? It's usually not as complicated. As one might think it's  usually fairly obvious if you're simply willing to ask the question, while having a body that's  dedicated, and consecrated and offered to the Lord. If you haven't ever dedicated your body  to the Lord. And if you don't ask those questions, then God's will for your body gets very  puzzling and confusing. But otherwise, God's will becomes very clear. And then renew your  mind, do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the  renewing of your mind. And you see there a couple of key words, conform means that you're  shaped by pressures from outside you. Transformed means that you're shaped by something  that's happening inside you, that is the Holy Spirit, who's living in you, who's nudging you  who's guiding you, who's enabling you to live for the Lord Jesus Christ. So the apostle sets up  two opposing or contrasting things either being conformed to the world, being squeezed into 

the mold of the world, or to be a transformed person, by the renewing of your mind, by the  Holy Spirit and the mind of Christ, who's living within you. The Bible says, Do not conform, do  not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, for everything in the world, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life. They don't come  from the Father, but from the world, the world and its desires pass away. But the man who  does the will of God lives forever. The apostle James said the same thing, pretty much in  different words. He said you adulterous people? Don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God. Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of  God. That doesn't mean that if you're friendly to people around you in this world, therefore  you're God's enemy. But world refers to a culture and system and era period of time, which is  opposed to God. And that is not what calls the shots for you. So don't conform to this world.  Just to remind you, again of one of the main structures of New Testament thought, the last  days, we live between Jesus first coming, and Jesus second coming, that whole period is  called The Last Days and at Jesus first coming, and then at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit,  the passing world age was dealt a decisive blow. Jesus death and resurrection means that the  old world, the old age, the old system of doing things, is living on borrowed time, it's coming  to an end. And it launches the coming world age, the new age that eventually brings us into  eternal life, and we already taste eternal life now. And the apostles teach you and teach you  the whole New Testament, is that you died with Jesus to this old aeon. That's the word that's  used here in Romans 12, where Paul says, Don't conform to this world, he actually says, Don't  conform to this Aeon to this age. It can kind of be it can kind of mean world or age or world  age, you know, what era or system are you part of. And so you arose with Jesus Christ into a  new creation, the new Aeon of the Holy Spirit, so don't conform to the old aeon, that's the old  way of things, be transformed by the renewed mind, of the Spirit. Now, this is different than  saying, you'll notice that sometimes when Christians urge other Christians to not conform,  and to dare to be different, sometimes they get a little bit confused on what that means. And  they seem to suggest that the Christian way of living is to live like you were in society 100  years ago. And so your fashion should be like that you should live an agrarian lifestyle, you  should be more like people were 100 years ago. Now, no doubt there are virtues that can be  learned from people who lived 100 years ago. And if you like country, life, more power to you.  But that's not what is meant by don't conform to this world, but live in the new way. newness  of life means that it's the newness of the Holy Spirit, not the lifestyle of a particular point in  time in America, we don't say, boy, if I lived like a pioneer, then I would be a great and godly  person, no doubt, some pioneers were great and godly. But it's not simply becoming someone from a different era of history, it's instead of entering into the new era of eternal life that's  come to us in the Lord Jesus Christ. And it comes about by the Holy Spirit, and you're living  that way, in the situation that God has put us in now, we can't go back to an era where there  are no cars, or no computers, or none of the other things that we have. And it's not  conforming to this world, to drive an automobile, or to own a computer or a smartphone  conforming to the world is to let a particular system and way of life and thought shape the  way you deal with whatever your life situation is. There's a way to live for Christ in the time  and the situation that you're in. And so don't conform to the old aeon be transformed by the  renewing of your mind. What is that renewing of your mind? Well, the apostle has talked  about it repeatedly. He says that it is to have the mind of Christ, or to have the mind of the  Holy Spirit. So again, this isn't just something you kind of work on. You do work on it. And in  our church, very often, we've emphasized it's important to read the Bible. It's important to  pray, it's important to meditate to be with God's people to hear the preaching of the Word,  you renew your mind by those means. But it's not first of all, something that I'm doing or that  you're doing. It's something that God is doing and you get transformed by God, renewing your mind. If we go back to Romans eight, what does it say about the mind? Those in accord with  the spirit, mind, the things of the Spirit, you're thinking about the things of God the things  that the Holy Spirit does? The mind of the Spirit is life and peace. Those led by the Spirit are  the sons of God, you're a child of God, when the Holy Spirit is directing and leading you. The  Spirit himself testifies with our spirit, that we're God's children. So part of the mind of Christ is having this assurance that God is my Father, and He loves me. And having the mind of Christ 

is living with the mind that I am loved. I'm beloved by God, my life on this planet is not an  accident. I am not just a random collection molecules I am loved and purchased by God. And  the spirit is testifying with my spirit that I belong to Him. When I pray, sometimes I don't know what to say. But the Spirit intercedes for us with groans, that words can't even express and he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit. And so you have this mind of the Spirit. And it is that this renewed mind of the Holy Spirit that is going to change who you are. And if  this sounds very strange and unfamiliar to you, then it's very important that you realize that if you're a Christian at all, you have the Holy Spirit. If you don't have the Spirit of Christ, you  don't belong to Christ. But if you do have the Spirit of Christ, then you do have the mind of  the Spirit, and the mind of Christ. And when we read another writer, the apostle in I  Corinthians two, he says, Now, we preach a message of wisdom. But it's not the wisdom of  this age, this aeon. It's not the wisdom of this age or aeon, but the wisdom that comes from  God. He says, the wisdom of this age and the rulers of this age, it's coming to nothing, no, we  speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that he destined for our glory before time began, no, eye have seen, no ear has heard, it has not entered into the mind of man to imagine what  God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. So he's  saying nobody of their own mind could have come up with this. And yet God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. And it's not the wisdom of the world. We have not received the spirit of the  world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us  For who has known the mind of the Lord, that may, that he may instruct him. But we have the mind of Christ. So that's I Corinthians chapter two. Now, if we get back into Romans, the very  end of Chapter 11 said, Oh, the depth of the riches, the wisdom and knowledge of God, How  unsearchable his judgments and his paths beyond tracing out who has known the mind of the  Lord, and who has been his counselor, who has ever given the God that God should repay  him, For from him and through him and to him are all things to Him be the glory forever and  ever? You notice that the apostle is quoting the very same quote, who has known the mind of  the Lord? When he asked that question in I Corinthians two, you know, he said, Hey, no, I  have seen no Yes or No mind has conceived. But God has revealed it to us by his spirit. So  there's this huge difference, who are God's thoughts are not our thoughts. And yet God  reveals it to us by his spirit, it can be asked, well, who has known the mind of the Lord, that  he may instruct him that question and Isaiah 40, that the answer would kind of be well,  nobody who's known the mind of the Lord. But we have the mind of Christ. And now here in  Romans chapter 11, the apostle quotes that who has known the mind of the Lord, who in the  world could ever understand what God is up to. And then right away, he's saying now, lets  have these renewed minds, let's have these minds that are in tune with God's Holy Spirit.  Because when we say, Who's known the mind of the Lord, we're not saying nobody. We're  saying, we do. We have the mind of Christ. Now we say that in measure, because nobody fully understands the great and eternal and infinite mind of the Lord. But the apostles whole point  is, I've been sharing with you, the mind of Christ, I've been describing to you what is the mind of the Holy Spirit. And so you can have that mind of the Holy Spirit. In fact, that's how you get transformed, is by having more and more of that mind, and being more and more in tune with the mind of Christ. So don't conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be  transformed by the renewing of your mind. Be aware of some of the characteristic things in  our world that are challenges for us. The apostle Paul earlier is spoken of the way the world  thinks, the world thinks that God didn't create things. And they make created things more  important than the Creator Himself. And we live in a world of course, where the creator's  action is, again and again and again, denied or explained away by our theorists and, and our  scholars. The Apostle speaks of people whose bodily lives and sexual lives are completely  confused. Where men are interested in men, women are interested in women or men and  women are just promiscuous where they're not devoted and faithful to one person, but where  their sexual lives are directed by whatever I feel like doing. At the moment, that's the way the world works. That is not the way the mind of Christ or the body offered to Christ works. The  world, you know, in our time sees children as a burden, and a problem, the Bible sees children as a blessing. And so if your mind is conformed to the world, then you will see children as a  problem to be solved or eliminated. And if you see them as a blessing, then you will welcome 

each child and honor the value of each child. The world has its notions about what good  entertainment is. And if you watch all the same stuff, the world washes, and listened to all the same stuff the world listens to, don't be shocked if your life and behavior become an awful lot  like that of the world. Because the whole point Paul was making is, are you going to be  shaped by those things all around you, or by the Holy Spirit of Christ within you, you need a  renewed mind. And that means getting in tune with the Holy Spirit of God, and not just with  what happens to be going on at the moment. And it's so very easy to take a common  behavior as normal behavior. There is a difference between being common and being normal  or healthy. A lot of things can get very common, that are very displeasing to God, Why else do you think God talks about the world as being bad, the world basically means the things that  have really become common, that are way off track. So we need to renew our minds and not  conform to what's become common around us, but instead be transformed by the life within  us. And let me remind you, again, that this isn't just a matter of saying, Well, this set of  clothes from a certain era, or these set of practices from a certain different era than our own,  the old fashioned is better, sometimes the old is better, sometimes the new is better. But the  point is not which of those you pick from, but are you living by the Spirit of God, or by the  spirit of the age around us. So if you want to know God's will, then you really do need to  renew your mind. And then attune your will if you offer your body if you trust God's mercies. If you offer your body, if your mind is being renewed by the Holy Spirit, then you'll be able to  test and approve what God's will is His good, pleasing, and perfect will. Do you want to be in  tune with God's will? Do you want to know what God's will is? There's a particular kind of  Christian book, which is one of the most popular kinds that sells. They are books about  discovering God's will. Anybody who writes a book about discovering God's Will has a better  shot than ordinary at selling a fair number of books. And very often these books are a  particular kind of will and a particular kind of decision. Whom should I marry? How do I know  God's will about that? What college should I go to? Or what career should I pursue? How do I  know God's will for doing that? And I, I'm thinking about buying a house? How do I know what  neighborhood and what price range I should be in? How do I know God's will for that. And  we're very interested in knowing God's will for the big decisions of our lives. Because we're  hoping, of course, that we'll make a decision that turns out well for us, I want to pick the  person to marry who's going to give me a happy life together. I want to pick the career where  I'm actually going to flourish and make a good living. I want to buy a house that doesn't sink  me a millions of miles in debt and land me in a neighborhood that's surrounded by crime and  nasty things. So I want God's will to make sure that I make decisions that turn out well for me. And I'm not knocking the desire to make choices guided by God in choosing someone to  marry or choosing a career or making huge decisions like what house to buy or, or some of  the other big life decisions that we have to make. I will just say that knowing God's will is  often not tied into making one of those decisions and knowing that God had picked this  person as my one soulmate out of all the people on the planet. Was this the soulmate, and am I going to miss out if I didn't somehow figure out a way to get that one soulmate God had for  me. And God had that one career in mind. And if I deviate from that by 10 inches, I will have  blown his perfect plan for my life. So I gotta gotta gotta get this thing, right. And we feel  pressure at the time of the big decisions to make the decision that's going to be best. And we  want to know, God's exact guidance on that decision. And meanwhile, while we're thinking  about what career for the next 20 years am I going to be in, we might neglect doing a good  job at the part time job that we're doing right now. And while we're thinking about whether to  buy that house in that neighborhood, we might be snapping at our spouse in the process of  making those decisions. Now we know what God's will is, for how to treat our spouse, we  might know it better than his will for what to do on the house. And it may turn out that at the  end of your life, you'll look back and say that the little decisions were the big ones. And the  big ones maybe kind of took care of themselves. When you were living in tune with God's will, even when you're really focusing on the big decisions. God's already up to stuff that you  didn't know about. I I've mentioned before the the Father's Day a few years ago, where I was  asked to sing while Jacqueline was going to play the piano. And I had a bit of a cold and the  part was a little high. So I said I don't think I should do it and see if one of those Marks boys 

can sing you know their tenors. So yeah, she practiced as well as those Marks boys and got  married to him? Well, you know, I wasn't praying. Who Oh Lord reveal to me who should sing  instead of me on Father's Day. there's some guy that can sing. I had him do it. Maybe they  would have married anyway, I have no idea. But but that's the kind of thing that makes a big  difference. You know, my kids always bugged me said, Daddy, you mean you in the early 80s? You were a computer science major getting all A's and you didn't go into computers? We  would have been rich. And I said, Yeah, I would have been rich and there would have been no  you. eaker 37:36 Because I Met Your Mother, while I was attending seminary. Okay. What we  consider just kind of one choice that has nothing to do with another actually is shaped by  God's over arching will. And sometimes if we will simply say, God, I trust you. As Romans  eight puts it all things work together for good to those who love God. And are called according to His purpose, let him worry about some of those big decisions. And certainly every decision  Big or small, commit it to Him. But very often, he's not going to give a direct message straight from heaven. This is the house you should buy. That's the person you should marry. He will  say this is not the person you should marry if they don't share union with you spiritually. Um,  you shouldn't marry somebody if they don't share your faith. But other than that, he's not  giving the name or saying this is the one soulmate and you will have missed the boat. If you  don't manage somehow to figure out who it was supposed to be. You pray to God you make  and if you're in love with the Holy Spirit, you make the decisions according to his leading,  sometimes he will give a very strong leading that wouldn't have come to you otherwise. I  know, again, getting back to being a computer science major, I would have stayed in that  computers, I was doing great at it. And I just had a stronger and stronger sense that I was  supposed to be a preacher of the gospel. And that was something that came, I believe, from  the Holy Spirit, and as a direct and very strong leading from the Holy Spirit to guide me in a  direction that I would not have gone without that particular special leading. But I've made a  lot of other decisions where I didn't have special or powerful guidance from the Holy Spirit,  but just trusted Lord, I believe this decisions open to me and I'm going to do it unless you  push me in a different direction. And so I would suggest the same of you. be dedicating your  body to the Lord your mind to the Lord and then your very own thoughts become thoughts  from Christ and you still have to be discerning. You have to test his good his pleasing, His  perfect will. But that's all based on the fact that you've trusted his mercies that you've offered your body to him that your mind is being renewed and that you're not conforming to whatever the world has to throw at you And when that happens, then walk with God in the little  decisions and in the big ones, and he'll take care of the little ones and the big ones and some  of the little ones will turn out to be bigger than you thought. And some of the big ones will  turn out to be littler than you thought many people who thought that that big career choice  they made now they've got that settled, we'll be in a different career three years from now.  That's okay. As long as you're walking with the Lord, serve Him wherever He leads you. The  Bible does not promise 25 years of guidance into the future, It guides us in living for Christ.  Now, this past week, I finished reading through the book of Acts in my own devotions and was struck again by the apostle Paul, Jesus gave him specific guidance. He said, You're going to  preach in Rome. Well, okay, that was pretty clear guidance. And how did he get there? Well,  he was arrested by the Jews. He was put on trial nearly torn apart by a mob, put on trial  before a couple of different governors and a king then was shipped over there was in a wild  storm for two weeks. In the end, the ship sank, he landed on an island. And five years later,  you know, five years later, from the time he was told he would make it to Rome. He was in  Rome. And it was not an easy path. It was not the most direct line. There may be times when  the Lord actually does reveal something a direction for you, but it's still gonna be a lot  different probably, than you thought. You don't need to know everything God has planned for  you. You just need to know Lord today. What is it you'd have me to do? I offer you my body. I  offer you my mind my body spirit is your temple. My mind Holy Spirit is your mind help me to  live in tune with you. Dear Father, we pray that you will indeed help us to really embrace  your mercies as your Holy Spirit seals on our hearts that we are your children and heirs. And  we pray, Father, that you will help each one of us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to  you, that our minds may be renewed. We thank You, Lord, that we are the temple of the Holy 

Spirit, that we have the mind of the spirit and that you are personally guiding each one of us  by the mind of the Spirit and that you're also giving us Lord, the public guidance that all of us  need from the Holy Scriptures. And so Lord, make us people of the Bible. People who listen to  

that word inspired by the Spirit, and then who also are sensitive to the day to day  opportunities to do the work of Jesus and to be guided by the spirit in the details of our  everyday lives. Lord, make us shine for you help us Lord to be decisively different people who  shine with the light of Christ in a in a dark generation, that many more Lord may come to  know you. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

Modifié le: mardi 11 janvier 2022, 12:47