“I urge you, then, brothers, remembering the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, dedicated and acceptable to God; that is the kind of worship for you, as sensible people. Do not model your behavior on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God’ what is good and acceptable and mature.” (Romans 12:1-2)
If you’ve ever been around prolonged road construction you know how frustrating it can be – bumper-to-bumper traffic, slow commutes, stray nails in your tires, or early morning noisy machinery outside your bedroom window. Growth in an area means a need for nice, big multi-lane highways and overpasses, new schools, restaurants, hospitals and strip malls – but the months and sometimes years it takes to get there can be pretty inconvenient. The end result is awesome but the process is long and tedious.
For a region, development for a better tomorrow comes at the price of inconvenience, sacrifices and a lot of hard work today. The same is true of people. Development takes time and energy. Paul tells the Romans that they are to offer their bodies as a “living sacrifice.” Peter said to rejoice as you share in Christ’s sufferings. James said to count it joy when you meet trials of various kinds. Jesus told us to pick up our cross and follow him. None of these things sound easy to do. That’s a whole other level from sitting in stopped traffic when you’re already late to a meeting.
Following Christ is an absolute surrender – a dying to self. It’s laying down the world and fully committing to the transformation. Sure, we can expect delays. Yet this ongoing process of development in the life of every believer is evidence of our growth in relationship with Him. We may help make them, but every disciple belongs to Jesus. He’s the one who redeems, transforms and makes new. He’s the one who gets the glory.
Prayer: Lord, we praise You for Your constant desire to transform our hearts and renew our minds. Turn my heart towards You and help me to have patience and perseverance with myself and others in the process of growing closer to You. Amen.