The Grace Gifts of the Holy Spirit
5 - Renew My Mind
1 So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service.
2 Don't be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God's will is — what is good and pleasing and mature.
Common English Bible
God tells me in Romans 12:2 that I need to transform my thinking so I can figure out what God's will is for me, what is good and pleasing and mature.
God doesn't expect me to start out understanding everything right away, but He says that as I read His Word daily and talk to Him about what I read, then the Word that gets inside me will begin to transform how I think and renew my mind.
For example, I was born a pessimist. A pessimist is someone who thinks that life will never work out right, that there will only ever be trouble and that he or she will never be happy.
With poor thinking like that I could never begin to exercise the grace gifts of God in my life. But you know from seeing me in church and reading my devotionals that I certainly am not a pessimist anymore!
The reason for the change in me is that I set myself to do what Romans 12:2 says. I took God's words seriously and allowed Him to transform how I approach living. I began to understand that God is not a pessimist.
If He was, He would not spend time making good plans for my life. If He was a pessimist, the Lord Jesus certainly would not want to lay aside the privileges of being God in heaven to take on an earth suit, and come and sacrifice His life blood for me.
I understood that I am valuable to God and that He called me into His world with a good purpose in mind. In order to find out this purpose I searched His word daily and I found out that God's thoughts about us humans are full of hope. And though life is sometimes full of trouble, I see for myself that God brings me through with His miracles every day. Wow!
The dictionary says that an optimist is a person who is inclined to be hopeful and to expect good outcomes.
This describes who God is. He said so Himself in Jeremiah 29:
11 I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.
12 When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you.
13 When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me.
14 I will be present for you, declares the Lord, and I will end your captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have scattered you, and I will bring you home after your long exile, declares the Lord.
Common English Bible
This is what God did for me. He ended my captivity to poor thinking about my life; He delivered me from pessimism. After that, I made up my mind to be someone who learns to think like God. I decided to get His Word inside my mind so I can learn how to be an optimist like my Father in Heaven.
This is how I have been renewing my mind ever since because God expects me to learn to think His kinds of thoughts which I find in His word every day.
Does that mean that I'm never sad? Certainly not.
Life can be really unpleasant sometimes, but I found a hymn by Horatius Bonar that explains it. See the column on the right.
Father in heaven, I come today to submit all my thoughts about life to Your scrutiny.
Lord You see the places in my mind where my thoughts are very different from Yours.
Today I put these poor thoughts into Your hands and I ask that You teach me to love Your word so I can learn how to begin thinking Your kinds of thoughts and going in Your wonderful direction in my life.
Thank You for Your patience with me as I learn to think like my Father who has such good hope for me.
Lord Jesus thank You for making this all possible by Your sacrifice on the cross. Amen.
Hope we can get together again tomorrow,
Meanwhile, have a great day
walking with The Lord Jesus Christ!