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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
August 24, 2002

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:1-2 (Message*)

The traditional language used in translating this passage has memorable phrases ("living sacrifice ... be transformed by the renewing of your mind") and has meant much to many. But I find Eugene Peterson's fresh, much longer translation in contemporary, colloquial language helps to clarify just what it really means in our day-to-day life.

Everything we do as we go about our lives each day should be given up to God. There is no part of our lives that we should not allow God to touch and transform. We should be living examples of the transforming power of God's love through Christ Jesus. This has been called "incarnational evangelism" - spreading the Good News by its power showing in our lives.

The way we are if we allow God to change us from the inside out may look strange to the secular culture around us. We won't adopt all the latest fads. We won't hate the "enemies" of the day. We'll have different values. People living faithful lives constitute a counter culture which demonstrates to others the possibility of living deeper, more meaningful lives regardless of our circumstances.

We need to prayerfully consider our lives in the light of this passage. Have I allowed God to transform every part of my life? Is God's love and power so evident in my life that it is a real example to others of a deeper life? Is my faith community a counter culture living out God's values rather than the world's?

Bill Samuel

* The Message version © by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2002 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 12:00:54 EST