A father asked his Son, “If three frogs were sitting on a limb that hung over a pond, and one frog decided to jump how many frogs would be left?”
The little boy grinned and said, “That’s easy, Dad. Two.”
“No,” the father replied. “The answer is three. The one frog only DECIDED to jump. He never jumped. You see, son, there is a big difference between deciding and doing!”
While Christianity calls on us to make important life decisions, there must be follow through. Action. Activity. Execution.
One great text of the Bible is Romans 12. It commands us to put into practice our resolve. The first two verses set the tone.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Our challenge is this: Will we be Conformed or Transformed?
The word conform means to fashion outwardly. But the word Transformed means to be changed inwardly. From it we get the word metamorphosis. The idea is a change from one stage to the next. When a person becomes a Christian, he is to undergo a change, a metamorphosis. Just like the ugly caterpillar undergoes the metamorphosis and becomes a beautiful butterfly, so the man in sin is to be changed into a child of God.
J.B. Phillips translates this phrase, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold.” Just like jell-O poured into a mold will solidify to become shaped like the mold, we will either be formed to look like Christ, or the world. It depends what influence shapes us.
There are three ways Christians are to be different from the world and shaped by the Word.
(1) We must be transformed morally.
The world seeks to conform us to its fashions, attitudes and morals. James L. Standfield wrote: “The world is the Devil’s liar for sinners and its lure for saints.” Satan still seeks to ensnare us the same way he did Eve and with the same three temptations as he tried to entrap Christ: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
We must be transformed from the desires, deeds, and deceitfulness of the world. There is pressure to conform through ungodly friends, salacious literature, and immoral mass media. Television, internet, facebook and even our iphone can and often do present pictures that appeal to the lewd and the lascivious.
The Bible appeals to our moral senses: “Be not conformed, but be transformed.”
(2) We must be transformed mentally.
This text calls it “the renewing of your mind.” J. Oswald wrote, “A well-ordered life is the outcome of a well-ordered mind.”
If moral change is to occur in our lives, it must begin with a mental transformation. Christians think differently than the world. We discipline our minds to think on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Phil. 4:8).
Since so much in the world appeals to the obscene, off-color, and unclean, we must constantly renew our minds, refresh our spirits and revive our hearts. How do we affect mind-renewal?
It must begin by reading the Bible. By meditating upon the word, we can flush out bad thoughts and replace them with good and godly thoughts. The Psalmist penned, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You (Ps 119:11).
We can also replenish our minds with spiritual thoughts by listening to recordings of hymns, sermons and motivational lessons. Attending worship service and enjoying fellowship with like-minded Believers also helps. Reading good books by religious authors will channel our minds in a positive direction. And, of course, reading ThePreachersWord daily will help!
(3) We must be transformed motivationally.
Romans:12:2 exhorts “that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Our motives should be wrapped up in the will of God. We are focused on Jesus “the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2)
Our motivation is beyond this life. It is spiritual. Eternal. And heavenward.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman