Now What? (Part 2 of 3)

Many Christians seek to grow and to find God’s will but are without a map to help guide them.  Where do they find direction? On Sunday, we will examine the map (the Bible) to find direction as we look at the 2nd and 3rd gospel driven commands in Romans 12.  I hope to see you there!

Pastor Byron

Passage(s): 
Romans 12:2

Comments

It’s easy to get lost when seeking the will of God. We’ve all gotten lost. Like a driver who’s lost and has pulled over, and has asked directions, and gotten something vague and unhelpful.

Or maybe you’re circling the block. You look busy and you’re pretending.

Or maybe you’ve parked at Target and you’ve quit.

 

Instead of asking in the wrong places, let’s look at the map, the Bible, our map for life.

 

Romans 12:2

 

We’re going to ask, “How do I discern God’s will?” And I’m not giving you a recipe.

 

The first step in discerning God’s will is to offer ourselves fully to God (v1)

 

Then there’s a DONT and and DO.

 

The “Don’t” - Do not be conformed to this world, to this age.

 

What conformed means? This word is only used 2x in the NT. Here and 1P 1:14. When a word is only used a couple times, it’s hard to get a good understanding of it. It means, to be fashioned, to look like.

 

So Paul’s saying, “Don’t look like the world.”

 

It’s a present-tense verb. It means you’re not supposed to look like the world today, or ever.

 

How can I tell if I look like the world?

 

What do people see when they look at me? A Christian or just another grumpy person? Someone who blends in like came. Frustrated at Walmart? Grumpy? Rude? A little short?

 

Or genuine, caring?

 

What do people see in the way you talk? Do you talk like a Christian? Or just about the ballgame? Or what’s going on at work?

 

In your actions? Your attitude? Do you show mercy? compassion? forgiveness? Or rudeness. Or bitterness.

 

The real question: can God really use you effectively if you just blend in? Why would anyone want to know about my faith if I just blend in? You can’t swear one sec and share gospel the next.

 

You can’t be rebellious at work and then expect the boss to ask what church you go to.

 

If you want to discern God’s will: don’t look like everyone else.

 

Second action: be transformed by the renewing of your mind. To be completely changed from the inside out. Like when Jesus was transfigured on the mount of transfiguration.

This is not a surface change, but from the inside-out.

 

How are we to be changed? By renewing our mind.

 

“renew” doesn’t mean “erase your memory and your identity”. It means to put new things in in the middle of your life.

 

The word “mind” here is different from the word Jesus used. It’s the word for thought life.

 

We’re changed by changing our thoughts. By changing what we bring in. From what we watch and look at.

 

If you really want to change, change what you think about. Because if you put garbage in to your mind, you’ll get garbage out of your mind.

 

For example, bad friendships. Harmful situations. Filthy movies. MTV. Netflix. YouTube. Worldly blogs. And expose yourself to the world’s standard of morality.

 

If you put garbage into your mind, you’ll get garbage out. [Mark 7:21]

 

if you want to understand God and his word, then put more God in than garbage. So many Christians are lost, wandering, wondering how to recognize God’s will. And they’re feeding on garbage. How can you expect to find something “good, acceptable, perfect” in the middle of a garbage dump? You can go gold mining in the sewage plant. You can’t find a clean shirt in the back of a garbage truck.

 

Practically, how do we renew our minds? How can I put more God in than garbage?

 

1. Stop putting garbage/filth in. Think about: what areas do I waste the most time in?

2. Put God in. Every day. Have a quiet time. How can i expect to hear from the Lord if he’s not coming into my life. It’s an uphill battle.

3. If you really want to change your thought life, put God in permanently. Memorize Scripture.

 

Eg. Psalm 19:14; 119:111.

 

DON’T look like everyone else.

DO put more God in than garbage.

 

My goal this am is for you to do some self-examination. To see what areas on the outside can I change? At work?

My second goal: examine your own life and thought process. Maybe things no one else sees. Check outward appearance and what’s coming.

 

Three groups of people:

1. doing pretty good

2. searching for areas to clean up

3. not lost because of what you’re putting in. Lost because deep down they feel empty inside. They don’t have Jesus.

 

How do you gain eternal life with Jesus Christ? John 3:16. Right where you’re sitting, believe in Jesus Christ. That he was resurrected. And that he paid the penalty for your sin.

 

Let us at Southside be know as Christians that discern God’s will. Don’t let our community think we’re just like every other church.