{RE:} Renewed Minds

Monday: Renewed Minds

Welcome to week 3! On our journey to resurrected lives, dreams, hearts, and spirits we have worked to discern places where we need to "return" to God and "remember". This week we will take time to think about what it means to be renewed: What parts of you need to be renewed? What would renewal look like? What would it change? How do we get there?

We begin this week with a really familiar passage. Try to read it as if it's the first time. Go and look it up in other translations if that helps! I will include the NRSV first and then the Message translation.

Read: Romans 12: 1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world (present age),
but be transformed by the renewing of your minds,
so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

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.


One of the first words in chapter 12 is *therefore* - whenever you see that word, you know it means that the writer (Paul) is building off a previous argument and getting to the "action". In this case, Paul spends the first 11 chapters of Romans laying out some heavy theology and doctrine. This "therefore" phrase signals a transition from "how to think" about God to "how to respond" to knowing God.

  • I can be so guilty of wanting to learn all I can about God without ever letting it really sink into my bones and change me. Can you relate to that? Take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the places where you know about God but haven't really experienced him. 

Paul has just spent pages telling the Romans how to think about God. But here, he's essentially telling them that none of it matters if they don't go all in.

"Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life- and place it before God as an offering."
"Present your bodies as living sacrifices, which is your spiritual act of worship"

  • What parts of your life do you keep holding back from God? 
  • What keeps you from going "all in" with God and your spiritual journey?

Paul then tells the people - "If you want to experience true transformation - what you need to do is refuse to be conformed to the culture around you, but start with renewing your minds" As the Message version says "You'll be changed from the inside out."

  • In what ways have you been more formed by the culture around you than by what God wants (ideas about success, safety, identity, money, and more could all be at play here)?
  • What would it take for you to let your mind be renewed by God? 
  • What would change? What about it scares you?

What we need to hear from Paul is this - if we are longing for transformed (resurrected) lives, we have to go "all in" with God. And it starts with the renewing of our minds


(Here is a prayer from the very very early church about wanting to give it all over for fellowship with Christ)

Jesus, my feet are dirty. Come even as a slave to me, pour water into your bowl, come and wash my feet. In asking such a thing I know I am overbold, but I dread what was threatened when you said to me, “If I do not wash your feet I have no fellowship with you.” Wash my feet then, because I long for your companionship.
(Origen, c. 185–254)


Nick Tebordo - March 21st, 2022 at 4:53am

Romans 12:1-2 has been one of my memory verses, but I confess that I have known “about “ it, but I have not really let it in to renew and transform me. I remember a sermon that Terrie preached quoting John Ortberg using this as a text. It was a powerful message, but I know that transformation was something that she (and I ) continued to struggle with. Kaitlyn’s point about “therefore” hits home. We can have all the knowledge in the world, but if it doesn’t change our lives, what good does it do? Here is where The Holy Spirit and immersion in the Word come in. The difference between Romans 7 and 8 comes to mind. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! It is ironic that just before I opened this text, I was fretting a bit about money. There is no need for that! God has been faithful no matter what the stock market does! Fretting about money has been so part of my life. I hear God saying, “Nick be transformed”! I’ve got this! I do not want to conform to this world! As Origen says, it’s time for You to wash that dirt off my feet for good! Have a great day everyone. Looking forward to the week ahead!!!!

David Edelstein - March 21st, 2022 at 5:08am

After I get into bed at night, I ask God to renew my mind and heart while I sleep so that when I awake I can be fruitful in His kingdom. However, many nights, thoughts of the day or that evening flood my mind so that I forget to ask this prayer.

Janet Nygren - March 21st, 2022 at 5:09am

The picture that comes to my mind is Jesus himself, moving from doing ministry to becoming the living sacrifice. I'm ok with doing ministry. It still feels like I'm in control. But the living sacrifice part pushes me to my uncomfortable space. Will it demand of me more than I am? Will I lose myself? I think if I could truly do this, it would be a fuller picture of resting in God in the midst of the work he calls me to. Lord, help me to know you more, and in knowing you to fully trust you with all that I am.

Melody - March 21st, 2022 at 6:51am

Having been raised in the church, I think of that churchy culture when someone says "the culture around you", so the Message translation has me going in a different direction from the traditional language of "the world". We always knew we were not "of the world", but didn't realize we had just made a different "world" that we conformed to without much thought or soul-searching or prayer at all. I remember people disowning their kids for living with their s.o. before marriage, for example, who didn't even crack open the bible once a week, didn't live at all in step with Jesus, but just knew that our culture frowned on that. I remember people who called themselves pro-life being OK with owning automatic weapons and the death penalty, because that was what the culture called for. Recently, I had a cousin who describes himself as "very much a Christian" tell me he was tired of me mentioning how Jesus treated people when he walked on the earth.

So for me, as Nick says, transformation is an ongoing process, filtering out the parts of our culture that don't align with Christlike living. It is not easy!

Teri - March 21st, 2022 at 8:47am

Jesus washed our feet, and then he was crucified - because our brothers and sisters before us - all the men and women who acknowledged that they believed they were created by God, that the earth, and everything on it had been created by God, and that everyone in their village was equally created by God, couldn’t figure out how to live together IN THE LOVE OF GOD! I’m sorry, but I believe that the whole sacred mission of Jesus was to SHOW us, to TEACH us, how to live with everyone else in our “village” - to live together in equality and peace, with reverence and respect and mercy and compassion. Yes, Jesus, come wash my feet because I long for your companionship. THEN, as Christians, we’re commissioned to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We’re ALL his apostles now. We must go wash someone else’s feet - someone REALLY dirty. Someone who sorely needs the companionship of the hands and feet and heart of CHRIST! Don’t Just turn to the easy ones, the convenient ones. Turn to the ones who aren’t right in front of you. Who is missing? Where is that one lost sheep that may require you to leave the flock for a minute to go pull her out of the brambles. We ALL know where our flock is. Where is the lost sheep who can’t walk in the front door? If we want a true Easter celebration, we need to be washing a few really dirty feet before we can sit down and ask Jesus to wash ours. “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” If we want to to ”all in” with God, and we need to “renew” our minds, we should consider that it also means to resume (after an interruption), re-establish (a relationship), repeat (a statement), and revive - give fresh strength or life - to something in our mind. A call to action. Pick one. Thank you God, for every aspect of my life. Jesus showed me how to live in service with my community of disciples. But, I’ve been left behind! I believe I’ve been selected to walk out into the world, like lambs in a Wolfpack. surely, Jesus isn’t sending me alone.




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