January 31, 2022

Bit by Bit

Devotion for the Week...

Sometimes the most mundane things capture my attention. Early last week the bar of soap in the shower was down to a sliver, so I opened a new one and put it in the soap holder. It struck me then that this new soap would eventually be worn down to a sliver, too, but it would happen so gradually that the daily change would be imperceptible. Just like the renewing of our minds, I thought.

Romans 12:1, 2 says, "And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." That's the NLT, which is what I usually use, but the NIV renders the start of verse 2 as "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind," which is what I'm most used to hearing.

Renewing our minds, or changing the way we think, is a gradual process. Most of us change slowly, a little here and a little there as we get to know God better and learn how to live the way He wants us to live. We pray, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life" (Psalm 139 23, 24) and as He points out the issues in our thoughts and actions, we change.

Asking Him to point out the problems in us, then accepting His guidance and changing how we think and behave is part of offering ourselves to Him as living sacrifices. There's not much point in saying we offer ourselves and then insisting that we live just the same as we always have, or that this is the way we have always been and we can't ever change. That's not to say it is easy to do. Anything that involves the word sacrifice probably won't be easy.
Bit by bit we are becoming more like Jesus | DevotedQuilter.com
Unfortunately, those gradual changes can be hard to notice and we may feel like we're stuck always making the same mistakes or struggling with the same problem. In those times it may help to remember that, though the change may be imperceptible on a daily basis, it is still happening. Bit by bit we are becoming more like Jesus.

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