We continue our posts this week with a response to one of the discussion questions from Week 2 of J D Greear’s study – Gospel Revolution. This is certainly not the only answer, but is offered as an example of discussions within other Life Groups.
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Question of the Week: In the pivotal passage of Romans 12:1-2, Paul calls us to be transformed, or changed, by the renewing of our minds. What do you think He is getting at here?
In our daily grind, we are bombarded by a continuous wave of frustrating, irritating, controversial, and outright immoral encounters. Our sin nature responds to these and grasps hold of them. Without the renewing of our minds, these crowd our thoughts with concerns about the sinful world around us and our own sinful responses. Jesus warned us about this in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3-9). In His explanation (Matthew 13:22), He told us that the person who received the seed in the thorns was the person that heard the gospel but allowed the cares of the world to choke it out.
We must be vigilant to purge our minds of worldly cares and love of riches (1 John 2:15). Like a gardener, we have to daily search for weeds sprouting in our thoughts and pull them out. Allowing a weed to grow makes it harder to get rid of and it produces other weeds that eventually choke out the good and desirable plants. In pulling the weeds, the good plants do not have to compete for resources and the soil is aerated which encourages growth of the good plants.
Like you, I have often struggled to keep my eye off the troubles of the day and on Christ. I have allowed harsh words or bad behavior to influence my thoughts and mood. It is an ongoing effort to let these things go. What I have found is that I am happier and others respond to me differently when I turn the bad over to God and concentrate on how He would have me respond to each circumstance. By daily weeding our thoughts, we are able to keep worldly cares from overrunning our thoughts and time so we have more fruit of the spirit. As for me, I would rather eat fruit than chew on thorns.
by John Peavy