“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
Jesus has come. And He has come to change our minds.
The secular “gospel” is one of tolerance, which purports that, if there is a God, He is obliged to love everyone, equally, and without condition — to be the God who “loves you just the way you are.” Any God who would presume upon your freedoms and personal opinions is just not acceptable. We aren’t interested in some God inflicting His/Her standard on our lives.
But this verse from Romans reminds us of God’s perspective. As the proverb says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Prov. 14:12). It is no surprise that the world is heading in a direction it thinks is wise — but that God would have a transformation take place so that we will think differently. We can actually know God’s intent for the situations in our life! But you can count on that fact that it’s simply not going to jibe with the world’s best ideas.
Jesus, when speaking of His followers, said “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:16-17). Sanctify. Purge. Cleanse. A work is done on these other-worldly disciples…a work done by the Word.
And that’s what Christmas is about: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The Word has come to transform our minds from worldly thinking, and to save us from the death of our best intentions.
I’m thankful this Christmas for His coming, His Word, and for families that cling and stay conformed to His wisdom. Though I find such families very hard to find.