Part 2 of Enjoying The Christian Walk and Living Without Regret
Embracing the lifestyle of renewing the mind and 3 things we can expect from doing this
(Romans 12:2 – Renewing the Mind) Christians who have truly dedicated themselves to God want to ‘live out that dedication.’ Renewing the mind makes this possible. In this episode we are going to look at what it means to renew the mind, how to do it and the benefits that come from it.
One great thing to know is that when you and I embrace the lifestyle of renewing the mind there will be results.
Today, we are going to look at the things that you can expect from embracing the lifestyle of renewing the mind.
In addition, we will look at:
- What does it mean to be a transformed Christian?
- The two major ways that we can renew the mind.
- What does it mean to discern God’s will?
- Why can a transformed Christian discern God’s will?
Renewing the mind is something that a Christian does because they have dedicating their life to God, as it talks about in Romans 12:1, ‘Present your bodies as a living sacrifice …’
Renewing the mind is what makes it possible for a Christian to live out their dedication to God.
We learn about the idea of Renewing the mind in Romans 12:2 ESV
 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
To renew our mind means to renovate our mind. It’s like when. Someone renovates a house. They go into the old house take out the old floors, etc., and replace them.
And so, as Christians, what we want to do is renovate our mind. But it’s not a one time thing. It’s a lifestyle.
So, what our we replacing?
We are replacing the message of our culture that tries to convince us that there is no God of the Bible.
The message of our culture says that we are wasting our time if we are dedicated to the God of the Bible, because He doesn’t even exist.
It’s ok if we are dedicated to saving the planet, but don’t waste your time dedicating yourself to the Creator of the planet.
It’s ok if we are dedicated to helping people physically or emotionally, but there is no need to be concerned about them spiritually and where they will live after they die.
It’s ok if we are dedicated to helping ourselves becoming the best we can be at something.
You can live for love, you can live for a relationship. But don’t waste your time living for the God of the Bible.
Renovating the mind is about replacing the message of the world with the message of the truth.
The truth that God deserves our dedication. He is the Creator of the universe. He deserves to be worshipped. He deserves to be praised. He deserves our dedication.
One of the great things about renewing the mind is that when a Christian begins doing this, when you and I embrace a lifestyle of renovating the way we think, there are some great things that begin to happen.
It’s like a domino effect.
Like when you have several dominos lined up and someone takes their finger pushes over that first domino, it pushes over the other one and that pushes over the other one and so on.
Well, in Romans 12:2, you are the one who can get this domino effect started. You are the one who can make that decision to renew the mind. It’s like pushing over that first domino. And when we do, we can expect some things to happen that will not only help us to grow in our Christianity, but to also really enjoy being a Christian.
So, let’s talk about that first domino:
How do I get started in the lifestyle of renewing the mind? How do I have the lifestyle of renovating the mind?
The world’s message about dedication is given to us in the movies, books, magazines, music, advertisements – Our society is wanting us to understand that life without God is actually pretty good. And dedicating our lives to what we want is a much better way to go than dedicating our lives to God. You know, if you and I are constantly taking in the message of the world, we’re going to begin thinking the wrong way. We’re going to find ourselves doubting if God’s ways really are the best ways.
But getting the message of our culture out of our minds is not enough.
When a house is renovated, they don’t just take out the old floors and leave it. They bring in the new floors to replace the old ones. They don’t just take out the bad plumbing and leave it, and call the job complete. No, they replace the plumbing with new plumbing.
Obviously I need to replace the message of the world – not just remove it from my life. And, if you and I want the right message coming into our lives, we need the Word of God.
Getting the teachings of God’s Word into our lives needs to be a lifestyle that we embrace.
There two major ways that we can renew our mind
1st – by filling our mind with God’s Word
2nd – by filling our mind with things that promote what the Word of God teaches
The 1st way – filling our mind with God’s Word (Examples)
Regular quiet time with God, alone with God and His Word each day.
Learning about a particular topic from the Bible. Find out ‘What does God say about ….?’
Memorizing and meditating on God’s Word
Bible study with others
Following along with the pastor at church in the Bible
When I am directly thinking on the Word of God, then my mind is being renewed by the Word.
The 2nd way – Filling our mind with the things that promote the teachings of God’s Word (Examples)
Reading biographies of Christians – missionaries, leaders – These life stories can show examples of how God’s Word helped people to do the right thing. These stories can inspire you and I to put a priority on what is important in life according to God’s Word.
Music that promotes what the Word of God teaches – Find music that really inspires you to want to live for God, music that promotes honoring God and worshiping God. If you and I really love God and want to live for Him, and we choose to regularly fill our minds with the popular songs of the culture that are teaching us to be dedicated to ourselves, rather than God – then we are filling our minds with messages that are against who we really are and what we really believe.
I’m talking about Replacing that popular music of our culture with the music that really connects with the new person you have become in Christ.
When you and I make the decision to embrace the lifestyle of renewing our mind with God’s Word, it’s like pushing over that first domino. And, results will follow. I want to tell you about 3 things that you can expect to happen:
Romans 12:2 ESV Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind ..
The result of Renewing the mind will be transformation
If our minds are not renovated ( if the message of our culture that comes into our minds is not replaced with the message of the Word of God ) what’s going to happen is that we are going to be Christians who are being shaped like a culture that is not dedicated to God. We are going to be conformed to the world.
We might be Christians, but truly dedicated Christians.
We might be Christians who have said that our body is dedicated to God as it teaches in Romans 12:1, but without a lifestyle of renewing our minds we won’t be living out that dedication.
Here’s what happens when we embrace a lifestyle of renewing the mind:
We become transformed into the kinds of Christians who are living out their dedication to God.
When we fill our minds with the Word of God and the things that promote what the Word of God teaches, we become transformed into the kinds of Christians who are truly living out their dedication to God.
Here are a couple of reasons why:
Renewing the mind will us inspire to live for God – if we are constantly reminded in the Scriptures how great God is, how deserving of our dedication He is, then we are going to be transformed into a Christian who is inspired to live for our Heavenly Father.
Not only are we going to be inspired to live for God, but …
We are also going to learn about what it looks like to be dedicated to God.
We won’t be a dedicated Christian who does not have direction about how to live. Renewing our mind will shape us into a Christian who knows how a Christian ought to live.
Renovating our mind replaces the world’s message influencing the way we think. We are going to be inspired to live for God and we are going to learn what a dedicated life really looks like.
Renewing the mind is going to transform us from being a Christian who is shaped by the philosophy of this world, into a Christian who is living out their dedication to God.
And then look at what happens next It’s like the next domino. 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
The result of being transformed is that you and I can discern God’s will for our lives.
Now, this is not about having a crystal ball and knowing what is going to happen in the future. The future belongs to God.
This is about getting direction for how we are to live now and what we are to do in life as we faces decisions.
So, how do we get this direction? Well, it’s through discernment.
The Bible translation I’m using helps us to understand the concept well because it says,
‘that by testing you may discern what is the will of God’
To discern something means to examine something to see if it’s genuine or not. And it’s done by testing.
Sometimes people who have a ring with a precious stone, like a diamond, might go to a jeweler to get it examined to see if it’s real. And that jeweler is trained to know what to look for. By testing the jeweler should be able to discern the truth about the diamond.
And, in this case we are testing (we are examining) our choices to see if they would be what God would want. And, the kind of Christian who is able to do this is a transformed Christian.
So, why is it that a transformed Christian able to make this kind of evaluation? How is it that a transformed Christian is able to discern what God would want?
It is because of this:
After we embrace the lifestyle of renewing the mind and become transformed into the kind of Christian who is living out our dedication to God, then we begin to look at life from the perspective of a dedicated Christian.
And this is the 2nd result that comes from renewing the mind: We begin to look at life from the perspective of a dedicated Christian – this makes it possible for us to discern what the will of God is.
When we face choices between right and wrong, better and best, a dedicated Christian wants to know …
“Does this get in the way of my dedication to God? Or does this blend with my dedication to God?”
… that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect
These are the kinds of things that we want to know:
From God’s perspective, is this good (according to the Bible)?
Would this be pleasing to God? (The Greek word for ‘acceptable’ also means ‘pleasing’ ). A dedicated Christian is concerned with pleasing God.
And just because we may not know the perfect will of God in a situation doesn’t mean that we should not care about being in God’s perfect will. As dedicated Christians, we want to know, ‘What does God want me to do’ and then we ask God to direct us into His perfect will.
You see, a Christian who is not a dedicated Christian doesn’t care too much about what God wants them to do in life.
But a Christian who is seeing life from a transformed perspective?
This kind of Christian is wanting to know, “Does making this choice get in the way of my dedication to God? Or does it blend with my dedication to God.”
The Christian who has been transformed into a dedicated Christian looks at life from a transformed perspective. They are thinking about their dedication to God.
This is the result of of a dedicated life, which is the result of a transformed life, which is the result of a renewed mind.
The 3rd result from renewing the mind:
Because of discernment , we can know from experience how amazing God’s will is.
…. that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect
The words ‘good, and acceptable and perfect’ do remind us of the kinds of questions we should be asking about the will of God when we make choices in life, but these words are much more than that.
I believe this is a description of the will of God. God’s will is good. God’s will is acceptable. God’s will is perfect.
These words describe how amazing the will of God is!
God wants you to experience His will. He doesn’t just want you to hear about how amazing it is from others. He wants you to know from experience that His will is far better than any plans that you could make for yourself.
Paul uses three words that describe His will:
It is good – here is one reason that being in God’s will is good: protection …. protection from the consequences that come from making bad decision.
the Bible says in Galatians 6:7 ESV Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
When you and I choose to honor God in our decisions, we are protected from the consequences that come from choosing sin. That’s one example of God’s will being good.
It is acceptable – It means that it is pleasing, like when we are told to present our bodies to God in Romans 12:1. God wants an acceptable or a pleasing sacrifice.
Well, when you and I are in God’s will, our life is pleasing to God. This is also pleasing for the Christian who has been transformed, because this kind of Christian wants to please God.
Perfect – there will be times when you look back on your life and see how God coordinated everything in such a way that there is no other word to describe it but ‘perfect’.
People can tell you that living in the will of God is amazing, but Christians need to experience this for themselves.
This domino effect that comes from renewing the mind has brought us to a place where we can know from experience how amazing the will of God is!!
Why do we need to know from experience how great God’s will is?
What is the result of knowing from experience how amazing the will of God is?
Here are three reasons why you and I need to know from experience that living in God’s will – according to what He wants – is amazing:
1 – We will worship Him more …. when we realize how He has coordinated our life in the past to bring us to where we are now …when we think of how He continues to guide us ….His sovereignty…. We will want to worship Him.
2 – We will trust Him more ..When we face uncertain times in our future, we can remember how God has taken cRe of us in the past
3 -We will want more of living in His will… We will become confident that His will is the very best place to be and we will want to stay close in fellowship with God. We will want to walk with God.
Embrace the lifestyle of renewing the mind. The result will be a transformed life that can discern God’s will and know from experience how amazing His will is.
[23:30] Missionary Interview with Dave Brown – Taipei, Taiwan