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2 September 2023 ‘Do not be conformed…but be transformed.’ Romans 12:2 NKJV

Transformation requires two things. First, it needs personal sacrifice. It’s not easy, natural or automatic. It calls for becoming a ‘living sacrifice’. The problem with ‘living’ sacrifices is that they tend to keep escaping, and have to be led back to the altar repeatedly to be given again and again. Salvation is an instant, once-and-for-all experience, but there’s no instant, once-for-all ‘living sacrifice’. It’s a day-by-day, moment-by-moment recommitment which means bringing our stubborn natures back to the altar and surrendering them to God as often as necessary. We might think we need to be closer to perfection before our sacrifice will be truly genuine, but the truth is, we mustn’t wait for our old natures to improve or to be completely subdued first – we need to act now. Our old natures and our regenerated spirits are mutual enemies, ‘constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions’ (Galatians 5:17 NLT). We’re not called to obliterate our earthly natures, but to crucify them every time they want to take over. We mustn’t get discouraged by the battle, but keep fighting and refuse to let our old natures hold back our spiritual growth. Second, transformation is a two-sided issue. ‘Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God’ (Romans 12:1 NIV). That involves a firm decision of our mind and our will, because our bodies don’t surrender themselves. Until we deliberately choose to let God use us, our earthly natures will be able to act with no restraint. ‘In the past you offered the parts of your body to be slaves to sin and evil…In the same way now you must give yourselves to be slaves of goodness. Then you will live only for God’ (Romans 6:19 NCV). When we surrender to our lower impulses, we reap sin. But when we surrender to God, we reap His blessing.


S.T.R.E.S.S. (2) Monday 02 October
S.T.R.E.S.S. (1) Sunday 01 October
Lift up the shield of faith Saturday 30 September
In church – but lonely Friday 29 September
God’s in control Thursday 28 September
Take responsibility for your life Wednesday 27 September
Acknowledge your mistakes Tuesday 26 September

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