Romans 12:2&21 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Observation-What does it say?   

The book of Romans was written to a mixed group of Jews and Gentiles that made up the church in Rome.  Throughout the book, Paul presents a basic gospel message, including God’s plan for salvation for all mankind.  From the beginning of the letter, he transitions through several different topics within the story of salvation, beginning with a statement on the broken condition of mankind.  Toward the end of the book, Paul transitions to give an appeal to Christians to live out faith in practical ways.  


Chapter 12 begins with an appeal to remember the sacrifice of Christ and live in light of this.  “We receive from the Lord every day the fruits of his mercy. Let us render ourselves; all we are, all we have, all we can do: and after all, what return is it for such very rich receivings? It is acceptable to God: a reasonable service, which we are able and ready to give a reason for, and which we understand. Conversion and sanctification are the renewing of the mind; a change, not of the substance, but of the qualities of the soul” (Matthew Henry).  When we fully experience the love of Christ, we tend to live out of the overflow of this love, causing us to do things that would be different from what the world expects.


Understanding-What does it mean? 

I bug the living begeezes out of Jen on an almost daily basis when I try to talk to her about bikes.  While I have been able to ride a bike since I was five or six, riding bikes as a hobby is a fairly new thing for me.  Since breaking my leg in 2016 and having to hang-up my running shoes for good, riding bikes has developed in several ways.  I now own several different types of bikes, which are used for specific types of riding, and spend time riding in several different disciplines.  Riding bikes brings me a lot of happiness and tinkering on bikes, changing parts to make the bikes perform in different or better ways, makes the experience even better.  So I have a tendency to talk to Jen about bike stuff and she will almost instantly roll her eyes.


Over time, I realized that talking about bikes wasn’t enough to help her know what the joy I get from riding a bike.  For her to understand, I had to get her on a bike and have her ride with me.  This realization drove me to build her a bike.  It drove me to create time for us to ride together.  Living the bike life for me meant taking practical steps to help spread the joy of riding a bike.  


How much more is our life with Christ to be shared in practical ways.  It’s not enough to talk about what the Bible says we should be doing, we have to find practical ways to share what we experience through God’s love.  This can even mean living without fear, especially when the world around us is shutting down with fear.  It might be opening up your home to spend time in prayer, even though the world’s wisdom says it is too “dangerous.”  It could be sharing a meal with a homeless person, despite how much that person smells from not bathing.  The love of God is so much greater than anything we can fear on earth.  The love of God overcame death, which is why we don’t have to live in fear.  “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14


Life Application 

Jesus, help me to live out a place of courage, not out of a place of fear.  Help me to live the new life you have given to me.  Through my life, help me to share that experience with those around me.  Help me to live my life grounded on your word and not the word of world around me.  

-Tyler Galloway