September 19, 2005

Changing the World

Romans 12:1-8

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to hisfaith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.


Do not conform any longer to ... this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

The hottest-selling electronic gadget last Christmas was the Ipod, Apple's digital music player. Its success boosted a company whose stated purpose was to innovate and lead a cultural revolution. The Apple Company believed it was changing the world.

From the day God poured out his Spirit on the church, we have received power that really can change the world (Acts 1:8). God calls us to live as people who can make an impact on others with the good news of Jesus. It starts with our own transformation, and the Spirit gives each of us gifts to be used in his service. I am very skeptical of people or products claiming to change the world. Usually it's just empty rhetoric. But watch what happens when the Spirit transforms our minds and uses our gifts creatively in places that are close to home.

For example, a church contacted a local public school and offered to partner with the school in caring for needy children. They keep $1,000 in a bank account made out to the school, to help parents buy a pair of shoes or whatever might be needed. It's a partnership that has led to having 18 staff members and a number of school families find a spiritual home in that church.

Where can you serve as a member of Christ's body? Changing the world happens when the Spirit changes one life at a time.

Lord, I believe you can use your church to transform the world. But I know it starts with me in the community you have placed me in. Use me, Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Martin Contant

Martin Contant serves Christian Reformed Home Missions as a regional leader in western Canada. Together with a regional ministry team he works with churches and leaders focusing on church planting, church revitalization, campus ministry, and leadership development. Martin and his wife, Sue, live in Surrey, British Columbia. They have three adult, married children and two grandchildren.

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