February 02, 2008

Practice and Repetition

Romans 12:1-8

Offer your bodies as living sacrifices ... Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:1-2


Maybe you?ve noticed that we?re using a Bible verse we used yesterday. Repetition is part of spiritual discipline. If we desire that our bodies and minds be renewed, we need practice and repetition. Then we?ll grow to live by God?s ?good, pleasing and perfect will.?

Offering and sacrificing do not come easily. The apostle Paul knew this. Only because ?God?s mercy? renewed him could he morph from a persecutor to a missionary of the church of Jesus Christ (see Acts 9). First, though, Paul waited in blindness for three days. Then he spent three years in Arabia and Damascus (Galatians 1:17-18). I?m sure Paul was unlearning persecution and practicing how to live for Christ and tell others about him. God?s discipling mercies were transforming him day by day.

As a believer in Christ, you want God?s mercies to change you?whether you have been a Christian all your life or you are just beginning to follow Jesus. Maybe one thing you?ll change this month is the way you read the Bible. Do you open your Bible once in a while and read a little bit? Or do you read it daily?

Read Romans 12:1-2 again and again today. Mull over each word. How does God?s mercy work in you? Have you offered yourself voluntarily and totally to God? If so, how often did you have to repeat that until you could do it well, as God wants you to?

?Spirit of the living God, move among us all; make us one in heart and mind.? Fall afresh on us. Melt us, mold us, fill us, use us?by God?s mercy. In Jesus? name, Amen.

About the author — James and Rose Dekker

James C. Dekker is the pastor of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in St. Catharines, Ontario. Previously he served other congregations in Alberta and Ontario. Rose Dekker serves as a refugee coordinator for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Canada. She also serves as a certified spiritual director. The Dekkers were missionaries for nine years with Christian Reformed World Missions, serving in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Cuba.

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