I was sitting here in my office one day after getting back from a visit to Linda while she was in the hospital. I was trying to process all that was happening and how we should be thinking about it. We trust the Lord always, but sometimes it’s hard to hold on when your world is shaking around you. How much will she recover? What will we do? Can we cope with the new reality? The Lord had already been dealing with me about what I spend my time thinking about. It was time for the next lesson.
When I set out to post this introduction for next week’s sermon, I planned a rather straightforward exhortation about how we need to renew our minds by focusing our thoughts on the things of God instead of the things of this world. Romans 12:2 will remain the key verse from which we will launch our study, but I see now that I was going to take it completely out of its context. It’s important for us to realize when we read the Bible that it is not a collection of disjointed snippets that we can cut and paste together to fit our fancy. It’s a collection of historical accounts, poetry, prophecies, and letters; divinely assembled to give us the instructions we need to live as God intended. The book of Romans is one of my favorite books to pull from, but it is a single letter and really should be read from beginning to end. However, we can’t really tackle that in 30 minutes, so we’ll try to extract the sense of certain parts without violating the meaning of the whole. Let’s look at chapter 12 and maybe just a bit of 11 so we can see what the therefore is there for and see what Paul meant when he said that we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds. I look forward to seeing you there because I expect God to show us great things!