And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
If you have ever stepped—barefooted—on your child’s LEGO® brick in the middle of the night, you have the Hyatt brothers to thank. In 1872, these American inventors created the first injection molding process whereby raw material, like plastic, is squeezed into a mold and hardened.
Molding: making malleable materials conform to a desired shape. It can happen not only with physical material like plastic but with spiritual material like us! It’s why, when British Bible translator J. B. Phillips translated Romans 12:2, he put it this way: “Do not let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould.” The defense against being molded into the world’s image? The renewing of the mind. Again, J. B. Phillips: “But let God re-mould your minds from within..” The result of being “re-moulded”? Discovering the “good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”.”
Before coming to Christ, our minds are molded to the shape of this world. The renewing of our mind into a Christlike mind is the doorway to knowing God’s will for a lifetime.
Where Lives Are Changed – Romans 12:1-2 – Skip Heitzig
The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you. Psalm 102:28
In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis wrote: “Almost certainly God is not in time. His life does not consist of moments one following another . . . . Ten-thirty—and every other moment from the beginning of the world—is always present for Him.” Still, waiting seasons often feel endless. But as we learn to trust God, the eternal Maker of time, we can accept the reality that our fragile existence is secure in His hands.
The psalmist, lamenting in Psalm 102, admits his days are as fleeting as “the evening shadow” and withering grass, while God “endures through all generations” (vv. 11–12). The writer, weary from suffering, proclaims that God sits “enthroned forever” (v. 12). He affirms that God’s power and consistent compassion reach beyond his personal space (vv. 13–18). Even in his despair (vv. 19–24), the psalmist turns his focus on the power of God as Creator (v. 25). Though His creations will perish, He will remain the same for eternity (vv. 26–27).
When time seems to be standing still or dragging on, it’s tempting to accuse God of being late or non-responsive. We can grow impatient and frustrated with remaining still. We can forget He’s chosen every single cobblestone on the path He’s planned for us. But He never leaves us to fend for ourselves. As we live by faith in the presence of God, we can walk in the present with God.
Reflect & Pray
How can acknowledging God as the Maker of time help you trust Him when His timing doesn’t meet your preference? How can living in the present give you peace?
Loving God, please teach us to be present in life, refusing to worry about tomorrow as You affirm Your constant presence.
In biblical times, a baby’s name was based on the child’s characteristics or a hope or prayer of the parent. The same is true of Jesus, whose name means “Jehovah is salvation.” He was uniquely sent from heaven by the Father to be our Savior, and all His names and titles are powerful descriptions of who He is and what He does. What’s more, the way Jesus describes Himself in John’s gospel provides additional, rich insight into His character and work:
The Bread of Life (John 6:32-40). Jesus Christ is the only one who can truly satisfy our heart and feed our soul with sustenance that leads to eternal life.
The Light of the World (John 8:12). He shines through this dark, sinful world, showing us the way to forgiveness and salvation.
The Door (John 10:7-10). Whoever enters through the door of Christ will be saved.
The Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18). As our Shepherd, Jesus knows and cares for us—with a love so great that He laid down His life to save us.
The Way, the Truth, the Life (John 14:6). Jesus alone is the origin of truth and life, so He is the only avenue by which we can be saved and live eternally.
The Vine (John 15:1-10). Christ is the source of our spiritual life. Without His abiding presence, we could do nothing of eternal value.
These are just some of the titles that Jesus Christ used to identify Himself, and the Bible refers to Him in many additional ways. Each time you read God’s Word, pay attention to the descriptive names of Jesus. Each one will help you come to a better understanding of the One who loves you and came to save you.
“Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll . . . the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits.” (Zechariah 5:1-2)
The large “flying roll” pictured for Zechariah is 30 feet long and 15 feet wide, signifying the enormity of its purpose. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah all speak of a roll in terms of judgment that is coming on Israel and Babylon (Jeremiah 36:2; Ezekiel 2:9-10).
This roll contains the curse that goes forth over the “face of the whole earth” (Zechariah 5:13)—a phrase that is only used five other times in all of Scripture: God warns Noah of the coming Flood (Genesis 6:7), the population under the leadership of Nimrod rebels at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:4), God sends the plague of locusts on Egypt (Exodus 10:15), the vast empire of Greece destroys and overcomes Persia (Daniel 8:5), and a day will come “on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth” (Luke 21:35).
The parallel to the scroll with the seven seals in Revelation is striking. Revelation 6:1-8 tells of the four horsemen who carry out the judgment of the first four seals that parallel the ninth vision of Zechariah (6:1-8). Revelation 6:12-17 describes the “great earthquake” that is parallel to the earthquake foretold by Haggai (2:6-7, 21-23). Revelation chapters 6–10 describe the judgments that impact both the planet itself and the population.
Zechariah’s roll judges those who steal and swear and will be “cut off.” The implication is that those unfit for the people of God will be “cleansed” from the final kingdom. Since the obvious purpose of these visions is to give assurance of the ultimate victory of God, we can be confident that “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). HMM III
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
We are all idealists. We picture to ourselves a life on earth completely free from every hindrance, a kind of spiritual Utopia where we can always control events, where we can move about as favorites of heaven, adjusting circumstances to suit ourselves. This we feel would be quite compatible with the life of faith and in keeping with the privileged place we hold as children of God.
In thinking thus we simply misplace ourselves; we mistake earth for heaven and expect conditions here below which can never be realized till we reach the better world above. While we live we may expect troubles, and plenty of them. We are never promised a life without problems as long as we remain among fallen men….
What then are we to do about our problems? We must learn to live with them until such time as God delivers us from them. If we cannot remove them, then we must pray for grace to endure them without murmuring. Problems patiently endured will work for our spiritual perfecting. They harm us only when we resist them or endure them unwillingly. OGM121-122
Lord, I’m so homesick for heaven. But until You allow me to come home, I do indeed “pray for grace to endure [problems] without murmuring.” Amen.
Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name.—1 Chronicles 29:13.
Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.—Psalm 97:12.
And now the wants are told, that brought
Thy children to Thy knee,
Here, lingering still, we ask for naught,
But simply worship Thee.
The hope of heaven’s eternal days
Absorbs not all the heart
That gives Thee glory, love, and praise
For being what Thou art.
Let praise—I say not merely thanksgiving, but praise—always form an ingredient of thy prayers. We thank God for what He is to us, for the benefits which He confers, and the blessings with which He visits us. But we praise Him for what He is in Himself,—for His glorious excellences and perfections, independently of their bearing on the welfare of the creature. And it shall often happen that when thy heart is numb and torpid, and yields not to the action of prayer, it shall begin to thaw, and at last burst, like streams under the breath of spring, from their icy prison, with the warm and genial exercise of praise.
Edward M. Goulburn.
“As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem.” Isa. 31:5
With hurrying wing the mother bird hastens up to the protection of her young. She wastes no time upon the road when coming to supply them with food, or guard them from danger. Thus as on eagle’s wings will the Lord come for the defense of His chosen; yea, He will ride upon the wings of the wind.
With outspread wing the mother covers her little ones in the nest. She hides them away by interposing her own body. The hen yields her own warmth to her chicks, and makes her wings a house, in which they dwell at home. Thus doth Jehovah Himself become the protection of His elect. He Himself is their refuge, their abode, their all.
As birds flying, and birds covering (for the word means both), so will the Lord be unto us: and this He will be repeatedly and successfully. We shall be defended and preserved from all evil: the Lord who likens Himself to birds will not be like them in their feebleness, for He is Jehovah of hosts. Let this be our comfort, that almighty love will be swift to succor, and sure to cover. The wing of God is more quick and more tender than the wing of a bird, and we will put our trust under its shadow henceforth and for ever.