Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 150 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Romans 12 today and our focus is on How we can Have A Transformed Thinking That Is Godly, Not Worldly. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in .  Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

As a reminder, our episodes for the next two weeks might be a little shorter than normal, but we won’t scrimp on the Bible reading…just the blowhard commentary. Today’s chapter features one of my favorite verses, and it simply must be our verse of the day:

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 

No, it is not one of my favorite verses because it reminds me of the toy, cartoon and movie series called ‘Transformers,’ but I will sheepishly admit that I can’t read this verse without thinking a tiny, tiny bit about Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, Bumblebee and the other Transformers. But I only think about those things for a millisecond, because this is such a good passage and such a needed reminder for us about the dangers of the world and its ways, and our necessity as Christians to NOT confirm to the age we are living in, but to have renewed minds that discern the good, pleasing and perfect will of God. According to God’s Word, there is great danger in worldliness, or conforming to this age, or, to put it quite simply, acting like everybody else is acting, liking what they like, dressing how they dress, watching what they watch, celebrating what they celebrate, valuing what they value, and having the ethics and morals of society. And yet, God’s Word here and in many places calls us far AWAY from being worldly in our values, actions and habits. James 4:4 couldn’t make it any clearer:

You adulterous people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the friend of the world becomes the enemy of God. James 4:4 

So, how can we not be worldly and avoid conforming to the world?  Let me ask it this way:  Tell me about your thought life…how pure is it?   People often apologize to me when they swear around me, and act like I am besmirched by such language, because I am a preacher. The truth is that I used to swear like a filthy sailer, and took pride in my skill at it.  Sometimes…I still swear in my thoughts…and sometimes  over the years (mostly when I am alone,)  some bad things can come out of my mouth. (Falling down flat while hiking – changing a dryer hose at the pool house, electrocuting myself when trying to fix the parsonage air cleaner…when Sam and I were almost killed by a car coming in at 60)   My thoughts aren’t always Christ honoring, and are sometimes scary.

Early church Fathers wrestled with these thoughts too – impure thoughts, bad words, wrong emotions, evil desires. They called them Logismoi  – False thoughts and desires that carry us into sinful places of darkness and hopelessness. John Ortberg notes that these logismoi are the “infernal counterparts to Scripture, they equip us for bad works.” (not good works) John Climacus, a Christian monk living in the 500s AD, called them maggot eggs that grow and thrive in the warm dung of our sinful nature. Don’t you love colorful language!? What do we do about such things – how can we become more Christlike…how does the Image of God get more formed in us? How can we avoid being conformed to the world?  We turn to Holy Spirit Soaked Encounters with the Word of God. (John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.”)Dietrich Bonhoeffer said: “Therefore, it is never sufficient simply to have read God’s Word. It must penetrate deep within us, dwell in us, like the Holy of Holies in the Sanctuary, so that we do not sin in thought, word or deed”

Fruit of that in Bonhoeffer’s life: Bonhoeffer’s years of Scripture meditation may have benefited him in his final years, months and days in prison. Even when he knew he would be executed, he continued to be characterized by joy and peace. Bonhoeffer’s outlook was witnessed by British officer Captain S. Payne Best. Best was captured by the Gestapo in 1939. They were fellow prisoners during Bonhoeffer’s final weeks. Best wrote that Bonhoeffer: “was all humility and sweetness; he always seemed to diffuse an atmosphere of happiness, of joy in the very smallest event in life, and a deep gratitude for the mere fact that he was alive…He was one of the very few men I have ever met to whom his God was real and ever close to himIn a letter to Bonhoeffer’s family, Captain Best wrote that “Bonhoeffer was different (from the other prisoners); just quite calm and normal, seemingly perfect at ease…his soul really shone in the dark desperation of our prison. SOURCE: https://bonhoefferblog.wordpress.com/the-first-reason-dietrich-bonhoeffer-can-impact-us-scripture-meditation/ 

Bonhoeffer’s life and thoughts and habits were transformed by his constant intake of Scripture and his meditation on God’s Word – you and I will also be gloriously transformed by God’s Word in this way.

Bible Memory verses for the month of May: Matthew 28:18-20 18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”    

Happy by Mike Leite https://soundcloud.com/mikeleite
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