Posts Tagged ‘Romans 12:2’

Speaking the truth in love

April 30, 2014

The Verse of the Day is found in Ephesians 4:15

Ephesians_4-15

Throughout the New Testament believers are exhorted not only to speak the truth in love but to walk in love, to demonstrate or manifest love, to put on love. Love is to be the guiding principle in all that we say and do.

A previous blog entry encouraged us to follow the Scriptures, whereby we “put off, put on, and put away.” Here is an excerpt from that post:

Colossians 3:12-14 in the Amplified Bible speaks of how believers should behave:

12 Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].

13 Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].

14 And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

 

Poetically speaking, we are directed to

Put off the old. Put on the new and leave the past behind.

Follow Christ and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

As believers, we are encouraged to change of our minds and develop new thinking patterns. We are to put off the old man and to put on the new man, as we put away lying or any other ungodly practices. Instead of continuing in the direction that habitually takes us away from presence of God, we are encouraged to be

Moving in the Opposite Spirit

Quit backbiting—God doesn’t want to hear it.

Don’t retaliate—move in the opposite spirit.

“Bump it up!”

 

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

 

Moving in the opposite spirit, not in hate

But walking in love, being kind, tenderhearted;

Not being anxious but learning to patiently wait;

To quench the fiery tongue before it gets started;

Never spewing venom but with our mouth confess

The truth of the Word of God that we might make known

What God declares we are, to always seek to bless

And reap a great harvest from good seed that is sown;

To reverse the curse and counter iniquity.

God orders our steps, and we choose the path of peace,

Not to seek revenge but pray for each enemy,

For all giving assures that favor will increase;

Renewed in the spirit of our mind night and day,

Being transformed “to put off, put on, put away.”

 

In Ephesians 4:22-25 we find a similar exhortation:

22That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another

As followers of Christ, each day we must “Put off! Put on! Put away!”

The contemporary Christian vocal group “A cappella” asks, “Are we teaching the truth in love?”

Romans 12:2: Renewing the mind, a daily process

October 14, 2013

Banded Orange Butterfly

The Verse of the Day for October 14, 2013 is one of my favorite scriptures.

Romans_12-2

Romans 12:2 brings to mind the process of metamorphosis that butterflies and other organisms undergo, reminding us of a similar spiritual process called “renewing the mind.” Christians are instructed not to be conformed but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:1). The New Testament phrase is translated from the Greek word metamorphoo, from which the English word metamorphosis is derived. The phrase is also used to express that as believers strive to manifest more of Christ in their lives, they are also “changed” into the same image

Butterflies as they undergo metamorphosis are transformed from egg to larva or caterpillar to chrysalis (cocoon) to butterfly (adult). Christian believers also continually undergo a similar spiritual transformation as they mature in Christ. The essence of this amazing process is expressed in this poem:

Death to the Caterpillar

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat

falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone;

but if it dies, it produces much grain.

John 12:24

 

What is death to the caterpillar we call a butterfly —             

Anonymous

From the dark of earth new life stems from seeds once sown.

Despite the pain of loss and our questioning why,

From the source of life this eternal truth is shown:

“Death to the caterpillar we call a butterfly.”

Creation travails until the sons of God appear;

No longer conformed, we have at last been set free,

As every Kingdom mystery is now made clear,

Totally transformed into glorious liberty.

Triumphant in the race we desired to win:

From victory to victory and glory to glory,

We see that power to change comes from within,

As we write another chapter of our life’s story.

The final stage of glory unfolds this result:

Transformed from egg to larva to pupa to adult.

The following video offers a graphic visual illustration of this amazing process:

Here is a scripture memory song of Romans 12:2 offered in a style reminiscent of the Beatles:

The Verse of the Day we can apply every day, as we are being transformed as we renew our minds, proving what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

“Words of Wisdom”—a daily dose of “words to the wise”–Day 10

May 24, 2013
This blog entry is the first in a series featuring "a daily dose of “words to the wise,” poetically expressed from the Book of Proverbs.

This blog entry is a variation in a series featuring a daily dose of “words to the wise,” poetically expressed from the Book of Proverbs, in that its inspiration is another source.

This morning I did not begin my day by reflecting on wisdom as revealed in the Book of Proverbs, but I was inspired to compose a poem based on remarks that I heard at the graduation ceremony for the Columbus, Ohio campus of National College where I serve as an adjunct professor. The former director, Joe DeLuca, who originally hired me, offered some remarks in presenting awards to students whose lives he had impacted as the first director of the College. He spoke of “Three C’s of Life.” Although I did not produce a poetic work directly based on wisdom from the Book of Proverbs, the following poem does fall into the category of “Words of Wisdom”—a daily dose of “words to the wise.” So what initially seemed like a digression from the series is not after all.  Here is the entry for Day 10:

Choices, Chances, and the Changes We Make

for Joe DeLuca, whose remarks inspired this poem

 

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

 

As we journey life’s highway, we all must make a choice:

To follow the path that leads to life or the way of death.

The Lord says choose life, but we must give heed to His voice

And follow the path of life each day that we draw breath.

 

Each day we can remain where we are or take a chance

And open up to release what we have and to give,

As we determine whether we diminish or enhance.

Only when we give in love do we begin to live.

 

God’s Word encourages us to be transformed, to change.

As butterflies emerge in beauty, our lives unfold.

From death to life, beauty for ashes God will exchange.

For those who walk uprightly, nothing good will He withhold.

 

Life is the sum of choices and chances, risks that we take,

Not to be conformed but transformed by the changes we make.

Zebra Longwing Butterfly

The ultimate expression of change is the metamorphosis that takes place with butterflies, as alluded to in the poem. Earlier this spring the annual Blooms and Butterflies exhibit opened at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, and as Columbus Christian Spirituality Examiner, I posted an article which discussed metamorphosis and shared its spiritual application and showed a time-lapse video of the process. Here is the link to the article:

http://www.examiner.com/article/blooms-and-butterflies-exhibit-opens-a-spiritual-application

Today’s entry is a slight variation on the Words of Wisdom series but  “good medicine,” nonetheless.