“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
My three-year-old grandson is visiting at my house. He is a busy boy with an active imagination. From the time he awakens in the morning and comes into our bedroom to say, “Good morning,” he is already role-playing as one of his favorite cartoon show characters. He quickly reminds me that he is not “Joseph,” the name given him by his parents, he is “Poli”.
The character, Poli, is a car who transforms into a robot when help is needed. Of course, this transforming car has helpful friends who also transform to assist any of the vehicles in their imaginary community who might find themselves in desperate situations and need help.
Pretending to be Poli is very real to my grandson; he often remains in character for an entire day. He acts as he thinks Poli would act. He also asks his grandparents to play along. Our Joseph, or rather, Poli, wants his Papa and me to transform into other members of the imaginary rescue team as well.
His play has made me think about Romans 12:2. In this verse, the Apostle Paul tells his readers, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (NIV)
The New Living Translation puts it this way, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
Jesus desires to transform His followers into like-minded friends. Jesus didn’t think the way others thought when He lived on this earth. He thought like His Heavenly Father. Jesus amazed the common people and frustrated the Jewish religious leaders with the truths He taught and the authority with which He taught them. He turned people’s views upside-down by saying things like, “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!”
A few verses later Jesus told His listeners, “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:21, 27-28) Jesus’ words were revolutionary; the ways of heaven invading earth.
As followers of Jesus, we cannot think or act in ways that imitate the ways of the world. We have to let God transform our thinking to be like His. To know the way God thinks, we have to get to know Him through the reading of His Word and listening to His Holy Spirit who lives within us.
Tomorrow morning, my Joseph “Poli” will invade my bedroom and transform into a robot superhero. Tomorrow morning, God is wanting to transform my thinking and make me a new person who loves more freely, surrenders more easily and desires His will above my own.
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My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.