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Be Transformed

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

Welcome to summer. In an instant our calendar transformed. With the end of school my alarm clock changed from a rude wake up at 6:00am to an unnecessary nudge at 7:00am. I don’t remember the last time I had yet to stir before 7:00am. I don’t sleep in, But, I wake up on my own. A glorious transformation. 

The best moment of the graduation exercises was the turning of the tassel right before the caps were thrown into the air. Transformation as high schoolers become alumni.

The summer weather transforms in mere minutes—always 5 minutes after my kids jump in the pool. The church calendar transforms as well. We move into the season of green—the season after Pentecost. Various ministries of the year come to a close and make way for summer programming (you can read about these various summer events in the rest of this month’s connector). Transformation, it seems, is a way of life in this world.

You know that transformation is hard. This isn’t news. I’ve spent more hours than I care to admit transforming my backyard from a weed pit into a landscaped oasis. Transformation takes time, effort, and sweat. It is back breaking work. And, I’m not talking about weed pulling. I’m talking about transforming our minds in the ways of Jesus. It will kill you. Truly, transformation is the hardest element of our lives.

Transformation is the continuous killing of the old Adam that lives in each of us. It is the dying to yourself; the pushing against the ways of your flesh; and the drawing towards the things of God. Transformation is no joke. And it is the focus of every disciple’s life, including yours.

Do you know why transformation is so hard? For the same reason my backyard is impossible to keep as a backyard oasis. I wasn’t even finished spreading mulch when I already saw new weeds peeking through in the areas where I first laid the ground cover. As soon I thought I reached my goal I turned around and realized there was more work to be done. Infuriating—have you been there?

Transformation can be just as demoralizing. Ask anyone struggling with addiction who falls off the wagon. Ask anyone trying to restore a struggling marriage that falls back into old patterns. Ask anyone who is leaning into a life of faith and falls back into the waiting arms of sin and brokenness. Transformation is no small feat. And, unlike my summer alarm or the moment of the tassel—this change is not a one time, simple thing. It is a lifetime in the making.

“‘End of Construction’—thanks for your patience.” The epitaph on Ruth Bell Graham’s tombstone.

Paul writes that this transformation comes “by the renewing of your mind.” The thoughts you think are transformative. This is true of the negative thoughts that get trapped between your ears and, most certainly, of the good words from God that resonate from the heart of the Father and take up residence in your mind. 

One of the reasons that Jesus had a bullseye on his back from the religious elite of the day is because of his quoting and shifting of one of the most sacred scriptures in the Jewish Cannon. You know it well. The Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-10) is to Hebrews what John 3:16 is to Christians. It sums up so much of the life of faith for the Jews. 

When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment he quoted the Shema (the Hebrew word for listen). But he changed it. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” Jesus added mind—it’s not there in the Deuteronomy verse. You don’t change the central message of the Jewish faith without some scars to show for it. Jesus, indeed, has some scars!

Mind. Ponder what it means to love the Lord with your mind. And what it means that your mind is central to the transformation process. 

As we enter these summer months, it is my prayer that you lean into transformation. I pray your mind is renewed by the things of God. I pray that the Holy Spirit upholds you when the weeds pop through. And I pray that your mind reveals the good and perfect will of the Father. Keep chasing it. And, join me in prayer that the Holy Spirit would do the heavy lifting for each of us as we follow in His steps.

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Upcoming Events

Jul
20
Sat
8:30 am Men’s Ministry Breakfast @ Life Center
Men’s Ministry Breakfast @ Life Center
Jul 20 @ 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Men's Ministry Breakfast @ Life Center
The next Men’s Ministry Breakfast is Saturday, July 20th! We’ll meet in the Life Center at 8:30 am for food and fellowship. If you have
Jul
21
Sun
9:00 am Modern Worship @ Life Center
Modern Worship @ Life Center
Jul 21 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Modern Worship @ Life Center
Join us for our modern worship. We praise God together, led by our praise team. Through biblical preaching and teaching, the power and truth of
10:20 am Summer Lunch Program – Packing
Summer Lunch Program – Packing
Jul 21 @ 10:20 am – 11:10 am
Summer Lunch Program - Packing
We are partnering again with Summer Lunch Program to provide lunches to Fayette County students during summer break. Part of this includes packing lunches each

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11:15am in the Sanctuary