AFReG Devotions—1 September 2022

The power and means to change:

The Church

I appeal to you, therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1–2)

It is so easy to follow the crowds and do what others are doing. Christians who are on fire for the Lord Jesus often find themselves faltering when they get into leadership or are given responsibilities in high offices. A similar temptation is there for workers in various offices and people in business. Pastors and church leaders are not exempted from these temptations.

The overwhelming culture in societies around the world beckons people to conformity. Often these standards are tainted with sin and selfishness. Even in our homes, husbands and wives or parents tend to use the standards of the communities in which they find themselves. Our countries on the continent of Africa often struggle with major issues compounded by the fact that those in leadership yield to the political pressures that lead to creating wealth and consolidating power for themselves rather than seeking the welfare of their people. So, while many of our national leaders identify themselves as Christians, we still do not see the positive changes that will lead to meaningful lives for the people of our nations. 

The power to change is in no other person but the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only as we respond to God’s invitation to come to Jesus and when He becomes Lord of our lives that change can come. It is in this spirit that the apostle Paul makes the call in Romans 12:1-2, which includes presenting our bodies, our whole beings, to God as living sacrifices.

How can change come? The power to change is brought forth because of God’s Holy Spirit indwelling us and leading us to the change and transformation that please God. The means of change is to heed the Holy Spirit’s promptings and not to conform to this world because the world and its standards are often mesmerizing and attractive. We can make ourselves available for the Holy Spirit to renew our minds. If our minds are focused on doing what others in our communities are doing, we will continue to follow paths that are tainted with sin. However, if our minds are renewed, we will become God’s instruments for change in our communities, our homes, and in public spaces. Herein lies the power to change.

The world needs Christians who are committed to moral integrity, justice, and hard work that lead to the transformation of our societies. The Church is well-placed to be God’s instrument for change if we intentionally move away from conforming to the world so that when our minds are renewed, we receive that power and means to change. God has given to us the power to change through the Holy Spirit. Let us yield to His changing leadership. 

Prayer: Lord, do Your own thing in our lives so that instead of conforming to the world, we will be found faithfully following You with renewed minds which please You, and which are Your instruments of transformation in our communities. 

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