Be Ye Transformed

Today’s Passages – Romans 11 – 13; Proverbs 28

(Second Milers also read – Psalm 136 – 140)

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – (Romans 12:1-2)

In the Greek language, the word that is translated into the English word “transformed” is the word metamorphoo, which is the same word root word that names the process of metamorphosis. You may remember from high school biology that metamorphosis is the biological process by which a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. By the way, isn’t amazing that our God can take a something as “creepy-crawly” as a caterpillar and completely change it into a beautiful butterfly. God transforms the Christian in much the same way. He takes the worldly child of Adam and forms him into the image of Christ.

Notice from our text above that this transformation process comes through the “renewing of your mind”. God has to change the way we think. You see, the transformed Christian has the mind of Christ. How do we renew our mind? Through the transforming power of the Word of God. As we spend time daily in the Word, God gradually changes our whole mindset. Instead of thinking the way men think, we begin to see and understand things through the eyes of God. However, this process is dependent upon the fact that we take the time to read and study the Bible. It would seem to me then that we have the power within us to speed up, or hinder  this process. It just makes sense that the Christian that does not open his Bible, will not be transformed as quickly as the one that takes the time daily to meditate upon the truths of God’s Word. We need to make our walk with God a priority if we are going to grow the way God wants us to.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – (2 Corinthians 5:17)

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Paul’s Motivation – Love

Today’s Passages – Romans 8 – 10; Proverbs 27

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 131 – 135)

“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:” – (Romans 9:1-3)

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” – (Romans 10:1)

Did you ever think about the reason why people like the Apostle had such passion and motivation for preaching the gospel? Did they do simply out of obedience to the call of God? Or, perhaps was there an underlying cause that pushed men like Paul. I believe the answer to that question for Paul can be seen in the verses above. Paul loved his people, Israel. I do not believe that he was just “blowing smoke” when he said that he was willing to give up his own salvation if that were possible in order that Israel be saved. Paul was not acting out of mere duty and obedience. There is no way that Paul could have endured all of the beatings and imprisonments unless there was a burning desire within him to see his nation saved. In fact, I believe Paul’s love for his people caused him at one point to disobey God. If you carefully study Paul’s last trip to Jerusalem in the Book of Acts you will find that God warned Paul twice not to go to Jerusalem (see Acts 21:4 & 11); and we he got there Jesus told him to leave (see Acts 22:17 & 18). Paul actually argued with the Lord about it. Now I do not believe God ever wants us to be disobedient, but at least Paul’s contention with the Lord was because of his desire to see the Jews saved.

How much do you and I love the people around us? How much do we care about their salvation? What sacrifices will we be willing to make in order that the people that we love receive the truth? We have very few Apostle Pauls on the scene today who are pouring themselves out in the work of God. Perhaps it is because we are too self-centered, loving ourselves far more than we love others. Whatever the reason, we can certainly see that our evangelistic efforts today are not reaping the same type of results that Paul saw in his day. Maybe this is what the Psalmist was trying to tell us in Psalm 126:

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” – (Psalm 126:5-6)

Our lack of tears is indicative of our lack of love for the people around us. We need more people today who will be willing to lay their own lives on the line in order to reach their world with the Gospel. Paul literally laid his life down as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). We could use a few more living sacrifices in our world today.

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Are You Glorying? – The Saturday Morning Post by Pastor Ted Stahl

Today’s Passages – Romans 4 – 7; Proverbs 26

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 126 – 130; Memorize – Romans 1:21)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 18:3 & 46

Romans 5:1-5 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

Good Morning! Are you glorying this morning? Do you have Jesus as your own personal Saviour? Then you have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And you also have access by faith to His grace. But what I really want to focus on is verses 3 through 5: we can glory in tribulations. From tribulation we get patience, from patience comes experience. From experience we get hope. And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Are you glorying yet?

If you want to see a good illustration of how we glory in tribulation, go to and look for a video sermon called ‘Stewarding Trials.’ What it boils down to is that we keep God’s good gifts, and throw away those we perceive as being bad. But according to this passage, what we believe to be bad things are actually good: we can glory in tribulations. We get patience, experience, and hope.

Let me give you the three points I gave on Wednesday night. The first was what Bro. Gerald always says: “God is good all the time and all the time God is good.” God is perfect, so His goodness is perfect. And that brings us to the second point. James 1:17 tells us that: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” The gifts, or blessings we get from Him are good and perfect. The third point came from Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

So, God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

God’s gifts are good and perfect.

And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

And adding Romans 5:3 to this list: we can glory in our tribulations: they are good and perfect gifts from God.

When we get to a point where we fully understand the sovereignty of God, that He is in control of everything, it will motivate us to look for God’s purpose in everything. It will be easier for us to submit to His will. These “good” gifts will remind us of our dependence on God. They will get our focus back on the Lord and off our circumstances. Remember Peter walking on the water: he took his eyes of Jesus, and started to sink. But the Lord was there to keep him from drowning. All our anxiety, and worry can be placed on the Lord. Just know that…

God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

God’s gifts are good and perfect.

And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Are you glorying yet?

Peace (Romans 5:1)

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Amazing Love – How Can It Be?

Today’s Passages – Romans 1 – 3; Proverbs 25

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 120 – 125; Memorize – Romans 1:21)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Joshua 1:8

“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:” – (Romans 3:21-22)

Years ago, Pastor Wedemeyer was preaching from this portion of Scripture, and he asked the question: “How many of you believe that because of salvation, you are positionally as righteous as Jesus is?” I was not too surprised to see that nobody’s hand went up. However, Pastor Rick pointed out from the Scriptures that because of the blood of Christ, we that have trusted Jesus are seen in the sight of God just as holy and righteous as the Son of God. That is an amazing truth. I know who I am, and I know what Ive done. How could God just write off all of the debt that I have accumulated and continue to accumulate in my life? It’s only because of what Jesus did for me (and you) on the cross. What a wonderful and awesome God we serve!

“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” – (Psalm 103:12)

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” – (Isaiah 1:18)

“Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” – (Romans 4:7-8)

My sin is gone. Jesus took all of it upon Himself on the cross; and in exchange He gave me a robe of pure righteousness. Amazing love – how can it be?

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

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Today’s Passage – Romans 14 – 16

It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. (Romans 14:21)

There is a lot of talk these days about liberty. As New Testament Christians we have been made free from the bondage of the law, but that does not give us license to sin; and it does not give us the right to use our liberty to cause a weaker brother in Christ to stumble and fall. We no longer have an exhaustive list of do’s and dont’s to live by (or not live by). We live by faith, but the Bible tells us that whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

In our fundamental churches across America, many things are preached against. Each church is different. Some churches are a little more separated than others are. Some have long lists of leadership (and even membership) requirements; but even these churches could not possibly completely specify what is right for every given situation. However, as believers, we have the indwelling Spirit of God, which will guide us into all truth, and help us decide what is right and what is wrong. We must remember, though, that we must take into account that what we do affects other people. Let me give you an example that I have heard many times: Let’s say that I feel that a glass of wine every now and then is acceptable (by the way, I don’t), and God would not prohibit me from drinking in moderation. I may have the liberty to do that; I mean I’m saved eternally, aren’t I? and that glass of wine may not be a problem for me.  However, what I must take into consideration that by drinking the wine, I may be influencing a younger brother in Christ the wrong way. He may not be able to handle it, it may cause him to fall away from God, and do injury to himself and others. The bottom line is that there are things that I may have the liberty to do, which may cause my brother to stumble and fall. I therefore have to understand that I have a responsibility before God to be a proper example and influence to my children, and to my brothers and sisters in Christ.

The wine example is just one of many I can think of. This principle can be applied to many areas: television, music, movies, occupations; the list goes on and on. You and I must follow the principles of the Word of God, and the leadership of the Spirit of God in every decision, so that the liberties we take do not adversely affect anyone else. No man is an island: we don’t live to ourselves; our lives are intertwined together; and we are our brother’s keeper. I am not trying to turn us into a bunch of Pharisees who spend their time micro-examining everybody else’s lives, I am merely advocating that we assume some responsibility regarding our influence on others. And the higher we are in leadership, the greater the influence we have, and the greater the responsibility we must accept.

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The Saturday Morning Post by Pastor Ted Stahl

Today’s Reading: Romans 8-10.

Romans 8:37 – Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Good morning. I know it’s early, but the question I want to pose today is this: are you a conqueror, or more than a conqueror? What or who do you think about when you here the word conqueror? Do you think of Communist leaders like Lenin, or chairman Mao, who murdered people to gain power? Chairman Mao’s policies are credited to the deaths of 77 million people. Do you think of the Faciests like Hitler, who took a massive army and conquered most of Europe. Do you think about the Catholic church which sent out an army of Crusaders to force people to convert over to their form of religion? Do you think about the Muslims who butchered 50,000 Christians in the city of Fez, in Moroco? What about Nero, who dipped Christians in wax, mounted them on a pole, and then set them on fire to light his palace? But we are more than conquerors! We are more than conquerors through our Lord Jesus Christ!

We are more than conquerors MENTALLY

Philippians 2: 5-11 says: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

And God is conforming us to the image of His Son. We can have the mind of Christ. We are more than conquerors!

We are more than conquerors PHYSICALLY.

We can do all things – Philippians 4:13; We can endure all things – 2Timothy 2:1-10: because we are more than conquerors through our Lord Jesus Christ! Think about Stephen who saw heaven opened revealing the Lord standing, and waiting for his arrival in heaven. Think about the multitude of Christians who went to their deaths and onto eternal life because of their love for the Lord Jesus Christ. We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us!

And we are more than conquerors SPIRITUALLY.

Romans 8:2 tells us: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Read the rest of chapter 8 about the working of the Holy Spirit. You will come to the same conclusion that in all things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”

Peace (John 14:27)

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Today’s Reading – Romans 4 – 6

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (Romans 5:1)

For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partitionbetween us; (Ephesians 1:14)

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:20

What does it mean to have peace with God? The Scriptures referenced above and many others in the Bible indicate very clearly that we who have been born again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ have peace:

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

Let me summarize a few thoughts on this peace that God gives His children:

1  Peace is the absence of conflict. The Bible indicates that we were at enmity with God because of our sin. We were born in a sinful condition and we continued in that state until we received the forgiveness that comes through a relationship with Christ. I am no longer God’s enemy. I am His child.

2  Peace is the absence of worry. I no longer have to worry about “the wages of sin”. Hell is no longer an option for me. I have been forgiven from all sins: past, present, and future; and I have a place reserved for me in Heaven. I don’t deserve any of it, but God in His grace loved me enough to save me. God not only frees me from worry regarding my eternal destiny, but as I yield myself to His will and His Spirit in this life, I can also be free from the worries that so often plague us all. Will I be provided for? Will I be protected? I am assured through the Word of God that as I seek Him first, He will take care of all of the rest.

3  Peace is the absence of turmoil. Life these days seems to be full of stress and turmoil; but again as we yield to God in our lives, and live according to the plan laid out for us in His Word, I can dramatically reduce the amount of stress that I experience in my life. And even when life gets a little bumpy I am assured of grace which is sufficient to give me an inner peace even in in the most turbulent storms.

Do you have peace? You can have it only if you are in a right relationship with God. Receive Him as your Saviour, and then yield your life to Him. Most of the world knows nothing about real peace, but for God’s children peace should and can be just a normal part of life.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Today’s Passage – Romans 1 – 3

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Romans 1:21)

I woke up this morning a little before 6; and I started to go through my normal routine of making coffee, and going to my chair in the living room to read God’s Word. But this morning things were different in my house. Nearly every room in the house had people sleeping in it, including the living room. Last evening, Katelyn’s mother and brother arrived; and early this morning Sami, Melissa, and Wesley came in. It’s been a long time since the whole family was all together. What a joy to spend this Thanksgiving with family. I am truly blessed of God.

I didn’t forget about the text. In this morning’s reading, I noticed in the latter part of the Roman’s 1, Paul gives a list of what man is capable of in his worst state. The description given there includes a list of some of the most wicked sins imaginable. We see this list of sins displayed before our eyes every day in this ungodly world that we live in. However, the people who are guilty of these things in our text did not start out in such a state. The Bible reveals that at one time these people knew God. The problem started back in verse 21, where the Scripture reveals that they did not give God the glory; they were not thankful. A lack of thanksgiving to God, and to people whom God has used in your life is a first step in a downward spiral which will ultimately lead to an immoral, godless lifestyle.

Thanksgiving begins in our attitude. You cannot sincerely express thanksgiving unless it is in your heart. We all need to examine our hearts to see if we have the right attitude. Do you find yourself often looking on the dark side of life? Is your cup always half empty instead of mostly full? Do you find yourself envious of what others may possess? Do you whine and complain a lot about your circumstances. If you do, you have an attitude problem that only God can fix. But it can be fixed. You must first confess to God the sin of ingratitude and discontentment. Then you must ask Him to help you change your perspective on life. It really is a matter of perspective. Have you ever seen on television children from a third world country, living in the most deplorable conditions, playing contentedly, seemingly oblivious to their adverse circumstances? Have you ever known a person who struggled with a debilitating and painful illness who seemed to always have a smile on their face? These people have a positive outlook on life. They have a good perspective. You and I live in America, and most of us have health, yet we complain constantly like spoiled children. We need to look at life differently.

On a practical level, there are some things that you and I can do that will help change our perspective. For instance, you could write in a journal or a diary a list of the blessings that God has given you. When you find yourself feeling negative and down on your life you can pull it out and review how really blessed you are. Take time to think about the good things that God has done for you. If we really think about it, we all have been blessed of God far more that we could possibly deserve.

Once you get the attitude right, it will be easy for you to express gratitude and thanksgiving audibly, and through some tangible actions. Take some time today to think about what you are thankful for and who you are thankful for, and then go through the process of expressing your thanks to the people who have been a blessing to you; and most of all to God, who has sent those blessings your way.

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