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Summary: The renewal of our minds must center on the use of our resources - treasure, time, and talents. The more disillusioned we are with the world, the more motivated we will be to pursue the Christian way. If we are not willing to face the reality that we li

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SERMON

BY BRO. SETH A. ARYEE

LOCAL PREACHER, BETHANY METHODIST CHURCH, DZORWULU, ACCRA-GHANA

THEME: RENEWAL OF MIND

ROMANS 12: 1-2

TEXT: “AND BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD: BUT BE YE TRANSFORMED . . .” [ROMANS 12:2]

In our secular world, we usually conform to societal values and expectation. Not until we change our mindset against the expectation of our society, we shall find it difficult, if not impossible, to follow the tenets of our Christian life. Transformation is a process called renewal of mind. Mind in this context means understanding and not brain. "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding" Proverbs 4:7

The renewal of our minds must center on the use of our resources - treasure, time, and talents. The more disillusioned we are with the world, the more motivated we should be to pursue the Christian way. If we are not willing to face the reality that we live in a fallen world, that possessions fail to give any lasting happiness, then we are not going to move along the rough road of life with steady treading

We live in a world where lies are commonplace, and the sooner we face that painful fact the better

We must renounce lies such as: human beings are basically good; we are not responsible for the way we are; we can find happiness independently of God. The truth of God does not begin to dawn upon us until we realize that what we have assumed was the truth – that we are the masters of our fate – is in fact a lie. It is painful to admit that we have been taken in by the world’s lies but until we accept that we have, and confess it, we are not ready to move on into all that God has for us

If you do not have any respect for time, you cannot progress because time is a perishable commodity which cannot be recovered when missed. Remember that you are not becoming younger and you are losing strength day to day

In Isaiah 1: 19-20: “If you are willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it”. For transformation to take place, there are two principal pre-requisites:

· Willingness – following after in submission

· Obedience – listening attentively with the intention to act on what is heard

On the other hand, conforming will take place under the following conditions:

· Refusal – deciding not to do something to change your situation

· Rebellion – resisting stubbornly against challenges and apparent need to change

You have the choice – willingness and obedience or refusal and rebellion. The good of the land is before you; the land can yield much for you – but you must be willing and obedient. Choice is the condition of the heart, mind, and attitude.

In 2 Kings 7:1-3, we are told that when Samaria was besieged by Syria there was severe famine to the extent that women began to boil and eat their children. And the Word of the Lord came to Elisha: “Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria”

However, an advisor of the king doubted this prophecy. So Elisha told him thus: “Thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof”. The prophet had said that the situation would change but some doubted looking at the current circumstances. The same is true of some of us in our country. The economy is not picking up to the extent that we have all lost hope in life. If we will only listen this articulation of God’s Word to His people: “For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease” Job 7:14

The King trusted his man who felt threatened by Elisha’s hope in the Lord to turn the situation. Remember that some people benefit by bad situations. Somebody needs a chaotic situation or trouble to enable them to thrive and survive. In spite of the man’s perception, the prophet intimated that what God wanted to do would come to pass but that he would not taste of it. Why did he say that? - He could not move from the familiarity of scarcity to possibility of abundance. This man was familiar with hunger. People have lived with poverty for so long that they have ever lost hope of making it in life. Even when they are given large sums of money and they are asked to claim it, they will not believe it

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