A Season For Transformation!

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

March 2, 2022 was the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter, or Resurrection Sunday. It is designed to imitate the forty days of fasting Jesus did in the wilderness before He began His public ministry (Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13). For Christians, it is a period of fasting, renewal, and transformation. We fast from foods, festivities, activities, and other things so that we can focus on our relationship with the Lord.

Lent is generally practiced by liturgical churches, with the sign of the cross being placed on the forehead of believers on Ash Wednesday. Those ashes come from the charred remains of the burnt palm branches from the previous year’s celebration of Palm Sunday. In congregational churches, Lent is an optional observance. Those who participate do not typically use ashes, but encourage their congregants to choose something to “fast” from each of the 40 days of Lent. This practice is done in liturgical churches as well.

Paul’s epistle to the Roman church was written to introduce himself, and to give an orderly statement and explain the great principles of the Gospel. In the twelfth chapter, Paul has reached the point that he is urging his readers to go beyond a temporary fast, and to present their bodies, their entire being, as a living sacrifice. He wants them to let their daily living be an ongoing expression of worship, turning from the ways of the world and being transformed in their minds. In order to be transformed, they had to go back to the last word in the first verse, “service.” In Greek, the word is “latreia” and means to minister, to give religious reverence, to serve, to do service, to worship. Paul is telling them to make their service a total surrender by presenting their bodies as living sacrifices, which would be holy and acceptable to God. This service will give them the ability to shun the world and be renewed in their minds by the spirit of the Lord.

During this Lenten season, I want to encourage you to do your reasonable service, be transformed by the renewing of your mind and you will “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God,” just like those of the Roman church.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book (eBook available at Smashwords).

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