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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cowboys in southern Chile (photo by Patricia Hormabazal)
Cowboys on their way to a rodeo  in Southern Chile
Photo by Patricia Hormabazal

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"Spiritual Defragmentation"

"Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). "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" (Romans 12:1,2).

Photo of Defragmentation screenviewWindows-based computer operating systems have an interesting utility feature known as "defragmentation". This feature rearranges and places your files in order so that your machine will work more efficiently. I would sure like to clean out and arrange my paper files and other clutter in my life this quickly and effortlessly! You should see my growing stacks.

I would also like a quick procedure like this for my mind. I would need to use it regularly; when I awaken in the morning, throughout the day, then again at night as I lie down to sleep.
Well I believe such a procedure is available. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. I believe His grace, in renewing our minds, is like a defragmenter and we must rely on it regularly.

Perhaps it's a deep awareness of the verse that states, "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). The NASB translates the first part of the verse "Cease striving." It is through His grace that we can still our minds, our hearts, and our activities in this driven, often calamitous world so that we listen for the voice of our Father and recognize His presence in our lives.

As God speaks to us He is in the process of renewing our mind so that we no longer conform to the behavior or attitudes common to those living in the kingdom of darkness. His Spirit is at work transforming our minds so that our behavior and attitudes reflect His kingdom of light.

John Piper's reflections on this verse are as follows: "In Romans 12:2 Paul focuses on one essential means of transformation— the renewal of your mind. 'Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.' Oh, how crucial this is!

* If you long to break loose from conformity to the world,
* If you long to be transformed and new from the inside out,
* If you long to be free from mere duty-driven Christianity and do what you love to do because what you love to do is what you ought to do,
* If you long to offer up your body as a living sacrifice so that your whole life becomes a spiritual act of worship and displays the worth of Christ above the worth of the world.

Then give yourself with all your might to pursuing this — the renewal of your mind. Because the Bible says, this is the key to transformation. 'Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.'”

Many years ago I heard a speaker at a minister's conference point out, "While you're trying to figure it all out, God is working it all out." This simple statement has been a proven proverb in my own life many times over! May we rely on God's grace today which enables us to be still and cease striving; to know deep within our being that He is God and that truly He is working it all out. Today I urge each reader to recognize the many means that God has provided to defragment and renew our minds for His glory!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, You have shown us through the example of Your Son, Jesus, that we must set aside a regular time and quiet place to meet with You, to hear Your voice, to recognize Your presence and to invite Your transforming power to renew our hearts and minds every day. We want Your kingdom of light to guide us through this world of darkness as You stamp Your own image deep in our hearts like carpenters who embed nails deep in planks of wood. Amen.

Brooksyne's challenge: We closed our message today with this challenge:  "Recognize the many means that God has provided to defragment and renew our minds for His glory!"  I want to invite our readers to submit a personal example of the "many means" in which God has renewed your mind.  Keep it brief:  one sentence, maybe two. If we have a good response we'll make a composite of your responses to share with our readers so that they might be open to conduits of God's "defragmentation" to renew our minds.  Just submit your example using this link (either email or webform).

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.

"Be Still" (Psalm 46:10) Audio from the Integrity Scripture Memory series. (Open this page and click on the play button.)

"Do Not Be Conformed" (Romans 12:1,2; Ephesians 4:23)  Audio from the Integrity Scripture Memory series. (Open this page and click on the play button.)

"Still"  Video  By Hillsong

"The Renewed Mind and How to Have It" by John Piper  Article  Audio  In my view John Piper is one of the most thoughtful Scripture expositors of our time.

Photo of Patricia HormabazalToday's Chilean cowboy photo was taken by our friend Patricia Hormabazal, who is originally from Chile, during a recent trip back to her homeland.  Yesterday I shared her volcano photo and will share another two of her photos tomorrow.  Below is a photo of a mountain river. Looks like an inviting spot right now here in the northern hemisphere!

River in southern Chile (photo by Patricia Hormabazal)
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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