“The quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits” James Clear
Example of a transformation: Peter on the Beach – John 21 through Acts 2!
Since Peter’s denial of Jesus their relationship had been strained, but only from Peter’s perspective.
The transformation of Peter after his denial went into overdrive on the beach that day where he had fished all night and caught nothing, again! Ever had one of those days? Seasons? Standing on the beach the next morning Jesus directs Peter and the gang to cast their nets on the other side of boat. Fifty-two fish later after a hardy breakfast, Jesus and Peter have a heart-to-heart.
Peter is probably on edge. Did his denial eliminate him from the ministry? Would he ever get over it? Could he? Was fishing his future or was becoming a “fisher of men” still on the table? Jesus drew out of Peter that morning the answer to the question we all need to answer: “Do you love me?” At his darkest and most shattered moment, Jesus restored him. The depth of their conversation that morning probably went deeper than what we read in John 21:15-23. We all need these moments, where by the Holy Spirit’s conversations with us, Jesus restores and transforms us. In my life that kind of conversation began at my conversion. That is where renewing our mind begins, but that’s not where it ends.
For Peter and the disciples, the next 40 days refocused and renewed them. Between the resurrection and His ascension, Jesus was all business…Kingdom business. The government of the Kingdom would shift on earth from Jesus’ shoulders to theirs. Fifty days after the resurrection Peter would rise to the challenge. Combined with the intense teaching of Jesus concerning the Kingdom of God and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, Peter preached the message of a lifetime. 3,000 people joined the movement that day and ultimately changed the world. Jesus transformed their thinking by the power of His Word. Imagine what God’s Word and the Holy Spirit wants to do in your life.
In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Roman believers he breaks down the concept of transformation. Transformation is the result of renewing our mind. Renewing our mind is about changing the way we think so our thoughts line up with God’s. Romans
12:1-2 (PBT) reads: Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices and live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart.
In this text two pre-requisites to renewing the way we think stand out: 1. Surrender 2. Living in holiness.
Surrender is easy but living a holy life seems overwhelming. Look again at how the Passion Bible ends verse 2: “experiencing all that delights his heart!”. Holiness is delighting God’s heart. The above text continues: For this becomes your genuine expression of worship. Then comes the how-to:
Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life satisfying and perfect in his eyes.
Renewing our mind is the follow-up habit to making Jesus Lord of our lives. Studying Romans 12 we find 3 areas of transformation:
- Our Identity
- How we respond to life.
- Our Prayer Life
In part 2, I’ll break these down for practical application.