TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL (Saturday 9TH JANUARY 2021)
“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 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 9TH DAY OF OUR YEAR OF HIGHER HEIGHTS
We slept and woke up this morning because the LORD kept us. Blessed be the name of the LORD who did not give us to the teeth of our enemies. His Spirit has made us, and His breathe has given us life. It may shock you to know that this happens in the life of both the wicked and the righteous.
You see, the LOVE of God for mankind is beyond comprehension. Jesus spoke about the sun and rain He makes to rise and fall on the evil and the good. He stood on that to ask us to walk in love towards everyone. The word said;
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:43-45 NKJV
Whenever I look at this scripture I see the deep love of God for mankind.
You see, it is really wicked not to live for God as a Human being. His love for man is so deep and surpassing. He indeed does not deal with us according to our wickedness. He deals with us according to the multitude of His mercies; drawn by the depth of our repentance.
Every sincere person will consider it a reward of evil for good when we do not live for Him in spite of all He does to keep us alive. We are still on the first month of this year, it’s important that we make decisions not to reward God with evil for all His good deeds in our lives.
IN ONE OF OUR DEVOTIONALS LAST YEAR, WE SAW HOW OUR CELLS ARE RENEWED EACH NIGHT.
Now, can you imagine someone God renewed his cells while asleep waking up in the morning without even kneeling down to thank Him but going away complaining against Him, and maybe using his or her God given health to commit terrible sin in the process? That is terrible!
THAT IS WHY A TIME COMES WHEN GOD IMPLEMENTS THE RULE IN ISAIAH 26.
He implements this rule each time we do not make use of His mercies and kindness to live right. He implements it when we continue in our wickedness in spite of the grace He shows to mankind. The rule says;
“Let grace be shown to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.” Isaiah 26:10 NKJV
This is the rule that evokes God’s judgment on the unrepentant.
God will weigh the grace He has shown a beneficiary of His grace for a long time before making decisions on judgment. He will check if the beneficiary has used it to walk away from sin, iniquity or trespass. Before making any decision on what to do. That was what led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
They made use of His grace wrongly. You can make use of God’s grace wrongly by using it to harden your heart by repeating your sins. You can allow it to deceive you or work on you. It all depends on how much you are willing to follow the flesh or the Spirit.
The people of Sodom and Gomorrah used it to commit more sins; very terrible sins– they even attempted to rape angels God sent to weigh their wickedness. Then God responded with terrible judgment, using the Isaiah 26:10 rule.
For you go back to the first global judgment on wickedness, you will find that the same rule was applied.
GOD DOES NOT SHOW PARTIALITY IN JUDGMENT. HE IS GOVERNED BY RULES.
The Bible Says;
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” Genesis 6:5-8 NKJV
Many in our generation are repeating the very sins that led to the destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah and the generation of Noah. Do you think God will just be watching them? No He will execute judgment some day; that is if the consequences of their sins do not catch up with them before then. The Bible says;
“Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury — A violent whirlwind! It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
The anger of the Lord will not turn back until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.” Jeremiah 23:19-20 NKJV
God does not execute these correctional and protective judgments in joy. He does them in pain. The pain of seeing mankind not using His sun and rain of mercies to live right; thereby giving occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme. Concerning the generation of Noah, the word said;
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”
That was despite His goodness in their lives! It is really saddening how we treat our God sometimes. It is self-destructive when we use His goodness to allow sinfulness to breed instead of righteousness. Even among us that seems to be serious with God, like David, there are times we do things that gives occasion to the LORD’s enemies to blaspheme.
Time has come for us to start sitting down before the LORD to ask, “why do you renew my cells every morning and I do not renew my commitment to you every morning, to come into fresh levels of commitments?”
PART OF THE ANSWER LIES IN OUR DEVOTIONAL TEXT THIS MORNING!
A major portion of it says,
“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.”
Conformity to the systems of Satan and the fallen angels is what God was warning us about here. That is the hidden system that runs this world; the very system making the hearts of men evil and wicked. Don’t forget, that was what made the generation of Noah evil and wicked. That’s is why the word of the LORD say, we should not be conformed to this world.
In another place, almost in the same flow, the Bible says;
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world” 1 John 2:15-16 NKJV
The conformity of the world to Satan and his fallen angels is the reason mankind returns evil for the good God does! That is why the Bible (as we can see in our devotional text) instructs believers no to conform to the world. If we conform to the world we will do like the world. It says “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.”
It is really sad that even we in church now do what the world is doing.
We return evil to God for all the good He is doing to us. Like the world, we return sin, iniquity and trespasses for all the grace He is showing us. We do these things calling them weaknesses, but before Him it is wickedness! That is why many are oppressed, sick, poor and under the yoke of their enemies. It ought not to be so among us – the saved and ‘sanctified.’
We must cease from conformity to the world.
And if that will happen we must learn to present our bodies as a living sacrifice – holy and acceptable to God as our devotional text admonishes this morning! If we do not present our bodies as living sacrifices unto God we will not be able to stop the terrible conformity to the world system that is going us among us.
Sadly, the Church has become so worldly because of these things – chasing the glory of the LORD away from our meetings.
God wants us to de-conform to this world and be conformed to His world (the world of His glory) by spending time with His word and Spirit, until our minds are renewed. But that can never happen until we present our passions (bodies) to Him as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to Him.
He wants us to present our bodies (passions) to Him for crucifixion. And that can only happen through time in His presence until every trace of this world is removed from us. It’s important that we heed to this call. It is only when we heed the call that we can escape.
LET THIS SCRIPTURE BE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR YOU TODAY!
“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,
God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? Hebrews 2:1-4 NKJV