Are you conformed to this world? - James C. Bell

In Romans 12:2, St. Paul, the apostle, admonishes all Christians to "not be conformed" to this world, but to live all of our lives according to the teachings of Christ.

He goes into detail to show that Jesus Christ is to be Lord of every area of our lives. In this chapter, St. Paul shows that God demands our action, as well as our believing and thinking.

Faith expresses itself in obedience. In verse one, he urges us to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is our spiritual act of worship.

In verse two, he tells us not only to reject the world's way of living, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. This is a process that will continue to change us to be more like our Lord Jesus until the day we die and go to Heaven to be with Him.

When we arrive in Heaven the process will be complete. We will then be perfect just like Jesus, for there will be no sin in us. There will also be no temptation or evil in this perfect place, for Satan is completely defeated and not allowed in Heaven.

Now, what about our question -- "Are you conformed to this world?" Most of us are guilty of living lives that are conformed to the patterns of this world. We are all chasing the American dream. We work hard to be successful in our jobs, to the point that we devote most of our lives to making money and getting the finer things of our materialistic existence --the best homes, a fine car, beautiful clothes, the best medical insurance and building the biggest nest egg for our retirement so that, one day, we can travel and enjoy the best things in life.

One may say; "Well, what's so wrong about this? At least we are taking care of ourselves and not dependent on our children or the government." Yes, but what about living the Christian life and pleasing the Lord? Do you think He is going to be pleased or impressed by the size of your 401k, your nest egg?

Micah 6:8 says. "He has showed you, oh man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

Please read verses 3-8 of Romans, chapter 12, also, and understand that we are all given the power to fulfill His will for us. Verse 9 continues: "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."

I think if we try to follow the American dream and pursue it fully, we will have little time to live the life God wants us to live. As Christians, we must love the Lord and follow His teachings. This means, to me, we must find the time to serve Him, to build into our busy lives a priority for serving Him in a Bible-teaching church.

We must study His Word and apply it to our lives,and also teach others His ways. We must be witnesses for Jesus as we tell lost people how to be saved, and lead them to Him. We must be praying people as we praise God for our salvation and thank Him for all His goodness to us.

If you are reading this article and are not yet a Christian, please think about your relationship with God and repent of your sins. As you do, He will forgive your sins and lead you in a powerful "renewing of your mind," and you will find this to be the best experience you have ever had, one that will continue to bless you and teach you things you never knew before.

I pray you will truly believe in Jesus Christ, and place your trust in Him.