September 5, 2004Email to a FriendPrint
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
Paul urges Christians to offer their bodies as living sacrifices. Negatively, he asks them not to conform to the pattern of this world. The Greek word for “conform” suggests a rigid, assembly-line approach to life in which you look and act like everyone else. How boring, drab, and restricted the life of conformity to the world’s pattern! Positively, Paul admonishes, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The Greek word for “be transformed” suggests an interesting illustration from the world of nature – metamorphosis.
How does the lowly caterpillar become a beautiful butterfly? The caterpillar looks nothing like the adult butterfly. We are helpless to bring about a change in the lowly caterpillar. Someone quipped, “You can’t change a caterpillar into a butterfly by Scotch-taping on wings and sending him to aviation school.” But God has provided a marvelous transforming process to accomplish the metamorphosis. The caterpillar or larva passes through an inactive stage in which body changes take place inside a cocoon. When the cocoon is broken open, out flies the colorful butterfly, totally transformed.
In the same way we are by nature lowly caterpillars. We are only capable of conforming to the world. But God sent His Son to live and die for us. From the cocoon of His grave He emerged on the third day as a colorful butterfly, triumphant over sin and death. God transforms us by a spiritual metamorphosis. He works faith in our hearts through His Word and sacraments. Christ lives in us. We are transformed into beautiful butterflies, free to serve Him with our lives. Through our regular exposure to His Word, God renews our minds. We can shun conformity and are transformed to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. Thank God for His metamorphosis!
PRAYER: Dear Lord, transform us to serve You. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)