Being a living sacrifice is difficult, but being a living sacrifice is not beyond your ability in Christ. The reason most Christians are not living sacrifices is because they have not been fully transformed. Instead, many are conformed to the world’s opinions. You have probably seen on some television show the process of something being molded. The hot material pours out into the mold, and that mold determines the cooled materials shape. Often pressure is put on the material to ensure it takes exactly the right shape. The world is a mold that is constantly trying to push us into its desired shape. If you doubt this in any way, tell a friend you are not going to gossip anymore and you will not get praise and encouragement. You will get scorn and probably gossiped about yourself. The world is a pressure cooker, trying to force every single one of us into its image. Why? Because when we look and act differently, we make the world uncomfortable. Our difference reveals to them the flaws in their lifestyle. This difference is exactly what we must be living out, though.
We are not to be molded into the likeness of the world, we are to be metamorphasized into the image of Christ. In my mind, what is really awesome about a butterfly is not its bright colors and fragile appearance, but how this ugly, fuzzy, many legged , worm like caterpillar that can only crawl around and nibble on leaves can wrap itself up for weeks and finally push itself out of the cocoon, no longer a worm. Now it is one of the most beautiful insects in the world flying from flower to flower until it finally splats against my car windshield. How does that happen? Excessive speed helps the splat splatter properly, but the change from caterpillar to butterfly is metamorphosis, transformation, the radical reshaping of one thing into something that is completely different. Christians have to be constantly engaged in this transformation process. We must not be content with being like everyone else. We must seek instead to be like Christ. There was no one more radical, more counter cultural, more revolutionary than Jesus Christ. Jesus is the one we must set our sights on. He is the one we should try to please and imitate.
The great goal of God for your spiritual growth is that you look like His Son. Be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. The transformation process is driven by changing your way of thinking. We desperately need to be thinking about things Biblically. We cannot continue through life thinking exactly the same way as the world does. Let me give you an example of this. The world thinks radically different about love than a Christian should. The world defines love based on how someone else makes me feel. A young girl who knows nothing about commitment or sacrifice can profess love for someone else, simply because that person makes her feel wonderful. The world’s love is centered in self. Biblical love has nothing to do with what someone can do for you. Biblical love is a commitment to doing what is best for others. Biblical love is selfless. The world’s idea of love has been reduced to what I gain from it, while Biblical love is the pinnacle of sacrifice. Do you see how radically different these two concepts are? The same word, even similar expressions of love, but two completely different foundational approaches. That is just one reason we need to be transformed in our mind. You can examine every element of life and find that there is a worldly way of thinking about it and a very different Biblical way of thinking. If you are going to be transformed into the image of Christ, you must retrain your mind to think Biblically on all things. Ultimately, the transformed life is a life lived in the Word of God, bringing all thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
Nikon D80 300mm F/5.6 1/1600 sec. ISO 320