Good morning brothers and sisters. I pray you are off to a great start on this Wednesday morning. Join us at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow for our devotional. Dial 1-605-562-8401. Access code is 670-7270. Bible Study is tomorrow night, Thursday at 7:00 p.m. via ZOOM.
See today’s message below:
When I woke up this morning, my thoughts went back to a very beautiful event I attended recently where two people renewed their marriage vows. Imagine two people being married for fifty years. So often the question is asked, “Why do people after so many years of marriage feel the need to renew their vows?” The answer to that question remains in the hearts and minds of those who wish to reaffirm their love, respect, trust, and understanding of each other. For me, the reaffirmation of your vows simply says that after fifty years, we finally got it right.
Whatever challenges and trials a couple may have had over the years of marriage, they finally are at peace with one another and life is good. Just maybe the couple wishes to reaffirm their commitment to each other after tough times in the marriage.
Renewal does not have to be limited to our marriage vows, for renewal can be instrumental and a blessing in many aspects of our lives. I can recall when many persons have wanted to reaffirm their baptism. These persons felt that their lives had changed spiritually over the years and they were ready to give themselves to God totally. Simply stated, for during their walk with God, there was a season of transformation and growth. It does not mean we have reached perfection, but we are working toward perfection. You may remember your first baptism when you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, but now because of your spiritual maturity you are ready for a rebirth as sons and daughters of God. We are now ready to commit to living in a relationship with God and accept the fact that we are his children and He is our father.
The apostle Paul says, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4) Baptized into his death is the shedding of sin. In a spiritual sense, we died with Him, and to our sin. We were then resurrected to a new spiritual life. We have become new creatures in Christ and we now celebrate it.
As children of God, we are called to grow and mature into a deeper relationship with God. There are times that we feel so good about our faith journey that we wish to reaffirm, profess or renew our baptism openly and publicly. We just want to tell the world about the changes in our lives. Too often we are more concerned about what others think about us than what God thinks about us.
There may also be renewal in our minds and bodies. For in Romans 12:1-2, Paul tells us, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Paul admonishes believers not to be conformed to this world. In other words, we are not to engage in anything of the world that rejects or ignores God and His revelation. If one is an unbeliever, he or she is already conformed to the world. Simply stated, rather than continuing to be conformed to this world, we are to be transformed by having our minds renewed. Paul is reminding us that our thinking must be changed from old, ungodly ways of thinking to new, godly ways of thinking. We are living sacrifices to God by not conforming to this world, but being transformed by the renewal of our minds.
If our minds are to be renewed, we must fill it with God’s word. If we fill our minds with God’s word, our hearts will begin to change. When our hearts and minds are right, we become a people of action and obedient to His word. What better time to fill our minds with God’s word than during the pandemic? We have been given a time to rest, relax and remember. When we remember what God has done in our lives up until this point, there is, hopefully, a desire for some type of renewal.
May we assess and evaluate our lives totally and determine if there are areas that renewal or reaffirmation can take place. It does not have to be public, for what matters is that you understand the newness in your life. “We must learn a new way to think before we can master a new way to be.” (Unknown)
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor