Sermon on the Mount: Day 26

More Highly Than You Ought

Read Romans 12:1–5
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 
One way to focus our minds and hearts on things of heaven is to refuse to conform to the ways of the world. And what is the most seductive, consistent message we receive in our world these days? “You are the center of the universe!” Just consider the advertisements that surround us on a daily basis. Fortunately, we are not the center of the universe. God is. And the more we reject the self-focused, self-aggrandizing messaging of the world, the more we find ourselves doing what God finds pleasing and good—worshiping Him and serving others in love.

  • What are some specific ways you tend to conform to the world around you? In what ways do you refuse to conform?
  • Reflect on a time in your life when you seemed particularly focused on your own desires, accomplishments, and needs. What stands out to you about how you engaged with others and with God during that time?
  • What invitation do you sense God extending to you through today’s passage?

God, thank You for the truth—as strange as it initially seems—that the more I focus my attention, thoughts, and actions on You and on others, the more alive and at peace I am. Everything around me suggests that I spend my time thinking more about me than about others, so I pray that You would direct me to You. Give me the courage to say no to what the culture values and to value instead what You value. Transform my mind and my heart. Amen.

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