By Christopher L. Scott
Moses Lake, Washington
I became a Christian at age twenty-three. Before that, I had enjoyed large quantities of beer and other non-Christian activities that often accompany drunkenness.
But when I became a Christian I started studying my Bible, regularly attending church, and spent time with other Christians. Those activities started to change my thinking and behavior. I didn’t realize it a first, but my mind was being transformed by God.
Paul told the believers in Rome, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2, NASB).
The instruction to “not be conformed to this world” is something all Christians must resist. The world’s entertainment, advertisements, and sports all direct our attention anywhere other than God. (I’m not saying those things are terrible and that we shouldn’t participate in them, but they often direct our attention away from God.)
Instead, Paul tells us to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The word “transformed” here is a continual process of change from the inside out. The same Greek word is used in Matthew 17:2 when Jesus took Peter, James, and John to a mountain and Jesus “was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.” Paul tells us we need to be completely changed and in effect be reprogrammed to think and act differently.
The best way I know to “be transformed” is by memorizing Scripture. It can be hard to memorize Scripture if there is no context for it or need, therefore to successfully memorize Scripture you must incorporate it into your life. For example, I struggle with not feeling important and valuable as a pastor at our church. When people don’t respect me or don’t include me in the important ministries of our church I feel discouraged and not valuable. I have been trying to memorize Ephesians 1:4-7. Every time I feel discouraged and not important I recite those verses as a reminder that my worth comes from God, not from how others treat me or from the ministry I do as a pastor.
Scripture memory can help us with various situations we face. Perhaps you know you need to reconcile a relationship with someone but find it difficult to restore the relationship. Consider memorizing Romans 12:18. Or you feel that you are being spiritually attacked, then you need to memorize Ephesians 6:12. If there are people you find yourself constantly judging and you want to stop, then memorize Philippians 3:9. Maybe you want to talk to people about God, but you aren’t sure how to share the Gospel, then memorize Romans 10:9-10.
Are we being “conformed” or “transformed”? I hope and pray we can memorize Scripture and be transformed because it is the “will of God . . . which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Christopher L. Scott, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, is a pastor and freelance writer. Christopher L. Scott writes from Exeter, CA. Learn more about his writing ministry at ChristopherLynnScott.com.
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