Unplug for a bit!
We live in a world that is connected by wires and gadgets. Nearly everyone has a phone in their pocket, and it's quite interesting to see that, even at the dinner table, everyone's glued to it all the time. In the west, so many of us have multiple TVs throughout the house. We have computers, and video game consoles, and phones, and tablets, and so many other ways to get connected to the world. And that is a bit of a problem, isn't it? Romans 12 tells us to not conform to the pattern of this world, and yet how plugged in to it are we? I realize the dilemma of my statement, as I am typing this on a computer, so I will qualify my statement by saying that none of this is inherently good or inherently bad. Technology is not good, or bad, it depends on how it is used. And if it is constantly used, even for good things, it becomes a detriment to the user. We become disconnected to what is going on in our approximate location for things in a virtual world or locations farther away. I even think it stops us from seeing what God is doing right in front of us, sometimes. Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful to be able to connect across state lines, the country and even the world, BUT, when it all comes down to it, we are more plugged in to our devices than to the God who provided the materials for it. It's time for us to turn off the world. To unplug from the phones, TVs, video games, and tablets, even for a bit, and tune in to what the Father has for us. It's time to plug in to His word (try to do it on an actual physical copy of the bible), to plug in to Him through deep, centered prayer (even if it's just calling out His name because you don't know what else to say), and seek Him with our whole hearts. Watch the transformations that occur when plugging in to the Spirit of Truth as opposed to the talking box in our pocket. God will not disappoint, even when the rest of the world does.
Romans 12 English Standard Version (ESV)
A Living Sacrifice
12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] 2 Do not be conformed to this world,[c] 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.[d]
Gifts of Grace
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members,[e] and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,[f] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Marks of the True Christian
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[g] serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.[h] Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[i] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary,
“if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
a. Romans 12:1 Or brothers and sisters
b. Romans 12:1 Or your rational service
c. Romans 12:2 Greek age
d. Romans 12:2 Or what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God
e. Romans 12:4 Greek parts; also verse 5
f. Romans 12:8 Or gives aid
g. Romans 12:11 Or fervent in the Spirit
h. Romans 12:16 Or give yourselves to humble tasks
i. Romans 12:19 Greek give place