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Daily Devotional Romans 12:1–2

Last August our family spent a week in Minnesota. For three days, we stayed on the north shore of Lake Superior at the Naniboujou Lodge. This is my favorite place on earth. No cell phone service. No wi-fi. No television. Only delicious family meals in the grand, colorful dining room. Evening board games in the cozy atrium. And early morning prayer times on the rocky beach. It was exactly the renewing I needed. It felt like a rebooting for my soul and brain.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.


In Romans 12, Paul tells us how we can renew and refresh our mind. He begins with that wonderful transition word “therefore.” Here, Paul signals a clear cause and effect. He shifts from his doctrinal teaching to getting very practical about the results of our theology. Paul “urges” (earnestly pleads with) the Roman Christians to live their lives based on what God—in His great mercy—had done for them.

Paul begins by talking about our bodies. He calls us to offer ourselves as “a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (v. 1). The first-century Christians would have been intimately familiar with the solemn act of sacrifice, so it would have been a powerful analogy. However, this sacrifice is “living”: vital and dynamic and ongoing. It is also a holy, dedicated, and pure act of worship.

Paul also addresses the renewing of our mind. He urged believers to continually subject their thoughts and intellect to the renewing work of the Spirit (v. 2). Every thought is to be taken captive by God. We love Him when we think rightly and purely. As we steward our thoughts, the Spirit will provide the gift of discernment. God wants to lead His children in paths of righteousness (Ps. 23:3). And when we renew our mind, we can more readily determine His “good, pleasing, and perfect will” (v. 2).

Go Deeper

In what ways can you offer your body as a living and holy sacrifice to God? In what ways can you invite the Holy Spirit to renew your thoughts?

Pray with Us:

How we need our minds renewed and our thinking transformed (Rom.12:2)! Holy Spirit, help us understand how to live a renewed life, “holy and pleasing to God” (Rom. 12:1).

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