OUR DAILY BREAD DEVOTIONAL FOR SEPTEMBER 16, 2023 ( JUST LIKE JESUS)
TOPIC : JUST LIKE JESUS
Bible in a Year: Proverbs 25–26 2 Corinthians 9
Memory Verse: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
Today’s Scripture & Insight: Romans 12:1–2
Paul wrote the book of Romans to believers in Jesus at Rome (Romans 1:7) to show that all human beings are sinners in need of salvation (chs. 1–3), what God did to save us, and how we can have a right relationship with Him (chs. 4–11). After explaining the theological foundations of the gospel (chs. 1–11), the apostle instructed believers in Christ how to live in a right relationship with God (chs. 12–16).
The last four chapters provide a pattern of discipleship, teaching believers how to respond to God’s mercy and grace (12:1–2), how to use spiritual gifts (vv. 3–8), and how to relate to different people in the church and society (12:9–16:27). Though Jesus died to save us, God doesn’t demand that we die for Him. Rather, we’re to live for Him in His perfect will (12:1–2), in humility (v. 3), and in unity (vv. 4–8).
In 2014, biologists captured a pair of orange pygmy seahorses in the Philippines. They took the marine creatures, along with a section of the orange coral sea fan they called home, to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Scientists wanted to know if the pygmy seahorses were born to match the color of their parents or their environment. When the pygmy seahorses gave birth to dull brown babies, scientists placed a purple coral sea fan into the tank. The babies, whose parents were orange, changed their color to match the purple sea fan. Due to their fragility by nature, their survival depends on their God-given ability to blend into their environment.
Blending-in is a useful defense mechanism in nature. However, God invites all people to receive salvation and stand out in the world by how we live. The apostle Paul urges believers in Jesus to honor God in every aspect of our lives, to worship Him by offering our bodies as a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1). Due to our fragility as human beings affected by sin, our spiritual health as believers depends on the Holy Spirit “renewing” our minds and empowering us to avoid conforming to “the pattern of this world” that rejects God and glorifies sin (v. 2).
Blending into this world means living in opposition to the Scriptures. However, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can look and love just like Jesus!
Reflect & Pray
How have you been blending into the world? How has God changed you?
Dear God, please make me more like Jesus each day.
Our Daily Bread 2023 Devotional is written by Xochitl Dixonand published by Our Daily Bread Ministries.