daily devotional

This weekend is Father’s Day. A time to celebrate the Daddies in our life. Will you make him his coffee, will you take him out to eat, will you buy him a new shirt (as your secret way to dress him properly)? What about your Heavenly Father? What will you do for him to honor the impact he has made on your life? I mean really, how do you properly celebrate God? Well I found it … the perfect gift for God.

Scripture says “embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” And there is our Father’s Day gift to our Heavenly Father.

Let’s take a look at this entire passage in Romans 12: 1-2 (I’ll be reading from both the NIV and the MSG translation): “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. 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. You’ll be changed from the inside out.”

What if we intentionally lived this day as an OFFERING to God? Yes, that’s our gift to God, how we live this day … I mean he already has everything else! What could I possibly give him that he doesn’t already have or that he couldn’t just create himself? HOW I LIVE THIS ORDINARY DAY – How I eat, how I go to work, how I walk around, all of this can be my GIFT TO GOD TODAY. And it can be yours too.

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. What has God done for you today? Really, what has he done? He has given you a day of life. Now in return what we should do with this day is embrace it. That means hold it close with affection. Don’t let this day just pass you by. Grab it. Seize the day. Carpe diem my friend. How about a hearty “I LOVE THIS DAY OF LIFE GOD … oh, it’s a good one.” It’s a great day to go to work, to show up, to eat well, to breathe, to live.
Then this scripture says “do not conform to the patterns of this world.”

And here’s where our challenge comes in for the day. What are the patterns of this world? They’ve certainly changed over the generations, but without a doubt the pattern of today’s world is to be so constantly connected that in truth you’re totally DISCONNECTED. Do you too feel the pull of social media, the pull of entertainment and technology? Here’s a test – how hard is it for you to sit and wait for an appointment, or wait for your food, or go to the bathroom, or ride in a car WITHOUT being on your phone? Darn near impossible?

Have you seen the app TikTok? You can create short fun little videos, share them online and be like an instant viral hit. I heard my daughter laughing uncontrollably this week … what was she doing … watching TikTok videos. Random people, doing stupid stuff, in 20 second video clips. Then the next video, and the next, and the next. 2 hours later she’s still fully entertained, entranced, and laughing. A full 2 minute video … oh heck no … no teenager is watching that! They’re now trained for 20 seconds of entertainment at a time. We’re literally creating ADD. And I’ll admit, I sat down with her to see what was so funny, and suddenly 30 minutes of my life was gone and I have absolutely nothing to show for it.

It’s so sad. But it’s oh so normal. It’s just normal. It is the pattern of the world today. And unfortunately it’s become our pattern and we have done exactly what this scripture warns us about – we have fit into the pattern of the world without even thinking.

I wonder how much of our day is spent not even thinking? We’re not being intentional. We’re just living out our habits of being constantly fed noise, nonsense and distractions and we claim our lives are “busy.” Wow – we’re busy. Are we really busy if we’re watching 2 hours of news every day? Are we really busy if we have time for Netflix, Pinterest, Candy Crush or Geometry Dash? Are we really busy if we’re reading hundreds of status updates and viewing countless photos … many from people we don’t even know. How much of our lives are we exchanging for watching others live their lives?

Really, how much of your life are you willing to sacrifice watching me live my life? What a poor exchange. Don’t miss your own family because you’re looking at someone else’s.

No doubt, it is the pattern of today’s world … and we shouldn’t conform to it, but instead we should be transformed by the renewing of our mind. And this is what we are seeking today. Lord, as we commit to living this day as an offering to you, as we embrace all you have done for us and resist the patterns of the world we live in, we will be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our minds.

How do you renew your mind? You do something different. You break out of the patterns of your normal routine. You breathe in life deeper. You live more intentionally. You replace the habit of picking up that cell phone, or clicking on Facebook or Instagram, or turning on the TV, with something that will benefit your mind.

Take a walk. Read a positive book. Sing. Pray. Work with joy. Make eye contact and TALK to someone.

And here’s what happens as you do … your mind will be renewed, and then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is. It’s as if the veil will be lifted and you will see life more clearly. You won’t walk around in a confused daze, struggling with what to do next. You’ll see it all more clearly with your renewed mind, living intentionally.

Ahhhh, don’t miss that – here’s your answer. Have you been searching for God’s will in something specific? Have you been saying “God, what am I supposed to do – show me – talk to me – I’m stuck here God, I don’t know what to do.” Well maybe we haven’t been hearing from God – maybe we’re lost, confused, frustrated and without direction because we’ve just been living too much like the rest of the world. We’re so connected that we’re disconnected. And today as we intentionally renew our minds, God’s will and ways become more clear to us.

Live this day as your offering to God. It’s your gift to him for Father’s Day. Break away from the pattern of this world, be different, and as you do, your mind will be renewed, you’ll see the will of God more clearly, and your life will be forever changed.