Do not be conformed to this world, 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.
Romans 12:2 ESV
This verse does not need to be a condemnation, a judgemental statement speaking against us, convicting us – it can be a declaration of God that we be transformed and renewed.
If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
Genesis 4:7 ESV
Yes, this is an encouragement for those who do want to do well. It does not have to be a condemnation, but it is the direction of our hearts and desires that determine whether this feels like an encouragement or feels like an accusation.
You see, it is instruction pointing to the one true and narrow gate and path. And if that is what we seek, then it is like like the healing power of His annointing oils poured out on our heads. But if we seek the other path, then it is like hot coals poured out onto our heads. If we seek to walk with Christ, as our faithful friend and comforter, then this instruction and guidance is a blessing. If we seek to serve that other master, to love ourselves and the carnal things of this world, then we hear this same Word of God as chastisement and as conviction.
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
John 3:19-21 ESV
And this judgement is beautiful and wonderful and encouraging if we have decided to come to Him for the transforming and renewal that He offers. He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to teach us, guide us, comfort us, and instruct us, in His ways.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:15-18 ESV
And this gift, this Spirit of Christ in us, it is a filing of our lives with power, love and self-control.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 ESV
And this power frees us from the power and hold that sin once had over our lives.
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
Romans 6:14-19 ESV
So we must examine ourselves to be sure that we are in the faith. We must either find that we are walking as a humble and faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and Almighty God – or admit to ourselves that we have chosen to serve a different master. And there is an eternal consequence for our choice. If we hate the heavenly things of God, if our cold, hard hearts cannot bear the blessings of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control that are very divine nature of God, then we will not be forced to accept His gifts, His grace, His glory, His blessings eternal. He will allow us to cling to the darkness and go into destruction with it and be permanently separated from those things in our lives.
Oh, that you could know for a moment the burden of your life being fully separated from these blessings of God so that you might fear and tremble at the possibility, at the weight of an existence void of His nature available to you. Maybe then you would then realize His value and that He is truly worthy of all praise and worship and honor.
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord , choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord .”
Joshua 24:15 ESV
Oh, that you wouldn’t just seek Him because you have become aware of the cost, that you are fearful of the coming judgement – but that you believe and understand this gift offered to you. Because it is in understanding the price paid that grattitude is found. And when we find grattitude for the gift received, this Word of God is no longer burdensome, but is fertilizer for our souls, divine and loving instructions to protect us from all kinds tricks, traps, poison, and consequences.
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:3 ESV
We don’t serve to fill an obligation, but to seize an opportunity.
Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
Romans 4:4-8 ESV
So the question is, what will we choose to do today?