Friday, January 2, 2015

Take Me Deeper Week 1

After months of planning the day is finally here! The start of Take Me Deeper weekly devotions and art challenges takes place today on the His Kingdom Come (HKC) site. We're building a community where we can combine our faith and our creativity with others who have the same desire. Visit the site and join us!

In the month of January we're looking at spiritual transformation. On the HKC site there is a devotion this that includes suggestions for taking the topic and this week's Bible passage deeper through the week. Members of our art groups are expressing the topic and Bible passage through various art mediums ~ from faith art journaling to photography to creative writing and many others. We have a great team of moderators who provide examples of their work each week in the groups they lead. I am serving as one of the moderators in the Faith Art Journaling group.

Week 1: Transform Willingly
Scripture: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the patterns 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 - his good, pleasing and perfect will."  Romans 12:1-2

My word for 2015 is renew and our first passage of the year contains my word! It wasn't planned. The devotions for this month were written before I knew what my word was going to be, but it did jump out off the page as I read the passage. I've heard it said that our battlefield is the mind and this passage helped reconnect me to a truth I already knew - in order for transformation to take place my mind must be renewed. And if any area of my life is going to be renewed it must begin with a willingness to renew my mind or my mindset. It's so easy to form habits, but it seems so hard to break them once they have formed and taken root. When the habit is good, that's great! But over the past few years I've allowed some bad habits to form in a number of areas of my life. I'll write more on that in my next post about my word for this year. One of those habits, though, connects directly with this weeks passage: a habit of negative thinking has formed in me over the past few years and it needs to go away! This has been my battlefield. It has ended up effecting so many areas of my life. Yet in the past few months God has used some circumstances and some people in my life to help me identify some patterns and habits and He has shown me some paths to renewal. Thus my word for the year. And so, the topic and the Scripture passage this week in the Take Me Deeper group really lay a foundation for transformation for me this year. Transformation and renewal begin with renewal of the mind. And I need a continual reminder that I must remain willing to offer God anything in my life - to hold the things in my life loosely - that He may shape me and form me for His use and for His glory, In Christ we are new creations, yet we are also continually being made new in Christ-likeness and this process will go on our whole life. What a blessing that we do this "in view of God's mercy"! The NASB says it is "by the mercies of God". We don't walk alone. God's mercy envelopes us and carries us and guides us along the way to the things that are good for us and that are good and holy and pleasing to Him. Transformation in our hearts and minds and lives is really God's work. Our part is willingness. Willingness to do what He calls us to; to go where He leads; to be who He has called us to be. 

Will you join me in going deeper in my relationship with God this year? You can follow my journey here on my blog, but it would be so much better if you joined the journey yourself at His Kingdom Come and become a part of a community who are all on a journey to go deeper with God. I'm so excited to see how God will meet us in this journey and to see where He will take us!

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