One of the things that we have to guard against in our Christian lives is the presumption that we ‘have got it all together.’ This is one of the most obvious strategies of the devil in trying to deflect us from God’s will in our lives. This strategy is simple to defeat if we are willing to be humble enough to remember one simple truth. This truth is that God is never finished with the work of transforming us into his image until the day that we meet him in paradise!

In today’ Gospel Mark reports to the reader that the teaching of Jesus made a deep impression upon those who heard it! Is this what happens to us when we read the Word of God or hear it preached from the pulpit? Generally, if the Word of God is not making a deep impression upon us, then there is probably something wrong with out attitude towards having our minds constantly renewed in the truths of the Gospel.

The most important fact to remember when we consider the Word of God is not the person explaining or preaching it to us, but the receptivity of our own hearts and minds. Thus it can be seen that whether or not the Word of God makes a deep impression upon us is largely up to the individual. Yes, a good preacher helps in the process and a great preacher even more so, but it does not matter how good the preacher is, if the people to whom he is preaching are not open to the transforming power of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit in their lives!

As we begin a new year it is important for us to have some sort of strategy regarding growing in our Christian lives. A great start in this regard is making the decision to open our hearts and minds to the Word of God in an ever-deepening way so that the Holy Spirit can penetrate into the depths of our being to bring transformation and reformation of wrong ways of thinking that may have developed over the years. As we continue to do this on a daily basis we will never cease to wonder at the amount of work that still needs to be done in our lives before we reach the state of perfection – unity with Christ.

When was the last time that the Word of God struck me so powerfully that it changed my perception of something or changed a wrong way of thinking that had crept into my life?

Lord Jesus, help me to open my life up more fully to the transforming power of the Word of God so that my mind can be renewed according to the mind and will of our Father in Heaven.