Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The disciples had a religious mindset before He called them out. Keep in mind, several of them came from different occupations. For example, Matthew was a tax collector and by the religious community he was considered to be a sinner (being disobedient to the Lord God's Word). As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Notice that the religious people considered Matthew to be a sinner because he was employed by the Roman government; yet they failed to keep the law of God concerning honoring their parents, as so many do today. Read what the Lord Jesus stated concerning their traditions and washing of hands: Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”—then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Religious people are quick to condemn others for their faults, but fail to realize that they have some of their own.
When you read, study and put His Word first in your life, change will begin the process in your life. Keep in mind, it took over three years for the apostles (or disciples) to embrace the Kingdom message and concept and still the Lord Jesus had to stay here on earth an additional forty days after He had risen. He was teaching them the Kingdom government. The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
Allow me to share this thought with you. For those people who are religious and have that religious mindset, change doesn't come easy. They have to go through the process of detoxing their mind from all that religious mindset before they can start the process of embracing the concept of God's Kingdom government. It's like those home improvement shows. First comes demo days where all the old, outdated, ineffective stuff is removed and swept clean. Then comes the transformation part! This was predicted thousands of years before Christ came to earth in a physical body. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Again, the representative of the Kingdom spoke these words:
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
His delight is in the fear of the Lord,
And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,
Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;
But with righteousness He shall judge the poor,
And decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins,
And faithfulness the belt of His waist.
Keep in mind that this change was predicted years before the Lord Jesus came on the scene. The Lord God picked the right time for His Son to come to earth. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. The Lord Jesus chose the right time for Saul to be the apostle to the Gentile world. It was a process for even Saul to embrace the Kingdom message.
Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.”
And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”
Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”
But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
Remember, before the Lord Jesus can do a work in accordance to His purpose for your life, He first must get your attention.
Matthew 10:2-4 Romans 12:2 Matthew 9:9-11 Acts 1:1-3
Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-5 Romans 5:6 Acts 9:1-2, 10-16
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