Changed From the Inside Out
(From the book
Forty Days of Fruitful Living
Practicing a LIfe of Grace)
By Robert Schnase
“Take your everyday, ordinary life -
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 in without even thinking.
Instead, fix your attention on God.
You’ll be changed from the inside out.”
Romans 12:1, The Message
Through the personal practice of
we open ourselves to God’s unconditional love,
and make room in our hearts for God’s grace.
We cultivate receptivity;
we invite God in.
With patterns of
we love God in return,
allowing God to change our hearts,
learning to love what God loves
and to see the world through God’s eyes.
Through the practice of
Intentional Faith Development,
we cooperate with the Holy Spirit
in our own spiritual maturation
and follow Christ more nearly.
We discern God calling us
to make a difference in the lives of others
through the practice of
Risk-Taking Mission and Service.
Eventually, we realize that
all that we have
and all that we are
belongs to God,
and we practice
These Five Practices of Fruitful Living,
as we repeat and deepen them,
shape our perceptions,
They change us.
We grow in grace
and in the knowledge
and love of God.
And we cannot help but share what we have discovered;
we offer God’s love to others.
How do we have the mind in us
that was in Christ Jesus?
How do we cultivate a life that is
How do we live genuinely good life that pleases God,
and makes a positive difference?
Spiritual practice answers these questions.
The flourishing life
repeating and deepening these practices,
from the lifelong project of cooperating with the Holy spirit. As we learn to listen for God
and to invite God in
and to work with God,
our lives are shaped.
We become new creations in Christ,
and we arrive at places we never expected.
Through the Five Practices,
we worship what is worthy.
We choose what satisfies.
We accept a deeper serenity.
The practices focus us.
They represent sustained obedience
in a consistent direction,
a daily honoring and serving God.
They help us stay in love with God.
To find and follow Christ and to serve him
that is fruitful living.
These practices are
a way forward, tested and true.
They show us a way.
To be a follower of Jesus
is to take this path,
to step by step grow into the life that really is life.
God through Christ reveals the way,
invites us along,
and walks with us.
Following Christ will change you;
and through you, God will change the world.
Blessings on your journey!