URC Daily Devotion 2 January 2024

Tuesday, 2 January 2024  
…be transformed by the renewing of your minds…


Romans 12: 1 – 2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters,  by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world,  but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.


As a girl guide Thinking Day was an important event.  You got to wear your Scout / Guide uniform to school and there were often celebrations, jamborees, and much renewing of promises.  Now called World Thinking Day it is celebrated each February 22nd by scout and guide organisations around the world.  This was the joint birthday of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement, and Lady Olave Baden-Powell, his wife and the world Chief Guide. In 1926, this day was inaugurated so that guides and scouts around the world could think of their sisters and brothers in the movement with thanks and appreciation. Nowadays, it also focuses on a theme related to service and action. 

In our lives as Christians, we rightly focus on living out the faith we hold in loving our neighbour as we love ourselves, in serving, seeking out the lost, doing and being whatever we can within the love of God. Not often are we encouraged to think for God, although Charles Wesley ‘got it’ in his 1762 hymn (see below).  Paul urged the Romans to give their whole selves to God, body, spirit and mind.  This includes being open to having our minds transformed by the presence of God in our lives, and by living in community with other seekers of truth.

Thinking has often been undervalued as a force for change but without the thinkers in our religious traditions, we would still be stuck in the dark ages. Thinking for God demands both courage and integrity and also the gift of discernment as to what is of, and not of, God.  Tricky stuff in an age of so much information and opinions.  Olave Baden-Powell urged guides to think in order to “keep the spirits high and the ideals bright” but she was clearly not short on action and service too.  

May our minds be transformed by all that is good and perfect and acceptable to God and may every day be a thinking day.


Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
to work, and speak, and think for thee;
still let me guard the holy fire,
and still stir up the gift in me.
Charles Wesley (1762) 
Or if you prefer it




Today’s writer

The Rev’d Carole Elphick is a retired minister worshipping at Muswell Hill in Thames North Synod. 



New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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