Check out this curious true story about being shaped and molded.
In June and July farmers in Zentsuji (Kagawa Prefecture), Japan, prepare full-grown watermelons for shipment—only these are no ordinary melons. They are square!
The watermelons are placed in tempered-glass cubes while they are still growing. Why would anyone want a square watermelon? They are much easier to store in a refrigerator. The square boxes are the exact dimensions of Japanese refrigerators, allowing full-grown watermelons to fit conveniently and precisely onto refrigerator shelves.
If you want one of these unusual melons, be prepared to pay for it. According to japanesefoodguide.com, “A square watermelon in Japan will set you back a minimum of 10,000 yen (or very roughly US$100). In a big city like Tokyo, you can expect to pay 20,000 yen (US$200) or even more. It’s not uncommon to find ones that cost upwards of 50,000 yen ($500), especially in years when the yield hasn’t been high. Zentsujisan Shikakusuika that are shipped internationally can be sold for an incredible 80,000 yen ($800) plus.” There is a high price to pay for being molded!
It is amusing to think of how a naturally round watermelon can become square because of the shape of the container in which it is grown. This reminds us of the forces in the world that exert their influence on us and attempt to shape us. That is why in Romans 12:2 we are told not to be “conformed to the pattern of this world,” but to be “transformed by the renewing of [our] mind.” Paul continues by saying, “Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The idea is simple: We are to allow the transforming Word of God to work within us and produce outward results, instead of permitting external pressures to shape us.
The Phillips translation is even more expressive, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.” The world is trying to squeeze you into its own mould, but the Lord has redeemed you from sin and desires to re-mould your into His glorious image.
We usually think of peer pressure being an issue with young people (teens and younger), but negative pressure can be a problem at any stage of life. The world with its anti-God philosophy wants to mold each one into its image.
We were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Sin corrupted that image (Genesis 3) but, thanks be to God, He provided glorious redemption for us and restored His image in our lives (Romans 5). But there is an ongoing spiritual battle: Whose image will we reflect? The image of a fallen world? Or the image of our redeeming Savior?
How do we become more like Jesus? One day at a time, one choice at a time. It does not happen overnight but, thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit to help us each day become more like Jesus. Become like Him, not the world!
This Sunday, October 23, we will continue our fall teaching series, “We Believe!” with the valuable truth of “Sanctification!” Jesus Christ not only saved you from sin, He set you apart for His purpose and glory. Please invite someone to join you at 10:35am in the building or online for the Live broadcast on either Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We Livestream every Sunday to both locations.
Coming Up: Ladies and girls, the next “Made with Aloha” lunch gathering to make gifts to bless others will be Saturday, November 5, at 11:30am in the Fellowship Hall. The next Drive-Thru Prayer outreach is 1pm that day.
Note: Shirley and I will be attending the Hawaii Assembly of God District “Refresh” event next week so there will not be a blog or online Bible study that week. They will resume the week of October 30.
Aloha ke Akua!