Beautiful Minds

I was asked recently to lead a devotional for a local Christian theater company, Audience of One. I was reflecting on how amazing our minds are – the capacity to learn, grow and memorize (such as the acting lines in the script of a major theatrical production) – minds given to us by God the Master Creator. Our minds are truly incredible – spectacularly beautiful!

This led me to explore what the Bible says about our minds …

Jesus himself, in Luke 10:27 states the greatest commandment is to: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength and with all your mind … love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

Jesus asks us to engage our minds in love for Him and others along with our hearts, souls and bodies (strength). He wants all of us! Our minds (actively in service to Him) are important to Him as well. He calls us to protect and use our minds. He calls us to a life of wisdom.

In Proverbs 19:21, Solomon (a brilliant, wise mind) says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a person, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”  We can have many dreams, plans, ideas, visions here on earth, but ultimately, God is calling us to engage our minds in His purposes  — He wants us to live out His will and call in our lives.

Romans 12:1-2 (NLT) says it well: “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Romans 12:2 in the NIV version says it this way: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

• Are we copying the “customs and behavior of this world”?  Is this polluting our minds? I had the words of Jon Foreman of the band Switchfoot swirling in my subconscious this morning as I was reflecting on all of this:

Reaching always reaching
Never reaching solid ground
Seeking always seeking
Never seeking what I’ve found

Hey, Baptize my mind
Hey, Baptize my eyes
Hey, Baptize my mind
For these seeds to give birth to life
First they must die

There is certainly an attack on our minds today — our minds can become foggy, cluttered and distracted with the stuff and junk of this world!  I believe this is one of the key ways Satan is keeping us from truly serving Jesus today. We are becoming so bogged down with worldly clutter and junk (on social media and elsewhere) that we don’t have time (or the clarity) for a close walk with our Creator. We can feel stuck (“reaching, always reaching, never reaching solid ground”).  We need a transformation — a renewal or “baptism” (rebirth) of our minds. We need to humbly give our bodies (including our minds) to God as living and holy sacrifices. We need to let him change the way we think, give us new clarity, new dreams, new pathways of learning. WE NEED HIS DIVINE WISDOM.

• Do you fear, worry or deal with anxiety sometimes?  Fear, worry and anxiety can cripple our minds.  We can start to believe the lies of the evil one instead of the truth of God’s Word.

Philippians 4:6-8 says: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

2 Corinthians 10:5 also says: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

I don’t think it is a coincidence that Paul in Ephesians 6:17 concludes the list of armor by challenging us to “put on salvation as [our] helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (NLT).  We need to protect these beautiful minds! We must daily submit our minds to Christtake captive those negative, anxious thoughts and fill our minds instead with the truth His Word, the Bible. It is interesting that God’s word, the Bible is directly connected in this passage to wearing the helmet of salvation. They go hand in hand … they are inseparable …

• What role does the Bible play? Hebrews 4:12 makes that plain: “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (NLT)

As we read the Bible (and I challenge you to do this daily!), God will replace the lies of the world and the evil one with His Truth. He will give us HIS THOUGHTS. Wow! Imagine that … GOD THOUGHTS!  God wants us to think about those things that true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. If we are not thinking these sorts of thoughts, we are off base. Pray daily for the mind of Christ! Claim the words of  1 Corinthians 2:16 and Hebrews 8:10: “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him? But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ” … “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the LORD: I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

CLAIM IT. BELIEVE IT. LIVE IT.

When you ask Jesus to be the leader of your life, He makes “all things new” (Rev. 1:5). He gives you a new life, a new heart, a new outlook, a new passion and reason for living,  a new mind (His mind) — a BEAUTIFUL MIND!  As you do this each day, He will empower you, use you and bless you in amazing ways!

I close with the words of this great hymn by Kate B. Wilkinson. May this be our prayer:

May the mind of Christ, my Savior
Live in me from day to day
By His love and pow’r controlling
All I do and say

Until next time.

T

 

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