Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm losing my mind.

One of the terms I struggle with from time to time is "like-minded". It makes me think of an exclusive club, where everyone thinks along the same lines.

Christ's Example of Humility


2 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


I have to admit that sometimes I am confused by the term ``like-minded``, because I think it means a certain way of life, a certain set of rules, a certain set of values, etc. I sometimes feel on the outside of the ``like-minded`` group, simply because I don`t enjoy the term. It conjures up a whole set of memories from my past, when our family was in a very strict church with standards and rules and regulations, but devoid of grace.

If those who use the term `like-minded` are referring to having the same mind as it is described in the Scriptures, then I believe that MOST of us who call ourselves Christians are like-minded. We are to have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:2 ) and we are to be transformed (to godliness) by the renewal of our mind.

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

The Holy Spirit indwells us and transforms us by the renewal of our minds. Jerry Bridges calls this, "preaching the gospel to yourself". Rachel Barkey says, "Talk to yourself". Don't listen to yourself. Speak the words of truth to yourself in every situation.

1 Corinthians 1:10 Divisions in the Church

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

We are of the same mind. We love and serve the Lord God, who sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to be the propitiation for our sins. That means Jesus took the wrath of God against unholiness, the wrath WE deserved, on Himself, and in exchange, He gave us, as a free gift HIS righteousness. We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and we seek to live a life of godliness.

Where we may differ is in the living out of that godly life. We may choose to DO things in our families that others would not choose. Or we may choose to NOT do things in our families that others feel quite comfortable doing.

Romans 14:5

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

The truth is that we are all learning and growing in the Lord. Our Heavenly Father is conforming us to the image of His dear Son. He is moulding us, shaping us, pruning us, leading us...each of us - in our own families, in our own homes, in our own countries. God is leading.

God is also using us to be living epistles.

(2 Cor. 3:2, 3 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.)
My life, because I am a Christian, is a living epistle, read by others. So, God is using me to be an example, just as He is using all of you. Each of us is an epistle, and each of us is reading the other living epistles God puts in our path day by day.

God the Holy Spirit INDWELLS His children. Let`s not take that for granted. We are the temple of the living God, and we need to live in the Light, in the wonder, in the beauty of the glory of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit indwells man. Astounding!

We all need to live in step with the Spirit.

(Ephesians 5:18) The fruit of the Spirit should be evident in our lives. As people who have God dwelling in them, the people of God ought to live lives of purity.

Rick is teaching through the book of 1 John, which says in Chapter 2,

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.

We are not supposed to sin. The Bible says `Be ye holy, for I am holy`.

But we do. John goes on to say, But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Do you see that? We ought not to sin, but if we do (and it is supposed that we will) we have an advocate with the Father. Praise God! Jesus is the Righteous one Who is the propitiation for our sins. John goes on to say,

3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

How we walk matters to God. What we do matters.

However, the whole point of the book of 1 John is this: the most important thing is love. If we say we are Christians, walking in the light, but have not love, the truth is not in us.

The greatest commandment is this: Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength...and the second greatest is love your neighbour as yourself.

God has Sovereignly ordained that each of the people in your life is there. He knows that some will agree, and disagree; that we will learn, and teach; that we will befriend one another, and sometimes even meet each other in real life. God is using our interactions to help us be refined.

Sometimes, the refinement isn`t easy. As iron sharpens iron... sparks fly.

However, the truth is, we are being refined as we write our letters and notes, as we pray for one another, as we interact with each other.

1 Corinthians 2:12-13 "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual."

1 Corinthians 2:16 - ""For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ."

So I guess it's okay if I lose my long as it's being renewed. May we be ultimately like-minded, as we have the mind of Christ.

1 comment:

  1. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this. I will be chewing on things learned from this and meditating on these scriptures all day today. Thank you Janet!


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