|A 30-DAY GUIDE FOR NEW BELIEVERS
by JOHN D. BECKETT
|DAY 10||THE RENEWED MIND|
|What does it mean to renew my mind?
Our scripture on Day 1 described the extent of change in our new life in Christ:
“All things” includes our minds. The Lord has plans to renew our minds, along with everything else!
You may say, “I have a perfectly good mind. It has been well trained and highly educated. I can reason, and think clearly. I’m not in a fog. My mind serves me well in my work. I’ve even received awards for creative thinking … ”
Here’s the problem: Our minds were deeply impacted when mankind initially rebelled against God. This happened when Adam and Eve yielded to Satan’s temptation to sin, resulting in the “Fall of Man” (see Genesis chapter 3). God’s first children became thoroughly corrupted (including their minds) and we inherited their fallen condition.
Since then, we’ve used our best efforts, humanly speaking, to function with that which was damaged — to compensate for what the Apostle Paul calls “a debased mind” (Romans 1:28). For example, consider how the Greeks sought to elevate the mind, as did the great Oriental thinkers, or philosophers down through the ages. Yet with all the prominence given to “thought” and “reason,” they totally missed it when it came to apprehending the greatest truth ever, that there is one true God and He can be known personally.
Another example: Think about brilliant people you know — “the smartest person in the world” — and observe the large gaps, say in their ability to be good parents, or manage their finances, or maintain lasting friendships or use their time wisely. In spite of their great intelligence, vital aspects of an integrated life are missing. Before I became a Christian, I had concluded I wouldn’t believe anything that wasn’t reasonable or logical. Eventually, however, I realized that line of thinking was a barrier, not a doorway to receiving Christ. In reality, I needed a different way of thinking.
The Apostle Paul, who had a brilliant mind and was highly educated, challenged early followers of Christ (and us!) toward having “renewed minds.”
The Lord doesn’t want you to set your mind aside when you come to Him. Just the opposite. He created your mind, and wants it fully employed, but in the right kind of way. The process by which this occurs is “renewal.” It is not to stop thinking, but to think biblically. It is to view things from His perspective. It is to have “the mind of Christ,” and not allow your thinking to be conformed to the world. “Let this mind be in you … ” was Paul’s advice to the Philippian believers (Philippians 2:5). The results are dramatically different: “To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:16).
A great way to begin the transformation toward a renewed mind is to meditate on the scriptures. You might take the ones mentioned so far in these studies, reflect on them, even memorize them. Renewing the mind is a process, but one with great reward.
|Key Scripture||Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things (Philippians 4:8).|
|Key Thought||In every circumstance and every situation, I can have the mind of Christ.|
|Copyright © 2006 by John D. Beckett|
Posted on September 30, 2007 by hljourney