Monday, June 9, 2008

Be Prepared: The Mind, Part 1

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”
Mark 12:30

Last week we looked at preparing our hearts to serve the Lord. This week, I want to take a look at preparing our minds. When I began searching my Bible for what God says about our minds, I was actually surprised at how many things there were. Sometimes in Christianity there seems to be an attitude that “if your heart is in it” you’ve done all you could. That’s not always true. We have a responsibility to serve the Lord with all our minds.

So where do we start? According to the Bible, we should have a renewed mind. That would be a good place to start.

  • A Renewed Mind

A renewed mind is a renovated mind. Let’s talk for a minute about renovations. There is a difference between remodeling and renovating. In this house, we remodeled our bedroom. We repainted and redecorated and repaired some things, but we kept the same basic structure of the room. A remodel is a makeover. To renovate literally means to make new. In our last house we renovated the kitchen. We stripped the room all the way down to the studs and the subfloor and started all over again with new floor, new walls, new fixtures — the whole enchilada. We made a new kitchen.

Too many times, we try to remodel our minds — keep the same basic thoughts but do a makeover. That’s not enough.

We need to start over and that begins at salvation. Before we are saved, when we are lost, our minds are blinded.

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
2 Corinthians 4:3-4

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Ephesians 4:17-24

Once we have received salvation, we have to begin the daily job of building our minds up in Christ.

“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:7-9

Concentrate on the thoughts of God. This is why it is so very important to read the Bible every day. The Bible is God’s written record of His thoughts. In our frail humanity, we will never fully grasp His thoughts, but Scripture is the only place to begin.

So read the Bible every day.

In Sunday School we sing the little song:

Read your Bible
Pray every day
Pray every day
Pray every day
Read your Bible
Pray every day
And you'll grow, grow, grow!

Tomorrow, we will begin looking at the characteristics of a renewed mind — a mind prepared to serve the Lord.

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