“We have the Mind of Christ”

Posted: July 11th, 2019 | Author: James Early | Filed under: Christian Discipleship | No Comments »
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What do you think Paul meant when he wrote to the Corinthians that they had the “mind of Christ”? (See I Corinthians 2:16)

Was he complimenting them for the perfect job they had done as a church? Hardly. The rest of his first letter to the Corinthians if full of admonitions and rebukes as well as guidance and support.

The implication was, “Okay guys, we have the mind of Christ, but you have to use it in everything you think and say and do.”

I talked a little about what it means to have the mind of Christ in a previous blog post, Praying with the Mindset of Christ.

Since then, I’ve been thinking more and more about what it actually means to have the mind of Christ. How can we use this mind? How can we think and act more like Christ?

Paul says we. It’s not a personal possession. It’s a collective awareness God gives to all who accept Christ, not just in word but in spirit. It’s not just that each of us can have the mind of Christ. Think what would happen in your life, in your church and community, and in the whole world, if all Christians were collectively and exclusively using only the mind of Christ in everything they thought, spoke, and did.

Things would change immediately.

But I’ll repeat, it’s not enough just to know that we have this mind, we have to use it. We must submit to it. We have to give up our personal agenda and preconceptions of how things have to work out. We have to trust God more and ourselves less. And we have to follow Jesus’ example.

So, I thought I’d share with you a sort of bullet list of things I’ve been thinking of recently as to the way Jesus thought. They aren’t in any particular order.

As you go through this list, think about how you could have the same attitudes and mindset that Jesus did. How can you apply these ideas in your own life? In short, how can you be more like Jesus?

The Jesus mindset

Here are some of the attitudes and ways of thinking that Jesus embodied. How many of them are you doing?

If you think of others to add to the list, let me know.

  • “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17
  • “The kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21
  • “I can of mine own self do nothing.” John 5:30
  • He submitted to God’s will. “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” John 5:30
  • “Not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42
  • Jesus always looked for receptive hearts to share his message with, whether they were Pharisees, social and religious outcasts, or even foreigners, whom Jews were not even supposed to talk to
  • He “loved righteousness, and hated iniquity.” Hebrews 1:9
  • He rebuked evil and especially hypocrisy
  • He was merciful to sinners
  • He didn’t take the bait of critics and naysayers
  • He was silent in the face of evil’s attempts to destroy him. He didn’t react or try to defend himself
  • He knew God always heard his prayers. John 11: 41, 42
  • He knew his relationship to the Father. John 10:30
  • He was “moved with compassion” when he saw the multitudes as sheep without a shepherd. Mark 6:34
  • He acted with divine authority and power instead of his own personal abilities. “For I have not spoken of myself.” John 12:49
  • He only said what God told him to: “the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” John 12:49
  • He did not leave his followers without help when he was no longer with them. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26
  • He practiced what he preached
  • He got up early to pray, and sometimes prayed all night. Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12
  • He looked beyond the outward appearance of things all the way back to the original innocence and purity of man. He was not intimidated when someone was diseased, sinning, or even dead. John 9:3; John 11
  • He saw the big picture and looked way down the future. He prayed not just for his immediate disciples but for all who would ever believe on him through their preaching. John 17:20
  • He rarely answered a direct question. He listened for the question behind the question
  • He spoke in parables and metaphors so people could begin to understand what he was really trying to say to them
  • He walked the extra mile with his listeners and disciples and was patient with them
  • It’s not that he dumbed-down his message, but he broke the Bread of Truth into bite sized pieces so people could accept it, chew on, and digest it
  • He knew the Scriptures, preached, and taught them
  • AND he loved little children, “for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 9:14

I’m sure there’s more to add, but that’s what’s come to me right now. Will you join me in making a sincere effort to imbibe the mind and spirit of Christ in all you think, say, and do?

First, look at this list and give yourself credit for what you are already doing, even it seems very minor. Then pick out one or two areas where you feel you can make an honest effort to be moreChristly minded.

And I’d love to hear how it goes.

Blessings,
James

P.S. Do you know anyone who might enjoy this post? Please share it with them.


Spiritual Independence Day

Posted: July 4th, 2019 | Author: James Early | Filed under: Overcoming Evil Forces | 4 Comments »
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When, in the Course of human events, a people realize they are being controlled by influences which produce dependence on material systems and procedures thereby drawing them away from their Divine Rights of total Reliance on God, it becomes necessary to sever any connection with the all too familiar and oppressive demands of the material world. They must therefore deny self, take up the cross, and follow Christ. And it is only reasonable to declare to the world our intent and the cause of this separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created in the image and likeness of God, equally loved, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Divine Rights, among which are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, Health, and Holiness. – That to secure these Rights, Jesus of Nazareth has won the victory over the material world and given us an Inheritance in Heaven. – That whenever there should be an infringement of this Inheritance by the world’s ways and means, it is within the inherent Divine Rights of Mankind to abandon and abolish the dictates of the carnal mind and follow only Christ.

The tyranny of the carnal mind, whether gentle and subtle, or demanding and terrorizing, is always deceptive and attempts in vain to rule our lives. Indeed this carnal mind claims to be the very life of mankind.

Therefore, we hereby proclaim for ourselves and all mankind, our Total and Unconditional Independence from the carnal mind, its façade of materialism, and the malicious deception that we, as God’s Children and Heirs, can have, need, or desire a way of life or existence separate from our Creator, in Whom we live and move and have our Being. In the name of Christ, we claim our Freedom from all the machinations of evil.

And be it known to all men, that we will defend our divine rights herein declared, from the onslaught of the Evil One’s fiery arrows of fearmongering, doubt, and deceit. Truth itself is our shield and fortress of defense, and we invite all Mankind to join us in this Holy Place.

We, therefore, as children of God, followers of His Son, Christ Jesus, and recipients of the Divine Comforter, the Holy Spirit, appeal to the Supreme Judge of all Creation for support of our intentions and endeavors. We hereby acknowledge, accept, and affirm our total independence from all evil influences and our unequivocal dependence on the Principle of all creation, God Almighty Himself, as the sole Source and Substance of our existence, our Life without beginning or end, our Protector and Guide. We trust Him. We know Him. We reflect Him. He is our God and we are His children. We have and need nothing but God and all He gives. – And in support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Hearts, our Lives, and our sacred Honor.