The mind of Christ. Let the example of Jesus be a challenge to the way you think.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…”
So…what does this say about the way you think?
Think humility. “…But made himself of no reputation…”
Think service to others. Jesus “…took upon him the form of a servant…”
Think obedience. “…he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death…”
Think exaltation. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him…”
It is this mindset which guides you in this life and fills your mind with thoughts of future exaltation.
Remember – as a man “…thinketh in his heart, so is he…”
And…this is the battleground. Satan wants to control your mind. But instead…claim by faith the mind of Christ.
Curves…bumps…and dead ends. That describes the journey of life.
The day is filled with the unexpected…unpredictable…and unusual. These are the curves.
Then come the bumps. They will try your patience. Nothing seems to work. Things break and fall apart. These are the bumps.
Finally…the dead ends. Some days…no matter how hard you work…you keep hitting a wall. Nothing seems to move. These are the dead ends.
These kinds of days call for one thing – trust. That is the deep assurance that nothing happens except what is allowed by God.
So…slow down – relax — and know that God is by your side.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
Blocked by Satan. This explains why sometimes your plans do not work out.
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: “For we wanted to come to you…but Satan blocked our way.”
Of course…the question is why – why did Satan block Paul from visiting them? This we will never know.
On another occasion…Paul was blocked from proceeding to evangelize in Bithynia “…but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.”
On this occasion we might assume it was the western move of the gospel that was at stake.
So…is it Satan or the Spirit that blocks you? In time…the answer will be clear. It’s part of being led by the Spirit.
So today…pray for the Spirit’s direction in your life. Then the way will be clear to you.
Nothing but garbage. That refers to all you have laid aside in order to follow Jesus.
Here’s the testimony of the Apostle Paul. “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage…”
What are some examples of what must be laid aside?
Imaginations of grandeur…that focus on self-adoration. Fantasies that are based on indulgence…that cater to the flesh. Sentiments of jealousy…that destroy the purity of relationships.
Of course…the list of possibilities is limitless.
But remember this – garbage must be taken out often. Once is never enough.
The same is true with every competing influence. Nothing can be allowed to remain that hinders your intimacy with Christ.
A glorious moment. That is when your eyes first see Jesus.
John the Apostle describes it. “But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
The Apostle Paul says: “…then we shall see face to face.”
Finally…home at last…and in the presence of your Savior and Lord.
In that moment…all the sorrows of life will fade away. The purity of His presence will chase away every impurity…and your soul will find its ultimate rest in the One who shed His blood for you.
This is the blessed hope of all who have placed their hope and trust in Jesus – and whose walk has prepared them for this moment.
So…lift up your eyes. Look forward to that glorious moment.
Face to face.
The place of execution. The call to follow Jesus will take you there.
Jesus said: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Paul said: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…”
Both would speak of the place of execution – a place of dying.
What must die? The tolerance for sin…the pride that lurks in the heart…every pattern of willfulness…and all that runs counter to the will of God.
Sadly…some make a token decision — but they refuse to visit the place of execution.
But remember…execution is the path to incredible joy. When self is taken to the cross…the divine gift of love and grace usher in a life of unspeakable joy.
Shouts of joy…sound of weeping. They are often heard at the same time.
When the exiles from Persia began to rebuild the temple…there were two responses. The older people wept…because they remembered the glory of Solomon’s temple. And the younger people who had no memory of the former temple…were joyous to see the building of the new temple.
“No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping…”
So with us. There will be times to shout for joy…but that may also be mingled with sounds of weeping. The two are often indistinguishable.
What is the lesson? In your times of great joy…listen for the weeping of those who are suffering.
Never allow yourself to be so concerned with your joy…that you are deaf to those who are weeping.
People God uses. And sometimes…they may not appear to be godly.
Cyrus…king of Persia…was such a person. He would be considered a pagan king. Yet…God used him to help rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.
“Anyone of his people among you – may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord…”
Not only did he issue such a proclamation…but he asked the people of Persia to provide gold…silver…livestock…and freewill offerings to make the project successful.
It is good when godly leaders are used to do God’s work. But sometimes God uses those who are ungodly to accomplish His purposes. His domain of power is never limited.
So…pray for godly leaders. But also pray that God will use even the ungodly to accomplish His purposes.
Expensive devotion. But…when it’s about Jesus — there is no price too high.
While Jesus was in Bethany…a woman came to Him and poured on His head a jar of very expensive perfume. The critics placed the value at a year’s wages.
But…she did it as an expression of her devotion.
Expensive – very expensive.
Sadly for some…devotion is tokenism. They follow Jesus on the basis of convenience…giving Him but a small piece of their lives.
But…the call of Jesus is to follow Him closely – and that means giving Him your very life.
So today…offer to Him your very life – and let it be an expression of your deep devotion.
The immutable law of sowing and reaping. Whatever you sow…that you will reap.
Sow corn…you will harvest corn. Sow apple seeds…you will harvest apples. Sow pumpkins…you will harvest pumpkins.
You reap what you sow.
This is why Paul’s use of this analogy is incredibly convicting. “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
So…what are you sowing in your garden?
Sow bitterness…jealousy…and greed – and you’ll reap the terrible consequences. But sow love…mercy…and grace – and you will harvest multiplied blessings.
Remember…the law of sowing and reaping is immutable – it will never be contradicted.