Friday, August 11, 2017

The Renewing of the Mind

I've have written in the past on the life of the mind. I cannot stress enough the importance for the Christian to develop the life of the mind. One very important aspect to note is the mind and the heart are not entirely separate entities. Often the Scriptures speak of the mind and the heart as one "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..." (Proverbs 23:7).

From any casual reading of the Scriptures we are struck with all of the admonitions to guard and protect our hearts. We are instructed over and over to pay attention to our thinking process,Jesus tells us that we are to love God with all our our minds (Luke 10:27). The Apostle Paul gives us a serious contrast between a mind that is patterned after our carnal appetites (death) and a mind that is set on the things of the Spirit of God (life)(Romans 8:6). One of my favorite texts is Paul's words in (Romans 12:2) where we are told not to conform to this world, but we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Think about that for a moment, Paul is telling us that if we live with renewed minds it will have a direct impact on the way we live out our lives in this world.

All wrong actions find their starting point first in wrong thoughts. The mind of the Christian is to be saturated with the wisdom and knowledge of God. We have many admonitions to mediate on God's word, the most well known is Joshua 1:8 where Joshua tells his people that that the law of God should be mediated on day and night.

Think about this for a second...there are only two kinds of minds or thinking processes. One is the carnal mind, the mind of the flesh, the mind that is at enmity with God, the mind that is dead spiritually. The other is the mind that has been made alive in Christ, the mind that has been renewed, the mind that is set on the things of God, the mind that is filled with the wisdom and knowledge of God.

The discipline for the Christian. The call of the Christian is to cultivate the life of the mind, to set his mind on the things of God. Paul even tells us specifically what to think on in Philippians 4:8 ( whatsoever is true, whatsoever is honest, whatsoever is just, whatsoever is pure, whatsoever is lovely).

The beauty of the Christian life is that all change is from the inside out, unlike the secular world where change can happen, but it is only outward change. The Christian change is wrought by the Spirit of God for the glory of God, the carnal mind can know nothing of this kind of change.

So Christian set your mind on the things of God. Make the meditation of God's word a daily habit and walk in a new and transformed way of thinking.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Our Mind's Matter

Thinking, thinking, thinking, always thinking. The life of the mind is the heart of the Christian life. As I think through the Scriptures, I'm struck with how much emphasis is placed on our thought life.

One text that we are all familiar with is "as a man thinks in his heart (mind)so he is (Proverbs 23:7). Take time and park our thought life is, so we are. What we chew on every day. What we allow into our minds, is the real indicator of who we really are. Any man can hide who he really is from others, but our inward-self reveals the true us.

With that in mind think of the One who knows the mind of man. We are told by the prophet Jeremiah that God searches the heart and examines the mind (17:10). Paul tells us that it is God who searches our heart (Romans 8:27). The writer of Hebrews tells us that God's word judges the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts (4:12).

How about Psalm 44:21 "Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart." There are hundreds of other passages that tell us that God knows our thoughts, desires, and our attitudes. How incumbent on the man of God to develop the life of the mind in a God honoring way.

The battle in the Christian life is not out-there, no, it's inside each one of us. The battle is the fight against any ungodly  thought that tries to make it in to our life, and find root. We then through the power of the Holy Spirit have the choice to smash that thought or let it in where it will take root and estrange us from God and others.

Let's move from the abstract to the real world of every-day life. Suppose you had a fight with your spouse and you are now harboring sinful feelings. Let's say you are acting out your feeling in the expression of anger. You can trace that anger back to a thought...anger is an emotion, but you have to give it have to allow it a place to come and reside,you have to start to listen to his voice for it to have an effect.

Now think about the love that the Bible commands us to have toward our spouse. Paul tells us in that great chapter in 1 Corinthians that love is kind. Now, here we go, we don't have to feel kind first toward that person to act, no, we put on kindness, we smash those thoughts of anger, we kick him out, and invite kindness in. We allow the voice of kindness to speak to us.

So, even when we still feel anger, we act-out the fruit of love, kindness. Is it hard?  You bet it is, matter of fact you cannot do it alone, you have to walk in the Spirit and keep your heart tender toward God.

Let's therefore put off all that is contrary to God's thoughts and put on Christ in our daily thought life.

“What a man is on his knees before God, that he is, and nothing more.”

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Day Without Women...What?

A Day without Immigrants, A Day without Women, The Women's March on Washington...all have one thing in common, that is a common ideology and a common political agenda. What is really behind the myriad of marches and protests that we have seen is a hatred of Trump and the Republican Party.

I've seen some of the signs at the Day without Women march the other day, one sign read, "Stop the war on women," I didn’t know there was a “war” on women, at least in the Unites States, and in the West. I think we all know what religion is waging a war on women, but we can’t say that in this climate of political correctness.  We've heard Madonna’s rant about blowing up the White House. We have seen Linda Sarsour, the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York, who was also arm-in-arm with Maddona and has some dubious ties to Hamaas. When one digs into the money behind these protests and the prime organizers we see the real ideology behind it all….can you say George Soros.

This is what someone has said of Muslim activist Miss Sarsour, “What I object to is a woman of the most female-demeaning religion in the world criticizing a nation that tries to help women. … And … she has the audacity to say she speaks ‘for all women!’ Really! She needs to take the plank out of Islam’s eye before she complains about a splinter in the eye of other religions.”

The other day in support of the Women’s Day dozens of women in red walked out of Congress and spoke their true heart….they railed against Trump….they said that Trump was going to set  women back a hundred years…that is code for, Trump will try to take away the right for a woman to murder her unborn child.

Now here’s the sad part, we’ve Christian women who think that by locking arms with this movement that they are doing women a service. I would remind and admonish those women who profess Christ of the words of the Apostle Paul. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14.

One of the celebrities today in the modern Christian church is Jen Hatmaker.  Here’s Jen Hatmaker’s post from her Facebook page concerning the recent women’s day celebration:

Today, on InternationalWomensDay, if I haven't made this abundantly clear ten thousand times, I am WILD about women and am gobsmacked by our courage, resiliency, and pluck every single day.
I was having lunch with a dear friend this week, and we were talking about our community, and I told her: "My heart would fail without the women in my life." She just nodded, because we've said this to each other for a decade. I mean that as sincerely as possible. My best friends, my little inner tribe, the women in my church, and you: my heart would fail without you. I almost love you too much.
For me, it started at the beginning: my mom, who is consequently 66 years old today. She always, always had girlfriends, and they were deeply a part of our life. So did my Grandma King, for that matter. Those were all my extra mothers and grandmothers, the backdrop to my entire childhood, thus I do not have a single memory without a chorus of women parenting and grandparenting me over rivers of Tab, Sanka, dominoes, and backyard barbecues.
It never occurred to me that women were anything less that the fuel of the earth. They hold families and communities together in every corner of the world, and they do it with incredible moxie. The women in my life are, sincerely, one of the small handful of treasures I could not live without.
Happy birthday to my mom, and happy International Women's Day to you: the kindest, bravest, smartest, funniest, loveliest, most interesting, inspiring, encouraging women on earth.
I love you. Proud to be your sister. (Photos of the Women in My Life in the link below.)
Shout out to your best girls below!

Now there’s nothing out right unbiblical about Jen’s post, but what disturbs me about a professing Christian woman, (who has advocated for same sex marriage, calling it a holy union), is an unbalanced view of women.  I don’t find anywhere in Scripture that our genders are to be praised and exalted, and in Jen Hatmaker’s words she is, WILD about women and am gobsmacked by their courage, resiliency, and pluck every single day.  She even notes herself, “. I almost love you [women] too much.”

God’s plan is that the woman is to be a companion of the man…she’s his help-meet….she’s his compliment. This is the union and the tie that binds the man and the woman. To overly exalt and lift male or female is not the picture that is given to us in the pages of Holy Writ.

So, I ask all women to ask this question about these protests, and marches: what are they doing out there?” “What do they want?” “What’s their goal?”

The simple, official answer to “What do they want?” is easy to find in the first paragraph of the march’s official policy platform, a four-page document titled “Guiding Vision and Defining Principals” that was released in advance of the event. Noting that it aims to bring together people of all genders and backgrounds, the organizers proclaim its goal is “to affirm our shared humanity and pronounce our bold message of resistance and self-determination.” One of the planks in the document calls for: Comprehensive reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and immigrant and refugee rights.

I can say unequivocally that no Christian woman should be linking arms with this secular, leftist movement. No Christian woman as a child of light should link arms with a movement that has as  part of its agenda a call to kill the unborn and the support of gay marriages.

Friday, February 3, 2017

God loves His people. Christ redeemed His elect from before the foundation of the world. The Great Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 5:6 "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." 

The one thing we get from this text is that before our conversion we were helpless in every way. We had no power to obey God or keep his commandments. We see some lost people who are highly religious, they have an outward form of Godliness, but inwardly their motives are stained with sin.

The Bible is crystal clear that man in his natural state is separated from God by his very nature...theologically speaking, man before conversion is in Adam, and in Adam man is an enemy of God, and under God's judgement.

The Romans text gives us a bad and a good. The first half is that man in his lost condition is weak and helpless. There is nothing man can do to be right with God, no religious works will suffice. The second half of the verse tells us that Christ died for the ungodly.

The key in the second clause of the text is that Christ died...this is now the heart of the gospel. Man is in a bad way, he's estranged from God, but God provided a means of reconciliation, His very Son. God in His Son provided atonement for the sins of those who will believe.

The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Man needs a Savior, and the mission and calling of the Church is to proclaim this message without apology in the full power of the Holy Spirit.

The Renewing of the Mind

I've have written in the past on the life of the mind. I cannot stress enough the importance for the Christian to develop the life of ...