Time for Restoration (3)
For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2.16
The mind of Christ
In order to make the best use of the time of our lives we need to see our time through the mind of Him Who creates, bestows, and upholds it. What is in the mind of God in giving us this most precious gift? What does God intend for the time of our lives?
We may protest, “But who can know the mind of the Lord”?
However, Paul reminds us that, if we are believers in Jesus Christ, we have the mind of Christ, the very Word of God, the same Word Who is creating and bestowing and upholding all the time of our lives. We have the mind of Christ!
But if the mind of Christ in us is like one of those antiques stored in the attic – treasured, but seldom used – it won’t do us much good. We must daily receive and be renewed in the mind of Christ if we want to understand the world – and time – as Jesus does (Rom. 12.1, 2; Eph. 4.17-24).
One thing we can be sure of: Jesus’ mind was bent on reconciling the world to God, for this is what He actually achieved. And if reconciling the world was on His mind then, it must surely be on His mind now.
Time as Jesus sees it
How does Jesus Christ see the time He gives us each moment of our lives? What is His purpose in giving us this great gift? We want to be good servants and stewards of our time, so that we return to the Lord Who gives us time, an investment of glory and progress in restoring the reconciled world. The better we understand what Jesus intends in giving us the time of our lives, the better we will be able to make good use of it according to His purposes and will.
According to Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15 – echoing Psalm 110 – Jesus Christ is presently employed at the right hand of God the Father, working to augment, improve, and advance His rule on earth as it is in heaven. That is, the reconciliation He has achieved, He is now bringing to greater completion through the ministry of reconciliation which has been given to us. And that aspect of the ministry of reconciliation, as we have seen, entails the work of restoring the reconciled world for the goodness and glory of God.
Jesus sends out His Word to uphold the cosmos, gives His Spirit to bring new life to those who believe the Gospel, endows His followers with gifts and fruit, calls them to particular places of service, sends His angels to guard and assist them in their endeavors, and puts His enemies under His feet as He builds His Church and fills the world with His presence (Eph. 1.15-23).
So it must be the case that, in giving us each successive moment of time, Jesus intends us to receive and use our time according to Hispurposes in seeking and advancing His Kingdom and doing the work of restoration. He has told us that seeking His Kingdom and righteousness is to be the defining priority of our lives (Matt. 6.33), and this would entail the way we use our time.
Time for the Kingdom!
When we thus see our time through the mind of Christ, we understand that time is a resource for seeking and advancing the rule of Jesus Christ on earth as it is in heaven, so that righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit increase and abound in and through us, filling up all the time of our lives. This, in short, is the work of restoring the reconciled world.
We are making the most of the time (Eph. 5.15-17) Jesus gives us when the time of our lives is invested in establishing and enlarging the footprint of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. The restoration we seek takes the form of the Kingdom of God coming on earth as it is in heaven.
There are no moments in our lives that are given to us for any purpose other than seeking the Kingdom of God. This does not mean that every moment of our lives must be given over to doing “church work.” Since Christ is Lord of all – every aspect of human life and interest – we are using our time best when we’re employing it to further the presence of His Kingdom – doing the work of restoring the reconciled world. And we remember that the work we’ve been given to do is greater than the job at which we work, so that all our waking energies and efforts are to be invested in good works of restoration.
Even if all we’re doing is eating and drinking, or relaxing and enjoying a moment of well-deserved rest, we can do so in such a way as to express, further, and refract the reality of the Kingdom of God into the ordinary time of everyday life (1 Cor. 10.31).
But this doesn’t just happen. In order to live out the mind of Christ in the time of our lives, we need to study the Word of Christ, thinking through everything He teaches us in His Word, so that we are able to take every thought and every moment captive for King Jesus, and make our thoughts and time obey His good and perfect purposes (2 Cor. 10.3-5). The more we engage the mind of Christ, the more our calling to the Kingdom and glory of God (1 Thess. 2.12) will take specific shape, and the more we will envision what aspects of our lives will look like as we work to restore them to God’s plan of goodness and glory.
Are we up to so high and holy a calling? Well, what better employment could you find for the time of your life? Every moment of time has restorative potential; but we must think with mind of Christ, see with the mind of Christ, and work with the mind of Christ so that righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit will increase and abound in every area of life where God sends us to restore the reconciled world.
1. How would you counsel a new believer to learn to use the mind of Christ which he has been given?
2. Why does thinking with the mind of Christ naturally incline us to the work of restoring the reconciled world?
3. What is involved in beginning to envision the world as restored to God? How can we nurture such vision?
T. M. Moore
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