The Mind of Christ (5)
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” John 17.17
When I purchased my new computer a while back, I immediately committed it to the work to which God has called me. I resolved that this computer is going to be worn out in the service of the Lord – writing columns, emails, website materials, study guides, books, and poems; mentoring and teaching; building community and fellowship; developing a wide range of resources; and whatever else God gives me to do as part of my calling in Him.
Don’t ask to borrow my computer so you can play video games on it, or surf the web for vulgar diversions, or even watch a movie. This computer is mine, and I have set it apart and devoted it to one cause, one use, and one agenda; nothing else will be tolerated while I’m the owner of this computer.
I’m sure you feel pretty much the same way about your own computer. You don’t want it used for anything other than the purposes for which you acquired it.
Well if we’re so proprietary about our computers, how must Jesus feel about the mind He has entrusted to us and the anointing He has sent to dwell in us? Surely He has specific purposes for each of these, that it would displease Him to see used for anything else?
Are we as devoted to His purpose for our minds as He is?
In John 17, the great high priestly prayer of the Lord, we can discern a summary of Jesus’ primary concerns – the things that were heavy on His mind in those last hours of His earthly sojourn, concerns that He wanted His disciples to take up as well. What was on His mind in those crucial hours, and therefore, what should be the guiding force for the use of our minds as well?
First, the glory of God: Jesus desired above all that God should be honored and His glory made known (Jn. 17.1, 4, 5). He devoted His life to the glory of God, and in His prayer, we see Him seeking God’s glory for Himself and His disciples. We are using our minds for God’s glory when our thinking, and all the products of our thinking – our plans, words, and deeds – are focused on honoring Him.
Take every thought and all your mind captive for obedience to Jesus, and devote your mind to the glory of God, so that God is glorified in all the everyday details of your life (1 Cor. 10.31). If you will do so, God will transform your mind increasingly into the mind of Christ.
Second, the redemption of the world: Jesus was on His way to fulfill God’s redemptive plan, and He committed Himself to completing that great work (vv. 6-10). Thus the mind of Christ in us must also be dedicated to working out our own salvation, and seeking the salvation of the world (Phil. 2.12; Lk. 19.10). When we think about the state of the world and the lost people in our lives, do our hearts burn with longing, and our minds bristle with ideas concerning how we might help them to know the saving love of Jesus?
We are the beneficiaries of a great salvation, greater than we can ever fully realize this side of eternal glory (Heb. 2.1-4). We must not neglect to seek more that great salvation, that we might be more effective and consistent as agents of His grace.
Finally, the good of His people: As Jesus was burdened in His high priestly prayer to see safety, peace, unity, and sanctification come to His disciples (vv. 9, 10, 17, 21), so must we, as we employ the mind of Christ in us to transform our lives and the lives of those around us.
These three concerns outline the broad parameters of how Jesus intends us to think about our being in the world. Get your mind around living for God’s glory, seeking and advancing His redemptive work, and making disciples of His people, and you will find the Spirit filling your mind increasingly with the thoughts and agenda of our Lord.
Bring your mind under the mind of God
We are not thinking with the mind of Christ, but living out of the old mind, if we allow anything other than the concerns of Jesus to determine what we think, how we plan, and what we decide or choose. Whatever we are learning as disciples of Jesus, we need to make sure it’s not just for our diversion, but for engaging, reaching, and serving others with the love of Christ, unto the glory of God, and the advancement of His great redemptive purpose and plan.
Wherever our thinking strays from these concerns, there we are failing to redeem the time God gives us for wise and God-honoring living (Eph. 5.15-17). The fool pays no attention to God or the mind of Christ. The wise person works to redeem God’s gift of time, to receive and use it as Jesus would – thinking, planning, preparing, executing plans, reviewing and revising, and acquiring more understanding – so that God is glorified, His purpose advanced, and His people blessed in all we do.
Bring your mind under the Word of God. Seek the peace and wellbeing of others. Listen for the guidance of the Spirit of God. And set your course to think on and do the will of God, for His glory, in every area of your life.
We are not free to use the mind of Christ merely for selfish interests or frivolous diversions. The mind of Christ, growing within us and working with a well-kept heart, will make for a strong soul and a more consistent life of following Jesus.
1. How might you prepare each day to focus on the three priorities of Jesus?
2. Spiritual forces of wickedness, of course, will try to divert you from these priorities, and encourage you to think mostly about yourself. How will you deal with this?
3. How can prayer, used throughout the day, help you to keep focused on the priorities of the mind of Christ?
Next steps - Transformation: How much of your own thinking is guided by these priorities: the glory of God? The great salvation of the Lord? The good of God’s people? What’s one thing you could do in each of these areas to improve this focus?
T. M. Moore
We are called to serve the people who are in our Personal Mission Field. Watch this brief video (click here) to learn more, then download the worksheet, and map out your Personal Mission Field.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.