Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
ReVision

New Priorities, New Plans

Opened minds have a new outlook.

Opened Minds (5)

So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread. Luke 24.33-35

New mind, new life
The changes that begin to occur in a person whose mind the Lord has opened are comprehensive, profound, and sometimes, immediate. Like a light switched on in a dark room, everything looks different. New possibilities appear. Realities take on new significance and meaning. Even our priorities will change.

The opening of a person’s mind, whether for the first time, unto new life in Christ, or as an initial step out of infant thinking toward a mature mind in a believer, is a work of the Lord, and empowers the process of making all things new.

When the Spirit of God, working with the Word and careful teachers, breaks through past limitations and reasoning, re-orders existing mental categories, and lights a fire in people’s minds, then the mind of Christ kicks in and transforming things begin to occur, in both the inward and the outward person. A person whose mind has been opened to the truth of God embarks on a life-long course of being transformed increasingly into the image of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3.12-18).

Change of plans
Those disciples hastening back to Jerusalem – a trip of several miles, late in the day – are the picture of the new life God begins to work in those whose minds Christ has opened. Their former priorities, whatever they may have been, paled into insignificance, and they experienced a change of plans for their lives. Returning to Jerusalem, they sought out the company of like-minded individuals, to encourage them in the truth of God; and they gained a new power to live sacrificial lives of loving service to others.

Let’s look more closely at each of these effects in those two disciples. First, their priorities changed dramatically, and with those priorities, their plans. They had reached their home at the end of a long day, and they might have preferred simply to get something to eat and go to bed. Heading back to Jerusalem so late in the day was hardly convenient. Whatever they had to say or tell to the others could wait until the morning, couldn’t it?

No, it could not.

Suddenly the lives of those two disciples took on a new mission and purpose. Whatever they might have been planning for the next day was shelved, as they took on plans and actions more in line with what they had come to know. Forgetting their former priorities and manner of living, they set off again for Jerusalem, the first leg of a life-long journey of being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus Christ opens a person’s mind to the truth of God, He sheds new light into every nook and cranny of the soul. All the old values, priorities, and aspirations are challenged in the light of eternal truth. We are compelled to look at our lives through a new lens – the lens of God’s truth. From that perspective, as Paul noted, “old things pass away, all things become new” (2 Cor. 5.17). The things we previously considered to be so very important – the ways we use our time, spend our money, do our work, think about the world, or relate to others – suddenly take on a new aspect; or, they are exposed as shallow and unimportant in the light of the new reality which has been opened to us. When we become aware of the people in our lives who have yet to learn the truth about Jesus, a new urgency emerges in our soul, and new plans begin to take shape in our mind.

On to maturity
Those whose minds Jesus has opened will, like those disciples sitting at table with Jesus, see everything in a new light. They will begin to discover new priorities and values, gain a new and sharper focus on Jesus, and discover new interests; and that will change everything else in their lives. Their minds now opened, they will desire to press on to maturity in their thinking for every area of life.

If you are not being thus transformed, if you are not growing in your faith, or your commitment and ministry to the Lord are merely catch-as-catch-can; if your daily plans are not changing such that you go into your world in the same way Jesus came into His, then you have every reason to wonder whether your mind has been opened to God’s truth. The Word of God, once heard and received with an open mind, begins to affect every aspect of our lives, so that our priorities, values, desires, and way of life are transformed, and continue to change throughout the course of our lives. Give thanks to God that He has given you the mind of Christ, then get busy learning to access it.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ makes all things new. When our minds are open to the truth of Jesus Christ, an eternal horizon of Kingdom possibilities begins to stretch out before us – possibilities of what we can become, what we might learn, how we might serve, and what we might be able to do through Jesus Christ.

Before we will become serious about persuading others of the truth that is in Jesus, we’ll need to make sure this truth is shaping our own lives. Have we truly seen the Lord? And is He at work within us, making us willing and able to do the good pleasure of God? Has Jesus so affected our minds that we can say with conviction that we are living out of the mind of Christ, rather than our old mind?

When our own minds are opened, and as they open more and more each day, nothing will prevent us from more continuously seeking the Lord and going forth as Kingdom citizens and ambassadors to encourage and persuade others of the truth of Jesus and the Kingdom of God.

For reflection
1.  In what ways has Jesus been changing your thinking and your way of life? Do you find yourself, like those first disciples, embracing new priorities, and making new plans? Explain.

2.  How would you counsel a new believer to get started growing toward a mature mind in the Lord?

3.  In what ways are you seeking to grow to greater maturity in the mind of Christ at this time?

Next steps – Transformation: Take a moment to thank God that He is at work within you, willing and doing of His good pleasure, transforming you into the likeness of His own Son (Phil. 2.13; 2 Cor. 3.12-18). Let the mind of Christ guide your plans for this day. Go forward into your day committed to glorifying Him in all you do.

T. M. Moore

For more insight to the broad scope of how Christians can think with the mind of Christ, order a free copy of our book, Vantage Point, by clicking here. This brief study will help you understand time and how we as Christians can redeem and make the most of it by thinking with the mind of Christ.

All the installments in this “Strong Souls” series are available in PDF by clicking here. Check out our newest feature, Readings from the Celtic Revival (click here).

Thanks for your prayers and support
If you find ReVision helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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