The Mind of Christ (4)
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. Philippians 2.5-7
Gathering from the ads I see on TV, many people find their computers and other electronica to be rich sources of personal entertainment. Computer games, DVD and audio players, design and video production capabilities, cameras and photo shops, and so forth must be great fun for those who know how to use them.
Social media, too: Our computers allow us to tie into networks of friends so that we can keep abreast of one another without too much investment of time or relational capital.
Such resources can be a source of great productivity; but they can also lead to blind alleys and box canyons of wasted time – or worse.
We have not been given the mind of Christ and the indwelling anointing of our Holy Spirit Teacher simply to learn new things that delight our own souls. That’s part of what comes with having the mind of Christ and beginning to be a student of everything that’s out there for us to learn. But if our learning stops with the entertainment value we derive from it, we will be short-circuiting a major reason for which we were given the mind of Christ in the first place.
If we only ever learn the things we want to learn, the things that we find interesting or amusing, or spend time only with the people we know and enjoy, we’ll never realize the purpose of our discipleship, which is to serve others the way Jesus did. We’re learning as we should, and thinking with the mind of Christ, when we’re learning and thinking about how better to serve others.
A good bit of what passes for contemporary Christian learning is simply a spiritual version of having fun. We like being with our friends, watching a video, listening to a gifted teacher, or sharing in a discussion. We feel good about participating in such activities, even though if pressed, we might have difficulty recalling one thing we’ve learned that’s fitted us for serving others with the mind of Christ.
We have the mind of Christ, and the mind of Christ is designed to fit us for serving others – for ministry. We’re thinking with the mind of Christ if we’re constantly seeking ways to serve others with the grace and truth of God. Paul says we should let the mind of Christ be in us for ministry, and not just for some variety of spiritual amusement.
We’re thinking with the mind of Christ when we prepare for ministry each day, studying to learn new ways of serving others, praying for the people we will meet each day, and planning the steps we’ll take to serve them as disciples of Jesus.
If we’re thinking with the mind of Christ we’ll be alert to opportunities to demonstrate the love of Jesus, or to speak an edifying word to someone. The mind of Christ is lively in us when, like Jesus, we’re looking for and taking steps to serve others with His grace and truth. Jesus applied His mind to bring transformation into our lives, by bringing us the gift of salvation. We’ll be thinking with His mind when this is our outlook as well.
Fit for serving
For the mind of Christ in us is designed to fit and incline us for serving others. The more we learn, the better we’ll be able to think with the mind of Christ. As we do, all our learning will be focused on equipping us to reach out to others with the grace and truth of the Lord. This requires setting aside our own convenience and comfort to reach out and get to know others, discover their needs and concerns, and do what we can, by word and deed, to minister to them in the Lord.
We’ll know that the mind of Christ is taking hold in us when we find that we’re more concerned about the needs of those around us than our own needs; when we pray for people more consistently and more earnestly; when we’re beginning to use our learning to comfort, encourage, embolden, and equip others, or to lead them to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ mindset when He walked among us was to use all His knowledge to further His Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit. This He did by serving others, even to the point of giving His life for our salvation.
As we begin to take up new studies, deeper studies, and to acquire more skills with the mind of Christ we’ve been given, let us make sure we devote our learning to the service of God and men. For only when we, like Jesus, are humbling ourselves to meet the needs of others will we be able to know that His mind has begun to transform our thinking, which, in turn is transforming all we are and do.
1. What does it mean to humble ourselves to serve others? How can we maintain such a mindset?
2. What opportunities for serving others might you expect to encounter during any day? How can you prepare for these in the morning?
3. How can believers encourage one another in this calling to serve others (Heb. 10.24)?
Next steps: What opportunities for serving others present to you each day? Do you have a strategy for making the most of these opportunities (Eph. 5:15-17)? Make a list of what you expect today’s opportunities for ministry are likely to include. Commit your list to the Lord, then prepare to reach out to others as the Lord gives opportunity.
T. M. Moore
This is part 1 of a multi-part series on the Christian mind. To download this week’s study as a free PDF, click here.
How’s your Christian worldview? Are you stretching your mind to think about life and the world as Jesus does? Our free online course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, can provide the categories, terms, and framework for you to begin nurturing a more expansive Christian mind. For more information and to register, click here.
The mind of Christ is set for the Kingdom of God. Is yours? Our book, The Kingdom Turn, provides a concise and practical overview of what it means to live for Christ from within the framework of His Kingdom. Order your copy by clicking here.
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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.