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The Scriptorium

Train Your Mind

Learn to think like Jesus. 1 Corinthians 4.6, 7

1 Corinthians 4 (2)

Pray Psalm 119.41, 42.
Let Your mercies come also to me, O LORD—
Your salvation according to Your word.
So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.

Sing Psalm 119.41, 42.
(Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
Let Your mercies come to me, Your salvation by Your Word.
From reproaches set me free, for I trust in You, O LORD.
Let my life an answer be for those who may question me.

Let my words be Your words, LORD; strengthen me to keep Your Law.
All my hope is in Your Word, and I seek Your precepts all.
I will ever keep Your Word, for I trust in You, O LORD!

Read 1 Corinthians 4.1-7; meditate on verses 6, 7.

1. What did Paul say about “what is written”, that is, the Word of God?

2. Where do our differences and gifts come from?

Paul was helping the Corinthians do a bit of a mind-check. He wanted them to stop thinking like people in the world—about themselves and their prestige or views—and begin seeing things the way Jesus does. He has already told them that seeing with the mind of Christ means seeing each other as servants, not inferiors. And seeing ourselves as temples of the Lord, not edifices of our own design and making.

Here he reminded the Corinthians that, like it or not, our thought life needs parameters and constraints. That’s what the Word of God does. It reveals the mind of Christ to us and works to shape our mind to think as He does. So we shouldn’t go beyond the Word in any of our thinking (v. 6). Let the Word teach and show and shape us for thinking with the mind of Christ.

As for the differences we recognize in one another, they must not be allowed to divide us. After all, where do these differences come from, if not from God (v. 7)? If God makes us different, we should celebrate our differences—as He does—rather than let them divide us. All that we have comes to us from the Lord (v. 7). We’re not thinking with the mind of Christ when we vaunt our knowledge or supposed piety or spiritual gifts or social status or anything else. God has given us all these gifts. We should receive all gifts with thanksgiving and celebrate God’s lavish grace and kindness. We’re not thinking with the mind of Christ when we compare our gifts with others, whether to our advantage or detriment. We boast not in our gifts nor those of anyone else. Like our differences, our gifts should point us to God and so enhance and deepen our oneness.

We’re thinking with the mind of Christ when we see things as He does. And when we do, we overcome the things that divide us with love that binds, to one another and to the Lord.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“There are three things which are majestic in pace,
Yes, four which are stately in walk:
A lion, which is mighty among beasts
And does not turn away from any;
A greyhound,
A male goat also,
And a king whose troops are with him” (Prov. 30.29-31).

But for all their majesty, 3 out of 4 will never be able to knit.

“For who has despised the day of small things?” (Zech. 4.10). Surely not the people of God. Kingdom work is accomplished when all the parts work together as a whole. All participants are working toward the goal of the honor and glory of God and the growth and edification of His Church. The Kingdom needs the lions, greyhounds, goats, kings, and knitters.

And for all the work to be accomplished, we need different gifts. We dare not judge and expect the same work out of every person. God has given each one the specific gifts He chooses: “For who makes you different from another? And what do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4.7).

Understanding this truth gives us an appreciation for the gifts we have been given and the gifts God has given others. And truly, if “God makes us different, we should celebrate our differences—as He does—rather than let them divide us.”

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…speaking the truth in love, [that they] may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ…by which every part does its share, [and] causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Eph. 4.11-13, 15, 16).

Whatever gifts He has given you, rejoice in those, and use them for His honor and glory and the edification of others. There are no insignificant gifts, and there are none that shine brighter than others in God’s eyes.

You, and only you, can do what you have been called and gifted to do in your Personal Mission Field.

Train your mind to rejoice in that.
“For the word of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth” (Ps. 33.4). 

For reflection
1. What gifts and other resources has God given you for serving Him?

2. How would you describe your stewardship of those gifts and resources?

3. Whom will you encourage today to use their gifts and resources for the Lord?

The people who boast imagine that they are justified by their own efforts, and therefore they glory in themselves, not in the Lord.
Augustine (354-430), Letter to Valentine

Pray Psalm 119.43-48.
Pray that God will embed His Word more firmly in your soul, and that He will empower you to live within the framework of His teaching. Pray also that God will give you greater love for His Word.

Sing Psalm 119.43-48 .

(Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
LORD, take not Your Word from me, for I trust it day by day.
I will walk in liberty as Your precepts I obey.
I shall keep Your truth, O LORD, for I hope in all Your Word.

I will speak Your Word to kings, and I will not be ashamed.
In Your Word my glad heart sings, as Your truth I have proclaimed.
In Your Law will I delight, which I love with all my might.

To Your Law I lift my hands to embrace and hold it dear.
In Your truth my glad heart stands, knowing You are ever near.
I will meditate, O LORD, on Your statutes and Your Word.

T. M. and Susie Moore

The Church in Corinth needed revival. But there was much to be done before that would happen. The Church today needs revival, and the same is true for us. Our book, Revived!, can help us discern our need for revival and lead us in getting there. Order your copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable by clicking here.

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.
Books by T. M. Moore

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