My Musings – No matter how “good” we were before we accepted Christ, there were certain things about that life that we need to leave behind. A walk that we used to walk that we must rid ourselves of. To do that we must set our mind on things “above,” on what the Spirit desires, not on what our sin nature desired in our past. If we do not allow the Spirit to control our minds we will not be able to live an abundant Christian life, and our lives will lack peace.
It is interesting to note that the sin nature spills over into shameful outward acts, while the “Son” nature overflows with admirable inner qualities. The former is characterized by the things we do, the latter is characterized by who we are. The former may satisfy for a season, but the latter will last into the next life.
My Advice – The victorious Christian life is not about balancing the sin nature against the Son nature. It is not enough that the scales tip more on the side of the Son. We cannot continue to serve our sinful nature and expect to bear abundant fruit. We cannot serve two masters. Let’s make sure we are clinging to the Son by allowing the Spirit to control our minds and our hearts.
My Musings – The “sanctioned position” is “to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” But only for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ. For those who have not, getting old is indeed better than the alternative.
My Advice – If you have not put your faith in Christ you can. It is open to all who will believe and receive. But “now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation,” for we never know if we will ever have another opportunity. For we certainly do not want to be absent from the body without Jesus present in our heart.
If you have put your faith in Christ, do not get too comfortable being “at home in the body.” For the things of this world can distract us, causing us to drift “away from the Lord.” We do not want Him to be displeased with our walk. Rather “we should make it our goal to please Him.“
My Musings – Just because we must be in the World (“not that you take them out of the World“), does not mean that we must be of the World. Christians are not people of the World, they are people of the Word. For this reason, it is imperative that we regularly spend time in the Word (“protect them from the evil one“).
As you sent me into the World – Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:37, NIV 1984).
I have sent them into the World – “You will be my witnesses [to the truth] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, NIV 1984).
My Advice – Our testimony to what is truth will not be credible if we are not familiar enough with the truth (in the Word). We will not be credible witnesses to the truth if we are of the World. Will you be a person of the Word or of the World? Get the “L” out of the World.
“Set your minds on things above [the Word], not on earthly [Worldly] things. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived [Worldly]. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these.” (Colossians 3:2, 7-8, NIV 1984).
My Musings – He was seeking eternal life. He had meticulously kept the commandments that Jesus mentioned. He could almost reach it. But there was one thing he lacked. Something he could not let go. There’s a scene from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” that provides a great illustration. After finding the elusive “Holy Grail” supernatural events intervene. A massive earthquake opens up threatening to swallow the grail causing it to be lost forever. Suspended over the gaping crevasse, hanging onto his father (Professor Henry Jones) with one hand, Indiana Jones (Junior) desperately reaches for the grail, just inches from his other outstretched hand:
Professor Henry Jones: [in an urgent voice] “Junior, give me your other hand! I can’t hold on!”
Indiana Jones: [straining to reach the Grail] “I can get it. I can almost reach it, Dad…”
Professor Henry Jones: [in a quiet voice] “Indiana.”
[surprised, Indy looks back at his father].
Professor Henry Jones: [firmly, but still quietly] “Indiana… let it go.”
Of course, we all know what happens. Indiana grabs onto his father with both hands and is saved. Letting go of the prize he had long sought to find.
The application? We cannot hold onto our Heavenly Father with one hand while clinging onto our prized sins – sinful habits, sinful relationships, sinful pursuits, etc… We cannot serve two masters.
My Advice – What are you reaching for or hanging onto that is keeping you from fully committing to a relationship with Jesus Christ? Let it go.
My Musings – A person’s mindset is the particular way they think, their attitude and opinions about how they view things. A person’s worldview is the overall perspective from which they see and interpret the world.
As follower’s of Christ, we should have our mind set on what the Spirit desires. This is contrary to our mind set prior to knowing Christ, where we had on mind set on what our sinful nature desired. A mind controlled by the Spirit of God will view things the way God does.
The mindset of sinful man can only lead to death, whereas the mindset of one born of the Spirit is not only life, but peace. The implication being that the mind of sinful man has no lasting peace.
My Advice – Set your mind on things above. View the world and your life through the lens of God’s Word. This will renew your mind and transform your life, as the things we take into our mind filter down to our hearts.
“And this time I know it’s for real. The feelings that I feel. I know if I put my mind to it, I know that I really can do it. It’s gonna take time. A whole lot of precious time. It’s gonna take patience and time, um. To do it, to do it, to do it, to do it, to do it. To do it right, child.” (I Got My Mind Set on You, lyrics by Rudy Clark, sung by George Harrison).
My Musings – Let there be no mistake about this. The Day is rapidly approaching. “When you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” (Matthew 24:33-34, NIV 1984). Read Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, and pay attention to current events. Are we not at least beginning to see “all these things” happen?
And yet, are we not also seeing an increase in forsaking the meeting together? The habit of some is becoming the habit of more and more? It has always been important that we not give up meeting together, but the urgency today is more so, because the day is approaching. And yet the congregations in many places are dwindling. Maybe their “itching ears” are not hearing what they want to hear? Perhaps they are following another gospel that “is no gospel at all?” It could be that other priorities have displaced their “first love?” How many have simply decided to “abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons?“
God said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV 1984). So why are so many forsaking Him? Because Jesus said they would (Matthew 24:10).
My Advice – “A day may come when we forsake our [Lord] and break all bonds of fellowship! [Let it] not [be] this day! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand!” My paraphrase of Aragorn’s speech before the black gate in “The Return of the King.”
My Musings – The house (our heart and mind) is not swept clean (the old is gone) so that it remain unoccupied (the new must come). If left empty, Satan will do his best to fill it up. He cannot do that if it is already full. So, “finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8, NIV 1984). This is how you “renew your mind.” It will transform your heart.
My Advice – Fill ‘er up.