Dovetailing with Sunday’s message from Paul’s words (1 Cor. 1:18-2:5) it’s easy to talk about the mind of Christ, but it’s another thing to install and operate the mind of Christ.
Receiving the mind of Christ is a gift of grace accessed in response to His invitation to salvation through faith. It begins by hearing the Gospel and responding – by giving over one’s life in faith to Jesus Christ. In that exchange, we are born again; made a new creation in Him. He gives us His Spirit to minister to ours.
It is impossible to have the mind of Christ apart from His Spirit and His Spirit dwells only within those who He has made new. Additionally, we are to daily call out to God to pour out His Spirit on us that we might be equipped and empowered for the life of Christ. Christ in us, by His Spirit, strengthens us in the battle against the mind of our flesh, the mind of our world and the mind of evil.
Additionally, here are some tools or practices to help install and operate with the mind of Christ:
- Spend more time thanking God for things than asking Him for things.
- Sign-up to serve or befriend someone who you would, naturally speaking, consider less than you. In serving others we are humbled and then blessed with right thinking.
- Fasting quickly reveals the weakness of our flesh and realigns a righteous hunger.
- Pursue reconciliation. Have you burned bridges or walked away from a relationship? Do everything within your power to make things right. Extending forgiveness and pursuing reconciliation are a lens to seeing AND experiencing the cross.
- Worship God. Do everything as worship, but also use praise music as a tool to recalibrate your thinking, attitudes, emotions, posture, and spirit.
- Read, study and meditate on the Word. The mind of Christ isn’t subjective or feelings-led, it can be learned and installed in our heart and mind through the nourishment of His Word.
- Memorize Scripture. Memorizing not only helps us meditate on Scripture, but builds highways in the brain that act as expressways for making good decisions.
- Be led by the Spirit. Our old way of thinking takes a while to be overwritten by the mind of Christ. Listen to the Spirit of God, speaking to you, leading you, strengthening you, and gracing you with all that you need for today! Be open for business to the investment of the Spirit.
- Bring your daily pain, failures, worries and weaknesses to the cross. The mind of Christ is the cross lived out in our lives. Allow your experiences and circumstances to humble and elevate you. Our insufficiencies not only point to our need for salvation which humbles us, but also remind us that God is with us, for us, and loves to use our weakness to display His wisdom, love and power.
- Live with joy and hope. Both joy and hope come from realizing that when we are in Christ, not even death can separate us from the love of Christ. God loves us (the cross points this out); God is over all – even evil and death (the resurrection displayed this); and God works all things for the good of those who love Him (the ascension of Jesus to the right-hand of the Father reveals this); and God is just (His soon-coming return and judgement will make it an eternal reality). That brings me both joy and hope, no matter the circumstance.
- Commit to church. Irregular attendance and participation leads to fragmented thinking/living. God’s design of a weekly rotation includes the place of the Sabbath and the beauty of the church gathering. Participating in the activities of church life and community on a weekly basis builds our faith. Included in church activities is communion which is a specific activity to call us back to the work of the cross which is the mind of Christ.
- Exercise. Go for a daily walk/run/swim to pray, hear from God, enjoy His creation, and think through life.
If you can think of others ways that you employ to strengthen the mind of Christ in your life, let me know!