The Renewed Mind

Rom 12:1-2 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God’s compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you. Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants–what is good, pleasing, and perfect.

From a worldly viewpoint, a fruitful and productive mind embraces the intellectual side of life; acquiring the knowledge of science, art, philosophy, business and so on. But as Christians it is important that we develop not only a sound mind intellectually, but also spiritually and biblically.

This great commandment states:

Matthew 22:37 NKJV
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

For it is God desire for us to love Him, glorify Him and enjoy Him with all of our being and this includes our minds, the inner depth of our minds, is the heart

Proverbs 27:19 NKJV
As in water face reflects face, So a man’s heart reveals the man.

In other words, out of the treasures of our heart we reveal to the world the real us, in all that we do or say.

So, who are we?

We need to stand out as children of Light:

1Th 5:5 KJV
Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

As Christian’s, Christ is to be seen in us in all that we do or say, but sometimes that is not always the way it is.

In our lives, the world around us has filled our minds with thoughts and ideas, opinions, convictions, beliefs, fears and values in order to get us to think a certain way, in order to behave a certain way. Therefore in so many ways the quality of our life depends on the quality of our thoughts.  Proverbs 4:23 give us a warning about this:

Pro 4:23 KJV
(23)  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

The access to the internal chamber of our heart is the entrance of our mind. Therefore we need to guard our hearts by guarding what goes into our minds. Many people follow a disciplined program to eat right and exercise, to take care of their bodies. And this is good and wise, but Scripture says:

1Ti 4:7-8 KJV
But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

God is telling us here, that we are to exercise ourselves rather unto godliness, as godliness is profitable unto all things.  So in the same way that we would discipline ourselves and make the rigorous effort to exercise our bodies to keep it in shape, we are to put forth a discipline and rigorous effort to exercise or train our mind and heart unto godliness. Physical exercise will profit us, but our body will eventually wear out.  But training our mind and heart to think and behave in a godly manner will bless our life now and it will also reward us in the life and age to come.

The quality of our character, the quality of our life depends on the quality of our thoughts. This truth is revealed in Romans 8:

Romans 8:5-6
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

God tells us there are two ways of thinking and two outcomes: death or life and peace. The person whose mind is solely focused on the things of the flesh or the things of this world is spiritually dead. They are dead to the life of God and dead to the love of God.  A life like this may be good in a number of ways, but it has robbed us of true peace, joy, love and hope. It is full of worldly wisdom which so often changes with the winds of popular opinions. Is it a life ruled by fear, selfishness, pride, anger, hurt and ever changing emotions and ultimately its end is everlasting death.

But for the believer, whose mind is focused on the spiritual, on biblical realities, this person is spiritually alive, blessed and at peace with God. And if you are at peace with God you can experience true peace in the world. To be spiritually minded is to be filled with God’s wisdom and guidance. It is to be filled with love, hope and courage no matter the circumstances of life. When you are biblically minded, when your mind is renewed to the Word of God, then your responses and actions to life will be full of godly wisdom.

We can either be shaped by the thoughts and ideals and values of a sinful world or by the powerful, life giving truths of God’s words.

Romans 12:1-2 KJV
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

In Romans 12:1-2 we are presented with these truths; that we are either being shaped and being conformed to this world or we are being transformed by the renewing of our minds, so we may know what is good and acceptable and the perfect will of God.

We must not allow this world to shape us, in how we think. We mustn’t buy into its ideals and values so that we fear in what it fears and love in what it loves and serves what it serves. But be transformed by the renewing of our mind, according to the truths of the Scriptures so we can experience the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The Christian life after being saved by faith in Christ is a process of renewing every area of our thinking, feeling and behaving.  It is a renewal of every attitude so that our actions are godly. The world outside of Christ has a certain way of thinking and behaving that may seem right, but they are really harmful.

The wisdom of Proverbs declares:

Proverbs 14:12-13
There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, And the end of mirth may be grief.

On the surface, appearances can and are often deceiving.  A way of thinking and living which today may seem to be leading to success and happiness, may tomorrow result in sorrow, pain and loss. But a life lived in obedience to God’s Word is blessed even in difficult times. The psalmist sang:

Psalm 119:89-93
Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides. They continue this day according to Your ordinances, For all are Your servants. Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have given me life.

God’s Word is settled in heaven. It will never change, and is always spiritually relevant. God gives us wisdom, strength and hope in times of affliction.  God ways lead us to life that will blessed now and in the glorious life, in the age to come.

“…..exercise thyself rather unto godliness….but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come’’

Psalm 119:105, 111, 112
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
111 Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, For they are the rejoicing of my heart.
112 I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes Forever, to the very end.

What will be the light of your life? Will it be the wisdom of this world or the wisdom of God?

What will your heritage be? The counsel of men or the counsel of God?

How will you live? Will it be according to the ever changing values of this world? Or will you incline your hearts to learn God’s ways and obey it forever?

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Don’t allow the world to drag you down. Stop the world from pushing you around. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.