Thursday, August 10, 2006

Developing the Mind of Christ

Jimmy Moore was a dying man. There just wasn’t any future for him. Then he got his chance at life again in the form of a heart transplant at Vanderbilt University. Two years later, he completed the grueling Music City (Nashville, TN), Triathlon which consisted of a 1k swim, 40k bike ride (24.8 miles) and 10k (6.2 mile) run.

The man who had a heart transplant 18 months earlier crossed the finish line with tears in his eyes and these words across the front of his T-shirt, “I’VE HAD A CHANGE OF HEART.”

There are many Christians in the world today who need to have a change of heart. People come to know Christ and recognize him as Lord but they never realize what they are supposed to do next. Becoming a Christian means becoming a new person. That involves changing your heart, the things you desire, and mind, the things you think about.

The Bible tells us in Colossians 3:2 that we should, “Set our minds on things above, not on earthly things.” One of life’s biggest frustrations is when we know we are supposed to do something but we don’t know how we are supposed to do it.

According to T.W. Hunt and Claud King’s book “The Mind of Christ” developing the Mind of Christ Occurs in Three Stages

Beginning Stage
In this stage a Christian must learn to put his/her mind on things above. Philippians 4:8 - 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.

You have an amazing machine inside your head we call the brain. You may not have a high IQ, maybe only average or even below average intelligence. But your brain is still something amazing. Did you know that inside the skull of your head is more information stored than in all 17 million volumes in the library of congress? That is pretty amazing for a little machine that only weighs about 3 pounds.

Psychologists tell us that each person has about ten thousand thoughts per day. That means you have at least a one in ten thousand chance of having a good thought every day.

Much of the whole thought process remains a mystery to scientists and psychologists. But one thing is not a mystery about the mind. How you think is going to affect your Christian life. How you think will make a profound difference in how you represent Jesus Christ. A person must decide, choose, or determine the focus of their mind.

Growing Stage
The Christian lives in a constant state of renewal. Romans 12:2 - Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Why do you suppose that there are close to 100 million church members in America yet they are not making more of a moral and spiritual impact? Why is that on Sunday morning thousands of churches have more empty pews than full? Why is it that the average Sunday School in America has less than 66 in attendance and that the average worship service has 84? Why is it that only 50% of a church membership can be expected to attend on any given Sunday? It’s because people make a decision about Jesus but never a commitment to Him.

Without a commitment to Christ your relationship will suffer and so will your mind. It’s that commitment to Him that allows us to transform our minds to focus on Godly things rather than selfish things that hinder our relationship to Him.

Qualified Stage
A Christian’s mind must be prepared for action. 1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

It was the late 1920’s when a woman and her new husband moved into the man’s old family home. It was a clapboard house with a hall down the middle. It wasn’t much of a home, but it was all they had. Ten years later, however, the two had managed to save just enough money to tear down the old house and build another next to it which was to be their home for the rest of their lives. To cut back on the expense of the new place the husband, without informing his wife, decided to reuse many of the materials from the old house in the construction. He used old facings and doors, and many other pieces of the finishing lumber. When it was completed, the woman was finally permitted to inspect her "new home." As her husband walked her through it tears streamed down her cheeks. Unfortunately they were not tears of joy, however, but sadness. For as she looked around she saw the same old doors that wouldn’t shut properly; the same crown molding that was split and riddled with nail holes, the same unfinished window trimming. There wasn’t much in fact that was really very "new" about it. So on what should have been one of the better days of her life; she eventually sat down and had herself a good cry. Her husband was confused at her response. "But I’ve built you a new home," he objected. "No, you didn’t," his wife responded. "You just rearranged the old one."

Why do so many people get spiritually frustrated? It’s because their minds are not prepared for action. We allow our minds to focus on a “me first” attitude and it removes God prom the equation. Without a “God first” focus we cannot experience a growing relationship with Him. That means we often feel as if He is not hearing our prayers and we don’t feel a sense of value or purpose.

There you have it. Three easy steps to having a change of heart, all you have to do now is set your mind to it.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

Thank you for this excellent article. It was just what I needed...especially today! May God continue to bless you in the work that you do!