Monday, 10 February 2014

The Mind

Some thoughts from Good Morning Girls study Intentionally Focused, week 3.

Romans 7:25 (Jesus) acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.
The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.
Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.
There is now no condemnation:
the Spirit who gives life has set me free.
Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
The mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1 – 2, The Message)
Offer your body as a living sacrifice
true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world
be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

So when ‘friends’ hurt me and reject me
and strangers ignore and insult me
enemies are vicious
and the world passes me by
and it hurts more and more
each time I experience
difficulty in, or breakdown of
a relationship.
Words and emotions struggle for healing
which seems such a long time in coming.

So I remember you, Jesus,
who suffered far worse
and I give you my pain and my suffering
rejoicing that You are the Potter.

From an ignorant, unformed lump of clay
you made me recognisable.
You made me into something
useful, then shapely, fit for purpose.
You let wet clay dry, hardening gently
yet there are still cracks.
You roughen up edges
so you can fill holes,
rubbing with sandpaper: first coarse,
then increasingly finer.
And I know that later comes searing heat:
not once, but twice, perhaps more,
before you pronounce me Finished.

So I thank you, Jesus,
who loves me too much to let me
stay unfinished.

Finally, brothers and sisters, 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)
And now a personal but most urgent matter; I write in the gentle but firm spirit of Christ. I hear that I’m being painted as cringing and wishy-washy when I’m with you, but harsh and demanding when at a safe distance writing letters. Please don’t force me to take a hard line when I’m present with you. Don’t think that I’ll hesitate a single minute to stand up to those who say I’m an unprincipled opportunist. Then they’ll have to eat their words.
The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:1-5, The Message)

Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. (Colossians 3:1 – 3, The Message)

Set my heart on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set my mind on things above, not on earthly things.
For I have died, and my life is now hidden with Christ in God.

No comments:

Post a Comment