For us to succeed as followers of Jesus in a frenetic and fractious world, we would be wise to make time to think deeply about what God has communicated to us about how to live as his representatives. He encourages us to let his word abide in us, to let it be at home in our minds and hearts. So, the life of the mind is absolutely critical to our progress and joy in the faith. Because a haphazard, lazy thought process is dangerous, God promises much to us if we will take the “pause that refreshes” for focused consideration of important truths and their relation to our lives.
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8
Transformation occurs when we renew our minds as well as the hearts. God gives us a new heart by the work of the Spirit. We give ourselves a new mind by changing its content. Unfortunately, we can’t dump out all of the evil material we have accumulated over the years. But we can crowd it away from the central pathways on which our thoughts run by moving in new material and focusing our attention on it. The more we entertain, consider, and review information God deems compatible with the glory of his goodness, the less we will recall and dwell on what is offensive and evil. As wagons following ruts in a muddy road turn aside onto new roads with difficulty, so our thoughts travel more readily and consistently down our mind’s most used paths. The joy we experience in constant encounters with what is good, and the difference such thinking will make in our relationships with other people, enables us to realize the pleasure of fellowship with God. Contemplating real good brings peace and wholeness to our souls. What better environment can we create for the “God of Peace” when he comes to walk with us in the gardens of our souls?
O Lord, teach me to love what you love, to enjoy what you enjoy, so I can think your thoughts after you, and, when we talk, experience the most wonderful fellowship. Amen.
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