If you enjoyed the journey through the Lost on a Familiar Road book, you will love the e-devotional companion book!
In Christ’s Sweet Love,
Celebrate! You’ve faithfully taken a 30-day journey to love God with your mind. May you have the mind of Christ as you step forward into God’s plan for your life.
What is your takeaway? What has God taught you about your thought life? Have you been surprised by any of the ways in which you can love God with your mind? How has God refined your thinking?
Accepting the mysteries of God is critical to the Christian faith.
Here’s the danger. We say to ourselves intellectually, “I realize that God is wondrous and mysterious,” and we can respond with a number of different responses: joy, curiosity, worship, or for some, even disinterest. We know we can’t explain God fully, but in our growth of knowing Him, His ways begin to make sense to us and we thrive in this secure place.
The wondrous mysteries of God do not disturb our thinking until an unimaginable tragedy rocks our world, and someone suggests, “Where was God in this horrible event?” For those who have based their faith on God making “sense” in their own minds, this tragedy is a deep blow to their belief system. Their faith is shaken because they cannot explain God.
We are the created, and thus not in the position to demand that the Creator explain Himself to us. But also important, we are too limited in our thinking capacity to even begin to comprehend the deep layers of truth if God were to indeed try to help us understand how one singular decision on God’s part sends out millions of ripple affects across the earth.
God is big. We are small.
The story of Rehoboam is not a well known Bible story, but the choice facing Rehoboam is one we can relate to (1 Kings 12:1-16).
When faced with a difficult decision, Rehoboam didn’t listen to the wisdom of the elders, nor did he seek wisdom from God. He didn’t want to hear it; he wanted to hear what he wanted to hear, and his friends were willing to give him the weak-minded advice that appealed to him.
How does God impart wisdom and discernment to a godly woman? The trained, mature Christian described in Hebrews 5:14 isn’t one who will heap up for herself people who will tell her what she wants to hear. The woman who desires to train her senses for discernment will surround herself with people who will lovingly tell her the truth, preparing her heart to accept the hard but loving truths that God will grant to her as well.
Spiritual discernment – seeing the world through God’s eyes – will not take you down a road of ease and comfort, but knowing the truth will help you successfully navigate the path set before you.
In Romans 7:22-25, Paul says a curious thing:
For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Paul is describing the will of the mind versus the will of the flesh. How has a daily approach to loving God with your mind strengthened your mind to overcome the will of the flesh? When it comes to investing time to study God’s Word, will the desire of your mind for knowledge of God overcome the desire of the flesh to pursue other things?
Day 26 reminds us that no knowledge is of greater worth than an intimate knowledge of holy God.
God invites us in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek Me and find Me….” What is God saying to you about the great pursuits of your life?
Think about completing this sentence: “I want to begin pursuing God more than I have been pursuing _______.”
Here’s a couple of phrases from Day 25 that I hope are standing out to you:
– Use your gifts with gusto.
– Let God help you figure out what He’s suited you to do, then do it.
Are you doing it?
Some of us are doing too many different things. Are you doing what you’re called to do and then five other things on top of that? That’s exhausting and self-defeating.
Maybe you are doing not enough because you’re not sure what to do, so you’ll do nothing for fear of failure. That’s a sad way to cheat your corner of the world out of the blessings God wants to give through you.
Just imagine the beautiful symphony of ministry that would take place all over this land if every believer would join in the music and play her part!
For further direction from God’s Word, check out Matthew 25:14-30. Let God direct you.
Today’s personal challenge: Think about a personal disagreement that you are experiencing with someone, or a grievance you have toward another person. (Don’t have one? How about a disagreement with a group of people?) Certainly you know your side of the argument very well, and you’re certain of why you’re right. Dismiss that for a moment and consider the feelings or logic of the other person. How is this disagreement affecting him or her? What is his or her point of view? If this person is a brother or sister in Christ, what Christ-like qualities do you see in the other person? And how does this perspective change your thinking?
If that isn’t helpful, certainly this mental exercise will be: don’t put yourself in the center, and don’t put your adversary in the center. Put Christ in the center of the situation. As you consider the ways of Christ, what might be His perspective on the disagreement you’re having? Would He be pleased with your stance? Does your thinking match His thinking?
Pride comes in all shapes and sizes.
I want you to think about the subtle shades of pride. This nasty way of thinking is on big display when we make power grabs or indulge in self-seeking behavior, but it also shows up in subtle ways when our conversations shared in secret reveal the pride in our hearts.
It’s whispering gossip about other people because they have problems, and of course we don’t. It’s discussing how foolish other people are with no thought that we might one day fall into that same deceptive pit. It’s criticizing people in leadership, which goes hand in hand with an inner belief that we could do a better job. It’s indulging in conversation that reveals a basic principle that we often tend to operate under – the basic belief that we’re right and other people are wrong. But it’s all so subtle! Overcoming pride will require a lot of prayer, a lot of honest thinking about our thinking, and a consistent willingness to swiftly repent of prideful thoughts.
To love God with our mind takes humility, and humility matters to God. In fact, Jesus said that God is willing to step in and humble the exalted (Matt. 23:12). Is God on the throne of your mind? Is there another throne built up in your mind, certainly a lesser throne, but with your name on it? Pride is such a destructive enemy. Pray about true humility today.
Dear friend, if you are a follower of Christ, think deeply about the great words of worth God has declared about you. Which title is really speaking to you today?
And if today left you wondering if you are indeed what Jesus called born again, I invite you to carefully read through pages 189-190 of Lost on a Familiar Road and give your life to Jesus Christ once and for all. God sent His Son Jesus Christ into this world because God loves you and wants you to be a special member of His family! It’s the greatest invitation you’ll ever receive in your life: the invitation to become a child of God. Is God connecting with your heart? I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to learn more about knowing for sure that your sins have been forgiven by God. I am praying for you.