Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12.1-2 NIV)
“Paul is effectively saying that every person is either being conformed or transformed… It is by believing the Gospel—God’s self-revelation in Jesus, personally applied by the Holy Spirit—that the transformation of which Paul speaks, the ‘renewing of the mind,’ begins to take place. The essence of the renewed mind is putting God back where he rightly belongs as the supreme object of value and authority… ‘It begins with seeing things differently with God at the centre of the solar system of our affections, our attitudes and our words, so that glorious, massive, resplendent reality which is God will exercise his gravitational pull on every piece of our lives. The result is that they come into their proper orbit in relation to one another rather than smashing into one another and ruining everything.’” (M. Tinker, “The Mind on Fire: Loving God with Your Mind,” Churchman, 131, 2, Sum 2017, 157-170)
Let’s pray: Lord, may I be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Immerse me in your Word and truth. God, may you be at the center of all my thoughts and decisions. May I revolve around you and your ways. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “More Like Jesus” (Passion). Click here.
For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God… for,
“Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2.11, 16 NIV)
“For there are some who long to know for the sole purpose of knowing, and that is shameful curiosity; others who long to know in order to become known, and that is shameful vanity. To such as these we may apply the words of the Satirist: ‘Your knowledge counts for nothing unless your friends know you have it.’ There are others still who long for knowledge in order to sell its fruits for money or honors, and this is shameful profiteering; others again who long to know in order to be of service, and this is charity. Finally there are those who long to know in order to benefit themselves, and this is prudence… Of all these categories, only the last two avoid the abuse of knowledge, because they desire to know for the purpose of doing good.” (Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Commentary on the Song of Songs: Sermon 36, The Acquiring of Knowledge)
Let’s pray: Lord, may my thoughts and intellectual pursuits be pleasing to you. Show me how it can be of service to others, to reveal to them the wonders of Christ. I humbly submit to your purpose and plans for me. I want to know you more. In Jesus’ name, amen.
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4.20-24 NIV)
“Spiritual renewal is first of all a reshaping of the believer’s mental outlook, a restoration of his life’s pattern to its proper place with God. It opens his total being to new vistas of understanding and new sources of spiritual power, so that he may go on the offensive and capture his thoughts for the glory of Christ. That is the essence of discipleship. Failure occurs when his thoughts are controlled by human desires and therefore by Satan… but victory ensues whenever the believer makes a radical commitment to Christ and refuses to look back to the old patterns of living…” (G. Osborne, “Mind Control or Spirit-Controlled Minds?” in Renewing Your Mind in a Secular World).
Let’s pray: Lord, we’ve been taught to put off our old self, to leave behind our former way of life. May we be made new in the attitude of our minds today. By your Spirit, I put on the new self. Open up new vistas of understanding and may I live in your power, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “Behold (Then Sings My Soul)” (Hillsong). Click here.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3.15 NIV)
“With Islam, we have a god who is so transcendent that he is beyond understanding. The Greek gods and the gods of… religions such as Hinduism are fickle, are swayed by their emotions, and act inconsistently. The God of the Bible never changes (see James 1:17), requires teachers who diligently study His Word and handle it accurately (see 1 Timothy 4:15-16; 2 Timothy 2:15), and requires His evangelists to be able to give a rational justification for what they believe to all who ask (see 1 Peter 3:15).
“With the monistic… religions of the East, we are offered meditations—like the sound of one hand clapping—to escape logical thought… The Buddhist is to leave her mind behind, but God asks the Christian to be transformed by the renewing of her mind (see Romans 12:1-2).
“…God created you to be a follower of Christ with your mind turned on and tuned in to the life He made for you.” (J.P. Moreland, Smart Faith: Loving Your God With All Your Mind, pp. 43-44)
Let’s pray: Lord, thank you that our faith is not irrational. It actually makes sense! Praise God! Enable us to be clear about the reason for the hope that we have. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “Endless Alleluia” (Bethel). Click here.
Let’s read aloud together the following passage, confession and prayer:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22.37-40 NIV)
Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. (W. Temple, “Prayer of Self-Dedication,” BCP 2019)
Let’s pray: Lord, may we love you with all our mind; with all of our mental faculties, may we love you. Empower us, through your Spirit in us, to have the mind of Christ, to think along your thoughts, to respect your priorities, to follow your purpose and plans. We submit our hearts and minds to you, in all humility, to serve you and to be a help to our neighbors. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “House of the Lord” (P. Wickham). Click here.