EMBRACING THE CALL
Y O U A N D T I T U S 2 N E W S L E T T E R
Thinking As Until The Lord
aking stock of our thoughts is an important part of our commitment to live for God’s glory. We are certainly impacted by our thinking; in fact, what we do in our heads is our reality in God’s sight. Let me give you the biblical truth for that statement. Jesus said, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). It is extremely important that believers digest what Jesus is teaching, and that is, what people do in their heads is counted as action in their hearts!
The world (controlled by the little “g” god of this world) is seeking to conform your thinking. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). To have conformed thoughts is the opposite of the transformed thoughts of a renewed mind. When our thoughts are conformed to the ways of this world, we are unable to test and discern the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.
When we disciple others, one of our greatest objectives is to help them think so that they can discern the will of God in the everyday situations of life. Considering how every thought aligns with God’s standards is a constant discipline of the Christian mind. We can’t keep selfish inclinations from
entering our thoughts, but we can immediately determine what we do with them. Concerning this problem my grandmother would say, “We can’t keep the birds from flying over our head, but we surely will not let them build a nest in our hair!”
The key to thinking that pleases the Lord is a renewed mind transformed by His Word (Romans 12:2). We hide the Word in our hearts so that we will not sin against God (Psalm 119:11). We meditate on the Word of God (Joshua 1:8) and study it to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15). There are multiple ways that we take in Scripture, but ultimately it is all done as the Holy Spirit is renewing our minds. We grow in Christ as our thinking is transformed.
In Colossians 3, Paul explains, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” He was specifically addressing the bondservants who would be tempted to work in a half-hearted manner. However, the application is for all of us. Whatever we are doing should be done “as for the Lord.” How are you serving the Lord in your thoughts? Do you control your thoughts or do your thoughts control you? What you think about, in an intentional way, is evaluated by God and therefore deserves our greatest efforts to be intentionally “as for the Lord.”
If you evaluated how you had invested you mindful moments over the last week or two, could you say you did your thinking heartily as for the Lord? We are better equipped and qualified to disciple our younger sisters in Christ when our thoughts are aligned with the beauty of God’s Word. Satan wants to hinder you and those you could be discipling by waging war for your thoughts. This is a battle, and the Holy Spirit can help us win it! “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV).
Learning the Importance of Our Thoughts
The following Scripture passages and discussion questions can provide a conversation starter about thinking with renewed minds:
2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV
We destroy and and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, . . .
Romans 12:2 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
1 Peter 1:13-16 ESV
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
Psalm 119:11 ESV
I have stored up your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Ephesians 4:19-24 ESV
They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!-- assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Philippians 4:8 ESV
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
+ 1 Peter 1:10-16 clearly calls believers to prepare our minds for action. Your actions are impacted by what happens in your mind. What does Peter indicate are goals of our prepared minds?
+ God has given us the gift of thinking, and as Christians we should seek to have transformed thinking (Romans 12:2).What ways do you seek to renew your mind for thinking that is transformed? Just as importantly, how do you protect your mind from conforming to this world?
+ Why do you think storing the Word in your heart helps you resist sin (Psalm 119:11)? Discuss the plan you have or need to put in place for memorizing God’s Word?
+ To “be renewed in the spirit of your minds,” is not optional for Christians. Ephesians 4:19 helps us evaluate the clear distinction between the lifestyles of those who have believed in the Truth of Christ and those who have not. What distinguishes the old self from the new self?
+ Compare and contrast 2 Corinthians 10:5 and Philippians 4:8. How could you use these verses to help another woman obey Christ by first getting control of her thinking?