Read-Through-The-Bible [12.16.19]

Today we read the last of Paul’s prison epistles, Philippians. Paul has spent much time with this group of believers, and he loves them deeply. They have supported him financially since they came to faith, and he considers them his partners in the gospel. His letter is prompted by a division that has occurred between two women in the church, Euodia and Syntyche, because he knows this division can cause harm to the cause of the gospel. He urges them to reconcile, to “be of the same mind” in the Lord.
 
The mind is a topic that comes up frequently in Paul’s writings, as well as the rest of the New Testament. What we think affects everything. The human mind is an amazing, intricately designed example of the creative power of God, and it sets us apart from the rest of creation. Whatever you believe to be true determines the course of your life, and eventually, your eternity. No wonder our enemy, Satan, goes after the mind!
 
There are two distinct mindsets in scripture: the mind set on fleshly, earthly things which is hostile toward God, lives as an enemy of the cross and leads to death (Philippians 3:18-19, Romans 8:6-7), and the mind set on Christ and the things of the Spirit of God, which leads to life and peace (Romans 8:5-6). Believers have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), and we are to have His same mindset of service, sacrifice, humility, and obedience (Philippians 2:5-8). As believers individually set their minds on Christ, we will have the same mind and be unified.
 
So, how do we put this into practical terms? Can we change the way we think? How do we stop thinking about fleshly, earthly things (the way unbelievers think) and think like Christ, exercising the mind of Christ? We have to decide what we will “set our minds” on. We deliberately choose to feed our minds differently. Paul says it this way in 4:8 …
 
“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.”
 
If you applied those standards to everything you read, watch, listen to, and believe, what would you need to eliminate? Ask God to help you see clearly as you examine the lyrics of the music you listen to, the magazines and books you read, the movies and television you watch. Your mind is fed by your eyes and ears. Is everything you see and hear praiseworthy and excellent? Is it honoring to God? What you think about today will become who you are tomorrow. If you are a believer, you have the mind of Christ. What are you using it for?

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