Ready. Set. Go! (2)
...but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy... 1 Peter 3:15
Becoming a more Christianly mindful person, one who makes the most of every opportunity to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, begins within us, every single day. Peter says that we must regard Christ the Lord as holy in our hearts. That is, we must begin each day, and attack each moment of every day, with the settled conviction that our souls belong to the Lord, that in our minds, our hearts, and our consciences, we are devoted to seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
But what does this involve? How can we make certain, as we head out to live each day in a more Christianly mindful way, that our thinking, affections, values, and priorities will be brought under the direction and made available to the use of King Jesus?
Renew your mindset
The human soul is comprised of three interacting, overlapping, and fully integrated components. The first of these is the mind, which houses all our intellectual and cognitive functions. The world exerts continuous pressure on our thinking, bombarding us each day with ideas about self-fulfillment, self-indulgence, and the fleeting joys of material prosperity and sexual fulfillment. If we fail to guard our minds against such a barrage, we will surely bottle up the mind of Christ and fail in our efforts to live according to the Christian worldview.
Each day we must begin afresh, bathing our minds in the Word of God, reading, meditating in, and studying the Scriptures so that we are able, increasingly, to understand and think God’s thoughts after Him. Each day begins again the struggle to resist the pressure of world-conformity in our thinking and to gain the renewed mind which is already ours in Jesus Christ (Rom. 12:1, 2). But unless we take up this challenge every day, and bring the fruit of our studies with us into all our relationships, roles, and responsibilities, we will not be able to act mindfully in a way that expresses the reality of our Kingdom citizenship and the indwelling Christ.
Renew your heartset
The same is true with our hearts, the second facet or component of the soul. The heart is the seat of the affections and determines what we love, desire, and aspire to, on the one hand, and what we find repulsive and odious on the other. If we love the world and the things of the world we will not be interested in the kind of self-denial and self-giving reflective of the lifestyle of one in whom the Savior of the world is unpacking His good and perfect will.
We must be continually open to the searching of God’s Spirit, to make sure our affections are what they ought to be, to root out all love of the flesh and the world and to nurture sincere love of Jesus and His Word (Ps. 139:23, 24). If we will not be renewed in our hearts, then our vain affections will always overrule our renewed mind, so that we cannot do what we know but only what we desire.
Renew your will
The conscience is that aspect of the soul which establishes and maintains our default priorities and values. God has written the works of His holy and righteous and good Law on our hearts, and these are there to direct our consciences in governing the other aspects of our soul (Rom. 2:14, 15). By reviewing the Law of God day by day and understanding its application in the light of all the rest of God’s Word, we can shore up right priorities and make sure that our wills are devoted to doing what is right and pleasing to God. The conscience is the umpire of the soul, arbitrating between what we know and what we desire so that what we actually end up doing will be in line with the holy and righteous and good will of God.
If we can begin each day in the Word of God and prayer, waiting on Him to renew and shape our minds, hearts, and consciences, then we shall be ready to go forth each day to live in a more Christianly mindful way in all the details and duties of our lives.
How can you adjust your present time with the Lord to make sure that you are always being renewed within by the Word and Spirit of God? Talk with some Christian friends about this question. See if you can figure out some ways of encouraging one another in this daily discipline.
Start your own ViewPoint discussion group. This week’s series is available in a free downloadable format, suitable for group study. Request the series, “Ready. Set. Go!” For more insight to this subject, order the book, The Christian Mind, by Harry Blamires, from our online store. You might also read the article, “Words to Live By: A Basic Worldview Vocabulary,” by T. M. Moore.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.