North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose by Matt Dobson

Instead of giving someone “a piece of your mind”, maybe you should renew your mind instead! Phil. 2:5-11 shows us the joyful difference that having “the mind of Christ” can make in your life. Romans 12:2 gives a directive that can change your thinking from negative to positive. A combination of these two passages can transform you into a person of magnetic personality.

It is with the mind we exercise the power of positive thinking. We conceive ideas with it and we make conscious decisions by our use of it. The critical element is we often use our minds for unprofitable actions. Sometimes we waste the good sense that we are endowed with. My students and student-athletes in college were always telling me how rushed they were and didn’t have time to get everything done. I tried to stress the value of time management and making the most of their opportunities. This meant using their own personal judgment when deciding what’s most important for them to do at the time.

A clear mind often means a clean heart. And this characteristic is recognizably important in God’s Word. The New Testament words of the apostle Peter, “You are a chosen generation…a peculiar people; ones who show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”    (1 Peter 2:9). A peculiar people in this case does not mean “strange”, but rather a people that are known to possess qualities that would mark them as God’s special people. Living a life different from the world can be a challenge. Casual Christianity is very easy to fall prey to. The world will lure you with its attractions. Distractions from the narrow way are always prevalent—the devil will try to make sure of that. But the Bible says the Christian is holy, set apart for a purpose. You have a godly mission in life. And should you accept this mission, you are going to need the mind of Christ for maximum success. “God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth” (Duet. 7:6).

What makes us different or special doesn’t just automatically happen. You and I are not born into this world pre-programmed to act like God’s robots. What makes us different is the potential we have to adopt a new set of values, attitudes, and beliefs. While there is only “one way” to heaven (Jesus), we have to accept that way or be left to walk through life wondering if we are good enough or did enough of the right things for God to accept us. Everlasting life is a gift from God. Nothing we can do (works) can merit His grace. God has offered His Son Jesus as your Savior. Jesus’ death on the cross for your sins is the sacrifice made for you and me (John 3:16). The only thing we have to do is surrender to God, confess our sinful ways, and tell Him we love Him with all our heart.

The attitudes of our heart give way to our true selves. Just associations with so called “good people” will not save us. Being like those around us may be giving us a false assurance of our faith and salvation. Sometimes we adopt what we think is a “Biblical” way of life, spirit, values, and mind of Christ. It takes a willful and deliberate act on our part to minimize the world, and maximize God’s power in our life. The power of Jesus’ resurrection from the grave can be our power to live and think as God would have us to.

Pursuing the mind of Christ sets us at odds with the world’s ways. God knows how inclined we all are to speak and act in culturally accepted ways. We justify our behavior because we see everybody else doing it. We may fool others, but we never fool God. The Bible says Christians are to be different—to positively influence the world rather than conform to it (1 Cor. 2:16). It’s important you understand: There will never be real peace in your relationships (between God and others) until you overcome your own inclination to think only about yourself. Develop a servant’s heart like Christ. The difference God calls for is for us to “conform to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29). Our mind has a profound effect in shaping the way we live. This week, discover how to refresh your thoughts with wisdom (from God’s Word) and season your words with grace. Experience the difference in what you’re thinking when you develop the mind of Christ. Finding a church is a good place to start, attend it faithfully and follow God in all your ways.

  • This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, University of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts and questions concerning faith, belief, and Christian living.
Posted by on Feb 26 2012. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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