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Posts Tagged ‘1 Corinthians 2:16’

“Who has known the mind of the Lord?” Paul asked (1 Corinthians 2:16).

That’s an easy question to answer: Nobody! His intellect and wisdom are far beyond our human ability to comprehend.

After all…

God has worked out the complexities of every living cell–with perfect precision.

 

yeast-front

(X-ray microscopy combine to picture interior of living cell)

 

He has engineered a staggering number of specialized plants and creatures, carefully interrelated in a web of reliance upon one another.

 

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He has created the unfathomable reaches of the universe filled with countless heavenly bodies of immeasurable proportions.

 

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(Spiral Galaxy M74)

 

Such intellect and wisdom to accomplish these feats is incredible.

Yet, at the end of that same verse above, Paul makes a statement even more astounding. In fact, at first glance it seems ludicrous.

 

Unknown

 “We have the mind of Christ.”

 

What? How is that possible? His knowledge and wisdom are infinite; ours is markedly limited.

But Paul makes clear:  we have the mind of Christ because he lives within us (Galatians 2:20).

 

Galatians-21

 

Not that we can know everything and respond with pure wisdom in all situations. Our perfection is a process that won’t be completed until Jesus returns (Philippians 1:6).

But my heart beats a little bit faster to realize that, each day and for all my tomorrows, I might think more like Jesus, understand more like Jesus, and react more like Jesus.

One particular action will encourage progress: spending time with him, especially in his Word.

 

Young woman reading bible

 

Here’s an analogy, though far from perfect. Steve and I have been married a very long time—forty-four years.  At this point, we can finish each other’s sentences, supply missing information or words in a conversation, and sometimes even know what the other is thinking.

It’s as if we’ve acquired a bit of the other person’s mind. And it’s happened bit by bit, over time.

So I repeat: We will have the mind of Christ as we spend time with him day by day– especially in his Word.

And how will we know that his way of thinking is becoming our way of thinking? After all, there’s no measuring stick for spiritual growth.

 

tapemeasure

 

Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, posed an excellent question that can help us determine our progress:

“Are other people beginning to see God in my life more and more (p. 78)?” Because a person with the mind of Christ will demonstrate Christ-like behavior.

Perhaps we could take an occasional inventory, based on the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The attributes listed in these two verses characterize a person with the mind of Christ–someone who is loving, joyful, peace-filled, patient, kind, good, and so on.  We could ask ourselves, how have I demonstrated these attributes this week?

And what will be the result of cultivating the mind of Christ? “The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).

 

Romans8_6

 

Life that is characterized by vitality and purpose.

Peace that includes inner-contentment, freedom from guilt, and security for eternity.

That sounds awfully good to me.

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Heavenly Father, we praise you for taking us into the high places of blessing in Jesus. That includes this gift: the mind of Christ. And day by day you are transforming us into his likeness, with ever-increasing glory. May I seize this day and its opportunities to think like you, understand like you, and react like you.  

(Ephesians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 3:18)

 

Art and photo credits:  www.lbl.gov; http://www.chesapeakebay.net; http://www.hubblesite.org; http://www.crosspointenwa.com; http://www.pinterest.com; http://www.changingthefaceof christianity.com; http://www.footsoldier4christ.com; http://www.motivationalquotes.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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Group of sparrows.

Group of sparrows. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father…So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29, 31).

Why did Jesus choose sparrows for this illustration?

They’re so small and common.  (Have you ever felt unimportant and ordinary?)

Sparrows were of such little value in Jesus’ day, they were sold two for a penny.  The poor would buy them to eat—a cheap source of protein.

Nobody much cared about sparrows in Bible times; most folks still don’t care today.  They’re just drab little birds we see every day—hardly worth our attention.

But the smallest, drabbest sparrow doesn’t slip by God’s attention.  Not one can fall to the ground without God knowing.  And if he knows and cares about the sparrows, he certainly knows and cares about each of us.  Verse thirty-one makes it clear:  “You are worth more than many sparrows.”

There’s a modicum of comfort in the knowledge that God sees our situations.  To be honest, though, the fact that he just knows isn’t all that helpful.

Better yet is the news that not one sparrow can fall without God’s consent.

Nothing happens to us that hasn’t first received the stamp of approval from God Almighty.

“Wait a minute,” you might say.  “If a sparrow falls, he’s likely to die.  Not much comfort in that either– knowing that God gave his OK!

Here’s what I want to embrace:  we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16b), right?  When it’s my turn to fall off the branch, I want to be able to affirm, “Yes, Lord.  Whatever you think is best is A-OK with me.  I know I can trust you because you love me.  And I rejoice in the promise that whatever happens, you will bring good from it.”   (Remind me of that truth when I start to wobble, will you?)

But here’s the best news:  Notice that Jesus didn’t speak of God as some detached, omnipotent being.

He said, Father.

It is our gracious and kind Heavenly Father who tenderly watches over his little sparrows.

Red Bike

Red Bike (Photo credit: swanksalot)

Think of a loving mother who witnesses her small son falling off his bike.  When he gets up with a scraped knee, she won’t just say, “Oh, I saw that happen, Johnny.  I’m so sorry you’re hurting.”  Small comfort in that.

No, that mother will run to her son, hold him in her arms, talk to him reassuringly, take him to the house, and patch him up.  That’s just what a loving parent does.

When trouble comes, our loving Heavenly Father is right there with us, just like that mother.

He holds us.  Isaiah wrote, “He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart” (40:11).

He talks reassuringly to us, especially through His Word.  With the psalmist, we can pray, “Strengthen me according to your word” (Psalm 119:28b).

God is our refuge and sanctuary; he is our home, our dwelling place. (Psalm 91:1-2).

And God patches us up; he restores our souls (Psalm 23:3).  He renews our energy, purpose, and hope.

So, “Don’t be afraid,” he says. “If I take care of the sparrows, I will most certainly take care of you, because you are worth more than many sparrows.”

See? You’re not small, unimportant, and ordinary–not at all!

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Thank you, Lord, for not playing favorites.  What glorious news that each of us is precious to you!  Thank you also for being an attentive God who tenderly watches over us.  And especially thank you for being an involved God, always acting on our behalf, and always for our good.  We are in awe of you, our loving, gracious Heavenly Father!    

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