Ask God to speak as you interact with today's Scripture and devotional.
“But we have the mind of Christ.” - 2 Corinthians 2:16b
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” - Romans 12:2
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” — 2 Corinthians 10:5
“Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.” — Philippians 4:8
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” - Ephesians 5:25-27
One of my favorite Bible characters is Peter because Peter fails a lot and I can relate to him. Fortunately, God cares more about where we are going than where we have been. In the Gospel of John, Peter makes a bold pronouncement to Jesus and the others in attendance by telling Jesus that he will lay down his life for Him. But only five chapters later, Peter disowns Jesus. Let that sink in for a moment. He was with Jesus day in and day out and yet when the time came for Peter to prove his mettle, he betrayed Jesus! Is there hope for you and me? Yes! We have the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Word of God to direct and empower us.
As finite and sinful human beings with limited minds, our natural inclination is to try to live life on our own terms apart from God. That’s why we need the Word of God to wash over us, cleanse us regularly, and transform our thinking.
When I was a new Christian, someone recommended that I read the Book of Proverbs each day. There are 31 chapters, so it was very easy to look at the date and open up to that chapter. I found a gold mine of wisdom contained in these pages; wisdom that kept me from doing some very unwise things. It was amazing how my thinking changed after reading and listening to His Word. My mind started to change and I started to think more like Jesus. My values became more in line with His values. Many of the things I had cared about no longer mattered. I realized that I don’t come to God as a blank slate, but rather my thoughts and ways can oftentimes run counter to God’s ways. I need Scripture to teach, guide, correct, and rebuke my waywardness. I need God’s Word to cleanse and renew my mind so that I can know Him, become more like Him, love like Him, and better serve Him.
We cannot live a victorious, Spirit-filled, transformed life without the regular consumption of God’s Word. Having my mind regularly renewed has made me a better husband, father, person, and pastor. When we surrender ourselves to Him and allow His Word to shape our thinking, we set ourselves up to receive His grace. By reading God’s Word, we are doing one of the things that Jesus did and become a more authentic follower of Christ.
John Ortberg helps us understand how our minds can be “washed” by God’s Word:
“When we come to God, our minds and hearts are cluttered with false beliefs and attitudes, deadly feelings, misguided plans and hopes and fears.… It is a frightening thing to begin to see the truth about your own mind and its need for cleansing ... (we need) to have the mind “washed by the Word”.… This is how we are to be transformed by Scripture. This is our greatest need.... Ask him to begin to wash your mind, your thoughts — even if the cleanser stings a bit.… Read the Bible in a repentant spirit. Read the Bible with a readiness to surrender everything. Read it with a vulnerable heart. Read it wisely but understand that reading for transformation is different from reading to find information or to prove a point. Resolve that you will be obedient to the Scriptures.… To be filled with knowledge about the Bible but to be unwashed by it is worse than not knowing it at all.... When a mind is washed — when someone begins to be filled with the very thoughts of God — it is a gift to the world.” (Ortberg, p. 178, 181, 183-185)
Answer the questions below and write down any other thoughts and prayers to God in your Life in Rhythm journal.
Every day you'll have an opportunity to "go deeper" into God's Word by practicing the REAP study method. Read the following scripture and use your journal and the REAP method to unpack the following scripture and apply it to your life.