Renewing your mind…Disciplining your mind…
- Finally, brethren,
- We will notice as we delve into these 2 verses that Paul does not say ‘DON’T DO THIS OR THAT’. Rather, He says DO these things. He is giving us specific guidance and is putting a positive spin on the things we need to occupy our minds with.
- Whatever is True – John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.”
- Whatever is honorable – Romans 9:21 “Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?”
- Whatever is right – Isaiah 41:10 “‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
- Whatever is pure – 1 Peter 2:2 “like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,”
- Whatever is lovely – Psalm 84:1 “For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts!”
- Whatever is of good repute (reputation) – Acts 6:3 “Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.”
- If there is any excellence and – Heb 1:4 “He has inherited a more excellent name than they”…Heb 8:6 “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant,”
- If anything worthy of praise – Rev 5:9 “And they *sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”
- Dwell on “think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them] – AMP.”
- Try an out loud, verbal contemplative reflection on the contents of the above verses.
- On your own – Do this for longer than a fleeting 4 seconds. Try 5 minutes. Try 15 minutes. Try 30 minutes. Try 1 hour of meditating on the components of this verse. In addition to the scripture verses I shared with you, find other things that are also good examples to reflect on. In our current culture it is very hard for us to concentrate on anything, let alone for more than a 30 second commercial or a while minute. Try some self discipline and you can begin to embrace God’s Word even more than you have.
- Try taking these 2 verses and memorizing them. To help, you could write them on an index card and tape the card on the mirror where you fix yourself up in the bathroom.
There are Relevant Spiritual Disciplines that can help us ‘dwell on these things’: To do this we need some Quiet in our lives, some Solitude, Reflection, Meditation, Memorization, Silence, and Prayer. (They all have to do with having closeness and quietness with the Lord.)
- The things you have:
i. How do you learn things? Are you an auditory learner, a visual learner? Do you learn by making all the mistakes and the school of hard knocks? Or do you learn from watching others and the mistakes they already made.
ii. We often learn by a variety of ways.
iii. How did you learn to play baseball, football, tennis, ride a bike, cook, sew, or any things else? Watch, help, do…
- And Received
i. Do you willingly receive things that are safe and good or are you a skeptic or a contrarian? Does it take a while for you to accept something because you ‘just aren’t sure and it hasn’t been shown to you yet?
- And Heard
i. You heard me say it, you learned what I said. You began saying it. Now you are confident to repeat it and pass it on to others.
- And Seen in me
i. By example
- Practice These Things,
i. Practice, practice & more practice. Continually, daily. Start a habit, Keep up the habit. Keep doing it so it becomes a pattern and a way of life.
ii. How many days do I have to do something for it to become a habit? For the sake of discussion let’s say it takes 21 days. If I started today, then maybe by March 25th it might be a habit..
- How much do Pro Golfers practice? – At least 30 shots per day with each club, then in various settings – near to the green, far from the green, left-right side of fairway, so really more like 1000 shots per day.
- Pro Basketball players – practice 5 – 10 hours/day
- Olympic swimmers – practice 2 – 2-3 hour sessions/day, 7 days a week.
- The God of peace ‘will’ be with you.
- His peace is tangible. Remember the previous verses. It will ‘rule’ in your hearts and minds, if you let it.
- The verse does not say that ‘it may’ or ‘might’ or ‘could’. This is a statement that affirms that it will.
- There are lots of things that fit into the 8 whatever items above. We need to get serious about renewing our minds and focusing them on things that are edifying, not on things that are fleshly.
- Come up with a plan on a daily basis to get God’s Word into your heart. It takes Time and Self Discipline.
- How do we learn? We Receive, Hear, See and Practice and Practice and Practice.
- Know that the practice will pay off – God will be with you in a mighty way!