So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding... they have given themselves over to sensuality, so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ... You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
If we are saved the moment we give our hearts to Jesus, if the next moment takes us directly to Heaven, then God gave us a pass. Instead of growing up in Christ as followers, we were picked up by God like children... and carried home. We skipped the school of discipleship. Only our Principal knows His reasons for early dismissals.
But for the rest of us, the ones chosen to understudy Jesus, we have a lot to learn. One core course is diplomacy. Its purpose? To prepare us as 'Ambassadors for Christ' (2 Corinthians 5:20). Within our student body, leadership positions are awarded by personal sacrifice, rather than professional achievement.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: If you're on earth, then you're in school. If you're in school, then learn God's Rules. Consider Two: The heart rules the head, and the head rules the body.* Therein, our mind's obedience to Christ is essential to walk and talk correctly.**
But controlling our thoughts is like the Lone Ranger corralling a field of wild horses singlehandedly. It might work on TV, but don't try it at home. If committing your heart to Jesus happens in a brilliant flash of light, then committing your head to Him is a different story. It requires a lifetime of effort.
Taking 'Every thought captive to the obedience of Christ' (2 Corinthians 10:5) is a two-front battle against the wiles of the enemy, requiring: 1) Self-denial, and 2) Mind renewal.
Therefore, 'Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect' (Romans 12:2).
How? 1) Read Scripture... out loud. 2) Praise God... out loud. 3) Pray privately... out loud. 4) Pray with friends... out loud. 5) Hang with godly friends. 6) Avoid ungodly friends. 7) Speak positive words. 8) Hear positive words. 9) Believe God's Word. 10) Sing worship music. 11) Wear protective headgear.*** 12) Seek the truth.
Your new mind is so beautiful. Cherish it.
To Be Continued...
* 'A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks' (Luke 6:45).
** See James 3:1-12: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+3%3A1-12&version=NKJV
*** The Armor of God: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6%3A10-17&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Beginnings series. To read similar devotions, please see the All Things New series.