We couldn't find what you are looking for. Try searching for something else.
"...but we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. " - 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT)
The human brain is an amazing organism. It’s composed of approximately 78% water, 10% lipids, 8% protein, 1% carbohydrates, 2% soluble organics, 1% inorganic salt. And yet it thinks! That’s mind-boggling to me. How about you?
The brain generates about twenty-five watts of power while we’re awake, enough to illuminate a light bulb. The right side of the brain controls the left side of our body, and vice versa. There are about 100 billion neurons in the human brain, which equates to the number of stars in our galaxy. And if that isn’t enough to blow your mind, it’s estimated that the number of thoughts a person has on an average day is about 70,000!
The mind is an amazing thing, yet here’s something even more amazing. Paul said, “We have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor 2:16) Here’s what that means: Because He’s in us and we’re in Him, we have the ability to think like He thinks and live like He lived. It’s kind of like a spiritual turbocharger; it’s called the Holy Spirit. We’re looped in, as it were, to the Spirit of Jesus. (Acts 16:6-8).
Here are five ways this reality can impact your life:
1. You can have Godly wisdom, meaning you can understand a lot of things the world doesn’t understand, things like purpose, meaning, destiny, truth.
2. You can discern spirits. You can know if another’s thoughts and actions are coming from God. (1 Corinthians 12:10)
3. You can apply Scripture to everyday life. That’s what wisdom is.
4. You can make good decisions. Acts 15:28
5. You can have perspective--see the big picture, the essence of things. It’s what I call a helicopter view of life.
All these things are gifts that come from a renewed mind. I’m thinking that’s a pretty good deal. What are you thinking?
"I appeal to you, brothers and sisters...that there be no divisions among you." - 1 Corinthians 1:10 (NLT)
As we learned over the weekend, the Corinthian Church was divided. Like fans of a spiritual Southeastern Conference, church members had chosen their favorite “players” and formed their own “teams.” Some followed Paul, others followed Peter, Apollos or someone else. Paul rebuked them for putting their faith in influential leaders instead of Jesus. We should take note. That wasn’t wise then, nor is it wise now. Each of us should do our own thinking (as we learned yesterday) under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. And the only “favorite” any of us should have, is Jesus.
On another note, how do we navigate through disagreements wisely? Consider these suggestions:
1. Don’t look at every disagreement as a personal must-win contest. Winning is rarely as important as relationships.
2. Use Scripture as your plumbline, not how you “feel” about something.
3. Ask, “Is this cancer...or measles?” Most things in life are measles. Seriously. Don’t major in minors. Don’t blow a gasket over things that have very little eternal significance. In the grand scheme of things; our personal preferences don’t usually fit that category.
4. Ask, “Have I really prayed about this?” If the answer is “no,” exit the discussion and do some carpet time with God.
5. Learn from conflict. Don’t always assume a “teaching” role. I’ve never met anyone from whom I couldn’t learn something.
6. Ask, “Am I nursing an old hurt?” if so, let it go. It’s time to forgive and move on.
7. Ask yourself, “Am I the problem?” You might be surprised by the honest answer.
8. Always admit, “I could be wrong.” It’s true, you know. ;)
9. Check your ego at the door.
10. Ask yourself, “Is this what Jesus died on the cross for?” Be honest.
"For you’re still controlled by your sinful nature. You’re jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. " - 1 Corinthians 3:3 (NLT)
The essayist Joseph Epstein said, "Of the seven deadly sins, only envy is no fun at all."
Research seems to support his tongue-in-cheek comment. Psychologists say that envy decreases feelings of fulfillment and well-being, and even contributes to depression and diminished health. Recent studies suggest that envy fuels our relationship with social media too. It leads to destructive comparisons, based on our obsessive tendency to portray our lives as perfect and ideal.
Envy was a problem in Corinth too. Paul said it was an indication of being under the control of our sinful nature. He called it an evidence of emotional and spiritual immaturity. (2 Cor. 10:12)
Here are two reasons we should eradicate envy from our lives:
1. Comparisons are always unreasonable, simply because we can always find someone who accomplishes more or less than us, who is smarter or not as smart, more attractive or less attractive, wealthier or poorer. It never stops. It’s an endless game where nobody wins or improves.
2. Secondly, a good life...is a life of goodness--relationships, beauty, family, friendships, kindness, love, altruism and faith. I once heard of a CEO who spoke at his retirement dinner to a group of young executives. He said, "I know all of you envy me and want my job, so I’m gonna tell you how to get it.” He said, “Last week my daughter was married, and as she walked down the aisle, I realized...I didn't know the name of her best friend, or the last book she read, or even her favorite color. That’s the price I paid to be successful. If you’re willing to pay that price, you can have it.”
Friends, life’s too short to court the Green-Eyed Monster. You were made for more. You were made for contentment. As Paul wrote, Godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. - 1 Corinthians 1:27 (NLT)
Just before being named President of the United States in 1976, Jimmy Carter spoke at the Southern Baptist Convention. Also on the schedule was Billy Graham, and another man, a truck driver. Graham spoke first. Of course, his message was powerful and inspiring. Carter spoke next, delivering an excellent talk. Then the truck driver stood up to speak. He was visibly nervous and barely spoke above a mumble. He had once “been an alcoholic,” he said. After he became a Christian, this man still hung out in bars. It was the only place he felt comfortable. He began talking to the other bar customers about Jesus. At first, they made fun of him. After a while, they began to ask questions. He ended his talk by saying that he had brought fourteen of his friends to Christ and all of them were in the crowd that night. He got a standing ovation.
Jimmy Carter observed, “No one remembered mine or Billy’s talk that night, but people are still talking about the truck driver's testimony.” (Sources of Strength, pp. 71-72)
Simple things have power and beauty, don’t they. A sleeping baby. A joyful tear. A sincere hug. A sunset. A wedding band. Empathy. Listening. Woods. Beaches. Morning walks. Holding hands. A nap. A smile.
Some think that simple things are simplistic, foolish, childish. We worship significance, impact, and legacies. But in our quest to be extraordinary, we miss the beauty and power of the ordinary. We need to stop...while there’s time.
- For those who might be chasing a life that’s not truly life, I offer a prayer from the late Brennan Manning:
May all your expectations be frustrated;Share Tweet
May all your plans be thwarted.
May all your desires be withered into nothingness...
That you may experience the powerlessness
and poverty of a child...
And sing and dance in the compassion of God
Who is Father, Son, and Spirit. Amen
"But we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles." - 1 Corinthians 1:23 (NLT)
The message of the Gospel can be summed up in two points:
Everybody claps and cheers for the God Loves You part, but the Jesus Died For You part; that’s confusing for nonbelievers. Simply put, they don’t get the Cross...that is until they come to God by faith. The irony is that faith is hard to understand, but once we express it, we can’t fathom why it was ever confusing! (1 Cor 2:10-16) Indeed, crucifixion becomes a blessing, not a curse; an essential part of the Christian life. Some things must die within us before better things can spring forth. That’s why Paul said, “I die daily.” 1 Cor. 15:31 He wasn’t fishing for pity; he was revealing the pathway to spiritual power.
Think about it on a practical level. A person who’s dying doesn’t worry about all the things most of us fret over: “Will people like me today? Does my lawn look beautiful? Are my clothes and car stylish?” A dying person doesn’t care if someone’s late for an appointment or stuck in traffic. As S.I. McMillen once said, “The crucified soul is not frustrated.”
What’s true in the material world is also true in the spiritual world--death to self changes our perspective. Crucifixion’s a pathway to resurrection, as God births something new and fresh within us. Paul had it right, For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18
What do you need to die to these days? Ego? Greed? Lust? Envy? Materialism? Ambition? Worry? Approval? A judgmental spirit? Friend, submit it to God and kill it. He’ll raise up beauty from the ashes, I promise. I know you’re thinking about it; now do it! Seriously, dying really is…the best way to live.