Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Today’s Topic: Pure Minds
Today’s Text: 2 Peter 3:1 (NIV) Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.
Recently we started a study of the Gospel of Mark in our staff devotions each morning. Already it has been rewarding to look again at the life of Jesus. There are so many simple lessons we can learn from observing how he lived and responded to people.
One thing that has been made clear to me in just the last few days is that my mind doesn’t always think correctly. I know, many of you are laughing uncontrollably right now because you know my mind has never worked correctly. But put that notion aside for a moment and re-focus.
Peter makes an incredible statement in the first verse of chapter 3. He tells his readers that his motivation and purpose for writing two letters to them was to stimulate them to wholesome thinking. That word wholesome is interesting. Used only twice in the entire New Testament, it means “to unfold and expose to the sunlight.” Our minds are to be unfolded and exposed to the Light of Jesus. Our minds are to be like His.
There are so many ways to evaluate our state of mind, and so many thoughts that need exposing to the Light of God’s truth. But I want you to fix your minds on just one – an area that was revealed to us in our study of Christ’s life in Mark 2. I want to expose the tendency we have to think about the negative side of people and circumstances.
Here’s the story:
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Here’s the simple yet profound connecting point for today: Why wasn’t anyone worried about the hole in the roof and who had done it? It that were my house I know where my thoughts would have been directed: probably more than just thoughts. I would have taken action to go up to the roof and put a stop to what they were doing. Particles of roof were falling on people’s heads inside the house. It was forecast to rain later that day and all my furniture would be ruined. Who’s gonna fix the hole? Will my insurance cover this? My thoughts would have been everywhere except on the need of the person coming through the hole.
My friends, I think quite strongly that the reason we don’t smile more and find joy in life is that our thoughts are focused more on things and what’s wrong with people than on their spiritual needs. We need to be stimulated to wholesome thinking. We need to look at life the way Jesus did.
So to help you, here are author Marilyn Meberg’s six suggestions to cheering up:
- Reflect on a funny or pleasant memory, and get ready to giggle. Your original cheerful feeling will always remain attached to that memory.
- Don’t “awfulize” life. Make a habit of thinking positive. After all, optimism isn’t born; it’s a state of mind we choose to develop.
- Personalize Scripture by inserting your name in God’s promises.
- Think uplifting thoughts—whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).
- Let God in on everything, including the annoying little cheer-depleters in your life. He cares!
- Keep in mind that earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy by only to make us hungry for the real thing: heaven.
Then I will add one more: Learn to care more about people than possessions.
Have a cheerful day.