THEME: A SOUND MIND
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:”
-Apostle Paul tells the Philippians how to act against internal conflicts in the body of Christ, as he taught them before on how to stand strong for the Lord against external conflicts (Philippians 1:27-30). Humility comes before honor, and Paul reminds us to have the mind of Christ, who being in the form of God, took the form of a bondservant, and came in the likeness of men. He humbled Himself to the point of death on the cross, and God highly exulted Him (Philippians 2:6-9). As Christ lay His life for us, we are called to look at the interests of one another above ourselves as we serve through love; having the mind of Christ.
Diverse dimensions have been outlined to thematically expose the meaning, means and end to sound mindedness. Firstly, sound mindedness is a spirit that speaks against fear. According to 2 Timothy 1:7, God gives us the spirit of sound mindedness and not of fear. Fear is an opposing power that works against the truth and purpose of God. Fear exposes us to doubt and derails us from seeing the promises of God. Apostle Paul admonished Timothy to teach the word of God courageously having been built up in power by the Holy Spirit, and encouraged by her mother Eunice and grandmother Lois through faith. Since faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17), we are reminded to remain focused on Christ and build one another in faith. Secondly, a sound mind is built up through alertness in the spirit and prayer. 1 Peter 4:7 reminds us that we should be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray, for the end of all things is near. A sober minded is often times distracted by wine which causes physical staggering and spiritual slackness, not discerning the Holy Spirit within. Sometimes the infilling of the Holy Spirit is confused with drunkenness with new wine, and during the Pentecost, the disciples were thought as so (Acts 2:13-15). Thirdly, a sound mind is an attitude. Ephesians 4:22-24 reminds us to put off our old self being corrupted by deceitful desires and be made new in the attitude of the mind created in true righteousness and holiness. This calls for a renewal in the attitude of our minds that we may realize the good, pleasing and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). Fourthly, a sound mind is a commitment to purpose. Apostle Paul justified his soundness of mind to his critics who saw him as a ‘mad man’ suffering to the point of imprisonment, even death for the kingdom of God. Paul was not focused on self but disregard his own life as prime but the life of Christ in him, and was committed to serving God and the people (2 Corinthians 5:12-13). Finally, a sound mind is a reflection of Christlikeness, or having the mind of Christ. As Christ humbled Himself and did not consider His divine nature but became a man because of love. Sound mindedness is a reflection of the love of God. Therefore, we are exhorted to add our faith to knowledge, and knowledge to self-control, self-control to perseverance, perseverance to godliness, godliness to brotherly kindness, and brotherly kindness to love (2 Peter 1:5-7).
Abba Father we thank You. Thank You for loving us and making us Your children. Thank You for choosing us, we belong to You. Thank You for purchasing us with Your blood and redeeming us so that we may become a new creation in You. Renew our minds dear Jesus so that we may realize Your good, pleasing and perfect will for us. Fill us with Your faith so that we may look to You in everything despite the distrustions that come our way. You have not given us the spirit of fear Lord but that of power, love and a sound mind. May You empower us in love that we may be formed in Your image and likeness. Fill us with Your fruit of love that we love You truthfully and our neighbors as ourselves. Teach us dear Jesus to lay our lives for each other as You did for us. Thank You dear Jesus for loving us first, we love You. May You bless our families, nation, purposes, ministries, and the work of our hands. May You bless us Lord and keep us. May You make Your face to shine upon us and be gracious unto us. May You turn Your countenance upon us and grant us peace. Amen
Further reading: 1 John 4:8
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