“Do not confirm to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will”- Romans 12:2 (NIV).
Almost all cultivators are aware that if soils are used perpetually without rains but constantly under work they are deprived of all nutrients. So, though once productive, they lose all power to yield fresh crops as before. But so is our Christian life when we do not regularly feed our spirit life with the Word! In the above verse, the Apostle Paul is urging believers to “renew” their minds rather than make them stale, lest they end up losing all power to yield fruit.
But how is this done? We renew our minds by constantly reading the Word of God, for there are always insights with God speaking to us afresh. Psalm 119:104-5 says, “I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” The Apostle Peter reminds us, “Like newborn babies hungry for milk, you should want the pure teaching that feeds your spirit. With it you can grow and be saved" (I Peter 2:2) It is a beautiful illustration for any who have seen a hungry baby sucking the teats of a mother.
Renewing our minds is also by reading about the lives of people of faith who have walked before us and their created works. The Christian faith started in the first century after Jesus was crucified and resurrected from the dead. Now over two millenniums it has produced giants of faith who have shared their walk with God through inspired teachings that are a treasure to dig into. By scouring the writings of the great saints before us, listening to their recorded sermons, songs and preaching, which these days can be found on virtual medial channels like Yu tube, reading their biographies, our faith is renewed.
And then we also renew our faith through fellowship. When the Apostle Paul urges us, “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25), he is reminding us that our faith cannot grow in isolation. One of the sad effects of the lockdown was denying believers to meet regularly in person. The reason why it hurt so many is that when believers get out of doors and meet others of like mind they share testimonies showing the work of God in their lives. A good thing cannot be kept for long without sharing. Of course this could also be done virtually but there is something more to achieve through personal contacts, given spontaneous reciprocal feedback.
So today, if your faith is on a low keel, or you want it to flower, one thing you can’t help doing without is “renewing” your mind. The blessings to unfold are endless.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, what a treasure we have of your rich Word to dig into always; books around us of faith to inspire us; and believers to share our faith; and may we make use of these, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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03/03/2024 - 04/03/2024 All day
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!