Monday, April 25, 2022
by David Brenneman
Was reading Romans 12 again in addition to my other Bible reading plan and it was very interesting that that question rang out LOUD.
Romans 12 is the basis of the Grace Group Bible Study we are in. So reading it often has been a helpful thing.
The very beginning part of Romans 12 is where the question rang out.
"Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but 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 12:1-2 NASB
"but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" is the part where the Spirit questions what are you putting into you in place of worldly thinking, knowledge and wisdom?
What are you going to replace the world's way in order to learn to live God's way?
Are you going to countless books by human authors, psychology or other such things? There's only One Book that's inspired by God that is profitable.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB "All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work."
It's a sad testimony to me that I know more secular music than I do my Bible. By probably a thousand songs. I know probably as much in how-to things.
My greatest struggle is memorizing the Scriptures. I know generally where something is but the numbers and location don't correlate with me. For many have tried to help me with this, I have indeed prayed about this. I got a response from God once that He gave me Google, use it. So when passages do come to mind I look them up.
So do I use books that men have written concerning God, Jesus or the Bible? A very select few. By reputable people, by men who have proven themselves to be Godly men in respect to conduct in the faith and outside their office as Pastor. I adhere to the truth of God that only men can be Pastors. Paul was rather explicit with Timothy concerning this as Timothy was being encouraged to help establish more Pastors. If I see books, and wonder about adding them to what I read, what I am transforming my life with, I seek out Godly counsel. Just because a book has a catchy title doesn't mean it's to be blanketly trusted.
So what else? The Bible says there are acceptable things to feed our minds in order to prove what the will of God is. Ephesians 5:19-21 NASB "speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father; and subject yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ." I collect worship music and am now very particular about what secular music I listen to. Even good artists have bad songs due to questionable lyrics. It's not thought of quite in this light but it should be in that a questionable lyric is still a seed of thought.
I used to heavily be interested in Science Fiction books. Admittedly I still have an interest in it. But I do not dwell there anymore. I used to use it as an escape mechanism from life. I am an introvert and it was a 'safe' place to take my mind to. Ridiculous really because much if not all of it is counter to the Bible.
But you do too but you don't take it to heart! You don't think it's that bad! You don't take it SERIOUSLY! Well, go back a paragraph or two about lyrics and music. It's still planting seeds of thought. Jesus pretty much taught that there's two kinds of seeds. Seeds that grow in respect to salvation and wheat seeds that are tares, tares are false wheat. You're either nourishing one or the other.
Sports. To be truthful, me and sports don't get along. If I were to be honest, and I am being honest, I delved into an interest in some sports teams due to an attempt at fitting in, at an effort to be accepted by people. Most introverts don't have many friends due to their nature. Sports, to be truthful, brings out the worst in way too many people. Their behavior is an extremely sad testimony to their walk with Jesus. They couch their competitiveness as an excuse for their bad behavior. Saying it's just all being done in fun. That they are just passionate. People governed by their passions tend to not want what God wants. We were in Colossians yesterday an unbridled passions lead to many sins.
What are you feeding your mind with? What are you doing to transform your mind? Consciously or unconsciously you are transforming your mind by what you take into it. A whole lot of psychological warfare is behind the commercials you see and hear. It's more about planting seeds of thought to get you to either immediately or to later on sway your thinking on a purchase.
Satan does that on purpose. He is the god of this world. He will use all kinds of music, books, recreational activities, even family events to keep you from renewing your mind with the Bible. The phrase "garbage in garbage out' sound familiar?
In his song " This Highway Leads to Glory" Charlie Pride mentions the road of life having all kinds of exits to take you off your stride. Some lead to fortune others to fame some will lead you so far off that you won't return again. Satan's on this highway he walks on every side. Trying to flag you down, wanting a ride.
I have left my former employer way back in October of last year. I was going to the Post Office yesterday evening and it only now has begun to get through to me that I can survive without them and didn't need to deal with that toxic environment. I tolerated so much and all it really benefited was them. I got stressed for my troubles. It was garbage in and I got garbage out.
What you feed your mind will transform your life. The question is what are you feeding it? Who you are serving will determine what you use. If you are a follower of Christ Jesus you should be looking to Him...if you are trying to please Him that is. Those outside of the Christian life cannot please God. They can't understand the things of God because they are foreign to them. The Bible says that clearly enough.
Are you caught up in quarrels and controversy over the beliefs of others or elements of the Bible? Are you really taking a stand or are you teaching the way in truth? Some think they are but really aren't. As Jesus warned, don't cast your pearls before swine. Paul spoke to this as well concerning people to avoid who stirr up such things. We are to shine the light of Jesus Christ, HE is the Truth, we are not to brandish our idea of His Truth. The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword. Able to divide even the soul and spirit of even joints and marrow. Able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12.
SO with what are you feeding your mind?