Things can happen so fast. A mother, shopping in a crowded store with her little one, turns away for what seems to be just a moment. When she turns back, her child is gone. A man I know left his little boy in the bathtub for just a moment while he stepped into the other room to get something. When he got back, his son had drowned. A driver looks away from the road for just a moment. When he looks back, he’s ready to crash into the rear end of another vehicle. A woman is going about her daily routine. Everything seems fine. Suddenly, her vision blurs, she becomes dizzy and disoriented. She falls to the floor, helpless. She has suffered a stroke. One moment everything seemed all right. The next moment her life was in jeopardy.
What would you do if you looked outside your window at home and saw your eight year old son and his friend playing catch in your backyard with a stick of dynamite? Would it be a big deal? Would you care? Would you think it was really none of your business? Do you have any doubt that you would move as fast as you could, screaming as loud as you could, to get their attention? Do you wonder whether or not you would communicate emphatically for those boys to put down that stick of dynamite and move away from it as quickly as they could? Would the experience get your heart pumping just a little bit?
Rust will ruin a tool ten times quicker than will overuse. And, ironically, rust tends to develop due to underuse. Just leave a tool laying around, exposed to the elements, and it will develop rust. Within a fairly short period of time, left unused and rusty, many a tool will become virtually useless. Regular use, on the other hand, will tend to prevent rust from developing on that same tool. In many cases, a tool will remain useable and effective almost indefinitely, as long as it is kept in continued use and maybe a thin coat of oil is applied to it now and then.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10). What a passage of scripture- what a promise from God! Fear is common to humanity; it’s a reality of life in this world. Yet God’s word repeatedly admonishes against fear, encourages us to not be fearful, assures us that we need not fear, as long as we walk faithfully with God.
The news media has been filled with reports of the untimely death of yet another celebrity icon. The cause of death was initially unconfirmed, and determination of possible contributing factors might not be known for some weeks. However, a lifestyle of drugs, and possible addiction, appeared to be common knowledge.
Do you matter? Many people feel that, in the greater scheme of things, they do not matter. In some cases, such a mindset is the result of depression. For some people, low self-esteem convinces them that they do not matter. There are those who want to make a difference but feel helpless and, in frustration, declare that they just don’t matter. Others want to escape responsibility for having to do anything, so they absolve themselves from that responsibility by declaring that they don’t matter. Whatever the reasoning used, it is a sad state to believe that you do not matter.
When asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”, Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:36-37). Truly, we should love God with every bit of our being. It cannot be just a spoken love. It must be a love that is openly expressed by who we are and how we think, talk and act. One of the paramount features of a Christian’s life is that it is lived it to the glory of God.
God has given us the greatest lifestyle system the world has ever seen- Christianity! No other discipline even begins to measure up to the quality and promise of the Christian lifestyle. Everything the world has come up with on its own pales by comparison. In fact, any philosophy devised by man that removes God as a central tenet generally brings misery and is doomed to failure.
We’ve undergone an extensive study on the mind of Christ, focusing primarily on the text on the subject in Paul’s letter to the Philippians (Phlp. 2:1-8). Paul lists many characteristics that exemplify the mind of Christ that we should implement into our lives as Christians- unity, fellowship, love, humility, obedience, sacrifice, service. Paul’s admonition, in the middle of the text, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” is an instruction, not a suggestion. We’re supposed to implement the mind of Christ in our lives. How can we do that?
In his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul penned a magnificent text of scripture on The Mind Of Christ (Phlp. 2:1-8). In the first four verses of the text he listed character traits that ought to exemplify a Christian’s life. In the last three verses he gave examples of the mindset displayed by Christ in His coming to this earth, living as a man and going to the cross to offer His life as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Perhaps most intriguing is verse five, right in the middle of the text, in which Paul admonished, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” We are to have the mind of Christ!
Gary L. Hutchens