My memory verse for the year is Romans 12:2... " Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect"
With all of the fighting this past year-- not just between believers and non-believers -- but among believers, I was challenged to really get to know God's Truth...the only true Truth! I don't want to rely on what pundits and popular voices have to say about what truth is. I want to hear it straight from God.
Romans 12:2 tells us that to be able to discern what the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God is, we need to not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by His Word. Intentional absorption, study, abiding in His Word helps to renew my mind, transforming it to be equipped to discern truth and His will.
Our minds are so powerful. And we have the power to determine what they are filled with. They can be filled with glorifying words or gossip. They can be filled with lovely images or things we know we shouldn't see. They can be filled with pure talk or poison. They can be filled with negative banter or admirable endeavors. They can be filled with the excellent or the destructive. They can be filled with praiseworthy reports or sensational trash.
I don't think I realize how much I intentionally or unintentionally let in my mind. Things that contribute to shaping who I am and what I believe.
Am I working from a recipe of truth or deception?
I'm challenged to think about the ingredients I am filling my mind with daily. Are they transforming me into the likeness of Jesus or conforming me to the world?
We know the Bible is the place to go for truth. But what about what we absorb as part of our daily rhythms? When in doubt, Philippians 4:8 gives us a perfect recipe for what we should be focusing on...
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
Here's a challenge...look at the books on your to-read list, look at the shows on your Netflix lineup, look at the radio station settings in your car, look at the people and pages you are following on social media....if they don't meet the Philippians 4:8 criteria, cut them out. Don't delay. Do it today...
...and then fill your mind with more of God's word, encouraging music throughout the day, sweet and lovely conversations with friends, uplifting podcasts, good books, etc. It is the main reason I follow and share all of these incredible orgs that are doing incredible things in the world. Their feeds and stories fill my mind with the good around us. I want to cheer them on and help more people learn about how to support them.
Philippians 4:9 gives us the outcome of such a focus... "What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."
I want a renewed mind. I want to be able to immediately discern truth. I want God's peace to be with me.