March 05, 2011

By the Renewing of Your Mind

Romans 12:1-2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2


There are many ways to change things in your life. You can change your behavior by sheer determination, your relationships by seeking good counseling, your weight by following a diet. But there is only one way to change your spiritual life, and that is to renew your mind.

We have talked about turning our eyes to Jesus. Of course, this refers not to our physical eyes but to our spiritual eyes, the eyes of faith, the eyes of our heart and mind. We turn our eyes upon Jesus by focusing our hearts on him. And that requires the renewing of our minds. If we truly desire spiritual renewal, we must be “transformed by the renewing of [our] mind.”

Now, Paul isn’t talking about positive thinking, or thought control, or all the current philosophical variations of “you are what you think.” He is talking about Christ. Look at the turn of his discussion in Romans

12: “Therefore, I urge you … in view of God’s mercy …” Paul has just filled several pages explaining how God’s mercy has come to us in Jesus Christ. And now, in view of all that, he urges us to be transformed by fixing our minds on Christ. In particular, fix your mind on Christ crucified and risen to victorious life. When your mind is filled with God’s power and wisdom in the cross of Christ, you will be changed into his likeness.

Holy Spirit, help us to clean out the attic of our minds and replace old musty ideas about ourselves with fresh new ideas about Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Stanley Mast

Beginning in 1971, Rev. Stanley Mast has served churches in Missouri, Colorado, and Michigan. After teaching at Calvin Theological Seminary for a few years, he was the minister of preaching at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, until his retirement in 2012. Stan and his wife, Sharon, enjoy time with their two sons and five grandchildren.

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