September 27, 2008

Joy and Excellence

Colossians 3:1-4

Whatever is true … noble … right … pure … excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8


A computer program is only as good as the data that goes into it. The right data produces acceptable reports. The wrong data produces unacceptable reports.

So it is with genuine joy. Whatever it is that feeds the mind will either nourish or diminish the heart’s spirit of true joy.

Followers of Jesus are called to embrace and exercise a distinctively Christlike mind. They are to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Then they “will be able to test and approve what God’s will is” (Romans 12:2) and daily become more like Christ. If believers do not love Jesus with their whole mind, however, they can easily be taken captive by “hollow and deceptive” philosophies that are resistant to God (Colossians 2:8).

Do you desire joy in the midst of sin and evil? Then fill your mind with what is truthful and excellent and praiseworthy according to Christ. What goes into your mind will either nourish or diminish your spirit of joy in the one Lord and Savior.

I hope these words are true for us all: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path … Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart” (Psalm 119:105, 111). In order to nourish your joy, set your mind on the things of God.

Dear Lord, teach me your ways, and give me an understanding heart. Lead me to think about whatever is true and right and pure so that I can live joyfully for you. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Calvin Hoogendoorn

Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn serves as senior pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously he served two churches in Illinois. He and his wife, Carla, have three daughters.

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