Notes for talk on Exercising the Mind before God 19th Feb 2017


Exercising the Mind before God 19th Feb 2017

from Relating to God, Relating to Others

Readings – Mark 12 28-34       Prov 9 1-12     Acts 17 10-15  Psalm 111

Link to recorded version [only for 8 weeks]

 

 

  • Robert spoke last week about our bodies and God this week we continue by talking about our minds. Our Intelligence and Wisdom

 

Faith comes not just from emotion but from thinking/working through what we have heard about God.

Thomas needed to be convinced by sight of what he had been told, he needed to be able to rationalise and check what he had been told about Jesus’ resurrection, as did others in the bible.

 

 

  • We need to use our mind as we explore and try to understand God and the world around us

 

We where given the world to explore and understand it helps us understand God

 

We work though what we experience of God

 

Jesus recognised that the Teacher of the Law was exploring by asking questions and unlike some he wanted to understand.

Mark 12 34

Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”

 

 David and Mosses often agued and wrestled with God and his plans, asking questions to understand

Psalm 111

2 How amazing are the deeds of the Lord!
All who delight in him should ponder them.
3 Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty.

 

Mark 4:24-25 NLT

“Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given —and you will receive even more.  To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”
Talk, listen and question

 

 

  • We are to use our minds to cultivate wisdom, wisdom comes from understanding Gods ways rather than mans ways.

Proverbs 9 12 If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.

 

It comes form, listening to God and understanding and applying.

It comes from seeing and understanding the wonder of the created world.

 

Psalm 111

4 He causes us to remember his wonderful works

 

Its about checking what we hear against what we already know.

Its about checking what we hear against what the bible shows.

  

Mark 4:9-10 NLT

Then he said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Later, when Jesus was alone with the twelve disciples and with the others who were gathered around, they asked him what the parables meant.
  

  • Exercising the Mind is also about applying wisdom to the bible

Acts .17  11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.

 

So we need to understand what it meant to those people at the time it was written

As we read we ask questions,

We think about how it fits together

We see how we are to apply it to our own lives

 

As we read the bible we then apply our intellect and the teaching of the Spirit to understand it and then apply it to our lives.

 

Psalm 111

7 All he does is just and good,
and all his commandments are trustworthy.
8 They are forever true,
to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity.

 

  • We are to exercise our minds with good things, things that please Gods Spirit rather than things which lead us away from God.

 Robert spoke on Romans 8 last week but it also links in with this week

Romans 8

5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.

 

He spoke about our bodies but how we treat them starts with our mind, that blank bit on the figures the children made.

 

Like in many things about us that can be different for each of us.

However we should not try to get people to do things they feel will lead them astray even if its ok with us.

Psalm 111

10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.
All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.

Praise him forever!

 

  • Questioning Your mind is open to God, God knows our thought processes

Psalm 139

1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.

He made us to have thoughts and they are part of us.

We are not supposed to just switch off our minds when we come to faith but to question and seek answers.

Its how we understand God better and how we apply our faith in the world around us.

 

When we listen to a talk in church or at any other time we need to encage our mind and ask questions

Is this from God

Is it true

Does it agree with the Bible and what God has already told us.

Is it loving and honouring of God

 

 

  • When we engage our mind then we are able to explain to others what and why we believe.

 

If we do not fully understand with our mind our relationship with God, what Jesus means to us then how can we tell others as commanded to.

 

We are not fulfilling our God given command if we only believe because others told us to, how do we explain that to others?

 

Even if you have believed since you where young you still need to challenge your believe to fully understand it.  Allow yourself to work through questions asked to you  about God, who he is, what he is, what following Jesus means. Then you can explain rationally to others.
 

 

 

 

Mark 12 28-34

28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’[g] 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[h] No other commandment is greater than these.”

32 The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other.33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

34 Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

 

 

Prov 9 1-12

Wisdom has built her house;
she has carved its seven columns.
2 She has prepared a great banquet,
mixed the wines, and set the table.
3 She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come.
She calls out from the heights overlooking the city.
4 “Come in with me,” she urges the simple.
To those who lack good judgment, she says,
5 “Come, eat my food,
and drink the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live;
learn to use good judgment.”

7 Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.
Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.
8 So don’t bother correcting mockers;
they will only hate you.
But correct the wise,
and they will love you.
9 Instruct the wise,
and they will be even wiser.
Teach the righteous,
and they will learn even more.

10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.
Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.

11 Wisdom will multiply your days
and add years to your life.
12 If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit.
If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.

 

Acts 17 10-15

10 That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. 12 As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.

13 But when some Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, they went there and stirred up trouble. 14 The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind. 15 Those escorting Paul went with him all the way to Athens; then they returned to Berea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to hurry and join him.

 

 

 

Psalm 111

1 Praise the Lord!

I will thank the Lord with all my heart
as I meet with his godly people.
2 How amazing are the deeds of the Lord!
All who delight in him should ponder them.
3 Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty.
His righteousness never fails.
4 He causes us to remember his wonderful works.
How gracious and merciful is our Lord!
5 He gives food to those who fear him;
he always remembers his covenant.
6 He has shown his great power to his people
by giving them the lands of other nations.
7 All he does is just and good,
and all his commandments are trustworthy.
8 They are forever true,
to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity.
9 He has paid a full ransom for his people.
He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever.
What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has!
10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.
All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.

Praise him forever!

 

 

 

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