Now and Forever Part 5

February 4, 20180 Comments

We are including the preaching notes for this sermon here on Online Ministry Training:

We are in a series called Now and Forever. We are talking about the amazing life we have in Christ. In this part of our series we are talking about our response to the love of God. I have been encouraging you to know God a little better and love Him a little more.

We are talking about loving God all in, heart, soul, mind and strength. We are going to be looking at loving God with all our mind today.

Scripture Reading

Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

We have looked at loving God with all our heart (the control panel) and loving God with all our soul (our personality and emotions) and now we will take a look at loving God with all our mind.

1. How can I love God with all my mind?

The human mind is an amazing thing. It is a gift from God that is capable of so many things and yet God tells us that it needs to be made new. The effects of the fall and sin have dulled and corrupted our minds so our minds need to be renewed by the Spirit.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)
2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

We cannot love God without knowing God; and the way we know God is by the Spirit-enabled use of our minds. So to “love God with all your mind” means engaging all your powers of thought to know God as fully as possible in order to love him all in.

2. Knowing God as fully as possible

To love God with all your mind is engage your thinking as fully as possible for the sake of knowing God as fully as possible, for the sake of loving God as fully as possible.

Proverbs 10:14a (NIV)
14 Wise men store up knowledge,

In Scripture, knowledge is the only thing we are supposed to store up. Jesus says we are not to store up money. Don’t store up treasure. Don’t store up material possessions where moth and rust decay. But store up knowledge because knowledge is far more important than money. You can always get more money, but knowledge is something you are going to take with you to heaven. You will leave all your material wealth behind, but a wealth of knowledge goes with you.

a) Knowledge

Hosea 4:6 (NIV)
6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.

When we don’t know the Word of God, we can be destroyed.

Sadly, you can learn the Bible without really knowing it; in other words, you can know all the facts without really knowing the content. You don’t really know something until you apply it. That’s why Jesus implies to the Pharisees that their problem isn’t that they don’t know Scripture but that they don’t know the power of God.

Mark 12:24 (NIV)
24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?

Think about what a rebuke that was to the Pharisees who had memorized the Pentateuch — Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. They had memorized it, yet Jesus says that their problem is that they don’t know the Scripture.

b) Wisdom

Wisdom is found in seeing life from God’s viewpoint. It is seeing from God’s perspective. Knowledge is knowing what God does; wisdom and perspective are knowing why he does it.

Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

c) Imagination

We must also let God develop our imagination. Because we must outthink and out-dream the world for the glory of God — not for our private good but for the glory of God and the good of others.

Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

More than we can imagine. More than we can dream. Infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.

3. Stay engaged in the battle for your mind

2 Corinthians 10:2-5 (NIV)
2 I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

The apostle Paul says here that our job in this battle is to “destroy strongholds.” You know what a stronghold is? It is a mental block. Paul is talking about pretentions, arguments set up against the knowledge of God. This is a mental battle. And he says, “Destroy these strongholds.” A stronghold can be one of two things:

It can be a worldview.

It can also be a personal attitude. Worry can be a stronghold. Seeking the approval of other people can be a stronghold. Anything that you make an idol in your life can be a stronghold — fear, guilt, resentment, insecurity. All of these things can be strongholds in your mind. And the Bible says that we are to tear them down.

Now look at the very last phrase in the passage: “take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Take captive every thought. We take captive. We make it submit. Every thought obedient to Christ. Make it obedient.

But how do you do that? Love God with all your mind —engage your thinking as fully as possible for the sake of knowing God as fully as possible, for the sake of loving God as fully as possible. That you will employ your mind to provide your heart with as much fuel for the fires of love as it can possibly deliver.

Add a new habit – Bible verse of the day. Website. In the morning. Read it and think about it all day.

Filed in: Ministry TrainingNow and ForeverSermons
Tagged with:

About the Author ()

Child of the King, husband to Alice, father to Sarah and Douglas, grand father to Samuel, Avery, Stevie, Eloise, Reed, Madeline and Margaret, pastor to the Vineyard in Big Pine Key, sometime writer and blogger, jogger, kayaker and founder of the Jesus Moment Bible Institute and Seminary (onlinebibleinstitute.org).

Leave a Reply

Back to Top