Headlines of the Day | Jay Fesperman (2/3)
In another one of his great letters to the churches, Paul told another body of believers they needed to have a mind-transformation. In Philippians 2:1-4 he said, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being LIKE-MINDED, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Not only are we to take our mind off the world, but we are to “save the mind” by getting our thoughts off ourselves and onto other people around us. Paul, using the same language, tells Titus to “encourage the young men by being SELF-CONTROLLED. In everything set them an example.” (Titus 2:6-7a). It’s the same Greek language Luke used when he reported that “Legion”, having been delivered of the many demons, was”clothed and in his right mind.”
You see now, this kind of DISCIPLINE requires a complete change of LIFE-STYLE. . .a different life-pattern. . .a different manner of living. . .a different LIFE. . .a DISCIPLINED LIFE. A different DISCIPLINE!
All of the above references speak of our ability to determine that a change will come when we determine to BE different – not just to think differently. By your “saving the mind” you make it possible to really live a new and different life, one pleasing to the Lord, as opposed to living a life pleasing to yourself.
We’ve learned a very important principle: THE UNDISCIPLINED MIND CANNOT HEAR THE WORD OF GOD. “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their MINDS SET on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their MINDS SET on what the Spirit desires.” (Romans 8:5).
The New Testament has much more to say in the way of guidelines as to how we can come to that place of having “our minds set” on what the Holy Spirit desires! The writer of Hebrews used the word DISCIPLINE 9 or 10 times in chapter 12. He begins with a quotation from Proverbs 3:11-12 (in verses 5 and 6) where the contemporary word “discipline” originally meant “instruction” and then “reproof” or “to reason with”. Then his choice of words in the instructions which follow is a selection of variations of a word meaning TRAINING.
From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 5, November 1980.