Right Thinking

So, I was thinking, “How did Jesus think?” I’m not asking what process He used, rather, I am looking at what He focused on in His thinking. After all we are told by Paul,

5  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5 (NKJV)

Paul exhorts us to think like Jesus then describes his own pursuit of the high calling available in Christ, something he did not view himself as having attained when he wrote this later in his life.

15  Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16  Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Philippians 3:15-16 (NKJV)

So we have something to pursue and it requires thinking like Jesus, laying down our agendas and picking up His – just as He laid down His desires and picked up His Father’s. I believe part of thinking like Jesus and having His mind is attending to what Paul wrote.

4  Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5  Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. 9  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9 (NKJV)

We need to replace fear and worry with faith and intercession, bringing our specific requests before the throne of grace and leaving them with Him. When we do His peace will guard our hearts and minds. To stay in that place we need to meditate (think deeply and reflectively) on that which is noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous and praiseworthy. This is how Jesus thought. Part of thinking about things that are just is praying for Yahweh’s justice in the earth. Seeing His justice is also noble, pure, lovely, virtuous and praiseworthy for when we have His justice made manifest we have everything else because He is fair and just. As Abraham said, “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25). Isaiah described it this way.

9  With my soul I have desired You in the night, Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; For when Your judgments are in the earth, The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Isaiah 26:9 (NKJV)

Part of thinking like Jesus is praying for His justice to be made manifest in the earth so that our world will finally become righteous under His rule and reign.

I believe that thinking like Jesus involves embracing the whole counsel of God and this is the fruit of maturity. At present many in His body embrace one facet of truth to the exclusion of others. When we think like Jesus we embrace it all as Paul wrote.

15  But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16  For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NKJV)

In this statement in 1 Corinthians, though it may offend us, I believe Paul is saying we can assess our spiritual maturity by how we think. All of us as Christians have access to Jesus way of thinking. The mature are those who use that access to change their thinking to conform to His. When we do this we are practicing what the scriptures teach. Paul said we were to imitate Jesus and also to imitate or follow him the same way in which he followed Christ. They both embraced the whole counsel of God. A noble goal as we seek to grow in Christlikeness this year.

1  Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2 (NKJV)

1  Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NKJV)

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