Friday, June 18, 2010

Become one with Jesus

1If 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, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
(Phillipians 2:1-11)

What does it mean to take on the mind and heart of Jesus? That is pretty heavy stuff. We might have to get serious about life were we to take this passage to heart. And many people do. Having the same mind of Christ is more that just feeling good personally and being at peace within. If we have the same mind of Christ we will confront the Pharisees of our world. We must also challenge our version of Roman governors and political and religious dictators, and refusing to live by laws that are not of the Spirit. Having the mind and heart of Jesus means, in many situations, a death to something or a life calling.
So how do we know when we have the Mind and Heart of Jesus or that we are imitating Christ? The answer is Scriptural, simple, and the hardest thing we will ever do: LOVE. Love God and love our neighbor just as we love ourselves. To live every day in the excitement and challenge of this way of life is, I believe, to have the same mind and heart that was in Jesus Christ. This is a challenge hard to live with, but one we cannot really live withoutout. It is the true sense of the work "living".
Why is this so? Jesus tells us that if we insist on directing our own lives and pursuing our own choice of soul development that not only in the end will we lose our souls, but we will never know what the soul development was he had in mind for us. We will never know why He created us in the first place. A person who pursues his own soul development is not a happy person because only the fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy and peace. The fruits of humanity lived without the Holy Spirit are anger, confusion, frustration and disorder. Self-rule does not lead to any kind of peace.
Since the heart and mind of Jesus is spreading the good news of God's love and God's Kingdom to everyone, we must ask Jesus to help us. We cannot do this alone. Our heart and mind are the soul of who we are. Our soul is the result of the decisions we make concerning what our focus in life is to be, the talents we choose to develop, the careers we chose to pursue and how we use our time during the week. Jesus created you and me and when he did he had a created life in mind for us. To love Jesus and each other means to let go of your plans for your life and to surrender to and obey Jesus’ instructions for you in the development of your soul.
It is only in the reality of taking on the heart and mind of Jesus that we are alive and truly engaged in the world, spreading the good news of God's love and kingdom. We do this not just with words, but instead our life becomes the good news of God. We live the good news as Jesus did. We show others the way of the Kingdom. In doing this, we give Gods love, joy, and peace to others, just as Jesus has given them to us.

Peace and love,


Then Jesus said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". (Luke 9:23)

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