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Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. Romans 8:5-7

The carnal mind is, by its very nature, self-seeking and rebellious; it can be nothing else. This is the source of its enmity with God. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the desire to reason like God was forever linked to our fallen state.

This does not end when we are born again. We are given a new heart and spirit, but the mind remains carnal. Turning to our carnal mind – something most have been trained to do since kindergarten – invites the rebellion and sin of our carnal flesh.

Consequently, our carnal mind must be exposed and overcome. This is accomplished by the renewing of our mind – an iterative and ongoing process that depends on our submission to, and active participation with, the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2; 2Corinthians 3:18).

Our reckoning (logizomai) the truth of God’s word serves as a catalyst for the renewing of our mind. Together, reckoning and renewing are important steps in our becoming obedient to the faith (Romans 1:5; 16:26). Read the rest of this entry »

“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment. Mark 12:30

Would you agree with me that we should love the LORD more? Of course you would (who wouldn’t?). There is a desire in the heart of every child of God to love Him more, each and every day.

I regularly ask the LORD to give me grace to love Him more. Recently, He helped me express this desire in a [more specific prayer] (based on Mark 12:30).

In response to my prayer, He has begun to encourage/challenge me in each area: heart, soul, mind and strength. I offer the following spiritual exercise in the hope that it will help you in your own pursuit to love Him with your all.

I am confident that this simple exercise will profit you much in your following after Jesus Christ. Mediate on the passages; and prayerfully consider the questions. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.

God bless you in it.

Loving the LORD with all your heart: It is with the heart that man believes (Romans 10:10). You have been given a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26); capable of loving Him more. Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Question: Is there a word you have from God that you have not acted upon?

Loving the LORD with all your soul: Our soul includes our will (inc., desires and perceived rights) and our emotions (feeling, affections and aversions). God is working in you to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). “Soul” sometimes appears as “life”; as in Luke 17:33: He who seeks to save His life (i.e., soul), will lose it. Jesus said, “Take My yoke…and you will find rest for your soul” (Matthew 11:29). Mary’s heart magnified the LORD (Luke 1:46). Question: Are there desires and rights that you have yet to surrender?

Loving with all your mind: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). If then, you were raised with Christ… set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-2). Questions: Is there an earthly thing that you have set your mind on, that needs to be replaced in your attention by a heavenly thing?

Loving with all your strength: Present your bodies a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). Christ desires to be magnified in your body – by life or by death (Philippians 1:20). Your body is a member of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 6:15,19). Question: Have you presented your body to magnify Christ, as you carry Him and the Holy Spirit with you into the world?

God has been speaking to me in each of these areas. I hope to share some of these at a later date. He has expressed His pleasure each time I have responded humbly and obediently to His instruction.

I pray the same for you. Read the rest of this entry »

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