On What or Whom Do You Focus Your Thoughts?

As believers, we know this life is temporary and there is an eternal home that follows. And how important is it to dwell on our everlasting lives?  Jesus looked at Peter and told Satan to get behind him because he had become a stumbling block. How?  Jesus said Peter’s mind was not on the divine but on human things (Mt 16:23).

Paul continues Jesus’ teaching saying to set our minds on the flesh is death; yet to set our minds on the Spirit is life and peace (Rom 8:6).
What are we to make of this? My simple-minded analysis tells me when I think about carnal or worldly or temporal things, I become a stumbling block to Jesus. Hmmm. Not a pleasant thought.

As we reminisce about Jesus’ first coming during this month, it’s easy to also contemplate his return. But, at his first coming, some were so ill prepared that they didn’t even recognize him.  How can we be sure we are ready in our mind, body and spirit for his next coming?

1. Consider offering a full hour of conversation with and prayer to God each day.  If an hour is too much at one time, maybe divide it into four 15-minute sessions throughout the day. Or, perhaps it makes sense to retreat to Jesus during twelve 5-minute prayer episodes.  These intimate conversations take our minds off of the worldly noise so we are able to hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit.

2.  Try to experience God in everything around you at all times. See Him in the sunshine, a fresh breeze, plants, animals, and of course, other sons and daughters of the world’s Creator.  It becomes difficult to focus on worldly interests when we see Jesus in everything around us.

3. Allow every thing in your day to be done solely for the building of the kingdom and the glory of God.  Do it all from the heart as if for the Lord and not for man (Col. 3:23).

Besides the above, what are some of your current strategies for having the mind of Christ? Write them down, pray over them and ask for the grace for new and even stronger ways to help you focus on the eternal and put temporal things behind you.

Mike is a writer and teacher, and co-author of the book: Faith Positive in a Negative World. You can contact him at www.mikevanvrankenministries.org

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