Devotional Thoughts for Today
“Loving God with our Minds”
Read Luke 10:27 (ESV)
“And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’”
The story is all too common. A child is raised in a loving Christian home, grows up in the church, develops deep and close relationships with the congregation and when the time comes, leaves home for college. However, in school, the young student fills one of his elective slots with a religions class where the professor lays into Christianity, outlining its contradictions, borrowed mythology and overwhelmingly negative sociological impact. He is never the same again. He comes home after his first year with more questions than a busy parent or pastor cares to answer, and slowly but surely, the once Christ-grounded child loses his faith and turns away from the church.
When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus answers: “Love God with all of their being and love their neighbor as themselves.” While the average person does well to love the Lord with the first three items, the tragedy of the hypothetical above can become a reality if we fail to love God with our minds. JP Moreland (Talbot School of Theology) writes, “That the mind is the crucial component in the spiritual journey cannot be accurately denied.” Truly there is something to it, as an estimated 70% of college students leave the faith. Institutions of higher learning are a wonderful place of knowledge and exchanging of ideas, but with the marginalization of the Christian worldview so great, it is more critical than ever that church leaders teach their people how to love God fully, minds included.
So what does loving God with your mind look like? A long-lost spiritual discipline is study. Pastor Peter (Kairos) describes the spiritual disciplines as the “wax on, wax off” parts of the faith—meaning, performing them seemingly serves no purpose until the occasion in which they’re useful arises. While not everyone needs to think through the faith to the degree of someone like C. S. Lewis, it is vital that, at minimum, we keep ourselves grounded in the Word while seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit. By engaging the faith with our minds, we give the Spirit another piece of ourselves to step into and work His wonders. The Holy Spirit can teach us how to speak of Jesus to unbelievers, how to disciple our immediate and church family members and even defend the faith, if necessary, from opposition. Just as we have done so, so easily with our hearts, let’s give our minds over to the Lord as well. Let’s love Him with all of our being, as commanded.
Prayer: Father, Your Word and Your truth have been under attack since the beginning. We know You are there, we feel You and we praise You. Please help us to love You fully, with everything we are. Holy Spirit, we ask that You move in, and shape our minds to Your will. All for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 21
Lunch Break Study
Read Proverbs 1:1-7:
To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, 3 to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; 4 to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— 5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, 6 to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Questions to consider
- What is the beginning of knowledge?
- What is King Solomon’s goal(s) in writing these proverbs?
- Which of King Solomon’s goals would you like to work towards in your life?
- The beginning of knowledge is “the fear of the LORD” (Prov. 1:7). King Solomon goes on to note only a fool rejects wisdom or instruction, thereby advocating for the spiritual discipline of study.
- In general, King Solomon seeks to increase and refine his vast knowledge and gift of godly wisdom in order to best serve God and His people. I am particularly invested in verses four and five, as I hope to be able to help equip fellow Christians moving forward.
- Personal reflection.
Romans 12:2 reads, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” According to Moreland, the Greek word Paul uses here is nous, which means “the intellect, reason, or the faculty of understanding,” (Moreland 2012: 65). What changes can you pray for God renew your mind with?