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Love God With All Your Mind

Love God With All Your Mind

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Published by Dave
I found out that for many Christians an intellectual understanding of what we believe and why you believe is not important as long as you have an experiential feeling in your heart! The heart is what you used in a relationship with God but the brain is what you used while studying science, computers, economics and history in school. There is a separation of the heart for spiritual stuffs and the mind for secular stuffs like dinosaurs. When that happens, no wonder our faith has so little impact on how we do our work or studies in the world. And no wonder our ‘daily activities’ outside the church has very little to do with God or the gospel.

But the Bible seems to say: “Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewal of your minds”. It doesn’t say “Be transformed by the removal of your minds”! So we don’t need to remove our brains in order to be a Christian. In fact, renewing our mind with God’s truth and kingdom values is crucial to our spiritual growth.
I found out that for many Christians an intellectual understanding of what we believe and why you believe is not important as long as you have an experiential feeling in your heart! The heart is what you used in a relationship with God but the brain is what you used while studying science, computers, economics and history in school. There is a separation of the heart for spiritual stuffs and the mind for secular stuffs like dinosaurs. When that happens, no wonder our faith has so little impact on how we do our work or studies in the world. And no wonder our ‘daily activities’ outside the church has very little to do with God or the gospel.

But the Bible seems to say: “Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewal of your minds”. It doesn’t say “Be transformed by the removal of your minds”! So we don’t need to remove our brains in order to be a Christian. In fact, renewing our mind with God’s truth and kingdom values is crucial to our spiritual growth.

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Published by: Dave on Jan 08, 2012
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12/12/2013

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Mark 12:28-34One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had  given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "Themost important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your  strength.' 
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The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater thanthese." "Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on noone dared ask him any more questions.
Have you ever wondered what happened to the dinosaurs? How did those giant lizards become extinct? And did the Bible ever mention anything about them? Have you ever asked these questions before? I suspect quite a number of you have.I came to know Christ as a 15 year old student in secondary school. That’s not too longago. As a curious new believer, I began asking how the Genesis account of creation inseven days explains those interesting dinosaurs you’d find watching Jurassic Park or  National Geographic. So hoping to get some answers, one fine day I picked up thecourage to ask my science teacher who is also a Christian. I asked him: “Why did Godcreate dinosaurs and let all of them die, ah? Were the dinosaurs safe inside Noah’s ark?Did the flood drown all of them?” He gave me “one kind” of look and then asked meanother question in return. He said: “Tell me. Does God answer your prayers?”I was a bit shocked at first. “Er… Don’t blame me la… I didn’t pray for the dinosaur’sextinction ok!” Maybe he sensed that I was confused, so he went on, “Aiya… If God hasanswered your prayers, why do you need to ask so many things?” So if you have anexperience that God is real in your heart, why bother thinking so much? From that day on, I found out that for many Christians an intellectual understanding of what we believe and why you believe is not important as long as you have an experientialfeeling in your heart! The heart is what you used in a relationship with God but the brainis what you used while studying science, computers, economics and history in school.There is a separation of the heart for spiritual stuffs and the mind for secular stuffs likedinosaurs. When that happens, no wonder our faith has so little impact on how we do our 1
 
work or studies in the world. And no wonder our ‘daily activities’ outside the church hasvery little to do with God or the gospel.But the Bible seems to say: “Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world but betransformed by the renewal of your minds”. It doesn’t say “Be transformed by theremoval of your minds”! So we don’t need to remove our brains in order to be aChristian. In fact, renewing our mind with God’s truth and kingdom values is crucial toour spiritual growth. Last month, I was working in Vietnam and met an American lady ona tour bus who works for a research program, trying to find a cure for cancer. As wetalked, she told me that she envies her Christian friends for their faith. She says “It’s soeasy for them but it’s hard for me to believe because as a scientist, I’ve been trained tothink critically and ask questions first”. So I encouraged her, “Sometimes people ask questions not because of unbelief, but because they are serious about the truth”. Then Irecommended her a book by a famous Christian scientist and hope it’s helpful to her.To a lot of people, when you wish something is true but suspect that it actually doesn’texist you need faith. And when you know for sure that something isn’t true and you still believe in it, then you must have very great faith indeed. But biblical faith is not like that.True faith involves knowledge, agreement and trust. For example, I can examine that thisis a chair, it has four legs. That’s knowledge of the facts. But knowing alone is notenough, I must agree that yes, this chair is strong enough to support my weight. Butknowing and agreeing alone won’t do me any good unless I put a personal commitmentto rest my weight on that chair. So faith has both objective facts as well as personal trust.In the passage we read just now, Jesus calls us (his disciples) to love the Lord our Godwith all our heart, all our strength, with all our soul and
with all our mind.
This is thegreat and first commandment that sums up the entire law. True Christian spiritualityinvolves our whole being - heart, head and hand. Our feeling, thinking and doing are allinvolved.2
 
If we do not love God with all our heart, what happens? Our spiritual life will be all headknowledge but there is no real passion, desire or joy in it. We merely analyze God but wedon’t worship Him. And if we do not love God with all our strength, then no practicalfruit comes out of our beliefs. It’s NATO “No Action Talk Only”. Next Sunday Pastor Aik Khiam will preach on the Great Commandment of Jesus in more detail so…Today I just want to zoom in on loving God with all our mind and ask 3 questions:- Now, what happens if we do not love the Lord our God with “all our mind”?- What are some practical benefits of developing a Christian mind?- If this is important and practical, what can we do as disciples of Jesus to follow after God’s thoughts? To disciple our minds to love God…So I hope to suggest why the role of the mind is so crucial to our discipleship, how arenewed Christian mind can be intensely practical (not just theoretical) and how we cango about loving God with “all our mind” as a church.Many of us know about Billy Graham… he’s a great evangelist who has probably preached the gospel to more people than anyone else through radio and TV broadcastsand mass evangelistic rallies. Almost 30 years ago, the Billy Graham Centre waslaunched with a mission to help churches to evangelize. At the dedication service, theyinvited a Lebanese Christian named Charles Malik to deliver a very challenging message.He said: “
I must be frank with you: the greatest danger facing American EvangelicalChristianity is the danger of anti-intellectualism. The mind as to its greatest anddeepest reaches is not cared for enough… The problem is not only to win souls butto save minds. If you win the whole world and lose the mind of the world, you willsoon discover you have not won the world. Indeed it may turn out you have actuallylost the world.”
In other words, he’s saying, even if the whole world become Christian inname but their thinking is still captured by worldly patterns, then it may turn out that wehave actually lost the world. If he is right and I think he is about a very common neglectto care for the life of the mind not only in America but also in Malaysia, then perhaps it isappropriate for us as a church to spend a bit more time exploring how we may love God3

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