A mind for God

“We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

2 Corinthians 5:12-15

The Apostle Paul is speaking to the Christians at Corinth and showing them the glory of what they have in Christ. He is showing outward blessings, that godless people would see. Those who do not know God, do not value the deep and hidden things of the soul. Without faith in God and trust in Jesus and what He has done, there is no spiritual life, and we do not appreciate Him.

Paul is interested in what is in the heart of these Christians, but He is aware that people have been saying the Christians are “out of their mind” Paul reasons, that if Christian people are out of their mind, then it is for the sake of God and the desire for spiritual life. A Christian will pursue God and have a constant desire to lay hold on deep truths of God. A Christian seeks holiness and to be like their Saviour Jesus.

If Paul is regarded as “in his right mind” then it is for the sake of the believers in Corinth. Paul will show them the life of Christ in whatever way He can.

“To  the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

1 Corinthians 9: 22-23

Paul is motivated by love. Love is the motivation of every Christian and love for Christ gives power and peace.

Jesus died for all His people, so that they would die to themselves and live their lives for Christ through and through. We are safe in Christ, because He died for us and rose from the dead for us, so that we might die to sin and live for God.

This is the calling of every believer. Some will see “madness” others will see love. Whatever we face, we follow our Master and seek to be like Him. If we are obsessed with holiness, then we are on the right track.

Run (the race) in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

1 Corinthians 9: 24-25

God of failure


Following Christ is a risky business, especially if you are seeking to be a somebody. To be successful in terms of this present life, is a strong desire within us and is fuelled by the hierarchal society in which we live.

We are congratulated and rewarded when we reach goals, pass examinations and make it to important milestones in life. These things are all good, and they help us to grow and develop as human beings, made in God’s image. However, none of us are as we should be and we often are motivated by a driving ambition to succeed, in ways that hurt us.

What if God were to take it all away? What if he asked you to leave success and learn to cope with perceived failure? What if your ambitions came to nothing and you found yourself in a position of not being able to operate, through no fault of your own?

It would be very hard to swallow. Your thinking processes and standard of judgment would need to be readjusted. The road backwards from popular success, to the low position of seeming failure, is painful. We need to ensure we are seeking refuge in the right places and putting our trust in true words.

There is another way of looking at this situation. If God is in charge of all events, surely he has this event in his purposes too. He has other great purposes for you, and will show you, if you trust him.

This world and its systems will not support you, either practically or emotionally, and many who find themselves in this state, are left ruined and sometimes destitute. For the Christian, it should be different, as we believe in the Bible. The truth of the words we read, daily, should be part of our mind set.

Jesus said, if we want to be great in the kingdom of God, we must be the servant of everyone. To be raised high in his estimation, you need to humble yourself and become willing to be serve all, even people you feel you have no regard for. It is easy to love those who love us, but very hard to express and show love to people we may positively dislike.

In the passage of our lives, as Christians, God will do things and take things away, in a way we cannot understand, and that seem to be detrimental to us, but to rest on his wisdom and power, is the only way to follow him in faith.

To be a king or queen in Christ’s kingdom, means becoming a zero in the kingdom of this time and place. God tells us to humble ourselves under his mighty hand, and in due time he will raise us up. To be great we must give up all – all that we are by nature, all that our imagined skills and abilities can do for us, and all that we think belongs to us. Our right to self-determination needs to be put aside as we subjugate our will to God’s will, his standards of perfection, and his purposes for us.

It sounds painful, and it is, and it seems that we are actually giving up ourselves, and that is true. The strange dichotomy is that as we lay down ourselves and give up our lives to God, we become more true than we have ever been. We come to know Christ more fully and as our lives are gained, we truly live and feel and know, the strength of the living God.

As we know Christ continually and grow in knowledge of ourselves, gaining the power to subdue our inbuilt sinfulness, we change in character, and live as God intended. Becoming more vibrant and like him.