“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1: 7 (KJV)
“For as a he thinketh in his heart, so he is.” Proverbs 23: 7a (KJV)
Last Sunday we resumed our focus on our Triune God, specifically upon the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life. I detailed the following characteristics of the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is God – 2 Cor. 3: 17-18, Is. 40: 13, Gen. 1: 2; He is a Person –John 16: 13-14; the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and is sent by the Son – John 14: 16-17a & 16: 14 – 15; and the Holy Spirit gives life – Job 33: 4 & John 6: 63, 3: 5-8. It was my focus upon how the Holy Spirit empowers our life as His children that seems to have connected most with you and that I will build upon today.
The Holy Spirit Empowers Life
Once we acknowledge our need of God in our hearts the opportunity is there for us to repent and put our trust in Him through faith in Jesus Christ and God’s grace. Repentance leads to re-birth and re-entry into God’s Kingdom. This brings about the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2: 38) who then enters our hearts and makes His dwelling within us (1 Cor. 3: 16); we become a new creation (2 Cor. 5: 17). I then explained how the Holy Spirit takes from God and makes His truth and thoughts known in our hearts; we can begin to think like Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 2: 12 & 16). The Holy Spirit then imparts God’s wisdom and understanding to us which helps us know His will (Col. 1: 9). God then causes us to act and will in line with His purposes (Phil. 2:13).
How does this work in practice and reality? The more time we spend in His Word, in prayer and with our brothers and sisters the more we grow. God calls us His children (1 John 3: 1) and we begin our new life in Him as spiritual babes; we need to grow (1 Peter 2: 2). It is in these spiritual practices that we get to know God more and grow in Him – like any other relationship. The more we think about what is right, pure, noble and praiseworthy (Phil. 4: 8), the more we have a mind of peace (Roms. 8: 6), the more we have the mind of Christ. This changes us to be more like Jesus and impacts what we do in a cycle of blessing.
The Proverb listed above tells us that what we think about ourselves, so we are. This can range from positive to negative, from arrogance to humility, from love to hate. God is calling us to see our true selves as His children, our identity in Him. He has given us His Holy Spirit, and in so doing enables us to have His empowerment, love and sound mind (2 Tim. 1: 7). So, how do you think about yourself? How might you take these thoughts under control until they are obedient to Christ so that they bless you and give you peace (2 Cor. 10: 5)? God loves us deeply and desires to have peace with us and to impart His peace to us. Let’s learn to think like Jesus.
Sound Mind – Melissa Helser
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.