Deeper Hope:

An Abiding Virtue

This book explores the meaning -- and application -- of Christian Hope. It takes the fuzzy concept of Hope and reveals it in everyday settings



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Meditation: Thinking God's Thoughts

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” ~ Romans 12:1

Scripture presents a progressing revelation, one that finds its greatest expression in the revelation of Jesus Christ, the true Word of God. The revelation of the Old Testament--which is still God’s word of life to us today--is made complete by the revelation of the New Testament. Consider the Old Testament word “repent” (teshuvah). It means to away turn from sin and its consequences. It is an action word: turn around, restore, repair. The New Testament word, metanoia, refers to the mind: rethink your thoughts, or, transform your mind. One kind of repentance comes only after the fact, the other can prevent us from the wrong choice beforehand. Of course, both kinds of repentance are good: the Old Testament reveals an outer repentance--one of action, while the New Testament reveals an inner repentance--one of transformation. Old Testament repentance tells us to retrace our steps, the New leads us to rethink our thoughts. The old repentance can pick up the pieces, the new can hold us together.

When Jesus said that the one who looks after another with heart-lust has already committed adultery, he was not trying to widen the net of condemnation. He was trying to reveal the possibilities of a transformed mind. He was teaching us that when we think God’s thoughts, we will realize adultery is harmful to us, the other person involved, and indeed all those we love. The New Testament “repent” cries out within our thoughts, “If you’ll think God’s way you’ll see fidelity is really the best thing for you.” And so with every aspect of our lives: unforgiveness, bitterness, greed and all the rest. Jesus introduced the gospel of the Kingdom with the word repent because the Kingdom of God must take root within us. Worldly kings impose their rule from the outside, Jesus plants his rule and reign on the inside and causes it to grow.

The truest repentance is to think God’s thoughts with him. True repentance causes us to walk in holiness instead of living in a cycle of sin and cleansing. True repentance demonstrates the grace of God by keeping us clean. This week, why not consider the challenge of true repentance? It starts with facing the possibility that we really can learn to think God’s thoughts after Him.

BTW ~ You can check out my audio message, Lifesytle of Worship, which also deals with Romans 12: 1-2.

Reader Comments (3)

I once was so torn by the results of what I am certain to this day I was called to do that I spent a night on my knees yelling and swearing at God that He couldn't possibly exist. Three months later I received a letter of thanks that proved that God had done right through me.

Many years later the picture was so clear that on my knees in thanks to God I told Him, "... I got it now you can use me any way you want!" My pride of what I had seen that day as my risen in accomplishment was stripped throughout my forties. By the time I was fifty I had nothing that I had been so proud of; career, family, home, car, church and influential church office. Within a year after that I was married to a woman I thought myself not ready or worthy to be one with. Three years after that I found out that Dorothy is Greek for "gift of God". It is now fifteen years later and my cup certainly continues to overflow even though I know now for certain, not on faith alone, that all I have comes from the love of my Father. I am so happy in my struggles to get it right that He is my sustenance and I don't have anything without Him.

Those are just two of the times I meditated directly with God and the results were beyond anything I could have imagined over a period of time I could not have maintained control over and and each have substantially increased my faith that our Father can more than adequately provide for each of His children. I am in, more often than not, continual acknowledged communication with God. I open my heart and mind that He may share in my day as I experience each moment. This is true even when I feel I don't have it right and He might not be proud of my flaws and weaknesses. I am but a 68 year old child nurtured under the protection of a constantly available Nanny (the Holy Spirit), my eldest Brother and Teacher (Jesus Christ), and my Father (Who is in Heaven). I am so very young and immature compared to the fact that They each know no beginning and know no end (except my Brother who knows a human beginning and end He enjoyed and suffered for all of us equally).

I want so much to share what I have grown into but I find so many closed hearts and minds, especially those who think they've got it now.

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHerm Halbach

Hi Herm: I certainly rejoice with you to hear that your cup continues to overflow. Blessings to you.

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRay Hollenbach

I knew that He always kept His promise. Every single day i feel grateful for His grace. Pls visit my blog at Sepatu Gunung

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeli Sepatu

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