The handicap of being smart

It’s hard for a smart man to enter the kingdom of heaven. That’s not directly stated in the Scriptures, but it’s true nevertheless.

We remember that Jesus said, “It’s harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.” I have thought that “smarts” or intellectualism is equally as much of a hindrance as riches are to going to heaven.

The Gospel does not lend itself to pleasing the materialistic proclivities of man. Not to influence, not to nobility, not to strength, not to wealth, and not to intellectualism. Continue reading

#intellectualism, #intelligence, #mind, #salvation

Hugh’s News & Views (Default Mindset)

WHAT IS YOUR DEFAULT MINDSET?

According to computer technology and terminology, a “default” is “a pre-selected option or a pre-designed value or setting.” For example, when I started typing this article the page appeared in the format that I had previously designated for the settings I would like for all the pages to have when I type these essays. I do not have to re-set the borders of the pages, the type style, the font size, etc. each time I compose an article. All of these things have already been determined and “saved” to the default setting for all “News and Views” essays. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #mind, #mindset, #spirituality

‘Willingly Thoughtless’ (Mike Glenn)

Our text about thoughtfulness today is found in Amos 6:1-6. Being thoughtful about what God wants us to do includes being thoughtful about priorities.

In our text God pronounces woe on those who act blissfully ignorant of the awful spiritual conditions of their own people. They were not asking themselves if God was happy with them. They were not examining themselves in regard to keeping the law of God.

They “put far away the evil day.” That is, they were willingly thoughtless about the spiritual tragedy around them. They acted as if everything was fine and that there would never be a day of consequences for their selfishness. They lived lives of self-indulgence and not lives of service to God. They lived for pleasure with their thoughts being about themselves and trivial matters rather than the spiritual.

You might ask, what did God expect them to do? What can one or two persons do if the majority does not care? How can we change a nation, a church, our extended family or friends? Continue reading

#mind, #think, #thoughtfulness

Head Knowledge VS Heart Feelings?

To justify their beliefs people try to make the mind and the heart get into a spiritual fight. You begin to talk to them about what the word of God teaches concerning salvation and other issues but when they don’t like what they hear or see, they quickly turn and say, “You are teaching that God’s word is written only in biblical text and can only be known through reading of that text” or something else to that effect. They attempt to say that one’s heart (which can be thoroughly confused) knows better than what one plainly reads with the eyes (which can be rightly divided through study – 2 Timothy 2:15).

Now I will be first to say that God’s word simply memorized does an individual no good! The devil quoted scripture to Jesus after all. And Jesus quoted previously recorded scripture when He condemned those who were near to God with words on the lip but far away in the heart in Mark 7:6-8. So, God’s word must be planted within our heart just as the parable of the sower teaches in Luke 8. But what people who rely upon the “heart overruling the mind” miss in that parable (and the rest of God’s word) is that it is the word of God that stirs/begins the growth process in the heart. The heart can have good soil, which is essential, but good soil doesn’t produce seed or a crop by itself – it allows the seed to grow to produce the crop. In Mark 7 it was the emotions of the people in their hard hearts that steered them away from keeping God’s word in their heart. If we want to please God we must do so by allowing His word to get our hearts and minds on the same page.

People who rely solely upon emotions for a right relationship with God are trusting the weight of their soul to an undependable structure. Paul said in Romans 10:1-3, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.” (emphasis mine). The Jewish people had a heart for God, but their heart lacked a proper knowledge of God! Now how were they missing God’s righteousness? They were missing God’s righteousness because they rejected the knowledge of Jesus and His Gospel. In the same letter to the church at Rome, Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17 – emphasis mine). If you, through faith, desire to do God’s righteousness in the heart, it will be because you have been exposed to it through His word (Romans 10:17).

Topics like this are frustrating because when a person reads about God putting His law into our hearts (Hebrews 8:10) they try to use that as a justification to avoid what the word teaches and that just simply is not true. God desires that we allow His law to grow continually in our hearts, but sadly, what people miss is that before that can happen we must learn what the law says to begin with! That’s why the very next verse (8:11) in Hebrews says, “And there will be no need at all for each one to teach his countryman or each one to teach his brother saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ since they will all know me, from the least to the greatest” meaning that, unlike the previous covenant that people were a part of simply by being born (Hebrews 8:9), God’s law and covenant with the church is entered into when a person is born again into it through the new birth that comes from hearing the gospel, believing the gospel and obeying the gospel (John 3:3-5, Acts 18:8, 1 Corinthians 15:1-2).

When one rejects the knowledge of God’s word for the “knowledge/emotions” of one’s own heart they are following the same path that God warned His people about in Hosea 4:6 when He said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.”

Head knowledge and heart feelings are not meant to be enemies when it comes to God’s word. There is no way to be saved other than by believing the gospel with our heart (Romans 10:9-10), but our heart must be taught what to believe (Romans 10:14-15). Salvation isn’t about a fight between our heart and mind, it’s about stopping our fight against God and submitting to His revealed will so we can reveal His will in us (Romans 12:1-2).

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:30)       

#gospel, #heart, #knowledge, #love, #mind, #salvation

The heart

#emotions, #heart, #mind

Thy Word

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee,” (Psalm 119:11).

How can a person put God’s word inside the mind without memorizing it?

There is a story from the 19th Century about a courtroom in Murfreesboro, Tennessee that, one day, had no Bible. The court clerk was in a quandary to find one so witnesses could give sworn testimony. The judge said, “Just have the witnesses place their hands on Jones’ head. He’s a member of the church of Christ and those people know enough scripture to be a Bible themselves.”

True story or not, there’s a truth in it. Years ago, children in Bible classes were required to memorize scripture. People knew many verses by heart, if not whole books of the Bible (yes, it is possible to memorize an entire book of the Bible if you want). Now, however, it’s difficult to find a class requiring memorization. Why?

How can a person put God’s word inside the mind without memorizing it?

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

#gods-word, #mind, #sin

Protect Your Mind

My mother once told me it was not a good idea to walk through life with my “heart on my sleeve.” She meant that if live my life easily offended, I’d never be happy.

When Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 10 about having your heart in your right hand, he didn’t mean the same thing my mother meant.

Solomon wrote, “A wise man’s heart is at his right hand, but a fool’s heart at his left,” (Ecclesiastes 10:2 NKJV). Solomon had been making a contrast between the actions of the spiritually foolish and the wise. Most warriors hold a sword in the right hand. The right hand, therefore, was a symbol of power and defense.

A spiritually wise man remembers to protect his heart (or mind). The fool doesn’t care what takes possession of his thinking.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ESV).

“Taking every thought captive to obey Christ” is a good way to protect our minds from the onslaught of all the evil philosophies and wicked things in the world. A.W. Tozer wrote, “America has lost its ability to blush.” A drought of Bible thinking and conduct has caused many to lose sight of spiritually important things and adopted evil as the way. We must not allow ourselves to be swept along with it.

Paul wrote, “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,” (Romans 12:2 ESV). Don’t allow the world to force you into its mold. Protect your mind.

#heart, #mind, #protection