Sunday: The Mind Matters

Our thoughts will ultimately dictate our behavior. The way that we think influences the way that we act. The converse is also true.

Image © Krieg Barrie from

Image © Krieg Barrie from

Repeated actions influence our thoughts. The Christian is a “new creation.” Old thinking patterns have been replaced by new ones (2 Cor. 5:17).

When a sailboat embarks on its seaward journey, the sails are set. The set sails give the boat its direction. Throughout the journey, the sails need to be reset in order to maintain the correct course. If the sails are neglected, the boat will veer off course very quickly. Like those sails, our thoughts give direction to our spiritual lives. When the apostle Paul admonishes Christians to “set your mind on things above” (Col. 3:2, NKJV), he is urging us to focus our thoughts heavenward. Our minds are shaped by what we put into them. Our thoughts are molded by what we spend our time dwelling upon.

What miracle of grace takes place in our own lives as we behold God’s glory in His Word? 2 Cor. 3:17-18.

As we behold Jesus in His Word, we are changed. New thoughts replace old ones. By beholding Him, we become more like Him. “It is a law both of the intellectual and the spiritual nature that by beholding we become changed. The mind gradually adapts itself to the subjects upon which it is allowed to dwell. It becomes assimilated to that which it is accustomed to love and reverence. Man will never rise higher than his standard of purity or goodness or truth. If self is his loftiest ideal, he will never attain to anything more exalted. Rather, he will constantly sink lower and lower. The grace of God alone has power to exalt man. Left to himself, his course must inevitably be downward.”-Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 555.

Reformation is all about looking to Jesus. It is about Jesus filling our minds. It is about Jesus shaping our thoughts. It is about Jesus guiding our actions. When we behold Jesus, He will lead us to higher standards than mere rigidity to rules. We cannot really look to Jesus and remain the same. When we think His thoughts, we have only one desire, and that is, to do His will.

What counsel would you give to a person struggling to make Jesus a priority in his or her thinking process? What does the Bible mean when it talks about “beholding” or “looking to Jesus”?



Sunday: The Mind Matters — 15 Comments

  1. I am really looking forward to doing this lesson as I believe our minds (hearts) is where love begins and ends. If we listen to and act on the counsel of Philippians 4:8, to meditate on what is positive and enriching, it will influence our thoughts (which are known to God, but hidden to man), and be shown in our words and actions (1Cor. 13; 16:14); living a Christian life that brings glory to the God we serve.

  2. Our thoughts influence our actions and our actions tell the world who we are. I'm praying that God will make me willing to let go of self and fully trust Him to manage my thoughts and by so doing take control of my life and the influence I have on those with whom I interact.

  3. Yes, guarding the avenues of the soul helps our minds to be pure, and spending daily time reading God's word with prayer is the best way to put good ideas into our minds. When the Bible talks about "beholding" or "looking to Jesus" it means spending time reading, meditating or studying God's word with prayer. Our thoughts and actions are influenced with what our minds are feeding on through reading, watching, listening, talking or any other medium of communication. I believe it is the Christian's duty to guard all our senses which are avenues to our minds and souls. Today's lessons clearly says that when we repeat our actions that influences our thoughts. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that if we are truly in Christ, we are new creations of God, and old things have passed away all things have become new. This means that our former ways of thinking have been replaced by new ones.

  4. That “Reformation is all about looking to Jesus. It is about Jesus filling our minds. It is about Jesus shaping our thoughts. It is about Jesus guiding our actions”. Is very true. The battle of the mind is real but thank God that he won the battle for us. All we need do is to daily submit to the Savior for renewal of our mind. The prayer of my life is,help me be like you Lord. Replacing my old thinking patterns with new ones that my love for you and mankind may grow every day.

  5. I just want all of u to know how I look forward to study every day. Your words from your heart tells me we are all on the way "HOME". May the LORD be with us all.
    Thank u all again for your words of wisdom.
    Phil. 2:12-15 and more for strength, v16 lets us know that we have fought the good fight of faith.
    See u in heaven

  6. Am blessed by these discussions. Every experience God gives us, every person he puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only he can see. this is why this is a way of fellowshipping with brothers and sisters you can not see. hope to see you in heaven. Guys lets meet in heaven.

  7. As Christians we often use words like, "We should look to Jesus", or "to me to live is Christ". I guess that most of us mean that if we read about Jesus it will do us some good and ultimately it will result in our salvation.
    If we read the Gospels, rather than just recite the bits we like from them we may find that the reality is a bit more challenging than that. I think that Jesus lived dangerously. Here is a bit of heresy: Jesus was not interested so much in his own salvation but in the the salvation of others. He was willing to die, not just play act, so that we could be saved. He associated with people in need. He challenged accepted belief systems and religious practices. He made a difference in the lives of people that he met and worked with.
    It is worth seriously reading some of Jesus sermons and conversations that he had, and thinking about how we live and talk, and who we interact with.
    Christianity is much more than mental assent. If we think that we can get away with just "looking to Jesus" without thinking about what comes after the "looking" then we have not really thought this Christianity thing through properly.

    I challenge us to read the Sermon on the Mount, and Jesus conversation with Nicodemus with the idea in mind that tomorrow we are going to be different.

    • Heresy, Maurice? I don't think so. If you want heresy how about this: He didn't exclude the Pharisees and religious leaders from the need list and that included Judas.

    • Thanks, Maurice, for that thoughtful observation, and thank you, Tyler, for adding to it.

      Yes, indeed, "Jesus was not interested so much in his own salvation but in the the salvation of others. He was willing to die, not just play act, so that we could be saved."

      And He was willing to die for the Pharisees and Judas as well.

      When I read your comment, I thought of Moses and why He is sometimes regarded as a type of Christ. In His intercessory prayer, He displayed the same spirit as Christ. He pleaded with God to forgive his people, and he was willing to die for them.(Exodus 32:31-32)And it wasn't because they treated him well. 😉

      Being Christians means having the mind of Jesus -- and that will change our focus from self to others, from trying to save ourselves to working to save others.

    • Maurice, in your way you profoundly expressed the need for us to take the matter of our walk/run with God as an experience that only Jesus Christ in us can accomplish. Yes, we take "looking to Jesus" as too simplistic, too trite. Looking to Jesus is to look at His extreme, radical, complete commitment, even to extreme, radical suffering mentally, physically and spiritually, to open the Door of Life for others. We must look at all of Who He is, and all of His commitment to others, and all of what He endured to make it happen, fixing His eyes on the goal of Heaven. And we must know that that is the path He authored/mapped for us to walk/run. Can we make this kind of radical commitment? You got it right.
      Thank our Lord, and thank you for capturing it.

  8. Sow a thought and reap an act , sow an act and reap a habit, sow a habit and reap your destiny. Basically your thoughts are your destiny. If we want a destiny in Jerusalem we have to set our minds to those things above.

  9. There is an animal called a chameleon which changes colour to what it will be looking at. If it looks at a green object it slowly changes its colour to green also, if red it changes to red also, depending on what it will be beholding.
    Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. LOOKING unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews12:1, 2
    In other words, by looking at Christ we are helped in our growing.
    Moses lifted the serpent and all who looked at it lived
    John said, 'Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world'
    By beholding we become changed

  10. Ngoni, the Word you quoted is charged with intentionality:
    Lay aside sin that beset us (trap us, overcoming us over and over)
    RUN with patience the race set before us (and we committed to)
    Looking to Jesus (our only goal, only focus, only model)
    What do we see, and focus on?
    He authored/designed the course
    He endured extreme suffering, shame, rejection, running for us
    He kept His eyes focused on joy of redemption, and Father's throne
    He finished the course on our behalf, and is our finisher
    We can be with Him forever.
    Can we learn looking with that kind of focused intentionality?
    More intense than the most competitive game, and far more serious and rewarding.
    We need Him living in us through the Holy Spirit

    Thank you. God bless.

  11. Thanks brethrens for your smart contributions,mine is that whatever you feed into your mind drives the whole body,i.e our eyes,ears,tongue,nose and skin need to be praising God always by what you view,what you hear or listen to,what you smell around,what we eat or taste and how we mantain our bodies,if we do according to the will of God then our bodies will be clean and we will have clean minds always like Jesus Himself.l think nobody has adifferent character of Jesus apart from the good ones we know,but my question is,if we are all sons and daughters of one faith and one father,why do we have different opinions about salvation?

  12. JESUS was not interested so much in His own life, as HE was interested in others BECAUSE: HE was not the ONE THAT SINNED! And need to be saved! HE came to this earth because we were the ones that needed to be saved! Also because we could do nothing to save ourselves from sin! Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15. said JESUS came to save "sinners" of which I am chief. HE did not need to be saved because HE did not sin! He came to save and redeem us from our sin and our selves!


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