In an age of consumerism, when secular values have made self the center, heaven’s appeal is to turn from the tyranny of self-centeredness and the bondage of self-inflated importance and to place God at the center of our lives. For some, money is the center of their lives. For others, it is pleasure or power. For some, it may be sports, music, or entertainment. Revelation’s message is a clarion call to fear, respect, and honor God as life’s true center.
Read Matthew 6:33, Colossians 3:1-2, and Hebrews 12:1-2. What do these passages tell us about making God the true center of our lives?
The central issue in earth’s final conflict is a battle for the mind. It is really one of allegiance, authority, and commitment to God’s will.
The final battle in the great controversy is between good and evil to control our thoughts. The apostle Paul gives us this admonition: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5, NKJV). The mind is the citadel of our being. It is the wellspring of our actions. The word “let” means to allow or to choose. It speaks of a volitional act of the will. The choice to have the mind of Christ is the choice to allow Jesus to shape our thinking by filling our minds with the things of eternity. Our actions reveal where our thinking process is. To fear God is to make Him first in our lives.
Think about how easy, in one sense, it is to control your thoughts, at least when you are conscious that you need to control them. Often the problem is that unless we make a conscious effort to dwell on the right things, the “things above, not on things on the earth,” our minds, fallen and sinful as they are, will naturally tend toward the base things, the things of the world. Hence, we need to, as Paul said, purposely and deliberately choose, using the sacred gift of free will, to dwell on the heavenly things.
|“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8, NKJV). How do we learn to do what Paul tells us here?|