Tag Archives: Peter

The Mind of Christ – How Can I Grow in Humility?

As discussed in The Mind of Christ – Are You Experiencing the Love of ‘The One’, the key to experiencing victory in life and the fullness of the love of God is to develop and the mind of Christ.  Our ability to cultivate and operate in the realm of humility, prayer, seeking the face of God, and obedience ultimately decides the extent to which we experience heaven on earth. Now, if our minds are ever to be re-programmed to resemble the mind of Christ, we will have to renew it with the Word of God – for it is the Word of God that conforms us to the image of Christ, breaks the barrier between the realm of the mind and the realm of the Spirit (see Hebrews 4:12), and transforms our mind into the mind of Christ (see Romans 12:2). The bible puts it this way:

“Like newborn babies, thirst for the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow in your salvation.” – 1 Peter 2:2

So there it is! It is the Word of God that causes our soul (mind) to grow (develop) so that we experience salvation (deliverance) from the filth of this life (fear, doubt, pride, lust etc.) and instead experience the gift of the God (heavenly things such as joy, peace, love) right here on earth!

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: It is nigh impossible to fully develop the mind of Christ (and so experience the fullness of its riches) without immersing ourselves in the Word of God!

Note: We know that Peter was talking about the salvation of the soul rather than the salvation of the Spirit from eternal separation from God because he explicitly states it earlier in his letter (see 1 Peter 1:9). Second, we know that the salvation of our spirit comes through confession that Jesus is Lord (see Romans 10:9 – 10)

So you say I have been studying the Word but it has not produced the mind of Christ in me. Why? Hopefully we can come to some answer by looking at the qualities that make up the mind of Christ. Let’s start with humility.

How Humility Grows

As we continually hear and/or read the scriptures, the water of the Word begins to infiltrate the gaps of our stony hearts and begins to soften the soil of our hearts. As our hearts soften, it becomes receptive to receive the seed (or substance) of the Word of God. Once implanted in our hearts, we start to gain an understanding of the enormity of God (His power, His might, His love) and if we are honest with ourselves, begin to realize that we are but mere nothingness in comparison to Him. We start to realize that our hearts cannot even begin to compare to His heart; that while He killed Himself to restore our unworthy selves to Him, we kill our neighbors just because they do not look like us! See, it is only through the watering by the Word that humility (having a modest opinion of ourselves) which leads to surrender to God is developed.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Honest self-examination (in comparison to God) leads to true humility. True humility leads to surrender to God – His will, His truth (word) about you, His promises, His statutes, and judgments.

So, it is clear that the way God intends for us to come to the point of humility is by studying His Word – this is why the bible says that all scripture is profitable for reproof and correction (see 2 Timothy 3:16). Unfortunately, many of us choose not to allow the Word of God to humble us but instead allow the circumstances of life to bring us to our knees in surrender.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Since humility in life is inevitable, we are wise to humble ourselves voluntarily before God than have the crisis of life humble us!

Can life-long humility come from a crisis? Yes! However, the humility that comes through crisis tends for many of us to be temporary as it only lasts for as long as the crisis remains – because we see Jesus only as our Savior (deliverer) and not our Lord (master). Without fully immersing ourselves in the Word and gaining an appreciation of His love and our reliance on Him during our crisis, it is likely that we simply surrender to our own foolishness once more as soon as He rescues us – how ungrateful of us! Yet, how merciful of God! Thus we go from crisis to crisis because we often revert back to our own mindset. If we are to follow the example of Jesus, we should not allow crisis to bring us to the point of humility. He humbled Himself out of love for the Father and us. We ought to develop the same mind of humility in love.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: It is the knowledge and appreciation of the extent of His love for us that keeps us surrendered in humility.

So then, some practical steps to develop a mind-steeped in humility are as follows:

  • Be honest with ourselves about who we are (in our heart) – take our focus off what we do
  • Stop comparing ourselves to other people but only compare ourselves to God
  • Study the Word to specifically find out about the love of God – to know how His ways are so much better than ours

And here are a few reasons to develop humility

  • Honor, riches, and life (see Proverbs 22:4)
  • The acceptance and attention of God (see Psalms 51:17)
  • Promotion (see 1 Peter 5:6)
  • Power and favor (see James 4:6)

Food for Thought:  A mind steeped in love is a mind that is steeped in humility

4 Comments

Filed under Victorious Living

Secret of Success – Resilience and what it means to be a Judas

There goes Judas resigningWinston Churchill famously described success as the ability to go from failure to failure with no loss in enthusiasm. He described success this way because he understood that the difference between successful people and people who fail is resilience. While successful people fail numerous times but are undeterred and keep going, people who are failures usually fail once, take it to heart, get discouraged and quit. Whereas Churchill may have been drawing on the example of a certain Thomas Edison whom it took over 1000-tries before finally inventing a working light-bulb, we have to look no further than the bible to see how the power of resilience leads to success.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: As believers,  the word failure should never be a part of our vocabulary because God who is love (see 1 John 4:8) never fails (see 1 Corinthians 13:8). If we fail, it is because we give up on God and not because God gives up on us.

Lets explore the above statement further.

Peter, the most prominent of Christ’s disciples had an abundance of resilience or “bounce-back-ability”. Previously named Simon (which can be translated as a wavering reed; blown in any direction by the wind), he grew into the rock that Christ used to build the early church. I specifically use the word “grew” because Peter was no rock at the beginning of his voyage with Christ. After all, this was the chap that began to sink because of his lack of faith (see Matthew 14:30), the fellow to whom Jesus said “get thee behind me Satan” (fancy being called Satan); the guy that swore loyalty to Jesus but denied Him three times. And when Peter denied Him, he just did not say “I do not know that guy”, but he denied Him vehemently with an oath, a curse, and a swear (see Matthew 26:72 – 74).

Yet, it was this same Simon that Jesus called Cephas (stone) when He first met him (see John 1:42). Why? Jesus knew Peter had a certain quality and potential (just like all of us) about him. Despite his failings, Peter had the qualities of boldness, courage, and a never say die attitude. We know this because it was this same Peter that had the gall to step out of the boat and into the sea when the rest stayed; he was the one that boldly told Jesus that He would never wash his feet; He was the one that swiftly cut off the ear of a servant when the guards came to take Jesus.Through his actions, Peter tells us the following:

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Rather than being namby-pamby believers, we ought to be bold and courageous warriors who take the Kingdom of heaven by force (see Matthew 11:12). Our boldness is in Christ, for we know there is nothing He cannot fix.

What was so impressive about Peter was his ability to forgive himself, pick himself up, and press on after making a mistake or a fool of himself. No matter what happened, Peter maintained a stone like quality – he was unmovable in spirit. Jesus could work with that! Perhaps this is why Jesus called him Cephas when he first met him. All Peter needed was direction, and Jesus gave him that.

Similar to Simon, Saul was a bold and zealous man. Once Jesus got a hold of Saul, He went to work on him so that a zeal that was once applied to persecute the church was re-aligned into zeal to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! What a gift Paul became and continues to be to the modern day church.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Christ is able to mold us from Simon to Peter, from Saul to Paul, if we would just allow Him the time and not give up!

A man that did not allow Jesus to mold him but instead gave up was Judas. In a sense, Judas did not do anything that the other disciples did not do. Yes, Judas betrayed Jesus, but so did the other disciples. They betrayed His trust by abandoning Him once He was arrested (see Matthew 26:56) – especially Peter. Note that Judas’s betrayal was a betrayal of trust, for Jesus was hiding from no one but instead taught openly in the synagogues in Jerusalem where His detractors could have taken Him (see Matthew 26:55).

The difference between the disciples (especially Peter) and Judas was that while they bounced back from their betrayal, Judas chose not to bounce back from his. Instead of asking Jesus for forgiveness, he hung himself even before Jesus was ever tried and condemned to the cross. As far as we know, Judas (unlike Peter who failed numerous times but was resilient) failed once and gave up. He saw his failure (betrayal) as too grave and therefore hung himself.

Seriously! After seeing all the miracles that Jesus performed, the least Judas could have done was wait to see if Jesus was actually going to do what He had told the disciples (including Judas) and perform the “Houdini Act” of being resurrected.

“Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up”…….”

– Matthew 17: 22 – 23

But no! He allowed Satan to convince him there was no way to bounce back from his failure. If Judas had only waited a few more days, he would have experienced the forgiving love of His Savior.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: We should never give up and hang our dreams because of our inadequacies and failures but rather, we should wait a few more days and wait for God to show up in our lives and shower His love upon us.

We always have to remember that no matter what we have done, no matter how many times we have failed, nothing can separate us from the love of God. We have to stay resilient and resist the negative jabs of the devil. We have to break up our fallow ground and allow Christ to mold us, and He will bless us in ways we have never imagined!

Food for thought: Just like the disciples, we are all guilty of betraying Jesus. We choose to become Judas when we choose to give up on God

3 Comments

Filed under Success