When I was a teenager, I had several opportunities to break my father’s rules–to go places he didn’t want me to go, to do things he didn’t want me to do. I recall a time he made me copy three chapters of the Bible for joining my brother in smoking a cigarette. Today I think back on all the times I failed to live up to his standards. As an adult, I see the pitfalls of disobedience. I also see the promise and reward in following principles my dad encouraged and those my heavenly Father wants me to follow. Sometimes I wish I could turn back time and have do-overs with my dad. However, that is not possible.
Yet, as a Christian, all things are possible with my heavenly Father. He pours out mercy and gives me new opportunities each day. He gives me His Word to show me what He expects. He sent Jesus as an example. He gave me His Spirit to guide me. And His grace covers all my mistakes, and failures. Though I may falter and stumble, I find peace in His approval for the righteousness I have in His Son’s justification and atonement.
“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,” 1 Peter 4:1
What did Jesus think about? Each time He was confronted with questions, obstacles, temptations, or enticements, Jesus had the Father on His mind.
When faced with the heartbreaking death of His friend Lazarus, and the grief of His friends Martha and Mary, Jesus considered the glory the circumstance would bring to the heavenly Father. When Jesus was faced with the impossible situation of feeding thousands of hungry people with a few loaves and fish, He saw the opportunity to show the power and sufficiency of the heavenly Father. When others condemned an adulteress woman, Jesus forgave her. When others ostracized the lepers, Jesus touched them. When His disciples pushed children away, Jesus called them to himself and told others to have the heart and mind of children. When faced with eternal destruction for all mankind, He obeyed the heavenly Father and sacrificed all–His life–to win the freedom and eternal life for all who believed in, relied upon, and received Him.
Since Jesus walked through life this way and suffered in the flesh for us, Paul tells us to “arm” ourselves “with the same way of thinking”–think like Jesus. When we take time to consider how God looks at a situation, we will be better able to walk like Jesus, forgive like Jesus, confront like Jesus, minister like Jesus and sacrifice like Jesus. Whatever we go through is pin-pricks in comparison to Christ’s sufferings. Can we think like Jesus?
PRAYER: LORD, fill our minds with Yours. Increase our wisdom. Open our eyes to Your purpose in each facet of our day. Arm us with the ability to look beyond each situation, each obstacle, and see the opportunity You intend.