Eat Again
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Summary: Training the Mind: Eight Habits of Grace-Empowered, Faith-Engendered, Healing, Saving Christianity
 
 

Satan has targeted the human mind with myriad doctrinal deceptions, with media, music, poisonous foods and every temptation he can devise to unfit us for receiving the mind of Christ. But we must have the mind of Christ or we will be overcome by Satan’s last-day assaults.

A study of the life of Christ reveals that He practiced several habits that kept Him in constant communion with His heavenly Father. We need to learn these habits because they will prepare us for eternity. We must re-train our minds so that we can have the mind of Christ and be one with Him.

Here are eight habits, patterned after the life of Christ, that will help us experience grace-empowered, faith-engendered, healing, saving Christianity.

1. Taste

Saving Christianity practices tasting God’s word.

Psalm 34:8 admonishes,

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Jeremiah 15:16 tells us,

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.

There was a time when I didn’t like broccoli. But I grew to like it over time. Our taste buds can be trained. And our spiritual taste buds also need to be trained. That’s what exercising godliness is all about.

You might not like the taste of God’s word at first. Be honest. Taste and see. You can tell God, “I’m not really getting anything out of Bible study. It’s like Greek to me. But I want to know You.” Take a little time, small bites, think about it. Study to know Christ personally. We don’t want to live on someone else’s experience. Taste God’s word. Be willing.

How can I trust something to be good unless I taste it? Revelation 3:20 reads,

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

What does sup mean? It means to eat. Who brings the meal? Jesus does. It’s His word. That’s the meal.

2. Trust

Saving Christianity practices trusting God’s word.

Have you ever had an experience that threatened your well being? You know what the answer is from the word of God, but you’ve got a better plan, because it looks a little like you might be stepping into the dark if you trust and obey. We need to learn to trust God’s word. God is merciful though. If I don’t get it the first time God will bring me around to it again.

3. Treasure

Saving Christianity practices treasuring God’s word.

After all Job had been through, he said, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12).

Why is it so necessary to memorize Scriptures?

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

If you really love someone, you don’t want to hurt them. If a man loves his wife, he’s not going to come to breakfast and say, “Honey, this food is just awful!” No man who loves his wife would purposely hurt her that way. So, why would I want to hurt Jesus – the One who hung on Calvary and paid my death penalty – why would I want to hurt Him? True love doesn’t do that.

4. Tremble

Saving Christianity learns to tremble at God’s word.

For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. Isaiah 66:2

Here are benefits for trembling at His word.

Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. Isaiah 66:5

Jesus is our example in all things. He trembled at God’s word in that He lived His life in subjection to the revealed will of God in the Scriptures. As a consequence, His brethren hated Him and crucified Him. Before this is over, we are also going to be hated for Christ’s sake by our brethren, those who don’t have an intimate love affair with the Lord Jesus Christ. Count on it. John 16:3 says that when they put us to death, they’ll think they’re doing God service all in the name of religion. God is going to make things right and He’ll deal with those who had bad intentions against me and you.

A lot of people think you shouldn’t be afraid of God. If you really love Him, you won’t have any fear at all.

The Lord would have His people trust in Him and abide in His love, but that does not mean that we shall have no fear or misgivings. Some seem to think that if a man has a wholesome fear of the judgments of God, it is a proof that he is destitute of faith; but this is not so (6BC, 1100.7).

A proper fear of God, in believing His threatenings, works the peaceable fruits of righteousness, by causing the trembling soul to flee to Jesus. Many ought to have this spirit today, and turn to the Lord with humble contrition, for the Lord has not given so many terrible threatenings, pronounced so severe judgments in His Word, simply to have them recorded, but He means what He says. One says, “Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law,” Paul says, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (6BC, 1100.8).

5. Think

Saving Christianity practices thinking God’s word. Thinking God’s word is not only studying it and meditating on it, not only memorizing it, but by faith thinking God’s thoughts about the circumstances we face.

We have been so focussed on externals for so long in this movement that it seems like everyone is concerned about outward actions. When we baptize someone, as long as they act the way we think they should act, everything is good. Were things good with the scribes and Pharisees even though they acted just like they should? What was wrong? It was what they were thinking.

If I want to experience saving Christianity, the kind that heals, I’ve got to be willing to practice thinking God’s thoughts from His word in every circumstance I face.

Sister White wrote,

He [Christ] died for me that I might be blessed and that His joy might remain in me. Therefore I keep my mind in that channel; I educate it; I train it; I train my tongue; I train my thoughts; I train all that there is of me that I may fasten it upon Jesus Christ (2MCP, 666).

Train your mind. Don’t let anyone in your household, church, business – don’t let anyone sideline you and keep you from hiding His word in your heart. You must have God’s word there so you can practice thinking like Jesus.

6. Talk

Saving Christianity talks God’s word.

In the prayer Christ modeled for us, what was He praying? Answer: He was praying God’s word!

Our Father which are in heaven – 1 Kings 8:30.

Hallowed (holy) be Thy name – Psalm 33:21; 97:12.

Thy kingdom come – Daniel 7:22,27.

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven – Psalm 40:8.

Give us this day our daily bread – Exodus 16:15-35; Isaiah 33:16.

Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors – Exodus 34:7; Psalm 130:4; 1Kings 8:30,34,39,50.

Lead us not into temptation – Deuteronomy 8:2,16.

Deliver us from evil – Psalm 121:7,8; Jeremiah 15:21.

Thine is the kingdom – Exodus 15:18; 1 Chronicles 29:11; Psalm 10:16.

And the power, and the glory, forever - 1 Chronicles 29:11; Psalm 63:2.

Ellen White wrote,

“The Word of God is to be studied and taught. Converse with God through the medium of His Word. Thus our characters will be transformed” (1 SAT, 286).

7. Tackle

Saving Christianity tackles life with God’s word. It practices responding to the circumstances in life, even in our very homes, the way Jesus did.

James 1:22 admonishes, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

And 1 John2:5-6 tells us,

But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

According to 1 John 2:5-6, God promises to perfect His character of love in our lives when we practice keeping God’s word in every situation we face.

It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself (DA, 671).

When men submit entirely to God, eating the bread of life and drinking the water of salvation, they will grow up into Christ. Their characters are composed of that which the mind eats and drinks. Through the Word of life, which they receive and obey, they become partakers of the divine nature. Then ... Christ, not man, is exalted (5BC, 1135).

8. Thankful Praise

Saving Christianity practices thankful praise.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Psalm 63:3

If more praising of God were engaged in now, hope and courage and faith would steadily increase. And would not this strengthen the hands of the valiant soldiers who today are standing in defense of truth? (PK, 202.1)

When we, by the empowering grace of God by faith live a life of praise to God, we honour Him.

Jesus spoke the word of God and did only those things that pleased the Father in every circumstance He faced. When Jesus comes, His followers will be like Him. What will they be doing to be like Jesus?

And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 1 John 3:3

They will be in the process of training their minds and bodies so they can be like Jesus. And how will they be purifying themselves?

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Peter 1:22-23

If you don’t have a great love for God, a desire to be like Jesus and to walk with Him then be honest with Him, “You know God, I really have no desire. I’m just studying the Bible because I want to be smarter than someone else.” Even if you’re one of those, stay in the word, but be honest with God because He already knows your heart and say “You know what, I don’t have a conversion experience with You and don’t have any desire to be like Jesus. But God, if You’re real and this Bible is true and You really want me to be with You in the kingdom, I give you the right to bring me to that point.”

If you’re an honest man or honest woman, give Him the right. We’ve allowed many ungodly influences to change our minds during our lives. Give God the right to change your heart.

What else will this do for Christians who are in the practice of exercising themselves in godliness?

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.1 John 4:17

When Jesus comes with all His holy angels to take His people home, they will be like Him because through the empowering grace of God, like Jesus, they have chosen by faith to practice thankfully tasting, trusting, treasuring, thinking, talking, praising and tackling life with God’s word.

What does this have to do with the Latter Rain?

And be not drunk with wine ... but be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:16

How does Jesus dwell in people’s lives?

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5

With every piece of the word of God that you take in your heart with the desire to be like Jesus, and practice it till it becomes your habit, you’re letting more and more of the fulness of Jesus’ life become yours!

It is by learning the habits of Christ, His meekness, His lowliness, that self becomes transformed (21MR, 230).

Every worker who follows the example of Christ will be prepared to receive and use the power that God has promised to His church for the ripening of earth's harvest (AA, 56).

This is talking about the latter rain. But what is the worker doing? He’s following the example of Christ.

Every declaration of inspiration concerning Christ will take hold of the inmost soul of those who love Him. Envy, jealousy, evil surmising, will cease. The Bible will be regarded as a charter from heaven. Its study will absorb the mind, and its truths will feast the soul. The promises of God now repeated as if the soul had never tasted of His love, will then glow upon the altar of the heart, and fall in burning words from the lips of the messengers of God. They will then plead with souls with an earnestness that cannot be repulsed. Then the windows of heaven will be open for the showers of the latter rain. The followers of Christ will be united in love (RH, February 25, 1890).

It is apparent from this passage that the latter rain will fall upon those who love Christ, feast upon His word, and take it as their life’s charter, allowing it to transform their lives. Then they will work fervently for the salvation of others and “the windows of heaven will be open for the showers of the latter rain.” The outpouring of the latter rain, then, is a consequence of having a saving, sanctifying relationship with Christ.

We need to have an intimate, experiential knowledge of Christ for ourselves or we will be lost. There is no exception. Even a theologian who doesn’t know Christ intimately, will be lost. That’s why, time alone in the word of God to know Christ – nothing replaces it. But without it – everything replaces it.

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