Welcome to Day 8 of our 40 day countdown to Easter 2019! The Mind of Christ. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Philippians 2:3-5 NIV
Crucified. There on the cross, one criminal begins to taunt our savior, demanding that he do something to help himself and the two of them. They were bleeding, stuck to a cross and impaired. What could either of them do? Well, Jesus doesn't answer him. That was not the mind of Christ.
Think back to an extremely difficult moment in your life. You're hurting. You need help. Something comes up. Bad timing. Someone is asking for your help but you can't deal with this now. They may be in need but you are also in need of help. What should you do?
Back to Luke 23:40-43. Then the other criminal speaks up! He says, “Don’t you fear God, since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Wait! Even in a moment of sheer agony and pain, this man defends Jesus! Then he says to Jesus, "remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Helping others is not always convenient. But giving of yourself even when you're hurting, usually makes the biggest impact. In this instance, could that be the mind of Christ?
Galatians 6:2 (NIV) tells us to, "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Unlike the exchange with the first criminal, this time Jesus answered and said, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The first criminal focused on himself. He wasn't trying to help anyone but himself. And that effort got him nothing at all. But the second criminal, reached out. He defended our Lord and despite the pain of where his life choices had brought him, he acknowledged the truth, prayed to the Lord saying "Remember me..." and received an answer. Jesus gave help to someone who gave help.
In your moments of hard trials, tests, and difficult circumstances that life is sure to bring, remember to maintain the mind of Christ. Reach beyond your pain, help someone who is going through the same problems, struggling with the same or difficult issues, and help them. That is the mind of Christ.
Dear Heavenly Father, help me to remember to keep the mind of Christ. These days are tough days. These times are uncertain times. And when life hurts the most, I sometimes want to throw my hands in the air, shout and quit! But you have given me an alternative. You have set my heart and my mind on a different path. You are showing me that I can reach beyond my pain and find healing. In the midst of my pain, by helping others, I can find deliverance from what is hurting me. I can find paradise. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight O Lord my redeemer and my strength. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
~Inspiring hope and seasoning faith, Pastor Sean