Mick’s Memo – Oz Reflections – A Brain

This is a second installment on the Oz theme. Last week we looked at “Courage” or “da noive” as the cowardly Lion said.  The Scarecrow was in pursuit of “A Brain”. We could refer to that as a “sound mind”, “understanding”, “discernment”, “wisdom” or “knowledge”.  When we possess such an attribute, it implies that our thinking has bread and a grasp on “reality”.

The Apostle Paul emphasizes the need for clear thinking in his challenging exhortation at the start of the practical conclusions to his letter to the believers at Rome…

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

It may seem familiar to you.  New followers of Jesus are often encouraged (and I agree!) to commit this paragraph to memory.  It is loaded with good advice. It puts worship in perspective as much more than a weekly gathering to sing songs and interact with the Scriptures together.  Worship is a consistent and constant surrendering of our daily life for God’s purposes. It will involve living under completely different perspective and assumptions based on eternal perspective and accountability to our Creator.  It is not automatic. It requires our cooperation with God and active pursuit of this “renewing of your mind”. That renewal happens individually as we get more and more aware of and in compliance with God’s revealed truth in the Scriptures.  It happens corporately when we meet in small and large groups where we can gain perspective from others. It happens through prayer as we ask God for His guidance and wisdom for the constant decisions we face.

At the conclusion of their pilgrimage the Scarecrow’s intellect is suddenly revealed when he receives a diploma from a scholarly institution.  That would be nice but is hardly ever the case. Paul’s guidance seems much closer to our experience. Renewing our mind involves intentional effort and submission to divine transformation.

What are you doing these days that cooperates with God in the “renewing of your mind”?

This weekend we will investigate another important promise that caused the people of Jesus time to be looking for the “Long Expected One”.  

Looking forward to seeing you!

Mick

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