Many of us will make personal health goals for 2021. We will find a diet, choose a planner, make an exercise routine, and find a new hobby. But, we often neglect the greatest need as laid out in Ephesians 4:20-24:
“But that is not how you have learned Christ! – assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.“
Let’s commit to making a spiritual meal plan where we make every effort to pursue Christ and be transformed by the renewing of our minds! “By his divine power God has given us EVERYTHING we need for living a godly life.” – 2 Peter 1:3
The struggle is choosing to believe it, to ask for it, and to make daily choices to model it.
Will you pick a couple of steps and start there?
21 Steps to a Renewed Mind in 2021
Commit to starting and ending your day with a declaration of his love and faithfulness.Psalm 92:2 “To declare your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night.”
Add to your faith goodness (moral excellence). 2 Peter 1:5: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness;” How? Read the Bible to see the character of God and imitate him. Look for ways to do the right thing. Be a person of principle and plan for it.
Add to goodness, knowledge (2 Peter 1:5) . Read the Bible. Learn about the life of Christ. Colossians 2:3 says “In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and understanding.” Seek wisdom and he will give it.
Add to knowledge, self-control (2 Peter 1:6). We do this by following the Spirit’s leading in our lives. We are in a race and must be disciplined to run well.
Add to self-control, perseverance (2 Peter 1:6). Allowing the Spirit to lead and control us increases our ability to persevere because we are running in His strength which is endless and not our limited source.
Add to perseverance, godliness (2 Peter 1:6). Godliness is a sincere devotion to God. I Timothy 4:7-8 -“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
Add to godliness, mutual affection (2 Peter 1:7).John 15:12 – “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Add to mutual affection, love (2 Peter 1:7). Romans 12:9-10 – “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
Develop Christ-like behavior. Ephesians 5:1-2 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Encourage others to grow in Christlikeness. Be a part of the Church through a local body of believers. Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Study to show yourself approved, a workman that needs not be ashamed. 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
Practice remembrance. 2 Peter 1:12-13 – “Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder.” Practical ways to do this are through repetition/memory, participating in communion, journaling, reading Scripture, and recalling stories of His faithfulness in the past.
Acknowledge His care and presence over you even in little things. If you are at the store and you find the last remaining item on the shelf that you needed, acknowledge his care for you. Ephesians 5:20 – “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Work hard in His power. Colossians 1:29 – “For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”
Forgive and be forgiven. Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Serve those around you and under you.Show humility. Philippians 2:5-8 – “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross!”
Find a way to proclaim the good news using your unique gifting or talents. (art, writing, podcasting, sports, etc.) Romans 12:6-8 – “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
Worship through the gift of music. Ephesians 5:19 – “Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart”. Not just on Sundays! In your car, as you exercise, through the house while working…fill it with praise.
Keep a prayer journal and mark the moments of answered prayer. Psalm 42:4 “These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.”
If you commit to pray for someone, follow up with them. Ephesians 6:18 “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” We can’t know how to pray for others if we never ask and follow up.
Pray through Scripture. Acts 4:24-26 records believers of the early church praying Scripture together. Scripture is truth, so there is nothing better to pray over our own lives and the lives of others.
“And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’—”
These are the 21 spiritual resolves I want to work on in 2021. I believe that the other areas of my life will be changed naturally as I grow in discipline in my spiritual life. Instead of seeking our own change, may we pause to focus on the One who can change us, our viewpoints, our longings, our weaknesses, and our thoughts from the inside out. Seek his beauty and goodness and our minds will follow.
Happy New Year, Everyone!
What is one thing from this list that you would like to work on?