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Thinking higher and better.

Before ‘life’ interrupted us [] we saw in Mark chapter 12 that Jesus quite clearly saw the thoughts of those who intended to undo him.

That reminds me – if Jesus saw and knew the thoughts and motives of the religious leaders of his day, so too he knows your thoughts and mine. While thinking is rather basic to being alive, right thinking is fundamental in having a good life.

I want to know God’s thoughts… the rest are details.” Albert Einstein

The apostle Paul gives good instruction about ordering our thinking.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things1 ~ the verb ‘set’ means simply put, lay or stand (something) in a specified place or position. Notice that the word ‘set’ involves intention. Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above… because what we choose to think about defines us.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Learn to think God’s thoughts after him, as 16th century scientist Johannes Kepler, articulated. The whole notion of thinking God’s thoughts after him has me riveted! Honestly, every time I read the phrase, it grabs me … of course, it is the ultimate in thinking. After all, God is omniscient: he possesses all knowledge, he knows everything perfectly and eternally—all things which can be known, past, present, and future …

Where to start with learning to think God’s thoughts? Perhaps an acknowledgment that, as He said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”2 Beginning with the understanding that he is God and we are not, we put the highest value on his thinking and ways, and we earnestly desire to know them.

Thus, in the beginning, God … and since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.3 Ponder, study the Creator, who he is, and what he is like. How I love the beauty of God’s handiwork! I feel his pleasure when I watch a hummingbird, busy at one of my garden feeders; I smile when I see deer eat out of the bucket each night, and thoroughly enjoy the behaviors of the blue bird. Then again, when considering the creative, there are the intense colors and fragrances of roses and lilies … such striking colors!

How many long walks have I taken on the Pacific Ocean beach trail, marveling at the power in the crashing waves, one after another--Yes, the mind of a brilliant Creator spoke them into being—while overhead, pelicans flew in a loose formation against a backdrop of wispy clouds.

How to know God’s mind, beyond that of a Creator? Get to know his Son, as we are doing in Mark’s gospel. O, the love Jesus taught and modeled. Think of the strength and courage of Jesus Christ, the brilliance of his mind. How to know God’s thoughts? Read the printed Word of God—his love letter to us, and communicate with him—pray. Talk to him and ask him to speak to you. Listen. Create space for him to inhabit with you. Long to feel his presence. ‘He will be found by you when you seek him with all your heart.’4 Set your minds on things above . . . by seeking to think God’s thoughts after him for they are the highest of thoughts.

Setting your mind on things above, choosing to think higher thoughts takes training, and training of any worthwhile kind is hard work. People will train for two years to run a marathon; then again, training our bodies is more popular than training our minds. Paul did not back away from the challenge: “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should…”5 To be sure, training the mind takes discipline, but the effort is more than worthwhile! Setting our minds on things above isn’t overly complicated, but it is a discipline and will need to be cultivated and refined. I love the word and the notion of discipline because it paves the way for us to become who we are meant to be.

Intentionally, think about the creative mind of your God today by taking time to look at the colors in a sunset, the effortless freedom of birds in flight. Look closely at the intricate design of petals in a flower, and her varied shades too. Take a closer look at a tiny baby on the street or in church! And muse about how Jesus himself looks and thinks of all of these. He smiles, don’t you think? He also thinks of you, dear one, and the home he is preparing for you.6 He talked all about it in John 14. Never forget that this world is not your home—you are just passin’ through. Intentionally think some higher thoughts today.

Carrie Underwood: How Great Thou Art:

Let's think well,


1 – Colossians 3.2

2 – Isaiah 55.8-9

3 – Romans 1.20

4 – Jeremiah 29.13

5 – 1 Corinthians 9.27

6 – John 14.3

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