Choosing Restrained Living in an Un-Restrained Culture
Today, God asks for every man in Christ’s Church to make daily choices to regain and maintain a sober-minded restrained life, surrendered to God’s gracious sanctifying power. Open in your Bibles with me to Titus 2:6:
“Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded” (NKJV)
The Greek word God inspires Paul to write is a verb sophroneo translated in the New Testament as “sober-minded” (NKJV/KJV); “self-controlled” (NIV/ESV); and “sensible” (NAS)”. The meaning of this word is vital to our spiritual lives.
The Greeks derived this word from two words, which mean literally sozo (“healthy or sound”) and phren (“mind”). God wants all of His children to have healthy minds. Mental health is vital to our spiritual lives. All of our communication with God is spiritual (through our mind and spirit) and not physical.
A sober-minded man of restraint is a man with a mind surrendered to God’s control.
· Do you struggle to find time to think about God's Word long enough to apply it? Yet you have time for reading the news, emailing, checking financials, and sports? That is the danger sign of a mind not surrendered to God.
· Do you forget quickly what you read in the Word, and can’t think of a way to apply it in your life, yet you are able to describe vacations, sports events, and your favorite movies? That is the danger sign of a mind not surrendered to God.
· Is your job, your finances, finding a girl or boy friend, or doing well in school more important that the Lord? Do you go to work, do your homework and excel at everything but your spiritual life? That is the danger sign of a mind not surrendered to God.
· Are you on a carefully devised financial stability and security plan, yet you always seem to never quite have enough time to let the Word into your life each day? That is the danger sign of a mind not surrendered to God.
· What do you do first each day: check the news, read your emails, check your FaceBook or get into the Word? If it’s not God's Word first then that is the danger sign of a mind not surrendered to God.
To be useful God wants a reverent mind and life. The only way to cultivate a reverent mind is to feel the weight of obedience to God’s command that we first reset our minds Godward, as Colossians 3:1-2 exhorts us:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (NKJV)
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