Wednesday, February 21, 2007

May the Mind of Christ, My Savior

But we have the mind of Christ. I Cor. 2:16

I love this hymn because it really gives me something to aspire to. And I love how the hymn is written – in most verses there is a “may this be” so that “there is this result.”

May the mind of Christ my Savior dwell in me from day to day
SO THAT His love and power control all I do and say.

I don’t know about you, but I am not yet at the point that I am letting His love and power control all I do and say. I’m making progress, but I certainly can’t say “all.” Too often, my flesh is controlling what I do and say. I feel like Paul in Romans 7:15:

For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.

I need to be exhorted like the Galatians:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. (5:16)

It is truly my desire that His love and power will control what I do and say, all I do and say, every day, from day to day. This is possible because, as Paul reminds us in I Corinthians, I have the mind of Christ!

May the Word of God dwell richly in my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph only through His power. (Here I don’t even have to add the SO THAT – it’s in the text!)

I also aspire to have the Word of God dwelling richly in me – there is so much to be gained from knowing God’s word. I find tremendous comfort in reciting passages when I need encouragement or a swift kick, and I have seen the power in praying scripture and boasting in God’s promises. You can only do this if you know what His word says.

In Chapter 3 of his letter to the Colossians, Paul instructs them to put aside the way they used to walk, and to put on a new self. This new self includes compassion, humility, kindness, patience, and love. He goes on to encourage them

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you…Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.

The hymnwriter tells us that when the word is dwelling richly in us, others will see Christ through us and see His power at work in us. Have you experienced that? Is Christ’s word so alive in you that others notice?

May the peace of God my Father rule my life in everything,
SO THAT I may be calm to comfort sick and sorrowing.

Does the peace of God rule your life? It is so empowering to live knowing you’re at peace with God. And knowing you have His peace and can share it with others. See this post for more on peace.

May the love of Jesus fill me as the waters fill the sea;
SO THAT He is exalted, self is abased, this is victory.

Stop to think for a few minutes about this word picture: the love of Jesus can fill you as the waters fill the sea. Have you seen the ocean? If not, have you seen a picture of the ocean? How much water is there? A LOT. In fact, it’s 300 MILLION CUBIC MILES of water. One of my favorite hymns, The Love of God, says

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
and were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
and every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above would DRAIN THE OCEAN DRY
Nor could the scroll contain the while, THOUGH STRETCHED FROM SKY TO SKY.

God’s love is so vast and unmeasurable that it would drain the oceans dry if they were ink and we used them to write about His love. DRAIN THEM DRY. That’s the same love that can fill you!! The hymnwriter says the goal here is that God is exalted, and self is abased (degraded). More of Him, less of me. That is victory! (We could have another discussion here about the flesh and the Spirit! This is why walking in the Spirit is so important – we want to be filled with the Spirit, so that God is exalted and our fleshly desires and selves are degraded.)

May I run the race before me, strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus as I onward go.

This stanza breaks our SO THAT pattern but it is filled with encouragement – run that race, look to Jesus, keep going! This is what the letter to the Hebrews is about – the author urges the Hebrews to consider Jesus (3:1), to press on (6:1), to run with endurance the race set before us (12:1). We can do that when we are focused on Jesus.

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Col. 3:1

May His beauty rest upon me, as I seek the lost to win,
SO THAT they forget the channel, seeing only Him.

I think this stanza offers great encouragement – and something I hope happens in my life eventually. I want others to not see me, but instead to see Christ. I hope that when I share the gospel with others, they forget the channel (me) and see only Jesus and His redemptive love and grace. I want to live my life in such a way that Christ is seen, and that I am forgotten. I desire to attain what Paul prayed for the Colossians. And I join Paul in praying this for you as well.

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. Col. 1:9-12

May the Mind of Christ, My Savior
Words by Kate B. Wilkinson

May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.

May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go.

May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.

1 comment:

robert said...

Dropped in for a visit when I saw that you quoted, many months ago, the hymn "May the Mind of Christ My Saviour." Today (as I write) is the 150th anniversary of the birth of the author, Kate Wilkinson. (If you enjoy the old hymns, do check out my daily blog on the subject, Wordwise Hymns.)

Your comments are insightful. Thanks! It is as the Word dwells in us richly that we will more and more have the mind of Christ--that we will be "transformed by the renewing of [our] mind" (Rom. 12:2). God bless.