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Relationship With Jesus
The Key To Effective Ministry

Section 9, Chapter 1

Loving Jesus With All Your Mind

Chapter Illustration

Page 1 of 2
Study Questions

Many times in conversation, brothers and sisters express wonderment over my understanding and knowledge of the Scriptures and wonder how I gained it. I would say there are two main reasons:

One, because of obedience and an unwillingness to compromise my faith so far as it applies to Jesusí personal dictates to my life through the Holy Spirit. in saying this I am not saying that there are not times of weakness in my walk with the Lord where I do not temporarily get off the path as those who are closest to me can testify. But when I recognize I am off the path, I love the Lord with all my heart by taking willful initiative to get back on His perfect best path regardless of how it makes me look in front of my brothers and sisters, or how they feel about me in the end. The end result is a fulfillment of Jesusí promise in the Gospel of John 14:21,

"He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him."

When we obey Jesusí personal dictates to our lives, He promises to manifest more of Himself and who He is in truth to us.

Second, I believe my understanding and knowledge of the Word is the result of an attitude and personal philosophy about my faith. Peter the Apostle gives a command in Scripture as follows,

"But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to every one who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence." (1 Pet 3:15).

If Christianity is all we claim it to be, the answer to all of manís problems, needs, and questions, then it has an answer to all of manís problems, needs, and questions. But how many of us live this out in attitude and action? When someone asks us a question about the validity of the Christian faith, do we respond by saying, "Donít ask questions, just believe!" When we give this kind of response, we do not validate the Christian faith, we in fact validate the suspicion of the person asking the question and that is that having faith in Jesus Christ and all that it stands for is not valid.

I believe that the Christian faith is valid and because it is valid it does have an answer for any question, problem or need. Because I do, my personal philosophy about my faith is that if it is the answer to all of manís problems, questions, and needs, then I should have no fear of having it tested or challenged by the world or any individual. I may not always know the answer at present. If I do not, I will tell the person asking the question I donít have the answer at present, but if they will give me their address and phone number, I will find the answer and get this information to them as soon as I do.

If we want to win people to Jesus, we cannot do this if we ignore their honest questions and doubts. We must make the effort necessary to find the answers so that they have a valid reason for turning to Christ. For this reason I am not afraid to have my faith challenged. If you are afraid to have your faith tested, what you are really saying is that you are not really convinced yet it has or is the ultimate answer, but is rather a present convenience to bring peace to your inner fears. If you are not free to have your faith tested, your faith is a dead faith and the world will only mock you and call you a deceived fanatic, not living in reality.

If our faith is real and all we claim it to be, then it will hold up under any test. As one who has lived under this philosophy for many years, I can tell you and testify that so far it has proved true and is the most logical answer to all the negative assertions I have encountered so far without contradiction. My faith is a living faith and I know that Jesus is there because He has not failed me yet in His promise in the Gospel of John 14:18, "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you." I have not seen this proved out as clearly and completely in any other religion or philosophy I have encountered so far. All tests, so far, have only more greatly confirmed my faith, not destroyed it, when taken in the context of the Bible as a whole. This includes the literal account of Genesis Chapter 1.

When I talk about having your faith tested, I am not talking about self-imposed tests. The Bible calls this presumption and tempting God, which is forbidden by Scripture.34 I am talking about tests that come upon you through normal circumstances of life as a result of your walking in obedience to Jesus to use your free time to go out and aggressively share the love of Jesus Christ with men. When you are out on the street, on college campuses, in peopleís homes, on the job, or wherever you are and someone asks a question at present you cannot answer, do you make up an answer? Or do you in honesty explain to the person that at present you do not have an answer, but will seek the Lord about the personís questions?

When I talk about having your faith tested, I am also not talking about arguing over speculative issues which can never be answered objectively or responding to what Jesus is plainly telling you through the Holy Spirit is nothing more than an evasive smoke screen from the real issue, which is the personís need to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus and receive Him as Savior. When this is discerned through the Holy Spirit, Jesus does not want us to waste our time digging up the answers because it would not aid the person in coming to Jesus because it is not the issue. What I am talking about here is, when sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Jesus shows you by the Holy Spirit that the personís questions are legitimate and are blocking the person from releasing his faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, then yes, Jesus wants you to take the time to seek Him for the answers so you can minister to the personís need so his faith can be released to accept Jesus as his savior and Lord.

Jesus said in the Gospel of Mark, "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart38, and with all your soul39, and with all your mind40, and with all Your strength."41 (Mark 12:30). Most of us when we think of this passage of Scripture, think only about loving Jesus with our heart. We say, "Oh Jesus, I love you with all my heart!" But then we go on and never even consider what the rest of this passage teaches. We are to love Jesus with all our heart, but this passage puts loving Jesus with all our hearts in the context of equally loving Jesus with all our minds, soul, and strength as well. What we want to deal with in this section is what it means to love Jesus with all our minds.

WHAT LOVING JESUS WITH ALL
OUR MINDS DOES NOT MEAN

Loving Jesus with all our minds does not mean going on a striving trip the rest of your life to know everything about anything there is to know. This is impossible by the very nature of our finite humanity.

There is such a thing as a lust of knowledge which does not come from the Spirit of Jesus. The Apostle Paul states in the book of Ephesians 4:17, "This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind." I got caught into the trap of the lust of knowledge many years ago. What a lust of knowledge is, is when knowledge becomes your focus rather than the Lordship of Jesus over your life. Let me put it another way. It is when you search for knowledge for the sake of knowledge rather than looking to Jesus by His Holy Spirit to lead you into the search of knowledge He wants you to have.

A lust of knowledge gets our eyes off of Jesus and on to ourselves, and leads to self-righteousness, arrogance, and strife rather than love. The Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 8:1, "Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies." When we seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge, we become arrogant because of our knowledge. The writer of Proverbs states, "The fear of Yehovah is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding." (Prov 9:10)

WHAT LOVING JESUS WITH
ALL OUR MINDS DOES MEAN

When does a search for knowledge come into the category of loving Jesus with all our minds? First of all, we need to understand that apart from Jesus we cannot come to an understanding of the truth through our own efforts. Jesus said to the Jews in the Gospel of John 5:39-40,

"You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life."

Study Questions
Continued on Page 2
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