Scripture/Sermon of the Day. March 28, 2021

Philippians 2:5-11 New Revised Standard Version

5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
9
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Mark 11:1-11 Common English Bible

Jesus enters Jerusalem
11 When Jesus and his followers approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives. Jesus gave two disciples a task, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter it, you will find tied up there a colt that no one has ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘Its master needs it, and he will send it back right away.’”
4 They went and found a colt tied to a gate outside on the street, and they untied it. 5 Some people standing around said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 They told them just what Jesus said, and they left them alone. 7 They brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes upon it, and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread out their clothes on the road while others spread branches cut from the fields. 9 Those in front of him and those following were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessings on the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest!” 11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. After he looked around at everything, because it was already late in the evening, he returned to Bethany with the Twelve.

Reflection/Sermon:

I. The Apostle Paul said, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Jesus.” I love that verse because it tells us, in plain, clear language, what we need to do — CHANGE OUR MINDS. Exchange our minds, corrupted by all the flawed influences we’ve received since we were infants — and the pain we’ve carried with us all these years, and the racism. We need to EXCHANGE the minds we have now FOR THE MIND OF JESUS.
II. It’s something we do all the time — it’s the American way. When something doesn’t work— like our computers — (my God, they become obsolete like within a year!) throw it away and get the newest model. IT FEELS GOOD TO DO THAT! I can’t wait for my TV to break so I can replace it with a newer model!
Even my car runs fine now — but do you realize the new Subaru engines have a turbocharger and 250 horsepower that can hurl you from 0 to 60 in seconds! Isn’t it exciting how buying something and change our lives instantly? At least for a little while. But Paul is talking about long term, like forever!

II. Philippians says do a trade-in! But not a new phone or car, but a NEW MIND!
There’s an online guitar store that has a sign on its web site that says: “We Love Trades.” That’s what we should paint on our sign — “We Love Trades.” Bring in your old, troubled mind, and exchange it for the loving, peaceful mind of Jesus Christ.

III. Actually, this isn’t so much a trade as it is an organ transplant. Do Yale or UCONN hospitals do mind transplants? No — but you know where we can find out how to do it? Google! Type in, “How can I have the mind of Christ?” There are MANY ANSWERS. One that I liked said:
“The mind of Christ refers to thinking in a way that is consistent with how Jesus thinks. The Bible teaches us that we must first trust Christ as our Savior to receive the Holy Spirit who enables us to have the mind of Christ.”

IV. THERE! It’s easy! Just three simple steps to having the MIND OF JESUS: 1) Trust Christ as our Savior, 2) Receive the Holy Spirit, 3) have the mind of Christ.

V. The problem is — I’ve been doing this for forty years but — I still lose my temper, I still buy too much, eat too much —there are still times when I don’t care about people who suffer.
And IF I HAD THE MIND OF CHRIST — would it bother me that so many animals have to die to satisfy my meat cravings —
Or HOW MUCH I ADD to the earth’s pollution?
IF I HAD THE MIND OF CHRIST, wouldn’t it matter to me that my wasteful habits are making the earth’s temperature rise and the damage I do to the earth will cause our children to suffer in the future?

VI. SO WHAT CAN WE DO? I was reading about the life of the great middleweight boxer, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, who died just two weeks ago. When he was young, he joined a gym after he was beat-up one day. Boxing became his whole life. Once Hagler said, “If they cut my bald head open, they will find one big boxing glove. That’s all I am. I live it.”
There’s our answer. The mind of Christ is something we acquire through living and practicing — keeping our mind on Jesus, as much as God’s grace allows, from the time we open our eyes in the morning until we close them before falling asleep.

JESUS AND HIS LOVE, MERCY, AND FORGIVENESS, ALL THE TIME. That’s our work.

And we trust God to work a miracle in us, moment by moment, letting the same mind be in us that was in Jesus Christ.