Summary: This is the first message in a series called Mind Games. It encourages you to use the power of your mind to love and worship God.

Mind Games Series #1

Unleashing the Power of the Mind

Dr. Marty Baker / January 19, 2003

Today we embark on a five week series called Mind Games. This series will help you focus your mind on ways that will help you become a better person. The foundation of these messages is Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-- his good, pleasing and perfect will.

One of the top advertising slogans of the last century was released in 1972 by the United Negro College Fund. What is it? "A mind is a terrible thing to waste." A few years ago, someone printed that slogan on the front of a T-shirt. On the back of the shirt it read: "I ought to know." Too many of us wear that T-shirt. We have wasted time playing mind games and have lost precious opportunities to renew and develop our minds.

Why is this important? The mind is the soul’s primary vehicle for making contact with God. The mind plays a fundamental role in the process of change, maturity and spiritual formation.

When we fail to develop our minds we will live an empty life. We will be self-absorbed, hurried and busy, but lack the essence of true fulfillment.

When we fail to develop our minds, we retreat into passivity. We become intellectual couch potatoes. The news media does the political thinking for us; our favorite sports teams exercise, struggle and win for us; and the pastor studies the Bible for us. A couch potato does not have a life of his own, so he lives his life vicariously through other people. In the end, our world is characterized by emptiness.

God does not want you to live your life through someone else. He wants you to be filled with his knowledge and his presence.

2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Did you notice that verse? "Through our knowledge of him..."

What do you know about God? Do you know that God exists in trinity? The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He’s one God with three parts. Did you know that He spoke and the worlds were formed? He created man named Adam and placed him in a garden with his wife Eve.

What do you know about Noah and the flood, Abraham and Isaac, Sodom and Gormorrah, Joseph and his multicolored coat, Moses and the Children of Israel, David and Goliath, Solomon and his seven hundred wives? What do you know about Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel?

Do you know anything about Jesus? Of course, we know about the manger and the angels? Do you know why Jesus came to his earth? Do you know that Jesus will return to his earth a second time and settle the score? Then, those who have received his message and believed his word will live forever with him while those who have rejected his message will live in eternity away from God.

Can you name the twelve disciples of Jesus? Do you know the difference between a disciple and an apostle?

Somewhere along the line, we forgot to develop our minds. We can tell you about Matthew Broderick, Mark Martin, Luke Wilson, and John Mayer, but do we know the real Matthew, Mark, Luke and John that these guys were named after?

Do we know the Bible? Several years ago, Jay Leno did a "man-on-the-street" interview with some young people to ask them questions about the Bible. He asked two college-aged women, "Can you name one of the Ten Commandments?" One replied, "Freedom of speech?" Mr. Leno said to the other, "Complete this sentence: Let he who is without sin..." Her response was, "have a good time?" Mr. Leno then turned to a young man and asked, "Who, according to the Bible, was eaten by a whale?" The confident answer was, "Pinocchio."

We laugh at Leno and his jokes, but this says something very telling about our culture. We have a form of Godliness, but not the power that He provides.

Knowledge is power. The more you know about something, the more you will be able to see when you look at it.

A doctor and I can look at the same skin problem (a case of simple seeing), but he observes more than I do. Why? Because his mind is filled with medical concepts and beliefs I do not have. His knowledge enables him to notice things I fail to observe. He can tell if it is a basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma. I cannot do this because my mind lacks the knowledge that he has. I can stare at the same sore all day long and not see what he sees. The more you know about something, the more you will be able to see when you look at it.

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