24 Day Challenge Renewing Your Mind
Today starts our 24 Day Challenge Renewing Your Mind. There will be a blog every day for 24 days which will correlate to the Devotional pages covering each day’s subject in more detail with questions for you to answer along with steps of action.
Each blog, starting today will have a link to the Study Guide for the Day and the Scripture Cards for the entire study. The link will be located at the end of each blog.
You will also want to have a way to record your answers, thoughts, and plans to renew your mind and conscience. Use whatever method is easiest for you – an app, a journal, or a notebook is great. It will help you to record all of this in some form.
Renewing our Mind Involves Our Conscience
As we go through the 24 Day Challenge Renewing Your Mind, we are going to look into your conscience, part of your mind, in great detail. Very seldom do we consider our conscience and, as you will learn, it is very important. You may wonder why. Because your conscience is the inner voice that alerts you to what your mind actually believes. We probably don’t give it much thought or may have a different name for it. After all, it operates in the background. While it can elicit emotion, it is not an emotion. Yet, it can silently guide your life. It has been portrayed using the picture of the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, giving conflicting advice. It is then up to you to choose which way to go. That representation is not accurate since you are the one teaching the conscience what to believe – not the devil.
This excerpt from Baker’s Theological Dictionary tells a little more about the conscience.
“Conscience is a term that describes an aspect of a human being’s self-awareness. It is part of a person’s internal rational capacity and is not, as popular lore sometimes suggests, an audience room for the voice of God or of the devil. Conscience is a critical inner awareness that bears witness to the norms and values we recognize and apply. The complex of values with which conscience deals includes not only those we own, but the entire range of values to which we are exposed during life’s journey. Consequently, there is always a sense of struggle in our reflective process. The witness of conscience makes its presence known by inducing mental anguish and feelings of guilt when we violate the values we recognize and apply. Conscience also provides a sense of pleasure when we reflect on conformity to our value system.”
You will find resources and help along the way to renewing your mind. Of course, our biblical base for this is clear.
- “Do not conform 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.” Romans 12:2 NIV
- “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV
- “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform 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.” Romans 12:1-2 NIV
- “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV
Our Minds Have an Attitude!
- “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds;” Ephesians 4:22-23 NIV
- “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2 NIV
- “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NIV
- “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.” 1 Peter 1:13 NIV
We Are to Have Jesus’ Mindset
- ” In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! “Philippians 2:5-8 NIV
- “for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16 NIV
The Conscience Learns How to Respond
Our mind, the seat of our conscience, holds our life-view and our values. It tells the conscience what it believes and the conscience functions as an alarm to keep us on the path we said we have chosen. We will also learn the role of the Holy Spirit in renewing our mind and conscience.
For today, I want you to consider and answer some questions.
- How much thought have you ever given to your conscience? Perhaps you have called it ‘the conviction of the Holy Spirit.’ If so, how much consideration have you really given to that aspect of your being? Why or why not?
- Did you realize that the conscience learns and can be made pure or impure? How do think that would happen?
- What steps do you think would help you to ‘set your mind on the things above’?
- What are you hoping to gain from the 24 day challenge? Do you have some specific goals?
I want to leave you with one more quote from Baker’s Theological Dictionary to consider:
“Conscience is an aspect of self-awareness that produces the pain and/or pleasure we “feel” as we reflect on the norms and values we recognize and apply. Conscience is not an outside voice. It is a inward capacity humans possess to critique themselves because the Creator provided this process as a means of moral restraint for his creation. The critique conscience exercises related to the value system which a person develops. Romans 12:1-2 makes the point that God desires that his creation conform to divine values by a process of rational renewal. The Scriptures provide the content for this renewal.“
A Process of Renewal
This is our journey for the next 23 days – to conform to divine values by a process of rational renewal. I pray that you find help, hope, encouragement and tools to meet your own goals in this process. I pray that you are built up in your faith.
“But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” Jude 1:20-23 NIV
Stop Judging Others and Yourself!
We start the 24 Day Challenge Renewing Your Mind with looking at the problem of judging. You will see in the EBook that there is a very long Scripture passage from Romans 14:1-23. I will only quote parts of it here.
“Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.
Each of Us Belongs to the Lord
Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” Romans 14:1-11 NIV
In the very next verse, Paul says, “Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” Romans 14:12 NIV
The same message is repeated in other places and you can read those in the EBook.Judgments can form one of the biggest obstacles to renewing your mind and conscience. Click To Tweet
What Does Judging Have to Do With Renewing My Mind and Conscience?
So, why am talking about judging instead of renewing your mind and conscience? Because, judgment can be one of the biggest obstacles to renewing our mind. When we judge, it means we have made up our mind about someone or ourselves. Either way, since judgment goes against the Word, you are violating your conscience and teaching it that judging is acceptable. You are telling yourself that you should judge yourself.
Jesus gave us His guidance on judging others.
“Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2
Judging is Easy
It is so easy to judge and we do it all the time. There are times when we need to be discerning about people, but that is different than judging. Judges pronounce sentences on people. That is way above our pay grade! In fact, we will never be in a position to judge. I have always considered Matthew 7 to be a frightening scripture because I tend to judge rather harshly. I do it because I’m hurt. In fact, my judgment may cause me to want to hurt back.
The other thing we do is judge ourselves. It is even easier for us to that. Once you have judged yourself to be worthless, ugly, stupid or anything else negative, you are locking in a cell. You are the only one with a key. God can help you but you have to unlock the cell. It is your judgment – not His!
Rather than judging ourselves, we are told to renew ourselves, take off the old self, put on the new self, and conform ourselves to the image of Christ. We are never told to compare ourselves to anyone else. Nor are we told to judge ourselves.
Discern Yourself – Do Not Judge Yourself
1 Corinthians 11:31 says that we are to properly discern or discriminate ourselves when we are partaking of the Lord’s Supper. In other words, if there is sin in our lives, we need to repent and be cleansed prior to taking communion. Some older translations of the Bible used the word “judge” in this verse. Discern is the correct translation of the word used in this verse. When God judges (discerns), He sees our failure to repent from sin and we end up living with the consequences of that sin. If you read the verse in context, this will make sense.
“So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment.” 1 Corinthians 11:27-31 NIV
This means there are some things we have to settle. I will:
- Stop judging others.
- Stop judging myself.
- Free myself from my own judgments.
- Free others from mu judgments of them.
Now, go to the Devotional and get started on renewing your mind and conscience in relationship to judging others and yourself!
Click Here for the Devotional Study Guide for today along with the Scripture Cards.
You might also enjoy reading: The Benefits of Rejoicing in the Lord
**We use verses from different Bible translations.
To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit our Scripture Citations.