Theme of the Week: Heart, Mind, Strength
Bible Verse: “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 11:19
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:1-27
An integrated life is an essential aspect of loving God with all your heart. If we love God with all our heart, that means the center of our lives – the essence of who we are – is one. With an undivided heart, life will naturally be much more integrated.
As with so many other aspects of the Christian walk, living an integrated life is both God’s work and our work. For example, God promises as part of the new covenant, “I will give them an undivided heart.” Obviously an undivided heart, out of which flows an integrated life, is a gift of God to us and a work of God within us.
What does an integrated life look like? What flows out of a heart that is integrated, unified, undivided?
The first step in an integrated life is to acknowledge Christ’s absolute authority over our lives – authority to determine and reorder our priorities. If we acknowledge that Jesus Christ, as commander-in-chief, has the right to order our priorities, we also need to be willing to let Him probe our present priorities. And I don’t know of any two things that indicate our priorities better than the way we spend our time and our money.
The goal of discipleship is to become like Jesus Christ. Discipleship is a lifelong apprenticeship under Jesus Christ. How do we apprentice under Jesus? We do it first of all by exposing ourselves regularly to the Gospels so the life and teachings of our Lord are reinforced in our life.
Jesus was able to literally and directly apprentice His disciples in person, and He did it by spending time with them. He revealed Himself to them. He loved them, He gave them the word of God, He empowered them for ministry and He sent them out on their own mission. We can’t literally and directly apprentice under Jesus, but we need other pilgrims who are walking that path ahead of us and who will do for us what Jesus did for His disciples.
As we mature in the Christian life, we begin to mentor even as we are being mentored. Look around for young men and young women that you can walk alongside; you have walked longer on the pilgrim path and you need to do for them what Jesus did for His disciples.
This kind of apprenticeship is hard work. What motivates us to persevere in the ruthless probing of our priorities, in choosing or being a mentor and in carrying on this process for a lifetime? That takes us to the third step: calling. Calling is a compelling source of vision, discipline and accountability for every sphere of life.
How do you live an integrated life when so many hours of the week are taken up by work responsibilities? We need to think about our work in terms of this calling; in terms of Christ ordering our priorities; in terms of a lifetime apprenticeship under Jesus to become like Him.
Taken from Heart, Mind, Strength: Loving God With All You’ve Got by Sunder Krishnan, Copyright © 2003 by Sunder Krishnan. Used with permission.
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