All Things

“Sunshine is the best disinfectant.” —Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis

I woke up this morning to a ray of sunshine through my window, and I couldn’t help but smile. After a busy week of school during which it was mostly cloudy and rainy, I needed the encouraging brightness of sunlight. It brought to mind, one of the life lessons I have been reflecting on this week: renewing your mind.

There is a reason that the Bible says that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Our minds are constantly being shaped by what they receive through our senses and perceive spiritually. I have found that by constantly reminding myself throughout my day that Jesus is present with me in each moment and verbally expressing my trust in Him, I have greater peace about my circumstances and a purity of thought that I had never experienced before.

This caused me to wonder why I found it so hard before this to keep my thoughts pure and focused on Jesus at school. I have so much opportunity on campus at school to latch onto sources of negative thought that, unless I am constantly reinforcing holy thought patterns and reminding myself in every conversation to keep my eyes on Jesus, I will quickly find the fruit of God’s Spirit in me drying up and withering. It harkens back to Psalm 1, where we read of the blessedness of the man or woman who delights in God’s law. It is explained in Romans 6, where Paul reminds us that grace means we are free to choose righteousness. It is given expression in Lamentations 3:40-42 where the prophet cries out to “lift up our hearts with our hands to God in heaven” acknowledging that we are full of evil and that God is just in His judgment.

But as Paul says in Romans, we now live under grace. God has not judged completely as we have deserved, but allows us to choose to identify with Jesus, the Messiah’s, death, and to accept His life to God as our own pattern of living. I choose to live to God. I choose to accept the deep, abiding life that flows from the presence of God. I choose to renew my mind. I choose to live in the light of God’s presence.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” —James 1:17

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