Renew Your Mind (Ephesians – Week 9)

March 23, 2014

If there’s one thing we have in common as believers, it’s that we’ve been changed. Each of us, from the moment we were saved, received the Holy Spirit. Holiness, righteousness, eternity—all of it suddenly dwelling within. A profound shift had occurred, and we may not have even recognized it or understood it.

But over time, that internal change begins to work its way outward. As we learn truth and grow, we notice that there are things we no longer do. Things we no longer believe. Things we no longer chase after or thirst for.

We lay aside the old.

We put on the new.

Our minds were darkened before, but as the light of truth shines on every aspect of our lives—into every corner of our minds—we are being renewed. It’s a fundamental part of our walk, and I’m thankful for the way Ephesians breaks it down. This book of the Bible alone did much to renew my mind!

You can find this week’s video here.  I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of this study. But if you’ve missed some or all of the earlier lessons, it’s not too late to join in. You can start right here.

Looking forward to seeing where the discussion takes us this week!

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  • Reply Megan Joy March 24, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I am, well, a little (hu-hm) behind on this study but not for lack of interest and enjoyment and growth in knowledge.

    I just had to say that before I watch each lesson I read from the beginning of Ephesians to the end point of that day’s study. I have a “short” list of people for whom God has set my heart on fire in order to pray for their salvation. I am keeping a list below their names of phrases and promises and statements I can be praying over them…also verses. I haven’t moved (in my reading today) from Ephesians 1 and I have an awesome little collection of verses to be praying for them. Thank you, Kim, for bringing us with you into the very heart of Ephesians. :)

    God’s greatest blessings on y’all,

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 28, 2014 at 11:21 am

      Megan, it’s such a JOY to see you here (no pun intended, but how fitting :))…and you say you’re “behind”, but WOW…I can’t believe that before each lesson you read from the beginning of Ephesians to the point in the study. That’s so rich! It’s an awesome way to write these truths on your heart, reading them over and over. AND, how awesome, Megan, that you are actively praying Ephesians over the people God has put on your heart. I love that you are making it PERSONAL, making lists below their names, hearing God’s heart for each one. What an immensely special endeavor. Thank *you* for inspiring me. I keep saying I will not begin another journal because I’ve abandoned so many (as much as I love journaling, maybe it’s not my thing??)…BUT it would be amazing to have a journal filled with prayers from Scripture for people whom God has placed on my heart. Blessings to you too, my sis!

      • Reply Megan Joy March 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm

        Thank you, Kim. Journalling isn’t for everyone but I’m learning. Sometimes it gets to be overwhelming. I need to learn when God is asking me to journal and when He’s just telling me to step back and listen and read.

        What you are doing is what God has called you to do, and that’s AWESOME! Not everybody needs to be a journaller and not everybody can be an inspiring blogger and steward/teacher of the Word as you are! I certainly couldn’t. Thank you for all of the thought and preparation that goes into each of these messages.

        I haven’t split up the group of people, each with their own list. It’s sort of one big conglomerate but I try to keep it to an “intimate” number of names so that I’m really praying into their lives on an ongoing basis as opposed to just praying for each once or twice and then never again.

        MJOYB (that’s how I usually end my letters :) )

        May God bless you far beyond your wildest, most extravagant and awesome dreams!

  • Reply Tamara Davis March 25, 2014 at 8:09 am

    I must say this…every time I hear the intro, I know I am about to enter a world of peace! The intro alone is refreshing.

    Once again, this study enlarged and encouraged me. I am one of those people who tends to focus on how far I have to go instead of realizing how far God has brought me. Last night, I took on the challenge of seeing what God is doing in my life now. I took out my journal from 2000-2004 and read through it. Oooohhh honey, I got a good glimpse of how far the Lord has brought me and how much my mind has been renewed. I got two words: HOT MESS! I closed out that journal in 2004, my 30th birthday. I am three months away from my 40th and what another 10 years of growth, redemption and restoration!

    Yesterday, as I listened to this study, I stopped it and started talking to God to ask Him to open my eyes to see what He’s doing. I got quiet and meditated for a minute. He said “Tamara, to think you are going to get this all in one sitting, all in one day is prideful.” I yielded to humility and embraced His way. He was basically telling me that I am not smart enough on my own to get all that He is. I will always be learning, changing and renewing. Life IS growth, move, change, renewal, pruning. Just watch a tree! Death is still, final and complete. So if I stop desiring to grow and want to instantly get it, then I am leaning towards the side of death. That revelation was enough to knock me back in my chair!

    Right now, I am completing a homework assignment from my pastor. He asked us to make a list of 50 things the Lord has done for us. Then, we are to post it in a visible spot so that we can be reminded of the goodness of God every time the enemy tries to get us to focus on his report. This is also helping me to see just how far He’s brought me.

    I appreciate the cross reference scriptures because they expose me to more Word! I will never view the book of Ephesians the same again! Thank you for such a dynamic study! Looking forward to next week! I know your Marriage Moments will go hand in hand with next week. Stoked!!!

    • Reply Deborah (Debbie) March 25, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Tamara, I’m with you…when I think of all that God has done to work in me to transform me, its a wonder. He is so gracious and its such a comfort to know that He is at work to finish what He began…He is faithful!!!!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 28, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Ahh, so glad you love the intro…that melody is refreshing to me as well. :) So funny that I was just talking about journaling in my comment to Megan, and then read how much it has benefitted you…because this IS a great benefit, to be able to look back and see all that God has done in your life. He does SO much, often in small steps, that we can forget how HUGE it is in total. But when you can look over a span of four years like that…wow. And that was ten years ago! I can only imagine the multiplied growth and renewal that He’s done since then, some of which we’ve been blessed to hear about on the blog. It’s a blessing that you’re actually thinking on it as you put together your list of 50 things the Lord has done. You’ll be so blessed by that!

      And that’s such a good point that we’re not going to get it all in one sitting. I was talking about this earlier this month in our women’s bible study. The enemy will try to discourage us from studying the Word by making us think we’ll never understand it. And if we sit down to study, and we don’t understand everything we’re reading, we can be tempted to think, “Well, it’s true. I’ll never get this.” But there will be MUCH that we don’t get in one sitting. The Holy Spirit teaches us over time. And we learn as we continue in the Word. It might take years to get a better understanding of certain passages of Scripture. But the Lord gives us what we need when we need it, and we’re ever growing and learning. That’s the beauty of the Word. We never outgrow it, and it never gets old. So I’m rejoicing that you were encouraged by that word from the Lord!

      Praising God that this Ephesians study is fruitful for you! God is so good and faithful. Thankful for you, Tamara, and all that you bring to the sisters on this blog!

      • Reply Tamara Davis April 3, 2014 at 2:22 pm

        I was thinking again about “not getting it all in one sitting” and this came to mind: Tamara, I am a big God. Do you think you’re going to know all about me just like that? You don’t know how big I am. Getting it all in one sitting means that there is no depth to Me.

        Then, I saw this in Proverbs 1:5-6 NLT Let those who are wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. And let those who understand receive guidance
        6 BY EXPLORING THE DEPTH of meaning in these proverbs, parables, wise sayings, and riddles.

        The part in all caps stopped me in my tracks. That was God telling me that HE WANTS me to explore and dig deep. Glory!

  • Reply Deborah (Debbie) March 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Good day, my Sister!

    A renewed mind….can’t know the abundant life without it. Can’t delight God and enjoy being delighted by God without it…Yay God. He works from the heart out….

    This isn’t an just an intellectual thing, it is about the truth being known and saturating our hearts…the core of our being and thinking and our “seeing” life through the light of truth. It is a life long process and there are times I look back and think “Oh, my, if only I’d allowed God to renew me there…” But you are so incredibly wise in your handling of this in encouraging us to look at what God has done and not become overwhelmed with what I know needs transforming. And here’s something that came to my mind…He will continue to do what He has set out to do and that which He began when we first became His… “he who began a good work in [us] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 1:6 NIV. He is faithful to continue to work in our hearts and minds to transform us into the beautiful image of His Son and enable us to live the life of true abundance in Him.

    These verses are a word picture of repentance…the “change of mind” that needs to characterize my life…I need God’s Holy Spirit to make me aware of what I really AM believing (not just what I would like to THINK I am believing — I hope that makes some sense to someone :) ) and renounce what isn’t truth and choose what is…My behaviour will expose what I am believing because it follows what is going on in my heart and mind. And that “change of mind” will produce all kinds of good fruit not just stop the rotten ones from stinking things up :)

    I am God’s. He has set me free to live as His child. His heart and plan for me doesn’t want me looking like a child of the enemy but instead shining with the bright beauty of His Son Jesus.

    Praying you and the sisters have joy and excitement in His work of renewing this week!


    • Reply Tamara Davis March 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Can I get the LIKE button? “I am God’s. He has set me free to live as His child. His heart and plan for me doesn’t want me looking like a child of the enemy but instead shining with the bright beauty of His Son Jesus.” :)

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 28, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      Good day, Debbie! I love how you tied a renewed mind to the abundant life and delighting in God…yes! A renewed mind brings us JOY! I also love not only the word picture but the depth of your statement about truth saturating our hearts. And when we think that yes, “He works from the heart out”…imagine all the possibilities of what our lives would be like when that heart is SATURATED with truth! What would our lives be like if we viewed every situation, every hardship, every trial, every sunset, every DAY from a heart saturated with truth? Lord, may it be so for us all…that gets me excited. And that promise in Philippians excites me as well, knowing that GOD will do and IS DOING the work within us…that awesome work that is transforming us into the image of His Son. I will never be able to fully wrap my mind around the truth that we are being transformed into the image of JESUS.

      Debbie, this is so good and so key…”These verses are a word picture of repentance…the ‘change of mind’ that needs to characterize my life…” I wanted to cut and paste the entire paragraph. AMEN and AMEN. Oh, how often I’ve been moved to repentance through the years as He’s shown me what I was believing/adhering to and what the truth is in His Word. I can remember moments in which I stared into a page of my Bible, convicted, recognizing that these words had just caused me to change course regarding something I believed. And then you REJOICE because you realize yet again that these words are living and active. They teach, rebuke, and correct. They renew our minds! I praise God that He doesn’t want our understanding darkened. He wants us to dwell in the light of truth. As you said, it’s a lifelong process, and yet, so many glory moments along the way.

      Yes, Tamara, we need a blog redesign to add a LIKE button–> “I am God’s. He has set me free to live as His child. His heart and plan for me doesn’t want me looking like a child of the enemy but instead shining with the bright beauty of His Son Jesus.”

      Man, that really hit me. Lord, I do *not* want to be looking like a child of the enemy…yet, my fleshly ways are just that. Cause us all, dear God, to shine with the bright beauty of Your Son.

      You sisters keep me sharpened and encouraged. So thankful for you, Debbie! May the Lord RENEW and REFRESH you continually!

  • Reply MrsTrip98 March 26, 2014 at 8:12 am

    “…And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Does this particular lesson not have Romans 12:2 written all over it!?!

    As Kim said, “We are light that lives in the midst of darkness.” The world wants us to conform; God wants us to transform. Constant reminders of God’s grace, power, and refuge help us to keep our eyes on the ultimate goal glorifying God while navigating through the darkness. I find that daily reminders are essential for my health, growth, and strength.

    Peace and blessings to all the lights (my sisters) of this blog.

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Oh, YES, Romans 12:2 is written all over this…perfect companion verse!

      “The world wants us to conform; God wants us to transform.” I love, love, love that. And just may be stealing it. Oh, wait, was that part of the “renew your mind” lesson of chapter 4…”steal no more”? :)) But seriously, that says it so well and so succinctly. We see it daily in our culture and in various forms…the darkness…the pull to conform. We have to be constantly swimming UPstream, which takes much effort. Thankfully, the Lord gives us grace in huge measure to do just that. “I find that daily reminders are essential for my health, growth, and strength”…I so agree. Grace, power, and refuge…may the Lord keep us ever aware of what we have…DAILY.

      Peace and blessings to you as well, sis!

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