It was just 8 months before the beginning of the Covid pandemic when I was able to fulfill one of my life dreams. My dream was to enjoy a good cycling run in the bicycle-obsessed city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Even though Sandra and I were in a group of 4, this experience on bicycle in west Amsterdam was mine alone. Many citizens of the city reach their daily destinations along two parallel tracks: the left rust colored one above is for cycling but the right one is for walking or jogging.
In reflecting on this enjoyable experience, I thought of the twin tracks that are necessary for each Christian to reach their destination as a disciple and disciple-maker of Jesus. The first track is a transformed mind and the second is a passionate heart! Both are essential for each Christian to fulfill his or her calling from God as well as learning, loving and communicating Jesus as Savior and Lord to a desperate broken world. Jesus calls us to be in the world but separate from it as His witnesses (John 17:15-16). This requires our minds to focus on Jesus even as He indwells us and speaks through us by the Holy Spirit. As Romans 12:2a urges us: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” A transformed mind reflects the mind of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5).
Living with a transformed mind means that we live in and through Jesus while lovingly serving others around us. This is living on the track of a compassionate heart parallel to and derived from a transformed Christ-like mind. It means serving others with our minds while delighting in and loving them with our hearts.
In addition to choosing God’s best for others, we must serve them out of hearts of sacrificial Love. As disciples of Jesus, we must intentionally and purposefully choose to pay whatever the cost in helping others to fulfill their calling in Jesus. This means the willingness to “lay down our lives” for a fellow Christian (1 John 3:16).
As the apostle Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 2:8: “Just as a mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” (NIV)
- Next step: meditate on the above verses and determine daily to worship God and serve others as you are motivated by a transformed mind and a compassionate heart!