THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2014
PUTTING ON GOD’S MIND
We are called to be like Christ. For that, we need to put
on God’s mind, which is totally different from that
of the world. Our minds need to be renewed. “Do not
conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal
of your mind” (Rom 12:2a). What happens when we do so?
We are able to “discern what is the will of God”
(Rom 12:2b). And that leads us to “what is good and
pleasing and perfect.” (Rom 12:2c).
human mind that is not renewed is of course very different
from the mind of God. The human mind is worldly. And since
the whole world is under the dominion of the evil one, then
the human mind is easily influenced by Satan. Jesus said to
Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to
me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings
do.” (Mt 16:23).
How does God think? What does God want of us? Paul, with his
renewed mind, tells us, “I urge you therefore, brothers,
by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.” (Rom
12:1). What is good and pleasing and perfect? What is holy
and pleasing to God? It is to offer our bodies as a living
sacrifice denotes pain and suffering. Related to Jesus, who
is the sacrificial lamb, it means the cross. “From that
time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go
to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief
priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day
be raised.” (Mt 16:21). Since we are to follow in Jesus’
footsteps, then that is the same call to us. Jesus says to
his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must
deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mt
But how does Peter react to what Jesus said? Well, how do
we react to what Jesus says to us still today? Peter “began
to rebuke him, ‘God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall
ever happen to you.’” (Mt 16:22). We too do not
like to deny ourselves and take up our cross. We prefer comfort,
convenience, power, position, personal preference, being self-referential.
We think that is the best way for us. Jesus tells us it is
not so. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose
it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
What is God’s call? What is God’s will for us?
We are to be saints, martyrs and warriors. We become such
by denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following Jesus.
become saints as we deny ourselves, to become unlike the world,
and so are set apart, to be holy as God is holy. We become
saints by taking up the cross, as we die to self, giving up
everything for the sake of the Kingdom. We become saints as
we follow Jesus, who is our model for holiness and total obedience
to the Father’s will.
become martyrs as we deny self, not thinking of our comfort,
always ready to witness to Jesus, in or out of season. We
become martyrs as we take up our cross, willing to be ridiculed,
opposed, oppressed and persecuted as we proclaim Christ. We
become martyrs as we follow Jesus, who spent himself proclaiming
the Kingdom and who died a shameful and cruel death on the
become warriors as we deny ourselves, engaging in spiritual
warfare, with all its difficulties, trials and suffering.
We become warriors as we take up the cross, which is the banner
under which we fight. We become warriors as we follow Jesus,
our Commander-in-Chief, all the way, sharing in the victory
that he has already won over the enemy.
Specifically, what are we to do?
we earnestly seek God. “O God, you are my God--it is
you I seek! For you my body yearns; for you my soul thirsts,
in a land parched, lifeless, and without water.” (Ps
63:2). God is our all. We are nothing with God. We must have
God, and we must put on God’s mind.
on finding God, we fill our hearts and minds with Him. We
think of Him all the time and meditate on His ways. “I
think of you upon my bed, I remember you through the watches
of the night” (Ps 63:7). We want to know Him more, and
to follow Him more closely.
we grow in our profound recognition of who Jesus is, and he
is our Savior. “You indeed are my savior” (Ps
63:8a). He is the vine and we are the branches. Apart from
him we can do nothing. We owe him everything--our life and
our well-being and our eternal hope. As such, we are filled
with great joy. Thus, “in the shadow of your wings I
shout for joy.” (Ps 63:8b).
as we realize our total dependence on him, we cling to the
Lord. “My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds
me” (Ps 63:9). As the world, the flesh and the devil
try to pry us away from God, we ever more tightly cling to
Him. He is our sure protection and haven. Only in Him can
we have fullness of life.
as God is our fullness of life, we worship. “I will
bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands, calling
on your name.” (Ps 63:5). We are creatures before our
Creator. We are slaves before our Master. We give God what
is His due, and that is worship. When we do worship, we partake
of the heavenly banquet, with the angels and saints. “My
soul shall be sated as with choice food, with joyous lips
my mouth shall praise you!” (Ps 63:6). O what great
So we are called to be saints, martyrs and warriors. That
is a life of embracing the cross. It is a life of pain and
suffering. But on top of all those, there is profound joy.
There is no other life for us. In the face of trials and suffering,
that is what we always keep in mind.
was the case with the prophet Jeremiah. “You seduced
me, Lord, and I let myself be seduced; you were too strong
for me, and you prevailed. All day long I am an object of
laughter; everyone mocks me.” (Jer 20:7). As we respond
to the call to be saints, martyrs and warriors, we will be
mocked by the world. At times we grow weary. At times we might
even want to give up. At times we no longer want to do our
mission of proclaiming Christ. “I say I will not mention
him, I will no longer speak in his name.” (Jer 20:9a).
these things happen, let us go back to knowing who we are,
to putting on the mind of Christ, to realizing our call and
what we are to do. Then the fire of God’s love will
blaze yet again. “But then it is as if fire is burning
in my heart, imprisoned in my bones.” (Jer 20:9b). God
put such fire in there, in our very bones, in the very fiber
of our being. By God’s grace, we can get back on track.
“I grow weary holding back, I cannot!” (Jer 20:9c).
Remember: we will be judged at the end of time. “For
the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s
glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.”
(Mt 16:27). How will we be judged? How will we fare? What
will be our eternal reward or punishment? Remember: “What
profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and
forfeit his life?” (Mt 16:26). Think about it. Just
make sure to put on God’s mind.