Posted by: rcottrill | July 11, 2019

May the Mind of Christ, My Saviour

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Words: Kate Barclay Wilkinson (b. Aug. 27, 1859; d. Dec. 28, 1928)
Music: St. Leonards, by Arthur Cyril Barham-Gould (b. _____, 1891; d. Feb. 14, 1953)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Little is known of the British author of this hymn. Her maiden name was Kate Johnson. She married in 1891 (using the name Katie) Frederick Barclay Wilkinson (ca. 1855-1937), a clerk from London. This is the only hymn she is known to have written. The composer of the tune was an Anglican clergyman.

The human mind is a wonderful thing. Scientists are still exploring its powers and functions. And we have many colourful expressions that use the word, though they may not always relate directly to our mental faculties. Consider: changing your mind, mind your own business, I’ve half a mind, out of his mind, make up your mind, a mind of his own, bear in mind, it blew his mind, mind you, it’s all in your mind, mind games, mind over matter.

But we need to ask: What is the mind? It might be harder to define precisely than we suppose. If there’s life after death–which many of us believe–we need to make a distinction between the mind and the brain. The brain is a physical organ. When the body dies, the brain dies. But a conscious existence after death will surely involve thinking, feeling, perceiving, deciding, and remembering–all functions of the mind.

Possibly the mind is what the New Testament refers to as the soul. It’s the psychological part of man. And the Greek word commonly translated soul is psuche (soo-kay), from which our word psychology comes. With the body (through our physical senses) we have world consciousness; with our souls we have self consciousness. And through our spirits, when we are born again of the Spirit of God, we gain God consciousness, and a new awareness of spiritual realities.

There’s a verse in Philippians that uses the word mind in a slightly different way. Paul is exhorting his readers to humbly and graciously serve one another…

“Being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:2-4).

As the supreme example of what he means, he speaks of the humbling of the Lord Jesus, when He came to this earth to suffer and die for our sins (vs. 6-8). And he says (in the King James Version), “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (vs. 5).

Modern Bible translators often use the word attitude there, instead of mind. It’s speaking of our point of view, particularly as it relates to others. Rather than a selfish and self-centred outlook that’s concerned primarily for our own advantage, we’re to think of the needs of others and adopt a perspective of humble servanthood.

If the Lord had thought only of Himself, He never would have left heaven’s glory to suffer the pain and ignominy of Calvary. But He wanted to redeem lost sinners, so they might be fitted to spend eternity with Him. It was “for the joy that was set before Him [He] endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2).

His humble sacrifice is to be a pattern for His followers.

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (Jn. 13:14-15).

“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (I Pet. 2:21).

It’s an exalted purpose, and only by the daily grace of God can we begin to live it out (Heb. 4:14-16). Around 1913, Kate Barclay Wilkinson wrote a beautiful hymn based on Philippians 2:5. The six stanzas can serve well as a practical application of what the text should mean when it’s lived out in our daily lives.

CH-1) May the mind of Christ, my Saviour,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

CH-2) May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.

CH-4) May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.

CH-6) May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.

Questions:
1) Is there someone you know who regularly shows he/she has the mind of Christ?

2) How does this show itself in the person mentioned?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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