‘gird up the loins of your mind’

     Illustration by Bryan Christie

Four pounds and several thousand miles of interconnected nerve cells (about 100 billion) control every movement, thought, sensation, and emotion that comprise the human experience. Within the brain and spinal cord there are ten thousand distinct varieties of neurons, trillions of supportive cells, a few more trillion synaptic connections, a hundred known chemical regulating agents, miles of minuscule blood vessels, axons ranging from a few microns to well over a foot and a half in length, and untold mysteries of how—almost flawlessly—all these components work together. This is the amazing brain.  www.brainsource.com

Rest assured my friend, this ain’t the work of evolution, yet the fool still says there is no God.

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:13-16

These words of exhortation came to the Christians that were living under the immense persecution of the Roman Emperor Nero. The sufferings of the recipient of this letter are no different than what many believers endure living in the midst of a pagan society. The persecution took the forms of slander, riots, police actions, beatings, imprisonment and social ostracism, yet the believers are encouraged to ‘gird up the loins of their mind’ and live holy in the midst of said wickedness. My friend, I don’t boast in this exhortation as one might say that this is easy preaching, but hard living; and that it is, but the word of God is a firm foundation to stand upon in the midst of the storm.

When I see my brothers and sisters subjected to such unjust persecution, there is a spirit of anger that is conjured up in mind. It is liken unto the spirit of the disciples when they requested of the Lord that they might call down fire from heaven like Elijah and consume those Samaritans that did not receive him. Luke 9:51-56 But Christ quickly quenched that spirit of vengeance with these words….

“But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”

Now clearly what the disciples first inclination was did not line up with Jesus’ thought process and we see the same Spirit later on in that same epistle of 1 Peter…

“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.” 1 Peter 3:8-11

Now this exhortation is not only Biblical, but research into the study of the brain has shown it to be healthy.

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Scientific research shows that “emotional black holes” are burned into the brain by hatred, anger, bitterness and other negative emotions. Dr. David Amen, Dr. Marian Diamond, Dr. Caroline Leaf and other neuroscientists and biochemists describe the toxic chemical flood our bodies release into our brain when we think malicious thoughts. Microphotographs reveal these chemicals burn tunnel-like holes in branched nerve cells called dendrites. (For views of brains showing this damage, see www.amenclinic.com, and go to “Brain Disorder Research.”) Dr. Leaf calls these burned places “emotional black holes.” By contrast, positive thoughts actually create more dendrite nerve fibers in the brain. She says, “You can grow a new memory over the old memory.” One of the elements she mentions in this healing process is forgiveness. –VOM Newsletter, September 2008

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If you are reading this post and are one of these that are immersed in this vile persecution, please know this; that there are prayers being lifted up on your behalf, that our Faithful Lord will under gird you as He stands with you.

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 1 Peter 3:12-17

malachi

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