Today I had an opportunity to visit my old favorite Coffee Shop in Waconia, The Mocha Monkey. It was good to spend some time working on my latest project, a Bible Study on Philippians.  When I entered the place looked very much the same as I remember it from many years of writing. My corner table for two has been removed to make room for more display space for the various pottery works of the Mocha Money owner.

I was, however, able to walk up to the counter and order my usual “a bottomless.” (The price has gone up, but what hasn’t!) I soon found a nice table on the main floor with a great view of the summer sunlight streaming through the windows. This also gave me a great vantage of all the people that almost closed the door, somethings never change.

Yet the longer I sat there the more things seemed different, yes the room was the same, the Velvet Soul coffee had the same great taste, but it was not the same.  None of the people behind the counter looked familiar. In all the time I have been sitting here, now over an hour, I have not seen anyone come in that I know – five years will do that.

As I was sitting here, pondering the day It dawned on me that this is the same feeling I often get when I read the Bible. The place looks familiar, and yet somehow different. That is by design of the author, the Word of God is a living and active book it is designed to transcend time, and culture and still speak words of encouragement, challenge,  hope, and at times even rebuke.

Hebrews 4:12 NIV
[12] For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

God’s Word is able to speak fresh to use each time we turn to read it’s sacred pages. I know this from years of uncovering new and exciting things in the text that are familiar to me. Sometimes there are more than just familiar, they are words that I could speak from memory, and yet when reading off the page they come to life in a whole new way.

Today while reading in Philippians I came across this verse, “For God is my witness how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:8 “the affection of Christ Jesus” what an amazing passion that must be, I can not begin to imagine the depth of the affection of Christ Jesus. I think this must be what Paul was talking about when he calls us to take on the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:15-16 NIV
[15] The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, [16] for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ
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We have the mind of Christ, this is a blessing of the Spirit, to have the mind of Christ. Paul calls us to have the same “attitude that is in Christ Jesus” (see Romans 15:5, Phil. 2:5) Then he demonstrates that very idea as he longs for the Philippians with the affection of Christ.

Ponder this for a while, we have access to the Mind of Christ, when we ask the Spirit to silence our own mind and seek to think like Christ. This allows us to see and experience the familiar with a difference, a new way to ponder life.

QUESTION TO PONDER: Have you seen this to be true in your life?  Can you think of a time in particular? CHALLENGE: Try taking a chapter or two or perhaps even a smaller book of the Bible and read it daily for two weeks and watch what God will do with that text.