Jesus said that the greatest commandment is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matt 22:37 bold-type mine)
Our minds matter to God. He is the Creator of our minds and the use of our minds is one facet of being made in the image of God. It is by our minds that we are able to think God’s thoughts after Him as revealed in the Bible. It is by our minds that we think and reason in order to inform our wills and inflame our hearts.
The Christian mind is to be a sanctified mind. That is, a mind illumined by the Spirit and set apart for the glory of God. We are to nurture the life of the mind so that we may learn to love God with all of our mind. The best way to nurture the life of the mind is to regularly feed upon the Word of God. “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation…” (1 Pet 2:2). “Blessed is the man [whose]… delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1,2)
Regular intake of God’s Word helps us to love God with our minds. Along with reading our Bibles though, we should learn to read good books. The Lord Jesus has blessed His Church with many good teachers both from the past and in the present. It is a wise and good thing to give our minds to reading what they have written. Godly books can instruct, encourage, correct, admonish, challenge, comfort, and they can help develop the life of the mind. And that matters to God. We can express love to Him by reading and studying good books!
I think the Apostle Paul might utter an “Amen,” for while he sat under Roman imprisonment writing his last inspired letter, he told Timothy, “Do your best to come to me soon… When you come, bring the cloak that I left…, also the books, and above all the parchments.” (2 Tim 4:9&13) In prison and awaiting execution, Paul wanted his books!
Chuck Cook is the pastor of Grace Bible Church - Rolla.