Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination to Him. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift to run to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies, and he who sows discord among brethren.”
David, speaking to his son in Proverbs 6:16
In Proverbs 6, David listed for his son’s benefit seven things that God especially hates. Thinking on those things recently, I pondered over this question: If God especially hates those seven things, then what are their opposites, for God must especially love them? So, I sat down with my son Elijah and we set about to determine what seven things are especially precious to God. This is the fourth of those seven precious things.
The opposite of a heart that sits around devising some new way to sin is a heart that spends its time contemplating how to do good for others. Such hearts are precious to God, and He rewards them by granting them new insights into even holier ways of living, and new and deeper treasures of understanding. “A good man,” Jesus said, “out of the good treasure of his heart, brings forth good things,” but God is the one who puts that treasure in the heart so that a good man can use it.
Paul said, “To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” This life and peace of the spiritually minded is not just life and peace for them; it is life and peace for those around them. The spiritual mind is the “mind of Christ”, the Lord who loved us as himself and brought life and peace to us at his own expense. The mind of Christ is a mind that is intent on doing good to others rather than devising new ways to do evil, and God especially loves those who possess it.
Paul wrote about Jesus to the Philippians, exhorting them to “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, existing in God’s form, did not consider equality with God as a prize to be seized upon, but divested himself, assuming the form of a slave, made in the likeness of men; and finding himself as a man in appearance, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death – the death of a cross.”
But what was God’s response to Jesus’ selflessness? Paul continues: “And because of this, God highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus should bow every knee belonging to heavenly beings, and to earthly beings, and to those who are under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Peter wrote, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, and He shall lift you up.” Jesus is the perfect example of Peter’s doctrine; he humbled himself lower than any man ever has, and God has raised him up and honored him more highly than any man will ever be honored. This shows us the way to obtaining honor from God by showing us something God especially loves – a Christ-like mind – but how few have ever availed themselves of the opportunity of eternal glory!