Think About These Things

Date:
Sunday, 29 September 2013
Series:
Speaker:
Length:
28:01
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1476
Sermon Notes:

Apologies for the quality of the recording and translation in the background!

 

Think about these things

In a world with many negatives, facing the reality of our weakness and failures how do we keep a healthy mind?

Introduction

God tells us "...Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." – (Phil 4:8[ER1] ).

The notion of ‘fixing’ our thoughts implies effort[ER2] . We don’t naturally have control over our thoughts, it is a conscious process. Here are some key points to grasping this biblical principle on wholesome thinking. So what is your habit of thought? What patterns does your mind slip into[ER3] ?

Input – sow goodness

Don’t combat bad thinking, take hold of your mind and replace it with good thinking. It’s about doing what you can do today to draw out good tomorrow.

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart…” – Jesus (Luke 6:45). What we store, we become[ER4] .

a.  Think about Jesus

Jesus said: “If the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. In order to have a free mind we must “fix our eyes on the author and perfector of our faith”(Heb 12:2). The world doesn’t know this truth.

If you are trapped by your past, don’t be, God completed the work for us, even the best on the cross. To fight the flesh is to take hold of this spiritual truth[ER5] .

The determining factor in our relationship with God is not our past but Christ’s past – Timothy Keller

b.  Think on what is honourable

There is always bad to think about and to worry about but Jesus doesn’t like us to have a mind-set beyond loving God and those in close proximity, this is where we can make an impact[ER6] . It’s a matter of how we think today, how we treat those around us.

c.   Think about what is true

There is great power in memorising the word of God. Why do we say this? The best example of confrontation of with the devil (who knows the word of God), the victor quoted the bible. That victor was Jesus.

When he was young he was found in the temple asking questions to the priests. He had a keen interest for the word of God. David shared in this interest for God’s word in Psalms 119. When David the king couldn’t sleep he applied his mind to God’s word. This passion can be your’s also.

Our teachers have taught us that the word is God’s instruction manual for life. Through daily memorisation we intake our daily bread and become strong. This strength is used against the enemy. Without the word you will live your life under condemnation with nothing but a butter knife to defend yourself with against the enemy. If you feel like this then make studying, learning, memorising the word, prayer and communion a daily part of your life.

d.  Engage your mind in learning

The bible talks about learning, giving it great importance. Solomon says “Get wisdom and with all you have purchase[ER7]  understanding.” (Prov 4:7)

This is timeless, it doesn’t have an age limit to it. It doesn’t say: “young men” and it doesn’t exclude seasoned researchers. It is for every one of all ages. God allows us to fill our mind with learning and to be enthusiastic about being taught something new.

e.  Think about what is lovely

Don’t let bad thoughts engrave themselves in your mind. Jeremiah says: “How long will you harbour wicked thoughts?” [ER8] (Jer 4:14). The mind is like a tree, if black birds arrive, don’t let them perch in your branches or they will make a nest for themselves and increase in number. So it is with the mind, to stop a negative, worried or anguished thought you must simply ignore it, giving it attention is giving it space and re-igniting the cycle of thought. Don’t allow your mind free reign[ER9] , it isn’t biblical. If you dwell on past failures in your thoughts you will only rekindle those flames[ER10] . This is why it is so important that we don’t trivially mention sins amongst ourselves, lest someone be fighting with them, we could re-ignite the problem for them.[ER11] 

f.     Confess

Sometimes the devil plays with our insecurity of cleanliness. It will lighten the load to confess your faults to another.

g.  Reflective thinking

Experience isn’t the best teacher,[ER12]  reflected experience is. If you have a problem don’t hope for it to change, plan a new action.[ER13] 

h.  Challenge popular thinking

We should challenge the thinking of the world: “Don't copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Roman’s 12:2. This is a process of transformation away from popular accepted thinking to biblical principle led thinking[ER14] .

Summary

If the results of your thinking are bad you need to reflect. Look at what is going in and tackle it at the source. Studying the word, putting our faith in the word, seeking God and being with His people are fundamental to a healthy mind.

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