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September 16, 2021 2:00 am
Our minds are constantly confronted by the world's ideas and values. It can be a battle to maintain godliness in our thoughts. In the message "Think What to Do; Do What You Think," Skip shares how you can take control of your thought life.
This teaching is from the series Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians .Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
My thought life is attached to the rest of my life. Whatever it is that you think on is what you will eventually do good thoughts bear good fruit. Bad thoughts bear bad fruit, and guess what, you're the gardener you're the one doing the planting, and we notice that the Philippians is a book about joy.
This is all part of you have a joyful life. You need a joyful thought life. That's where it all begins. It's been said that the Christian life is a battleground in the battle begins in the mind. Your thoughts inevitably influence your actions connect with Skip Heitzigs of today as he shares practical insight to help you manage your thoughts carefully and according to God's truth right now want to tell you about a resource that shines important light on to what's happening in the Middle East, New York Times best-selling author Joel Rosenberg is now based in Jerusalem and he's releasing the new nonfiction book enemies and allies I traveled with Joel to the middle of the cities to meet with Kings Crown Prince. We sat together on the east lawn of the White House for the signing of the historic Abraham records and I previewed his new book enemies and allies. I can tell you it contains never before published quotes from behind closed door meetings with some of the most powerful and mysterious leaders, Middle East, you will want to read enemies and allies by Joel Rosenberg includes insights and analysis. The authors conversation. She leaders meet howls come to meet the most cost leaders enemies and allies by Joel Rosenberg includes insights and analysis from the authors conversations with some of the most controversial leaders in the world will send you a hardcover copy of enemies and allies. Thanks for your gift of $35 or more to give. Visit connectwithskip.com or call 800-922-1888 joy Skip Heitzigs of today's teaching Philippians chapter 4 that I was in grade school by teachers used the phrase and I bet yours to that is your thinking Never say that there is a okay kids, put your thinking caps on and I remember when my teacher said that she met door he met. I need your attention. Class I really want you to process through what I'm about to tell you but you know that's a figure of speech, but I remember thinking would be great if there was such a thing as an actual thinking, so that when like you lose your way or you need wisdom is put the cap on and you're good to go. Course it doesn't really work that way. Henry Ford said, thinking is the hardest work. There is, which is probably why so few engage in it of the human mind is amazing you're capable of logical thought, you're capable of abstract reasoning, deductive analysis, your your mind can emote you can have emotions from joy to sorrow, from competence to fear, and every emotion between back in the 1600s philosopher named René Descartes gave a little philosophical postulate that he spoke in Latin, very common language of time and when I say it will recognize that many of you cog need a ergo sum, which means I think therefore I am cog need all ergo sum, I think, therefore I am. The point about little saying is that we validate our own existence by the very fact that we can produce thoughts, so if you're ever in doubt in my real is this real, I am thinking. I think therefore I am not Paul wouldn't disagree with apropos wouldn't stop there either party apostle would've said okay but I think, therefore I do that is my thought life is attached to the rest of my life. Whatever it is that you think on is what you will eventually do so that good thoughts bear good fruit.
Bad thoughts bear bad fruit, and guess what, you're the gardener you're the one doing the planting, and we notice that the book of Philippians is a book about joy, but this is all part of you and have a joyful life. You gonna need a joyful thought life. That's where it all begins. So, a few years back. 15. College professors were given a challenge and the challenge was simply this. If if you could take all the books on the art of moving people into action if they were condensed into one brief statement with that statement be so they took the challenge the thought of all the famous books on getting people motivated moving them into action and coming up with just short statement is what they said. What the mind it tends to. It considers what the mind does not attend to. It dismisses what the mind it tends to continually it believes and what the mind believes it eventually does so they knew that if you can get a group of people or a person to think long enough about something to where they actually believe in that something you can motivate them to do something with that as a background, we look at verse eight and verse nine of Philippians 4 finally, brethren, some of us are so happy to see that word finally because it means Paul is almost done with this letter finally means the rest for the things that remain. He's tying up some loose and some extra thoughts that sum up what is been saying in this book. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy. Meditate on these things, the things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me these do in the God of peace will be with you is a definite structured of these two verses linguistically. I know most people are excited about linguistic analysis, but I just point something out what you have in these two verses are two different lists of things attached to a main clause. A single verb drives each verse.
The verb in verse eight, is the verb, meditate or think, ponder, think on these things. Rest of first important verb followed by verse nine, the main verb is due. These do so meditate first or think first and then do second isn't it amazing how consistent the Bible is in describing how that our thoughts produce actions and what we think drives what we do. So here's an example. Jesus taught often on humility to his disciples, but then one that night at the Last Supper. He got up, wash their feet. You're a little bit dumbfounded by this and then he said to them, if you know these things. Happy are you if you do them. Knowing is one thing taking with the knowledge into action is quite another. If you know these things.
Happy are you if you there's another example, when Paul writes his writing style typically is to give knowledge first application. Second, think on this. Now do this best example Romans, the book of Romans.
He spends 11 chapters telling us what we should know how we should think about God, about sin, about the world about us. Then finally, in chapter 12 verse one. He writes, I beseech you therefore, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God which is your reasonable service.
So you thought about this now do that.
He also follows that in the book of Ephesians chapters 1 to 3 Paul writes about what we have all the wealth we have in Christ, who we are in him. Then in chapter 4. Therefore, I beseech you walk worthy of the calling you have received cc there's always this relationship between knowing and doing between doctrine and duty between the living and learning. We learn and then we live it out. So what I want to do in these two verses show you three simple things three ways that we ought to think we ought to think carefully we ought to think righteously we ought to think actively what sailboats we should think carefully, we should think righteously and we should think actively so we would engage the mind were all on the same page. Now let's explore. I want to draw your attention again in verse eight to that main clause I told you about. It's at the end of verse eight in my translation says meditate on these things. Here's the deal.
Our minds can go in a million different directions. Therefore, we we have to be very careful about what we are going to let it ponder concentrate on a look at the word meditate some translations just say think on these or ponder these things. Now the word meditate on it tell you the word in Greek and you're gonna listen to it and you gonna tell me what it sounds like an English login semi-sounds like logic that is where we get our word logic logins of my means to think logically or to concentrate logically the ideas to reason logically so that your actions are based on carefully thought out principles. Do you know according to Scripture thinking is paramount. Solomon the writer of Proverbs in Proverbs 23, seven says, for as he thinks in his heart so is he is a man thinks in his heart, so is for years people have noted that we are what we think and I agree with that. What you think about you what you think about God what you think about the world around you. What you think about sex.
What you think about homosexuality what you think about politics all the things that you can think about. In the end really define who you are. That is what you are. You are the some of your thoughts, people's lives are the product of people's thoughts. Remember when Jesus said in Mark seven for what comes out of a man that the files are. Listen to a little more about all read a little more of what he said this is in the new living translation Jesus speaking. It is the thought life, but the files you for from within, out of a person's heart come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure NV slander, pride, foolishness. All these vile things come from within. They are what defile you and make you unacceptable to God. That's the negative the positive.
The reverse is also true. Point being, people's doings are just the result of peoples thinkings. We do what we think now in the Bible, God actually commands us to think Isaiah chapter 1 verse 18, now, let us reason together, says the Lord. I've always thought the Christians ought to be great thinkers and I admire when I find one who is unfortunately for some of us are brain cells are seriously under exercised and partially that's because some people's view of spirituality is not intellectual, which is mystical is not if you know the truth. In fact, if you know the truth you're sort of place on the second or third shelf is more than just head knowledge is more than just you.
It's one thing to know something and it's true, but for so many people it's all about the mystical experience the deeper life you might know things, but if you experience the deeper life. I'm all about the deeper life but people are after the deeper life of gone off the deeper end AW toes or put it this way aimless activity is beneath the worth and dignity of the human being the great weight of exhortation these days is in the direction of zeal and activity. Let's get going is the favorite watchword for gospel workers, with the result that everyone feels ashamed to sit down and think Jesus said to the lawyer, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, with all your mind. Jesus also said learn of me, Peter Roden said grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Hosea the prophet cried out my people perish for lack of knowledge, not lack of zeal lack of knowledge, all of that to say this, it's okay to think as a Christian we don't put a sign out in the foyer that says check brains here before entering know we want your mind fully engaged where you wrestle with turn things around question, ponder, resolve all of that. I remember when I first came to faith my college professors and my medical professors are very few of them. If, if any, really had a relationship or interest in the things of God. And so I was challenged quite a bit daily and I had a struggle in my faith by a crisis of faith and I really didn't know what to do or where to go. I found the book changed my life called evidence that demands a verdict by Josh McDowell just got reprinted last month. New addition evidence that demands a verdict was all about the evidences that substantiate the Christian faith, and I read this book I internalize this book I memorized sections of that book. But one of the first things that I found in the book when I opened it up, said this, the heart cannot rejoice in what the mind cannot accept, and I thought I found gold. This is a book encouraging me to think actively and to reason logically with these truths, and by the way, if you were to look back at the major revivals in past history you will find that knowledge is at the center of those revivals. One of the key factors that is in common with every great revival of the passengers, an emphasis on biblical doctrine and theology, and exposition of the Scripture. So there's a battle for your mind today, which means you and I we ought to think carefully, logically meditate on these things. That's one of the first way to think second I just think carefully, but think righteously called and just say thank therefore you are is to let me tell you what to think about is the parameters of godly thinking in the list six things.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, or whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report or good repute. Some translations say if there is any virtue, if there is anything praiseworthy. Meditate on these things all about to say, think righteously, to guess how many thoughts you have every day, you might say will not many truth as you have many neuroscientists say the average person thinks 70 that's 70 thousand 70,000 thoughts every single day 70,000 you think 70,000 thoughts which means in a years time you will have produced 25.5 million thoughts so that's a lot of options right were bombarded with a lot of thought. So we need to not just think, but harness those thoughts as the Bible says in second Corinthians 10 we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ or listen to what Paul said in Romans eight.
Those who live according to the flesh set their mind on the things of the flesh. Those who live according to the Spirit set their minds in the things of the spirit, now notice the list in verse eight, whatever things are pure, whatever things are noble, etc. he list six things all of which basically say the same thing all of those words describe righteous thinking. In other words, true things are noble, noble things are just, just things are pure, pure things are lovely. It's all sort of a one off describing the same thing thinking righteously this point, don't you think that we need to be vigilant about what input we allow into our minds in terms of what we see and what we hear now some will say well, as I see it I I can put whatever because he says whatever six times he says, whatever things are pure, whatever things are noble and some people have gotten hung up on that word. Whatever like Paul is in considering this source is very being very indiscriminate as to what you allow yourself to think on, but I would debate that and say when Paul says, whatever things he just says if you look at the gamut of all the possible thoughts and come in your head, find whatever thoughts fit these categories.
Moreover, in verse nine. You will notice that he says these are the qualities he taught and he lived by himself these things which you have learned and received and heard and saw in me these do and I got a piece will be with you. So all of the things that he mentions in the eighth verse as parameters of thinking. All of these are found in the Scriptures, and it could be that Paul is saying let the Bible govern righteous thinking. And the reason I say that because I'm a read to you a little portion of Psalm 19 and listen how close one sounds of the other Psalm 19 a beginning in verse seven, the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are just or right, rejoicing the heart the commandment of the Lord is sure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. Sounds very similar to the description of Paul in Philippians he sings think righteously so look at a few of these things, whatever things are true and wouldn't you agree that one of the great commodities of God's truth that he is the God of all truth.
Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life. When Jesus prayed in the garden he said sanctify them father by your truth.
Your word is truth for God specializes in truth, so think about what is true and you'll find that in his word and not say why this is important you and I live in a world where people say there's no such thing as empirical truth there is no such thing as absolute truth. Truth is relative in your truth may not be my truth right so were exposed to that sort of thinking that's what we need a constant exposure and injection of God's truth so they were able to discern what is right and what is wrong and it's even more important these days because a generation has arisen were honestly truth isn't all that important feelings trump truth to a whole new generation is not about is this true or not true. It's how does that make you feel if it makes you feel good that your truth of it doesn't make you feel good that it's not your truth and have you heard this, which I do what just follow your heart. Just follow your heart. Another little bit of pop psychology might sound really noble, but that is like the worst piece of advice ever in history. Follow your heart. Here's why the Bible says the heart is deceitful above everything else, and desperately wicked who can know it severe driven by your emotional feelings at the time it might feel good temporarily, but eventually you might go up so meditate righteous true that Skip message from his series technical trip to Israel is like Bible study will never be the same. Skip has lived in Israel led tours. Many many times you reuse to invite you. One is next to you know there's always something new to see and experience in Israel and I'm so excited to let you know that I'm taking another tour group to Israel next spring.
In 2022 urine for an incredible time as we travel throughout Israel and experience the culture that's so unique to that country will start on the Mediterranean Sea and head north. Seeing places like Caesarea and Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River will spend several days in and around Jerusalem and see the temple mount Calvary, the garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of olives and much more. This remarkable itinerary is made richer with times of worship, Bible study, and lots of fellowship. Now I've been to Israel a number of times over the years and I can honestly say that visiting the places where the events of the Scriptures unfolded where Jesus lived taught and healed. It just never gets old. I can't wait to see you in his start planning and saving them to Israel would Skip pricing information, inspiration, cruises.com/C BBQ that's inspiration cruises.com/C BBQ tune in tomorrow as Skip Hyson shares her godly thoughts into godly actions and how you can actively cultivate those thoughts and so Skip presentation of connection communications changing true ever-changing time