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Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. He says, and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your mind.
Peace. Jesus that I meet with the citizens of peace beyond all comprehension.
What is the difference between a person who is anxious Christian was peace is not the indwelling Holy Spirit is received not the sufficiency of the grace of God because God will. It is very slow in all of the joining of today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana.
Let's join Pastor Bill number now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world Dr. Jack asked the University of Tennessee spent 12 years of his academic studies studying the effect of America's media on how we as Americans think and feel and act's main part of the study was to divide people into two subject groups. One group was to listen to five minutes every day to negative sort of hunting or what we would call normal news.
The other group was not to listen to the news at all.
And they were to listen to five minutes of uplifting positive stories each day and he had them do this for a long extended period of time.
I know it was more than a year, but I'm not sure how long it was at the end of it.
He gave an evaluation and he said this, the group one that's the one soliciting the negative news were more negative than group to which is in a surprise, but one was also more negative. At the end of the study than they were in the beginning of the study. Secondly group one believed that the world was more negative than it was when they believe what they believed before they had taken five minutes of negative news every day and then he found out the group. One those who listen to the negative news were also less likely to help other people than the people who listen to positive uplifting stories and lastly he found out that group. One began to believe at the end of this long extended period of time that bad things were now going to start happening to them that I really shouldn't surprise Ralph Waldo Emerson said life consist of what a man is thinking about all day.
James Allen said you are today where your thoughts are brought you, you will be tomorrow. Your thoughts will take.
I said a few years ago.
You are what you think more than you think you are, but what really matters is what God said in the book of Proverbs, Solomon said this as he thinks in his heart, so is the reason I'm bringing this up is one of the more exasperating parts of being a pastor is to see the people of God, not really benefit on this earthly temple plane the way they should. Being a child of God. All children of God. All born-again believers have the indwelling Holy Spirit in their lives. All have the sufficiency of God's grace upon them all.
Our exposed order should be exposed to the people of God in all our exposed to some extent to the word of God in you. What I have found in my experience is that there's a small percentage of Christian to live a really what Jesus Christ described as an abundant life life.
It's filled with joy and peace and hope, purpose and meaning in all those things and a lot of Christians never really got there the more I think about it the more I'm convinced it's because of the way we think there are victorious Christians and defeated. Once there are joyful Christians and unhappy once their peaceful Christians and anxious once there are hopeful Christians and pessimistic ones. It's not the spirit of God's fault, not the word of God's fault is not the grace of God's lack of sufficiency there must be something about the way we think Chip Ingram is a pastor in California and now is the head of walk through the Bible wrote this piece is consciously we may trivialize the importance of our thoughts, but we obviously recognize the power we get depressed or anxious, we spend a lot of time, energy and money on changing our emotions, we undergo counseling and take medications to get our moods and feelings back on course. We also spent a lot of time energy and money on fixing our behaviors. Return to counseling, medication, accountability groups, training courses and a number of other aids to control what habit or personality flaw, but almost always beneath the emotions that we want to improve and the behavior that we want to correct is a pattern of thinking that needs to change.
So what is the difference between you and great Christians of the past when I think of great Christians. The apostle Paul St. Augustine John Calvin Blaise Pascal CS Lewis Francis Schaeffer leaves metal have in common. Well, they're all great Christians, that's for sure what they have in Christian and in common is this. When you read them you find out they all have great thoughts is a great thoughts.
The question I have for you this morning. What is your thought life like see the apostle Paul only had great thoughts but the apostle Paul's said that you and I can have great thoughts. In fact, he implores us to have which will be your Bible is the Philippians chapter 4 and again you see the two classes of Christians in the two verses that precede the verse I want to look at. Notice in verse six he says be anxious for nothing that he would say that we needed, but there are also a lot of Christians have an awful lot of anxiety and any tells us what to do about that with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let her request me known to God. But then in verse seven he says and describes another kind of Christian, he says, and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Peace is Jesus that I meet with you. He said this is a piece beyond all comprehension. What is the difference between a Christian who was anxious in Christian recipes is not the indwelling Holy Spirit disease in both is is not the sufficiency of the grace of God because God will let his grace flow at all of us will Paul alludes to it in the next verse in verse eight he says finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence, if anything worthy of praise dwell on these things. The things you've learned and received and heard and seen in me practice these things, the God of peace will be with you notice he says we are to practice and it does affect our behavior, but more importantly in the beginning, and before the practice is the thinking it's the word he uses dwell is going to dwell on these things. That word is log is all my and it's a really sophisticated Greek word, it means to deduce the reason to calculate the ponder the deliberate to subject to protracted analysis or thought. In other words, think deeply when he says dwell about. I want you to think deeply. He says if you want peace. I want you to think about this. Notice what he wants us to think about things that are true. That's kind of interesting.
Think about things or that would immediately almost stop you from watching the news. It has to be true. Even secular psychologists say that about 90% of what the average person worries about never happens to their spots that were giving away says no think only about that.
There's true, honorable, which means worthy of respect. These honorable thoughts that I have the kind of thoughts that honor God reflect his purposes for me right simply right wrong these right thoughts sure the same root word is the word holy.
Then he says lovely that's kind of my favorite on the list, whatever is lovely and interesting thought God is telling you to the apostle Paul. You should well used to think a lot about whatever is lovely, beautiful picturesque is what you're saying your mind filled with that kind of beauty of good repute. Is it fair speaking. In other words, any excellence or anything worthy of praise. Paul says that if you really want to have victorious Christian life.
You need to think great thoughts about important things to get your thoughts right you get your motions right if you get your thoughts and emotions right to get your behavior right is with the word of God is saying. Peter says in first Peter 113, prepare your minds for action. You gotta think about it. You see, our problem that we have as Christians and so many of us is we immediately put our thinking one default mode. That's it. Something happens and by default but we just are thinking a certain way, let me.
For example, if you're really pessimistic person when you wake up in the morning. Let me just guess your pessimistic I'm just guessing soon as you get up and in fact if you're a paranoid pessimistic person and someone comes up to you in the lobby and says nice to see you haven't seen you for a while you get in the car and say what they mean by that. You begin to think in a particular way.
It's a default mode.
It's the way you think God says don't do that. Don't do that because that thinking was saved by your world that you live in me says no I need you to shape need to let you let me shape your thinking. What I want to do this morning as I want detritus of the jumpstart you and I want to show you the victorious Christians think great thoughts, and I want to help you have some great thoughts in your life so will you be going right through Scripture and let's start with some great thoughts and go to Romans chapter 11 and the first thing I want you to do is I want you to realize the great Christians, victorious Christians have great thoughts about God.
They have great thoughts about God. You see their important reason for your thoughts are this we would want to say it this way. I think often well. Great Christians have great faith right and reason are great as they have great faith that I don't have great faith.
Remember, is there any merit having faith. No, everyone has faith. It's the object of faith is in it. And so what happens is when you have great thoughts you have no way context and some content to your faith and reason of the great people of the faith.
Overall, the sentries were such great Christians as a thought great thoughts and they believe them and made all the difference. So if you want your faith to grow you have to allow your thought life grow.
The first areas great thoughts about God. Notice of the end of chapter 11 of Romans, Paul says in verse 33.
All and I love that a personal old in depth of the riches of the wisdom and the knowledge of God, how unsearchable are his judgments and unfathomable his ways for who was known the mind of the Lord, or who became his counselor who has first given to him that it might be paid back to him again for from him and through him and to him are all things to him be the glory forever.
And then what you do.
Amen. That's a doxology what happened. He started thinking about God. He got so excited thinking about God. He just broke on the end things from him things for things to him.
He's great. Amen. Notice after he says that he says therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship.
What drives me to worship you see what causes me to give my life as a sacrifice to the God who saved me great thoughts about God great thoughts about God, you know, a lot of the price on.
That's exactly what were trying to do were trying to get to get a sense you think, how great is our God hallelujah.
You see, that's what it is the way you think about God when you think of the Scriptures.
He is the creator. He is the sustainer he is the Redeemer but on a personal level. He's a fortress for me.
He is my refuge he is my shepherd is my father.
He is my friend. You see the word of God expresses God to you in such a way so that you think great thoughts about God, victorious Christians think great thoughts about God.
They also think great thoughts about themselves.
Turn with me to Zephaniah chapter 3 is highlighted in my Bible and it should be in yours.
Verse 17. Notice the beginning of the verse talks about great thoughts about God, the Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. That's a great thought about God, but watch what changes when I think about me, he will exalt over you with joy, he will be quiet in his love, he will rejoice over you in the Newmarket standard says with shouts of joy.
Some the other translations. I think that this right.
It literally says here he will rejoice over you with singing literally think about think about. Just imagine what it be like to wake up every morning and think about this God exults over you with joy is loves you in a quiet way and get this, he sings about you. You mean we think it's we come here and we sing praises to God, and worthily we should.
But God sings out of joy for you do imagine that if I woke up in the morning of the right now in heaven. God is singing Bill, Bill, Bill, that's my guy.
He sees my guy.
I love that kid that wonderful water what my dad said about me or my mother said about me, my sister-in-law says about me.
It doesn't matter what the teacher said about me, what God said about me sings about me any sings about you. You think like that is a victorious Christians think that way for something to hold onto great thoughts about God great thoughts about ourselves great thoughts about other people turn the first Samuel chapter 16 first Samuel chapter 16 Sammy was given the burden in this chapter to pick a king he's told to go to Jesse's house and he does, and Jesse begins to present his children. Those who seem to be more worthy. And God interjects and says look, I gotta tell you something Samuel there's a way to evaluate other people and let me explain you what it is.
First Samuel 16 verse seven but the Lord said to Samuel do not look at his appearance or the height of his stature, because I have rejected him, for God sees not as man sees mammoths of the outward appearance, God looks at the heart everything great thoughts that way. How do you see people you see how you see people you see people based on fame, celebrity status education center you see them.
Gotchas don't see people that way. See people for what they are the heart see what he is saying is when you look at another person. Look at the heart look at the character look inside because that's what matters. See this as a chance. Why don't want to go to my default mode doesn't see people that way we shouldn't.
As a matter fact, if you think about in the word of God. We think of others as I look at the word of God. You know many different kinds of people to learn the word of God to their safe people and there's lots people on this love to see people as my brothers and sisters in Christ and on the love, loss, people do everything I can to get them to know Jesus Christ my Savior.
There's no status. There is no educational background. There's no color of skin, there's none of that in the word of God*save people. There are lots people and that's how you see people just think of you thought about that when you meet somebody I want to know this person's heart, I want to see was inside this person before I accept the reject based on only what I see. You see, if you see people that way. It makes an enormous difference.
Victorious Christians have great thoughts about God, about themselves, about others, even about life. Turn to Luke chapter 9 will begin in verse 23. This is right after Peter and made the great profession of faith that you are the Christ of God.
In verse 23 Jesus is saying to them and to us concerning life here it is. If anyone wishes to come after me, you must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake, he is the one will save it says what is a man profited, if he gains the whole world loses or forfeits himself. I can tell you what life is life is following Jesus Christ. That's life. What's life following Jesus Christ and Jesus. I think Paul realizes this too but Jesus realizes what he says this but were like if he just said light was following me would also argue that the follower is a grace of the table when I go to church. Most the time I'm a follower is now no. I explained to her what followers forwards one of the one who denies himself that he takes up his cross, which is the object of shame and he does it every day and he follows me. That's his loyalty to me that's a follower. By the way, that's life. Notice he says he understands that we think of life in different ways for what is a prophet of man, gains the whole world was himself usually life is me presenting myself as a living sacrifice out of Romans 12. That's life. Life is giving my all to my Lord, that's life as a great thought about life in the word of God talks about them a lot. You see, there are other places in all these overlap there so many great thoughts. For example, when I think about life.
I think of this thought, and I think by Bill Solomon writes there is a way that seems right to bill but is Ender's destruction. There is a way that seems right to man but is Ender's destruction and so immediately when I think about life. I think will wait a minute don't trust Bill Jeremiah courses in and says in Jeremiah 17 bills heart is desperately wicked deceitful above all things. Well, that's me so I'm not going to trust Bill when I'm because I can trust bills heart Logan I trust I can trust my Lord. You see, when I see like might see it that way when it comes to life. The book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, here's another principle of thinking great thoughts about life. Life isn't fair, so don't expect it to be a great thought you measured how much anxiety you'd save yourself. That's what you thought you bought in that world and you say life is not fair. I don't expect it to be know what why don't know about that, but to be fair to me. I demanded it's fair to me.
It won't be it's not software like this.
See victorious Christians think great thoughts about life great thoughts about others. Regards about themselves in great thoughts about past the radio.
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