Summary: Our thinking has the capacity to either crown us or cripple us.
Proverbs 23:7 KJV For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: . . .
Philippians 4:8 KJV Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
I. INTRODUCTION—THE MIND IS A VALUABLE THING. . .
-The Bible describes our minds by using the figure of a ship looking for a harbor. Though you may be unable to keep disease-ridden ships from sailing back and forth on the ocean, you can refuse them docking privileges in the harbor of your mind.
• Job talks about those who harbor resentment in their hearts.
• The Psalmist talks about those who harbor malice in their minds.
• James talks about those who allow bitter envy and selfish ambition to harbor within them.
Jeremiah 4:14 NLT How long will you harbor your evil thoughts.
Deuteronomy 15:9 NIV Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought.
Matthew 9:4 NIV Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your mind?
Romans 13:14 NIV Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
-Your mind is the most valuable thing that you have in your possession. The way you spend your mind is of utmost importance.
-You will become what you think!!!
A. General Quotes
Marcus Aurelius—The most important things in life are the thoughts you choose to think.
Gary Collins—It doubtless is true that people become what they think about.
-I also have to tell you a very important fact. Your mind is under siege every single second of the day. There is a great plan to control your thinking. In the course of time, you will become on the outside what you believe on the inside.
-The devil loves to take advantage of a mind that is ignorant or one that is pushed around by wayward emotions.
J. Oswald Sanders—The mind of man is the battleground on which every moral and spiritual battle is fought.
Vance Havner—Our defeat or victory begins with what we think, and if we guard our thoughts we shall not have much trouble anywhere else along the line.
2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Romans 12:2 KJV And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Philippians 2:5 KJV Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Isaiah 26:3 KJV Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Matthew 22:37 KJV Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
II. TWO OF THE LORD’S CHARACTERS
-There are a couple of characters that the Lord mentioned in His teaching that to this day we have no idea what their names were. But so powerful was the lifestyle that they developed, it can help us to see how to think.
A. The Man with His Hand on the Plow—Luke 9:62
Luke 9:62 KJV And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
-Jesus was addressing a crowd of people who were considering following Him but had various difficulties with the call.
• One man could not give up his home—9:57-58.
• One man could not give up his dead relatives—9:59.
• One man could not give up his family—9:61.
-All of their excuses prompted the metaphor He used that day. Perhaps Jesus reverted back to the memory of the carpenter’s shop when under the direction of Joseph’s careful instruction; Jesus had finished His first plow.
-The farmer came to pick it up and soon was in the field turning over the rich dark earth. Perhaps it was on such a day that Jesus had gotten the permission of Joseph to slip off and watch the farmer from a distant hidden place as he used the plow that Jesus had made.
-As Jesus watched, He foresaw the very day in Luke 9 when He would speak about this nameless and faceless farmer from so long ago. He had intently watched the farmer use that plow the Lord had made to plow his field.
• He had watched the discretion of the farmer with the seed he was going to plant.
• He had noticed the care that he had for his oxen as they were in the yoke.