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Summary: This message looks at teh need to be thining the right things

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DON’T LET YOUR MIND WANDER

PHILIPPIANS 4:8-9 FINALLY, BROTHERS, WHATEVER IS TRUE, WHATEVER IS HONORABLE, WHATEVER IS JUST, WHATEVER IS PURE, WHATEVER IS LOVELY, WHATEVER IS COMMENDABLE, IF THERE IS ANY EXCELLENCE, IF THERE IS ANYTHING WORTHY OF PRAISE, THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS. 9 WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED AND RECEIVED AND HEARD AND SEEN IN ME—PRACTICE THESE THINGS, AND THE GOD OF PEACE WILL BE WITH YOU.

INTRODUCTION: JOHN PHILIPS, IN HIS COMMENTARY WROTE, “A GUARDED THOUGHT LIFE HAS TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY A GUIDED THOUGHT LIFE.”

SOMEONE ELSE HAS WRITTEN, “THE CAPACITY OF THE HUMAN BRAIN IS THE SUBJECT OF EVER-WIDENING SCIENTIFIC WONDER. ITS TWELVE TO FOURTEEN BILLION CELLS ARE ONLY A SHADOW OF ITS COMPLEXITY, BECAUSE EACH CELL SENDS OUT THOUSANDS OF CONNECTING TENDRILS SO THAT A SINGLE CELL MAY BE CONNECTED WITH 10,000 NEIGHBORING CELLS, EACH OF WHICH IS CONSTANTLY EXCHANGING DATA IMPULSES. THESE TWELVE TO FOURTEEN BILLION BRAIN CELLS TIMES 10,000 CONNECTORS MAKE THE HUMAN MIND AN UNPARALLELED COMPUTER. THE MIND'S ACTIVITY HAS BEEN COMPARED TO 1,000 SWITCHBOARDS, EACH BIG ENOUGH TO SERVE NEW YORK CITY, ALL RUNNING AT FULL SPEED AS THEY RECEIVE AND SEND QUESTIONS AND ORDERS.”

YET WITH ALL THIS CAPACITY, WE ARE ONLY CAPABLE OF THINKING ABOUT ONE THING AT A TIME. AND THERE IS THE WEAKNESS OF OUR MINDS, SO TO SPEAK. IF WE CAN ONLY THINK ON ONE THING AT A TIME, THEN IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE BE THINKING ABOUT THE RIGHT THING WHEN WE ARE THINKING!

THE DIZZYING POTENTIAL OF THE HUMAN MIND REACHES ITS APEX IN THE POSSIBILITY OF POSSESSING THE MIND OF CHRIST THROUGH THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

TRANSITION: SO, IN ORDER THAT WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO THINK ON THE RIGHT THINGS WHEN WE THINK, PAUL IN THIS LETTER, GIVES US SOME INSTRUCTION.

I. THE PRACTICE OF OUR MINDS

a. BEGINNING WITH FINALLY

i. AFTER INSTRUCTION CONCERNING ISSUES IN THE CHURCH

ii. AFTER INSTRUCTION ON ANXIETY AND PRAYER

b. FOCUS ON THE KEY COMPONENT – OUR MINDS

i. NOTICE THAT THE MIND OF A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST WILL HAVE ISSUES – PAUL REFERS TO US AS BRETHREN

1. SAVED

ii. NOTICE THAT WE ARE TO DWELL ON THESE THINGS

1. CALCULATE

2. MEDITATE – INTERNALIZE AND PERSONALIZE

3. ALSO A COMMAND

a. NOT AN OPTION

b. PART OF OUR CHRISTIAN WALK

c. IN ORDER TO EFFECTIVELY SERVE THE LORD WE MUST BE ABLE TO DWELL ON THE RIGHT THINGS

c. THE DIRECTION OF OUR THOUGHTS

i. TRUE

1. WE ARE TO FOCUS ON THE THINGS AROUND US THAT ARE HONEST

2. WE ARE TO AVOID DISHONESTY AND THAT WHICH IS UNRELIABLE

3. GREATEST TRUTH WE HAVE IS OUR BIBLE

a. “YOUR WORD IS TRUTH”

b. THE JUDGMENTS OF THE LORD ARE TRUE

c. ALL THE COMMANDS OF GOD ARE TRUE

d. PART OF THE VERY NATURE OF GOD IS THAT HE IS TRUTH

e.

ii. HONORABLE

1. THE WORD MEANS TO REVERE OR HONOR

2. IT IS USED TO DESCRIBE A DIGNIFIED LIFESTYLE

a. DESCRIBES MEN AND WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP

b. DESCRIBES THOSE WHO ARE OLDER IN THE FAITH

3. IT IS A LEARNED ACTIVITY AND AN ACTIVITY TO BE PURSUED AS ONE MATURES IN CHRIST

iii. RIGHT

1. WORD IS AN ADJECTIVE AND SHOULD BE TRANSLATED “RIGHTEOUS”

2. IN HARMONY WITH GOD’S UNCHANGING STANDARDS

3. THINKING ON THINGS CONSISTENT WITH THE LAWS OF GOD

iv. PURE

1. LITERALLY THIS MEANS FREE FROM SIN

2. SCRIPTURE DEFINES THIS AS MORALLY CLEAN, HOLY, AND UNDEFILED

v. LOVELY

1. WORD ONLY APPEARS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

2. CAN BE TRANSLATED AS SWEET, GRACIOUS, GENEROUS, OR PATIENT

3. IN OTHER WORDS WE ARE TO FOCUS ON THOSE THINGS THE BIBLE DECLARES AS PLEASING TOWARDS GOD

vi. GOOD REPUTE

1. HIGHLY REGARDED

2. WELL THOUGHT OF

vii. EXCELLENCE, WORTHY OF PRAISE

1. SOLOMON SAYS IT BEST -- PROVERBS 4:23 (ESV) KEEP YOUR HEART WITH ALL VIGILANCE, FOR FROM IT FLOW THE SPRINGS OF LIFE.

WHAT WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND AND EMBRACE IS THAT, FOR THE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST, THERE IS A STANDARD IN OUR THOUGHT LIFE TO ATTAIN. WE DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE IN THE MATTER, WE ARE COMMANDED TO DWELL ON THE RIGHT THOUGHTS AS A BELIEVER. AND IN THAT COMMAND, THERE IS A PROMISE!

II. THE PROMISE IN OUR PRACTICE

a. WE NEED TO PRACTICE LEARNING

i. IMPLIES THAT THIS IS ONGOING

ii. A PROCESS NOT MERELY OF GETTING TO KNOW THE PERSON BUT OF SO APPLYING THE KNOWLEDGE AS TO WALK DIFFERENTLY

b. WE NEED TO PRACTICE RECEIVING

i. TO TAKE UP, INTO AND AWAY

ii. TO RECEIVE FROM ANOTHER

iii. TO TAKE WITH THE HAND IN ORDER TO USE

c. WE NEED TO PRACTICE HEARING

i. TO GIVE ATTENTION TO, PAY ATTENTION TO

d. WE NEED TO PRACTICE SEEING

i. THE THOUGHT HERE IS PERCEPTION

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