Summary: Thread: Aim for the Heart We find the Apostle Paul describing the push and pull and tension and struggle between good and evil and righteousness and unrighteousness that happens inside the mind of each person. Every person who has ever lived deals with the sinful nature.
GOD’S PROMISES FOR EVERY NEED: A DIRTY MIND
INTRODUCTION… The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (p)
I don’t know what kind of movies you all like, but one of my favorite types of movies are westerns. I like “Sons of Katie Elder.” I like the original “True Grit” and the remake. I definitely say “I’m your huckleberry” every so often. “The Magnificent 7” (both of them) are good to watch.
Perhaps my favorite western of all time if I had to pick one is “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” with Clint Eastwood from 1966. It is so great that even in Back to the Future III we see Robert Zemekis and Bob Gale use some of the plot for their own movie. “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” is a movie with great music and terrible synchronous sound that showcases the classic struggle between good and evil. That struggle all comes down to a final showdown, a gun battle in the hot desert sun. Of course, in the movie, good defeats evil and they live happily ever after.
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“Aim for the heart Ramon” might be the most famous line from that movie. That scene is similar to the passage that we will study today. In the passage, there is the classic struggle between good and evil, however, it is not fiction like in the movies made for our entertainment; the fight is real and the struggle is continuous and the outcome is eternal… and the way I read the chapter for today… much of that battle takes place in our minds.
Today is the last in our series about “God’s Promises for Every Need.” The passage we are going to read from today is 2 Timothy chapter 3. Chapter 3 describes the good versus evil struggle that happens inside all of us in our minds.
THREAD: AIM FOR THE HEART
SITUATION: BATTLEGROUND OF THE MIND
READ 2 TIMOTHY 3:1-9
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.”
THREAD: AIM FOR THE HEART
When I read this passage, I see the Apostle Paul describing the push and pull and tension and struggle between good and evil and righteousness and unrighteousness that happens inside each person. This tension happens whether or not a person is a Christian because we all deal with the sinful nature. Every person who has ever lived deals with the sinful nature.
What does Paul describe? I think the Apostle Paul describes a dirty mind filled with all kinds of sinfulness. Paul honestly goes on what I will call a “rant” with a list of 23 different areas that plague us. All of them start in our minds.
* Being more important than others in our own minds means we are lovers of self.
* When we think about making money for a large percentage of time, we are lovers of money.
* Pride is us thinking we are better than others and judging others less than us.
* Arrogance is believing that we cannot possibly be wrong.
* Abusive words and actions start with abusive angry thoughts in our minds towards others.
* Self-entitled thoughts and disobedient thinking lead us to disobey parents.
* Selfish thoughts lead to ungratefulness.
* Lustful thoughts lead to unholiness.
* Judgmental thinking leads us to be heartless with others.
* Envy and jealous thinking leads us to be unappeasable with everything in life.
* Angry thoughts as well as false attitudes lead us to be slanderous.
* Wrong thoughts about personal freedom lead us to live without self-control.
* Angry sinful attitudes lead us to treat others in brutal ways.
* Wrong thinking about right and wrong means we do not love what is good.
* Thoughts than center on ‘getting what is mine’ can lead us to be treacherous.
* Thinking centered on hatred of self can lead us to be reckless.