Summary: examine the role God¡¦s Word plays in changing our minds, brining us to a place of repentance, so that we can effect positive change in our relationships.
How to Change Your Mind
(Acknowledging the Word of God)
Introduction: This is week seven in our series "Eight Essential Exercises for Building a Better Body.¨ We’re continuing to explore the need to build healthy, God-honoring relationships because all of life is lived out in the context of our relationships.
The first exercise we considered was "Allocating Strength.¨ As we studied this exercise we examined our need to find our strength in the Lord. Without His strength, we can¡¦t even complete the rest of the exercises and our relationships will suffer.
Secondly we explored our need to make certain that our relationships are supported by and grounded in integrity. Without that belt of truth strapped around us, we cannot stand and our relationships crumble.
We then considered the need to access the righteousness of Christ. We need to be right with God before we can be right in our relationships with others, and the way we get right with God is we allow the righteousness of Christ to be given to us. And then we ask him to fill us, to dwell in us and actually change our character so that we are truly a righteous people.
Next we looked at our need to be actively preparing to advance. If our relationships are going to be healthy, God honoring relationships, we must be prepared to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ into those relationships with our words and our actions. A lack of preparation leaves us susceptible to defeat by the enemy.
We then examined the role that faith plays in our relationships. We must believe in the Word of God. We must trust Jesus enough to ¡§Get into the Wheelbarrow,¡¨ and we must let that trust lead us to a life of obedience. When we trust God enough to obey what he teaches regarding our relationship, all of our relationships will be enhanced.
Last week we took a look at the helmet of salvation. We evaluated whether we were a thermometer or a thermostat in our relationships. If we are going to effect change, for the glory of God, in our relationships we must be thermostats. We need to be change agents. However, that will only happen when we have a change of mind. When we repent of our current way of thinking, (selfish, me-centered, world¡¦s perspective) and align our thoughts with Christ. We must be people who think like Jesus thought. That means we have to change our minds.
This week I want to pick up where we left off and consider the role that the Word of God, the Bible, plays in our relationships. We are going to examine the role God¡¦s Word plays in changing our minds, brining us to a place of repentance, so that we can effect positive change in our relationships. Please recall that when I have been talking about positive change, I¡¦ve not been talking about positive thinking, you can do it, Zig Zigglar, Amway type stuff. I¡¦m talking about brining godliness, holiness, and a Christ-centered focus into all of our relationships.
Paul told the Christians at Ephesus to take up the Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit. Let¡¦s look at the sword of the Spirit and let¡¦s see how acknowledging the Word of God can make an impact on our relationships.
Read with me from Ephesians 6:10-18 again.
Ep. 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Ep. 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil¡¦s schemes.
Ep. 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ep. 6:13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ep. 6:14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
Ep. 6:15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
Ep. 6:16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Ep. 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ep. 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
As we studied together last week, we saw that there are 5 basic principles about our behavior our beliefs and how to change both. Let me quickly review them as we move into our study this week.