Summary: GOD’S FAVOR DEPENDS ON THINKING RIGHT AND ACTING RIGHT
GOD’S FAVOR DEPENDS ON THINKING RIGHT AND ACTING RIGHT
I. WE ALL WANT GOD’S FAVOR IN OUR LIVES
"the God of Peace shall be with you"
cf. OT concept of God being with someone and blessing all of their endeavors and protecting them
Barclay: "To Paul, God is the God of peace. This, in fact, is his favorite title for God
(Romans 16:20; I Corinthians 14:3; I Thessalonians 5:23). To a Jew peace was never merely a negative thing; it was never merely the absence of trouble; peace was everything which makes for a man’s highest good. Only in the friendship of God can a
man find life as life was meant to be. But also to a Jew this peace issued specially in right relationships. It is only by the grace of God that we can enter into a right relationship with God and with our fellow men. The God of peace is the God who is
able to make life what it was meant to be by enabling us to enter into fellowship with himself and fellowship with our fellow men."
II. GOD’S FAVOR DEPENDS ON THINKING RIGHT
Pentecost: "The greatest conflict taking place in the world today is the battle for control of our minds."
A. Appropriate Food for Thought
1. "whatever is true"
2. "whatever is honorable"
3. "whatever is right "
4. "whatever is pure"
5. "whatever is lovely"
6. "whatever is of good repute"
What have you been munching on lately?
2 Cor. 10:5 "taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."
B. Acceptable From an Objective Source of Judgment
1. "if there is any excellence"
2. "and if anything worthy of praise"
Wiersbe: "If it has virtue, it will motivate us to do better; and if it has praise, it is worth
commending to others."
C. Active Focus
"let your mind dwell on these things"
Motyer: "The verb think about (logizomai) means to ponder, to give proper weight and value to, and to allow the resultant appraisal to influence the way life is to be lived."
III. GOD’S FAVOR DEPENDS ON ACTING RIGHT
A. Actions Worth Imitating
"The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me"
Martin: "Before the composition of the New Testament and its acceptance as authoritative Scripture, ’the tradition,’ as a standard of Christian belief and behaviour, was embodied in the teaching and example of those persons in whose lives the authority and ethical practice of the Lord was to be found. Paul refers to such ’traditions’ (or ’commands’ or ’ordinances’) in a number of places (cf. 1 Cor. xi. 2, xv. 1 ff.; Gal. i. 9; Col. ii. 6; 1 Thes. iv. 1,2; 2 Thes. ii. 15). Before they were committed to writing and later formed the corpus of New Testament Scripture they were learned, received, heard, seen in the person of the apostles."
B. Practice Makes Perfect (but only when you are practicing the right things)
"practice these things"
Pentecost: "Maturity in the Christian life is not measured by what a man knows but by what he does. Let that be indelibly impressed upon your mind. Hebrews 5:12-14 gives us God’s definition of maturity. Maturity is the ability to use the Word so as to
determine the course of one’s conduct."
* * * * * * * * * *
1) If we ran our choice of television shows, movies, and books through the grid of this criteria for right thinking, would we need to make some changes in what we are allowing to fill our mind? Are we willing to make those changes? Do we really believe.that there is a direct connection to God’s favor?
2) How does the fact that God knows our every thought impact our daily living? Are we only focused on those things that are clearly marked by excellence and worthy of praise? Do we realize that Satan is conducting a war to try to make inroads into our
3) Do we have some good role models to emulate? Are we digging into the Scriptures to recover the model of the apostolic life with the goal towards imitating it? Do we place a greater value on practicing the truth than on knowing the truth?
4) When have we experienced in a special way "the God of peace" being with us to show us His favor and protect us?
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