Summary: Peace of mind comes to those who think obediently. Paul gives us great instruction here and promises that the God of peace will be with us as we practice Christian thinking and doing.
Can you control your thoughts? Not that you have absolute and total charge over everything that goes on in your mind, but, can you decide to think about something if asked? If you can’t, we need to get help for you.
Perhaps I should start all over and ask how much control do you have over your thoughts? How responsible are you for what you think? On a one to ten scale, how much would you say that you are in control of your thinking? If you are not in control of your own thoughts who or what is? Today we will look at our thought lives from Philippians and other passages. This week I came across some news that made me see how needful and applicable this is for us.
What big event is scheduled for this February 5th? Super Bowl Sunday! Right? I just heard yesterday that while the game may be a safe, (wholesome?) thing to watch, at least some of the advertisements, which are becoming the most popular item of the show, will not be. Children of light, take notice and beware!
This from a USA Today article: Sexy ads are slinking back to the Super Bowl. At stake: the eyeballs of more than 100 million Super Bowl viewers. And the urgent need to drive all of them online to find out more, socialize and tweet with friends and ultimately buy that beer, smartphone or luxury car. Thirty-some advertisers will spend upwards of $230 million just for the airtime to fight for attention in the Feb. 5 game. But that only partly explains why sexual imagery in Super Bowl advertising is becoming about as common as sand in the Sahara.
Bob Parsons, GoDaddy’s controversial but confident founder, has a simple explanation: "Sex sells on the Super Bowl." But the article goes on to say this is not true. In fact, sexually oriented advertisements lose more than they gain in positive motivation for buyers. So why use them? Ask this: who is behind these adds? God or someone else. There is your answer.
How do you control your thoughts in a Christ-like way and intentionally expose your eyes and mind to the cesspool that is served up by Satan’s servants on Super bowl Sunday? (Or any other day for that matter). The Psalmist said, “I will set before my eyes no unclean thing.” And Job said, “I have made a covenant with my eyes not to lust after a maid.” Jesus said, “Anyone who looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery in his heart.” He went on to say, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and cast it from you. It is better to enter life with one eye than having two eyes to be thrown into hell.”
It is time for us who call ourselves Christians to take seriously what the Bible says about how we think, and that means where we focus our eyes and attention, too.
Did you know that the Bible has a lot of instruction about how and where we focus our minds and thoughts?
Phil. 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is just,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent and
if anything is praiseworthy—
think about such things.
These things that you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me— practice these!
And the God of peace will be with you.
(Other scriptures to consider about our thoughts and minds)
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
Romans 8:5-8 says: 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.