Summary: This sermon looks at the discipline of Study.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
NIV Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think about such things.
“Think Real Hard”
The Post It Note:
I bet a few of you are wondering what in the world is going on with all the little “Post It Notes” all over the church today. Well… I’m going to answer that question by asking another question… what is a “Post It Note?”
In 1968, Dr. Spencer Silver, a scientist at 3M in the United States, developed a "low-tack", reusable pressure sensitive adhesive. For five years, Silver promoted his invention within 3M, both informally and through seminars, but without much success. In 1974, a colleague of his, Art Fry, in a church choir in North St. Paul, Minnesota, was frustrated that his bookmarks kept falling out of his hymnal. He had attended one of Silver’s seminars, and, (I love this part) while listening to a sermon in church, he came up with the idea of using the adhesive to anchor his bookmarks to his hymnal… and the first “Post It Notes” were born. Now you can find these helpful little notes all over the world posted on everything from desks to walls. They serve as reminders… of appointments, of things to get at the grocery store, of things we need to remember to shut off or turn on. They help us to remember… the most important things.
Our Old Testament text is kind of like that today. “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” In other words… put them on “Post It Notes” because they are THAT important.
God’s Post it Notes:
The Old Testament instructed the Israelites to write the Laws on their gates, on their doorposts, and to bind them to their wrists and bind them to their forehead so that they would not forget. The New Testament takes it even further calling us to write the laws on our heart! Like a giant “Post It Note” for the soul… we are supposed to always remember the words of God and make them a part of our life.
The Importance of Study:
It is an important lesson for us to learn… because it’s true what they say… what goes into you comes out of you. That is why there is so much importance placed on keeping the word of God so close to your mind… because the mind will always take the shape of whatever it concentrates upon. It is kind of like that old saying… “You are what you eat!” The same thing goes for the brain.
Let’s look at an example of this. What was your absolute favorite song growing up? I mean… a song where you wore out the record or wore out the 8 track or wore out the tape listening to it over and over and over again? Have you got that song in your head right now? That song became a part of you. That song has shaped you… even today!
I’m curious… have any of you ever heard the name “Vanilla Ice?” He was the first white rapper ever to make it big. When I was in junior high, I was absolutely in love with the song “Ice, Ice, Baby!” You’ve all heard it right? Well anyway… I bought the tape and listened to it over… and over… and over… and over again. So much so, that it began to become a part of me. I began to walk around saying things like… “Yo!” and “Word!” Because, the mind begins to take on the attitude of whatever it is focusing on! I was becoming the geekiest rapper in all LaMoure county. Then I heard a Garth Brooks song and began wearing cowboy boots!
But it really goes to show you… what you put into your brain… has a way of coming out… so we need to make sure that we are putting in plenty of the good stuff.
That is exactly what the Apostle Paul is talking about in our New Testament lesson today when he writes “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think about such things…” because it makes all the difference to our lives. Take all that is true, take all that is noble… right… pure… lovely… admirable… excellent… and praiseworthy… and put it on a big old “Post It Note” that will remind you… and keep reminding you… over… and over… and over again. So much that he becomes a part of you… and you become true… you become noble… you become right… pure… lovely… admirable… excellent… and praiseworthy… because the little yellow “Post It Note” on your soul keep reminding you to be that way.