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Summary: This message deals with the danger of negative thinking and how to retrain our minds towards more a more faith filled mindset. 2 Cor. 10:3-5 is the text.

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Title: Thoughts for the New Year

Text: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

CHCC: December 30, 2012

INTRODUCTION:

This is the last time we’ll be together in 2012. It’s the time when we think: "out with the old and in with the new". There’s a scripture that talks about that: Ephesians 4:22-23, "With regard to your old way of life, put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; and be made new in the attitude of your minds."

This sounds like a good resolution for 2013: be made new in the attitude of our minds. That’s something all of us can do. No matter what stage of life we’re in – children, young adults, middle age, seasoned citizens --- one thing that we all have in common is that we all have brains! Some may be still developing and others may be … fading away … but we all have minds that can be made new in 2013.

The Bible has a lot to say about how we think. Our thoughts affect everything in life: our homes, our relationships, our health, our jobs, our emotions. Maybe you’ve heard this little axiom:

Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your actions; they become habits.

Watch your habits; they become character.

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. (Author Unknown)

That’s absolutely true. We’ve all heard “you are what you eat.” But the truth is, “you are what you think.” Proverbs 23:7 tells us: "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he."

1. You are what you think

I have a challenge for us in 2013: Proclaim a fast from negative thinking. Let me define what I mean by “negative thinking.” (You could call it stinkin’thinkin’.) Stinkin’ thinkin’ is any thought that does not include God --- any thought that does not include FAITH.

Worry is thinking about the future without faith. Bitterness is thinking about the past without faith. All negative thoughts are thoughts that leave God out, whether it’s lustful thoughts or thoughts of revenge or rebellious thoughts or anxious thoughts.

What thought patterns do you need to change in 2013? These thoughts may be worry over the future. We may be mulling over our own past failures. We may nurture a grudge over what someone else did to us. We may be focusing on some problem or sickness or disappointment. Whatever the negative thought is … it is sinful… because it is a thought that doesn’t come from faith. If we give faithless thoughts a place in our mind, then Satan has claimed territory in our thought life.

Are you worried about the future? I’ve talked to people who are anxious about the future of our economy … and of our country in general. If we’re not careful, these kinds of negative thoughts can take over. Or maybe you’ve been dwelling on the past – on bad things that have happened to you … or on things you regret. I came across this article called:

Leaving the City of Regrets by Larry Harp (revised by Susan Skidmore)


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