Summary: The things that you allow to stay on your mind will affect your faith.

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August 25, 2013

Morning Worship

Text: Luke 5:17-26

Subject: Renewing Your Mind

Title: What Are You Thinking

Some time ago I preached a series about the things you say. Does it matter what you say? Of course it does. The bible is pretty clear about the fact that you have authority to speak into your own life as well as the lives of others and it is your choice as to whether you are going to speak things that are in agreement with God or in agreement with the devil.

Now I want to take it a step deeper – to go to where you are before you say what you say. It involves your thought process. No w I know that many will say that they say things sometimes off the top of their head, or without thinking about it. But in reality the things that you say, even at those times, are things that you have already established in your mind and many times in your spirit so that when you speak impulsively, those are the things that come out. And those things are not always in agreement with what God says.

The bible has much to say about our thinking. Romans 12:2, 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

There is much to be preached just from that one verse and I have preached from there quite a bit lately. Today I want to take you to a place in the bible where mind renewal was taking place. Turn over to Luke chapter 5…

While you are turning there let me read to you what Paul says in Romans 8:6, 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.

Paul says here that there are two results that will come from the way you think. If you think according to the sinful nature or the natural man, it leads to death. But if you think according to the Spirit, it is life and peace.

Luke 5:17-26

I believe this is God's Word…

I believe it is for me…

I accept it as mine…

And I appropriate it to my life today…

The way you think can change your life today…

I. Hold on to the Thoughts Given by God… 17One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. It says here that Jesus was teaching. Do you think that when there is teaching going on that there might be some thinking that goes on? Especially with this crowd – Pharisees and teachers of the Law. That is a tough group. Now at this stage of Jesus’ ministry not every Pharisee or scribe was out to kill Him. At this point they were on a fact-finding mission. They had heard about Jesus and they just wanted to hear and see more of what He was all about. Now as Pharisees and teachers their thoughts would have centered around the Law – the Old Testament – especially the books of Moses and also the oral traditions of the Law. But because of who they were they had a pre-determined mindset. At the end of the verse it says, And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. The KJV says, and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. According to the original Greek that seems like a better translation. Either way, the power – dunamis – was there to heal. Recap: the Pharisees held to the oral interpretation of the Law. They thought they had it figured out… The teachers or scribes knew the word and they thought they had all the answers. Their thinking determined who they were. The things they thought about controlled them. This a real warning to those who have been Christians for a long time, especially those who come from a mainline background that has taught church doctrine even if it contradicted the word of God. We need to always keep our spirits open for revelation of the word. 18Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. It doesn’t tell us here if these men were connected to the Pharisees or scribes or even if they were Jews. All we know is that their intention was to bring their friend to Jesus. We don’t know who they were, out how they got the news that Jesus was in town, but evidently they had heard some things about Jesus before and they believed them. And they wanted their friend to receive what Jesus had. I‘m reading a book that I borrowed from a friend called God’s Generals and it is about the pioneers of our Pentecostal beginnings. These accounts talk about the faith walk that these individuals had with the Lord and the multitudes of miracles that accompanied their ministries. And each one of these came to the place in their faith walk because they had the audacity to believe that the bible meant what it said and that the things they read about Jesus were true. These four men were determined to get their friend to Jesus, but they ran into a bit of a roadblock. 19When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd… Now here is where we really see faith in action. Common sense would say to wait and try to get to Jesus some other time… the world would say that if Jesus really cared He would have come out to them… the “church” would say that God is sovereign and He will heal when He wants to and if He wants to and this must not be the right time… And all those thoughts are wrong because they are contrary to the nature of Jesus and the word of God. And yet even some in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement will say that it may not be God’s timing or God’s will or God is trying to teach us a lesson…again – all wrong thoughts because that’s not what the bible says. The enemy of your soul will do everything he can do to keep you from pressing in to receive God’s promises. And once you start thinking wrong thoughts it is hard to get that turned around and going in the right direction. Your thoughts become more than just thoughts and if you hold wrong thinking inside of you for a length of time you really become what those thoughts are. Philippians 4:8, 8Finally, 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. In John 17 Jesus prayed a prayer for His disciples that they might be sanctified or set apart from the world. Look at what He considered the one thing that would set them apart. 17Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. The men who brought their friend were standing on what they believed to be the truth and they found a way to get to Jesus. …They went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Not only did they get him to Jesus, but they really kind of put Jesus in a position where He had to do something. This isn’t like Nicodemus who came to Jesus at night because he was afraid of the Jews. He was there in spite of the Jews. Can you imagine what must have been going on in the minds of the Pharisees and teachers at this time? Dust was flying, chunks of mud began to fall and sunlight breaks through the roof and here comes this man down on a bed lowered by his friends. Remember that it said, and the power of the Lord was present to heal them…? Look at what Jesus does. 20When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” This is not a passage where we want to get locked into some great theological debate… was it the man’s sin that caused his sickness? What Jesus is doing is addressing the priority of the man’s need and the common root of all pain and suffering – sin. And relief from the effects of sin came by his faith.

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