First, we use worldly principles to guide our thoughts and actions. Even as Christians we can get to the point that the worldâ€™s point of view governs our actions. One example is how Christians elected to office end up rolling over to a godless edict sent down from the courts. To bow at the steps of an unlawful judicial ruling not only is godless, it is also unconstitutional.
Second, we give up right ground to the inerrancy of the Bible. Borrowing from Ken Hammâ€™s brilliant DVD â€œAlready Gone,â€ we allow the scientists to get us to question the accuracy of the creation story because science doesnâ€™t agree. As long as we have Jesus we say itâ€™s okay. Well excuse me, science does not believe in nor can it corroborate the immaculate conception, Jesus turning water into wine, walking on water, feeding the five and four thousand, and rising from the dead. And we wonder why this new generation doesnâ€™t believe in the totality of the Bible?
Third, instead of giving glory to Jesus in all we do, like Tim Tebow does, we substitute King Jesus for words like â€œGod, Lord, Him, the man upstairs, etc.â€ Do a little survey with the lost that you know and ask them what those words mean to you. I doubt most will say Jesus.
These things happen because we concentrate too much on the world and not the Word. The Apostle Paul give us the remedy:
â€œFinally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthyâ€”meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.â€ (Philippians 4:8-9)
How do we determine things to meditate on that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy? We read our Bibles daily, pray, and meditate on what weâ€™ve learned. Without a structured and disciplined habit of Bible study your mind will be invaded with bad thoughts and you can be sure your feelings about a subject will soon change and affect your heart. Warren Wiersbe gives this warning about this destructive process:
â€œPeace involves the heart and the mind. â€˜Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Theeâ€™ (Isa. 26:3). Wrong thinking leads to wrong feeling, and before long the heart and mind are pulled apart and we are strangled by worry. We must realize that thoughts are real and powerful, even though they cannot be seen, weighed, or measured. We must bring â€˜into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christâ€™ (2 Cor. 10:5).
So we cannot have bad thoughts without bad results. They are so powerful that they will bring strangling worry by the separating of our heart and mind.
Is that you? Are you looking at 2012 worrying about the economy, your retirement plans, the upcoming elections? The Bible offers some powerful and wonderful remedies through the promises of Godâ€™s Word. Here are six you can begin with immediately:
1. Let our thoughts and words be pleasing to God:
â€œLet the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.â€ [(Psalm 19:14) read all of Ps. 19]
2. Let us continually think of Godâ€™s love towards us, especially in church:
â€œWe have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness, in the midst of Your temple.â€ (Psalm 48:9)
3. Let us look back on 2011 and determine to not make the same mistakes:
â€œI thought about my ways, and turned my feet to Your testimonies.â€ (Psalm 119:59)
4. Let us pursue Biblical wisdom and not that of this world:
â€œI have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.â€ (Psalm 119:99)
5. Let us ensure we dwell on only righteous thoughts:
â€œThe thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.â€ (Proverbs 12:5)
6. Let us diligently plan our ways through the lens of Scripture:
â€œThe plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.â€ (Proverbs 21:5)
I want to finish by sharing my New Yearâ€™s Resolution and that is in 2012, I promise to delve only into the things of the Lord. That may mean foregoing so much on what the culture and media will concentrate.
Why am I doing this?
Because I want â€œthe peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,â€ to guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus.
I want that for you too and that is my prayer for each of you.
Part of that is going to come about by how we think about our â€œstuff.â€
More on that tomorrow…
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Copyright Â© 2012 David Jeffers
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