Great Christians Series – Philippians 4:8-9
Intro: Ralph Waldo Emerson: “life consists of what a man is thinking about all day.” John Locke: The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thought. James Allen: “You are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” Of course the obvious question, where do you want to be tomorrow? The mind is a terrible thing to waste, what’s in your mind. If there was a window to your mind that open by accident what would be seen? Even if it is only 5 minutes a day, if you are expose to negative it can suck you of your joy. If you truly want to be a great Christian you must think great thoughts! “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2
Text: Philippians 4:8-9 (NASB) “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Application: God commands us to “Think great thoughts.”
1. Great Christians Think: Vs. 8
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
Since we are a product of our thought life, God commands us to “Think great thoughts.”
“Who you are today is where your thoughts have brought you. Who you’re going to be tomorrow is where your thoughts will take you.” Ann Murray in 1983 wrote: “Little good news” Some of the words of the song just asked - Just once wouldn’t it be nice to hear; Not much to print today not much to be said, no bad news. We sure could use a little good news today. God reminds us every day if we have an open mind and we are plugged into His word, He gives us good news, are you reading that? Do you hear the ever so gentle presence of the Holy Spirit filling your mind with Him? The most important decision you make each day is what you allow to go into your mind and what you do with what you think about. The key is to evaluate what you are putting into your mind. Like Paul says in Colossians; “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Great Christian’s thing great thoughts!
What Paul is saying, get your thoughts right and the emotions, behaviors, and consequences of peace will follow. A spiritually trained mind will align everything else to such a degree that emotional issues will begin to be resolved and behavior will begin to fall into place. “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6 (NIV) GREAT CHRISTIANS THINK GREAT THOUGHT!
2. Great Christians Practice: Vs. 9
“The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5 when you practice these great thoughts daily they become habits. Most of our thinking is undeniably habitual. Most of our behavior is made up of habits, including many we aren’t aware of. Most of us go to bed at a certain time each night. We get up in the morning at a regular time, even if out of habit you hit the alarm clock or the snooze every morning, we brush our teeth a couple times a day. We grab a cup of coffee at a predictable hour; we get in a car and drive to work, usually the same route every day. No one tells us to do all these things. We don’t even have to remind ourselves of most of them because they’re habitual. We could very easily talk about the food we eat or how much we exercise and what we put into our bodies is going to determine the quality of life our bodies have. Paul is simply saying that the mind works the same way. There’s a certain kind of thinking that ought to be come habitual for us because it will lead to godliness and peace.
You have all heard “No God!” “No Peace” A mind set upon the world and the flesh is what leads to anxiety and worry, emptiness and restlessness. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
A worldly mind never knows peace—not true peace, not the peace of God. God will just never allow a worldly mind to have peace, for it is the restlessness of the human soul that He uses to reach men for salvation. When a person accepts Jesus Christ, his mind is renewed by the Spirit of God. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2
Once a person has been converted to Christ and becomes a new man, there to focus on good things of life and upon God. There to give their mind to positive thinking. The believer is never to allow an immoral, fleshly, worldly, selfish, sinful or evil thought to enter the mind. There is never to be a negative thought whatsoever in the mind of the believer. Sinful and negative thoughts disrupt and destroy peace. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on PRACTICE these things.”
GREAT CHRISTIANS HAVE GREAT HABITS BECAUSE THEY PRACTICE!
3. Great Christians are Aligned: Vs. 9
“The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Christians are aligned with the truth: “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32 (NIV)
There are several things that great Christians will align with; First great Christians know God, I mean really know God. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!” Great Christians are always thinking about God. This is the creator of the universe; He’s got the whole world in His hand! Amen? Secondly great Christians think great thoughts about themselves. What if you thought about yourself as the object of the eternal God’s love, regardless of whether you have your act together today? Interesting how God continues to use different Bible Studies to align with what is important for Great Christians to do. “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight (Jump up and down) in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17
Thirdly great Christians think great thoughts about others. 1 Samuel tells us: “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” What do you think would happen to your relationships if you began to see people as God sees them? Forth great Christians think great thoughts about life. "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” Luke 9:23-25 Fifth great Christians think great thoughts about the future. Can you imagine living life without fear and anxiety, without worry about what tomorrow will bring and stress about how to make everything work out? You can live that way if you believe what God has promised in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Worry and anxiety are not great thoughts; faith in God’s promise is! Sixth great Christians think great thoughts about the past. For a lot of people, their past has crippled their future: “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” The last thing great Christians align with is; great Christians think great thoughts about challenges. Here at Ocean View we all know where that leads us: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
Conclusion: “What’s in your mind?” The Command is to think/dwell on these things. Have you memorized any scripture lately? Do you know all the words to your favorite song there playing on the radio? Get some 3x5 cards and practice, read over and over. Listen to great Christian music. “For who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 2:16
What we think will determine the course of our life; wrong thinking, negative emotions, unwise behavior will create devastating consequences. The other side of this; right thinking, positive emotions, wise behavior will create fruitful consequences. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2
“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (HCSB)
In : Sermon
Tags: "great christians series" "book of philippeans"
blog comments powered by Disqus