What Do You Think?

French mathematician, scientist, and philosopher Rene Descartes in his work Discourse on Method made the claim – more famous in its Latin translation than the original French – “Cogito, ergo sum”, which translated into English is “I think, therefore I am.”

Introduction

French mathematician, scientist, and philosopher Rene Descartes in his work Discourse on Method made the claim – more famous in its Latin translation than the original French – “Cogito, ergo sum”, which translated into English is “I think, therefore I am.”

  • We think, therefore we exist
  • What we think affects our existence
    • It affects our feelings
    • It affects our words
    • It affects our actions
    • We experience consequences based upon our words and actions

Long before Descartes, God expressed this truth through Solomon in Proverbs 23:7.

Proverbs 23:7a (NASB)
7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is. …

The thought life is the beginning of victory or the beginning of defeat. Victories are
won and lost here. The battle starts here and is won or lost here. Much is said in God’s Word about our thoughts and what we do with them.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, Jesus’ thoughts were pure and stayed on You and Your will. Please show us the importance of our thoughts and their effect on our words and deeds. Help us to bring them in line with Your will so that we may live our lives in a manner that would bring honor and glory to Your name. We pray this in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Proposition

For good or bad, we are what we think.

Probing Question

What do you think?

Main Points

1. Who Determines Your Thoughts?

You do.

Do not believe it?

  • Close your eyes for a moment
  • Think of an elephant
    • Make him taller than your house
    • Make him small enough to fit in a dog house
    • Make him bright pink
  • Can you see the elephant changing in your mind?
    • You are controlling how you see this elephant
    • You are controlling your thoughts
  • You can open your eyes now

Some thoughts may be initiated by an outside stimulus; however, you are still in control of them.

  • Control your thoughts
  • You can turn your mind to the things that pertain to life and Godliness
  • God has given us very powerful weapons to help us control our thoughts and in turn fulfill prove God’s Word true

2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (NASB)
4  for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6  and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.

  • Thoughts can become strongholds or they can be the vehicle you steer to the obedience of Christ
  • Cast down these worldly thoughts and replace them with God’s thoughts

Romans 12:2 (NASB)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

  • Your mind is renewed by God’s Word
    • It is not renewed by watching television
    • It is not renewed by playing video games
    • I am not saying not to watch television or play video games, but if television or video games is more important to you than God, then you will program the computer that is your mind with these things rather than God’s Word
    • The choice is ours and ours alone to make
    • Too much of anything can be a bad thing

1 Corinthians 6:12 (NASB)
12  All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.

    • Things that are lawful can dominate you and bring you under their power if you let them
    • You must cast down these worldly thoughts and replace them with God’s thoughts
    • You do this by changing what you think on

2. How Does your Thinking Determine How You Feel?

Imagine two people, John and Jane, who have pretty similar lives.

  • Same job
  • Two kids on the honor roll at school
  • Same vehicles
  • Same type of house
  • Same furniture
  • John compares himself with others who have more in life and feels cheated
    • “Why do they have such a big house?”
    • “I am never going to amount to anything!”
    • “Look at that nice car that he has.”
    • “Look at my crummy car.”
    • No matter what John has, he will never be happy because he is too busy looking at what others have instead of appreciating all that he has been given
  • Jane feels blessed because of all she has
    • “God has really blessed me with this beautiful house, two fantastic children, nice vehicle, and beautiful furniture. I am not responsible for obtaining any of these things. All is a gift from God. God has really blessed me.”
    • No matter what comes Jane’s way, she will see it as a gift from God and be thankful
    • She is not comparing herself with others
    • She is fortunate to have the things that God has blessed her with

Now that you know that you determine your thoughts and your thoughts determine how you feel, you should choose thoughts that make you feel:

  • Faith instead of Worry
  • Hope instead of Despair
  • Love instead of Hate
  • Trust instead of Doubt
  • Courage instead of Fear
  • Joy instead of Sorrow
  • Admiration instead of Jealousy
  • Determination instead of Resignation
  • Gratitude instead of Complaining
  • Self-respect instead of Self-condemnation
  • Forgiveness instead of Guilt
  • Generosity instead of Greed

3. How Does Your Thinking Determine What You Say?

In similar fashion to your feelings, your thoughts determine what you say.

In our illustration, John’s comments are negative:

  • “Why do they have such a big house?”
  • “I am never going to amount to anything!”
  • “Look at that nice car that he has.”
  • “Look at my crummy car.”

In contrast, Jane’s comments are positive:

  • “God has really blessed me with this beautiful house, two fantastic children, nice vehicle, and beautiful furniture.”
  • “All is a gift from God.”
  • ”God has really blessed me.”

Matthew 12:34-35 (NASB)
34 “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35 “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.

4. How Does Your Thinking Determine How You Act?

Imagine further that John and Jane are called by God to teach Biblical principles to others.

  • John hears the call but thinks to himself:
    • “I cannot do that.”
    • “What will people think and say?”
    • “I am not capable.”
    • “I am a nobody.”
    • “Who do I think I am that I can share God’s Word with others?”
  • Jane thinks to herself:
    • “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
    • “I will be of good courage.”
    • “God is directing my path; He is with me.”
    • “I will be bold and strong knowing God is with me.”

If you feel you cannot do something:

  • You will not put forth much effort
  • The opportunity can slip by

When you believe and have faith:

  • You become bold and display amazing courage and power
  • You can do whatever God asks of you

5. You Can Choose Your Actions or the Consequences, Not Both

We live in a world governed by cause and effect.

  • Each action has one or more consequences
  • You can choose your actions, in which case you must deal with the resulting consequences
  • Or you can choose the consequences, in which case your actions are chosen for you, dictated by the desired result

In our illustration, John’s thoughts are negative:

  • Thoughts:
    • “I am never going to amount to anything!”
    • “I cannot do that.”
    • “What will people think and say?”
    • “I am not capable.”
    • “I am a nobody.”
    • “Who do I think I am that I can share God’s Word with others?”
  • Chosen Actions:
    • John rarely gets involved in anything for fear of failure and rejection
  • Resulting Consequences:
    • Not having put forth much effort, John experiences both failure and rejection, as his attitude brings about a self-fulfilling prophecy
    • Opportunities slip by

In contrast, Jane’s thoughts are positive:

  • Thoughts:
    • “God has really blessed me.”
    • “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
    • “I will be of good courage.”
    • “God is directing my path; He is with me.”
    • “I will be bold and strong knowing God is with me.”
  • Desired Consequences:
    • Blessings from God
    • Joy, happiness, and satisfaction from successful handling of opportunities which arise
  • Required Actions:
    • Jane must believe and have faith in God
    • She must be of good courage and be bold and strong
    • She must allow God to direct her path
      • Doing whatever God asks of her
      • Expending whatever effort is necessary

Conclusion

For good or bad, we are what we think.  If you desire good, focus on thoughts like these:

  • I am a valuable person worthy of respect
  • Great things always happen in my life
  • I will! I can!
  • Be of good courage (Psalm 31:24)
  • Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed (Joshua 1:9)
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)
  • God is directing my path

I challenge you to look through the Bible and add 20 more verses to this list. Keep them in a handy place. Refer to them often. Memorize them.

Always remember:

  • God-like power comes from God-like thoughts
  • If you live constantly in wise and noble thoughts, you become wise and noble in character and actions
  • Choose your thoughts carefully
  • Never verbalize a negative thought
  • Expect the best!
  • Act as if you already are what you are meant to be
  • God is always with you
  • You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you

You are not going to be victorious if you are always walking in a defeated attitude.
You will not even fight because you see yourself as having already lost the battle, but it doesn’t have to be this way. God has a better way for you. As a matter of fact He has already set the example for you in His thoughts toward you.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB)
11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

If God will not think bad or evil thoughts toward us, who are we to think bad or negative thoughts toward ourselves? We should not. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

When we follow God’s directions, we get God’s results.

Joshua 1:8 (NASB)
8  “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Something happens in this process. Some people think of meditation as some kind of mystic eastern religious thing, but this is not what God’s Word is saying at all. When you spend time pondering God’s Word, it will change you like nothing else can. It will renew and transform your mind which will allow you to prove the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

We have control over our thoughts, our thoughts have control over our faith, and our faith has control over our destiny.

Philippians 4:8 (NASB)
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.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father help us to dwell on those things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and of good repute, as well as anything that is excellent and worthy of praise. Please direct all that we think, say, and do. May all be done for Your glory. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I benefit from this ministry and want to become a member and/or make a donation.

Praise the Lord. We are glad you find Saved by Grace edifying.

Action

  • If you would like to become a member, please click "Register" in the "Log In" section on the top right column of the page. Members are allowed to comment on posts and other comments and may also provide Feedback.

Malachi 3:10 (NASB)
10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

  • If you benefit from this ministry and would like to support its efforts, projects, and missions, please consider making a tax deductible donation, of any amount. May God bless you for your generosity.




I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form








 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Leave a Reply