Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Think On These Things

Temple Baptist Church - 10-10-2012
Philippians 4:8


A. Our verse for tonight says to “think” on these things. I want to look at that word “think” for a few minutes. The mind is one of the marvels of creation and is to be differentiated from the brain. The mind is a function of the brain but the brain does so much more than just “think.” The brain:

1. The brain is the “computer” that operates the motor functions of the body.

2. The brain is the “computer” that processes the responses of nerve endings in the body.

3. The brain is the “computer” that controls the involuntary work of the heart, lungs, and other vital organs of the body.

4. The brain is a marvel of God’s creation that is so much more that “gray matter.”

5. The brain is also called the “mind” because it is there that the process of thinking occurs.

B. Mind – a thing framed or to mold into a form – thus the “MIND” is not just “gray matter” but is the capability to frame thoughts. The mind has the ability to reason with logic; to frame emotions and desires; to ponder upon something specific; to store in memory; to forget and recall; to imagine; to have curiosity; etc.

c. The “mind” has three basic functions:

1. Thinking – by which we make sense of the world or of the things that we perceive. It constitutes judging, perceiving, analyzing, clarifying, determining, comparing, and synthesizing.

2. Feeling – by which we understand “how we are doing.” It constitutes happiness, sadness, depression, anxiousness, stress, calmness, anger, worry, excitement, etc.

3. Wanting – by which it motivates us to action. These actions constitute our goals, desires, purposes, agendas, values, and motives.

D. In the mind, our thinking, feeling, and wanting are interwoven.

1. Where there is one, the other two are present as well. These three functions continually interact and influence one another in a dynamic process.

2. Thinking, feeling, and wanting produce “doing.” Our doing is the product of these three things and are controlled by our “heart.”

E. Each of us have an intimate relationship to our minds because the processes of our minds dictate what we desire and do. Because we are made after the image of God, we find biblically that our minds and our hearts are also related.

1. The “heart” of man is not our physical organ but, according to the Bible, it is “who we are.” I often call the heart the “seat of our affection.”

2. The “heart” of man is also made up of the “conscience.” The Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment of the intellect that distinguishes right from wrong.

3. To the world, the conscience is made up of circumstances and perceived values of an individual and, therefore, varies from person to person according to race, sex, surroundings, religion, place of birth, upbringing, etc. alone. No doubt these things affect the conscience but the Christian perspective goes beyond these things.

4. To the Christian, the conscience also involves divine intervention as God places within man certain innate values.

Romans 2:14-15 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: (15) Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;

F. It should now be clear that everyone lives in a special and intimate relationship to his or her mind—both consciously and unconsciously.

1. The mind and the heart are connected in thought but, at the same time, the mind can work independently from the heart as it can be attacked from the outside or devise wicked thoughts from the inside that we hate.

a) The mind can be subject to satanic attack. Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

b) The mind can be subject to dreams and imaginations. Daniel 2:3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.

2. The heart never works independently from the mind. Our affections show forth in our thinking and desires.

a) We think in our hearts - Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Matthew 9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

b) Our of our hearts, we set forth who and what we are. Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (What we are in our hearts is the real “me!”

G. Thoughts are bold and daring; they are both strong and persistent.

1. Like armed men they force themselves into the mind. They come enticingly; they come insinuatingly; they come threateningly; they come in a thousand ways; they come singly; they come in droves; and they come unceasingly!

2. Therefore, we now know the importance of controlling our minds. Our verse for tonight admonishes us to think “right” things and sets forth the possibility of thinking “wrong” things.

H. Now, the message for tonight is simple:

1. We Must Protect Our Minds - 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (4) (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

2. We Must Program Our Minds - Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

3. We Must Prioritize Our Minds - Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

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