Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Danger Of Failing To Manage Your Mind

in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses. —2 Corinthians 6:4

{CHAMBERS} “When you have no vision from God, no enthusiasm left in your life, and no one watching and encouraging you, it requires the grace of Almighty God to take the next step in your devotion to Him, in the reading and studying of His Word, in your family life, or in your duty to Him. […] We lose interest and give up when we have no vision, no encouragement, and no improvement, but only experience our everyday life with its trivial tasks. The thing that really testifies for God and for the people of God in the long run is steady perseverance, even when the work cannot be seen by others. And the only way to live an undefeated life is to live looking to God. Ask God to keep the eyes of your spirit open to the risen Christ, and it will be impossible for drudgery to discourage you.”

{ELGIN} What dominates your thinking? If we are indeed born again … what does that mean in the context of how we live out our days on this earth?  I suppose I think about that more as I realize that the majority of my days are behind me.  How can I best bring glory to God and make the best of the days ahead?  A question for every Christian.  After all, we are not guaranteed a long life .. but we area assured that God wants us to have an abundant life.  Jesus said (John 10:10) “I have come that they [that would include us] may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” In other words a life that was consistent with God’s creative intent for us.  A life that is in harmony with Him.  That can only happen if we make our spiritual life a priority. (Philippians 4:8) “Finally, 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 praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Think about what you think about during the day.  Think about what you read, what you listen to, what you watch on television and in the movies. How much of that matches Philippians 4:8?  What is more likely is that the majority of our day we fill our minds with worldly things.  Do you justify your indulgence of the sinful nature with the idea that if it’s in a movie, it’s OK to watch … if the use of profanity is in a movie that it is OK so long as you don’t use those words yourself?  If you were in a restaurant with your family and someone at the table next to you was spouting profanity .. would you be comfortable with that?  If you are sitting on your sofa watching a movie and the actors are spouting profanity … why are you comfortable with that?  There is no difference, well, maybe one … you really like the movie!  My point … we are immersed in a sinful world and yet we are not to be complicit with the sin that is all around us.  When you say nothing about sin when it happens, you indirectly tell those around you, your children .. other Christians ..  that you think it’s OK.  Whether you intend to or not.  In Revelation, Jesus spoke to the Church of Ephesus accusing her of having left her first Love .. The Church of Laodicea of being lukewarm …. wanting to straddle the spiritual fence.  On foot in heaven and the other in hell.  Be careful.  Examine your life .. your thinking .. what you tolerate .. what offends you.  Is what you know to be sin is not offensive to you … you need to refocus …

I’ll finish with a quick illustration … When our children were small, our daughter had a friend over to the house.  This friend’s family were devote Christians as we thought we were.  They were watching a video on the VCR (Google it if you don’t know what that is) and all of a sudden the friend jumped as if she had been startled.  I asked what the problem was?  I played the video back and a character used the Lord’s name as profanity. To my shame, I didn’t even hear it.  Being in the Army, I had dulled my ears to profanity, hearing it every day.  But I allowed it into my house and exposed my children to it under my care.  I apologized to the little girl and took the video.  We must be on our guard.  Be careful that you don’t justify a tolerance of sin and undermine your faith and the faith of your family and others.  My job is to encourage you to live rightly in the sight of God.  I’ll leave conviction to the Spirit of God. 

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