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Self control in thinking. How do to it! Part 2

This week has been a week of thinking about thinking, striving to understand the need to control our thinking, what thoughts lead us from God and finally, how to control the thinking process.

I quoted this passage in yesterday’s blog. Today, I want to look at it a little more.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 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. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Php 4:4-9)

Before discussing it though, this is not an appeal to “Just think positive thoughts and it will all be ok”, it is more along the line of the song from Jungle Book “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative”. I am not naive enough to think that this will be an easy process. Simple (as I said yesterday), but not easy.

I think that if we apply this passage, it will help us control our thinking:

First, We will rejoice in the Lord! (shall I say it again? Sure, if Paul can, so can I!) Rejoice!

It is not easy to focus on things that get you down, cause you problems, or tempt you away from God if you are rejoicing in the Lord. This, to my mind, means that if we are properly thankful to God for the gift of salvation that He gave us, we will be rejoicing because of it. If we are truly thinking about the joys of going to Heaven, we will be anxiously looking for and waiting for our Lord to return.  Even when we go through the inevitable trials of life, we will do as James said and “count it all joy” and agree with Paul that the difficulties of this life are not to be compared to the riches of the life to come. In other words, it is hard to be thinking about sinful, gossipy, angry thoughts if we are rejoicing in the Lord. There is only room for one thought at a time.

Second, let your gentleness be known to all men. (“reasonableness” NKJV). This deals with how you treat others. It is hard to be focusing on your self wants if you are being kind to others, especially those who are not Christians. Your light (which you should always let shine “let it shine, let it shine, let it shine”) will reflect to them that there is a God and in chapter two of this book, we are called lights: reflective like the moon. How do you know that the Sun is shining bright when it is night-time? Because the moon reflects the sun’s light. How do you know the Son is shining in this world of darkness? Because WE reflect His light!)

The Lord is at hand.  No kid steals a cookie from the cookie jar with Mom in the same room. Remember the song “There’s an eye watching you” ?  Well, there  is!

In nothing be anxious. Still, there will be times that even with all of the intent of our hearts, we may still wind up being anxious or perhaps fearful and those are times to turn to God in prayer to remove the anxiety. Make those requests known! Even Jesus made a request just before going to the cross. However, we are to do so with thanksgiving and realize that everything we have is from Him, and that whatever path He leads us on, even should it lead to death, only takes us closer to being with Him.

With those steps, Paul says, the peace of God will guard our hearts and thoughts. If God is guarding them, then I would say they are in good hands. But Paul does go on and says that we should also THINK in a certain way. Those things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue or praiseworthy are the  things on which we should meditate. Not the conspiracy emails, the gain of riches, the gossip at work, the latest games our friends are playing on FB or their status, and as for the TV shows….oh don’t me started on the many different TV show messages that run contrary to the heart of God and therefore, should run contrary to  our heart as well!

What do you meditate on? David said the righteous man, meditates on God’s law (Psalms 1).

Then Paul says in different words but with the same thought “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ”. What better goal could we have than to attempt to bring our thoughts under control so that our actions, which proceed from those thoughts, will be godly and wholesome and God honoring.

Comments anyone?

The sinner’s pray

Ok, Boys and girls, bible students and those who enjoy studying the word of God, I am going to take a position here: We should be able to find in the Scriptures the message that we teach to sinners. In other words, WE cannot just make up the Gospel, nor the response of the one who wishes to obtain the Gospel’s blessings.

So, please tell me, anyone, where in the Bible we are able to read “The Sinner’s Prayer”? Where do these words come from? Yes, I know that there is no specific exact prayer, everyone teaches it differently but in one form or another there are those who teach that if a person wants the blessings of salvation that some prayer along these lines is all you need to do (implied in the ‘wants the blessings’ is faith)

Dear God: I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and ask Jesus to come and dwell with me and to enter my life and to be King in my life. Thank you for your gift of salvation.

most are a little longer than that and if you listen to some TV preachers they do add a few more words, tracts do too. They will say “if you just prayed that prayer, congratulations!”

Now I am all about not laying on the disciples (would be or actual) a yoke that cannot be born (Acts 15:10) but do we have the authority to give people this prayer to pray?

I am asking the question to have anyone explain why they think it is justified to give someone the sinner’s prayer to pray so that they can be saved. I will not pretend to think that it is correct. I mention this because I am not trying to be disingenious, what I want to know is the reasons for the prayer.   Since I do not think it is correct, and I have not studied this question,  it is hard for me to walk in the other man’s shoes; I cannot elaborate that arguement.  The question is not for those who do not agree, but for those who do agree with the sinner’s prayer. Teach me.

So I encouage any to post a response here and explain, if you practice the sinner’s prayer, accept the sinner’s prayer, or think it is ok….

Why?

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