Getting Right Thoughts from the Bible – Part 1
August 1, 2021 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (Matthew 22:37)
A. Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
B. Oh that we Christians were a right-thinking people, and not just emotion-led, and constantly offended!
1. I know we think we think, but we don’t – not like we were designed to – not like we are supposed to
2. Modern thinking has been left to the elites – to the highly educated – the “scientists”
3. Modern Thinking for the rest of us has been reduced to just getting along with everyone around you. (And yet we are the most divided society)
4. Modern thinking does not allow us common people to think outside the box anymore
a. But only thinking and choosing what everyone else has already decided.
b. Just following the mega-influencers on TikTok and Instagram, and in the movies.
c. It is called shallow thinking, and emotionalism, and laziness!
5. My generation fought for the right and ability to think for ourselves
6. And yet, I would say more than 80% of the population of western nations now actively seek for the government, and the churches, and the school systems, and the entertainment industry to do all the thinking for them!
C. And that has wrecked our society, our children, and our homes!
1. People do not learn to think at church anymore.
a. PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO THINK
b. They do not want to LISTEN
2. Most people have already made up their minds about everything – they just want to be told that they are okay, and that what they already believe is right
3. So they attend churches that talk nice, and that say what has always been said, and they only follow ministries that make them feel good, or that they already agree with
4. And so the world heads faster and faster to hell!
D. So, The battle today is not for money, or for land, or for power… but for the mind.
E. Because, INSIDE our heads, the real war is being won or lost by the kind of thoughts that you and I think!
1. That’s hy the devil wants you and your family completely dominated by the news, by sports, by entertainment, by friends, so that you don’t do any of your own thinking
2. So that your mind is not right towards God, and towards the things that really matter!
F. So let me ask you… What kind of thoughts go on in your head? Right kinds of thoughts, or shameful, dark, fearful, anxious, angry, defeated thoughts?
G. If you want them to be right thoughts, stay with me, these next few weeks!
A. Our Mind is Amazing (Psalm 139:14)
1. God designed our minds! They are products of engineering, not accidental evolution!
2. Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made
3. Our mind is more than just a ball of fat between our ears
4. Your brain contains more than the 100 billion interconnected neurons, that have trillions of chemical and electrical signals firing between them!
5. It weighs less than 1.5 kgs, and is no bigger than your two fists put together
6. Your brain is the ultimate computer, taking vast amounts of “data”—from all your senses—and spitting out a decision – like should you wear a jumper today, or a t-shirt?
a. It has the ability to sense what time it is, the temperature, it senses smells, tastes, voices, individual words, sights, noises, pains, excitements…
b. Then it links all of that information together to make a thought, a decision, a memory, or a snapshot of your world at that moment!
c. Just THINKING causes you to lose about two percent of your total weight every day. That’s why good, healthy meals make for a good healthy mind! Junk food makes for junk heads! Remember that next time you are reaching for a KitKat.
7. Yet, for most people, all that ability is wasted – rarely used. Rarely developed.
8. And that is why right thoughts rarely go through our minds
B. What Are Right Thoughts?
1. Right thoughts are:
a. Not always Happy thoughts – some are sombre, serious, sad thoughts
b. Not always Sure thoughts – maybe still being formed
c. Not always Deep, and philosophical thoughts - just sometimes enjoyed, and rested upon – like, God is faithful, I am loved, God is working all things together for good, Jesus is coming again!
d. Not judgmental thoughts – always seeing the dark side of everything. Many people think it is good to only see problems and faults – that is NOT good!
e. Not only religious thoughts – but thoughts about your family, your wife, your husband, your future, your past, your plans, your needs – those are all good and right to think about. What matters is whether you panic or worry when you think of those things
2. Right thoughts… four things make a thought right
a. Are what God thinks – about everything
1) Not what the majority think, or how you feel
2) But are Bible-based thoughts – thoughts that come from the Bible (Joshua 1:8) through our mind and heart, and out our mouths.
3) Seeking the mind of Christ – how HE saw things, and thought about things
a) What does GOD think of your wife? Of your husband? Or your employer?
b) Of your neighbours? What does God think of politics, of Michael Martin?
c) What does He think about what you watched on Netflix last night?
d) What does He think about the problems and troubles you are going through?
e) And what does He think about your life so far?
f) I think it would surprise you to find out what God thinks about most everything!
b. Right Thoughts Are sceptical of everything (1Thessalonians 5:21)
1) 1Th 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
2) Slow to just believe what everyone else may be saying or believing
3) It is not that we DON’T believe things… just that we don’t instantly, and blindly believe whatever we see on RTE News, or in Science, or on the internet
4) Right thoughts are Able to come to your own conclusion
5) And Right thoughts Want the truth, and won’t settle for anything less
c. Does Not Think Evil of Others (1Corinthians 13:5) – very important!
1) What does that mean?
2) It is not a spiritual mind that always sees the dark side of everything.
3) Right thinking means, you don’t go looking for faults in others, and don’t dwell on the faults and failures of other people – even though you know they are there
4) It means, We will not think ill of a person’s motives, opinions, or conduct until we are compelled to do so by the most unbreakable evidence.
5) We instead think the best of people, and will put the best possible “spin” on the motives and the conduct of others. Give people the benefit of the doubt, until we are proven wrong.
6) THAT is right thinking folks! Not positive thinking, but respectful thinking!
d. Are Settled thoughts – not always changing with every wind of doctrine
1) Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro [FROM BULLY TO BULLY], and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive
2) But knowing some things for sure
a) Like the Gospel
b) Like the truth of the Bible
c) Like our salvation
d) Like the promises of God – to work everything, EVERYTHING out for good to them that love Him
e. I wish you would memorise that list!
C. Right Thinking Produces Good Fruit in the Life of a Christian
1. Right words out our mouth (Matthew 12:34)
a. Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
b. What you think about and let affect your heart will determine what words are coming out of your mouth!
2. Right actions (Proverbs 23:6,7)
a. Proverbs 23:6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: [DON’T GO TO DINNER WITH AN ANGRY MAN]
b. 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.
c. His thoughts will soon turn to hateful and destructive actions
d. Just as yours and mine do!
3. Right worship (Matthew 15:8; 22:37)
a. Matthews 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
b. Their THOUGHTS follow their heart, and end up in empty worship
c. Matthews 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
d. Don’t turn your mind OFF when you come to church – get it fed and activated!
4. Not many people have any good fruit come out of their thinking
D. What if you struggle with wrong thoughts, wrong thinking?
1. Understand It is normal & natural to struggle with wrong thinking (Isaiah 55:7-9)
a. Right thoughts are not OUR normal thoughts
b. They do not come naturally - Or through education - Or from youtube!
c. They come from GOD and Godly influences
1) Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
2) Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
3) Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
2. It is in our nature to think evil things – wrong thinking comes naturally to all of us
a. Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts…
b. The tendancy to think lustful, evil, hurtful thoughts is inside everyone of us!
c. People don’t like hearing this, but it is THE truth!
d. Even Christians struggle with evil thinking!
1) 2Co 12:20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates [ARGUMENTS], envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults [RIOTS]
2) Those things were coming out of the thinking of CHRISTIANS in Corinth!
3. But we should not let wrong thinking run wild in our heads!
a. Would you really allow an angry bull or even a small stray cat run wild in your home? But that is what we tollerate going on in our HEADS!
b. You and I are going to have to put out the effort and get right thoughts from the words of the Bible to overwhelm the wrong thoughts – we have forgotten that truth
c. Man cannot know what are right things without learning what is actually right
4. So, Open the Bible every morning, and ask God to teach you HOW TO THINK RIGHT
E. So, Over the next few weeks, Let’s Take Control of Our Thoughts in Jesus’ Name
1. Let’s break the cycle of
a. Confusion – not knowing what to think about important things
b. Manipulation / Deception – allowing the world to tell you what to think
c. Offense – upset when others do not agree with what your authority says
d. Reaction – seeing opposing views as completely wrong and attacking, arguing
e. Ruin – end up being taken advantage of, and worse off than when you started
f. Ultimately Quitting whatever good God asks you to do
2. And replace it with
a. Absolute truths
b. Constant Questioning and Testing of what we hear and believe. It is called Critical Thinking, and it is so needed today!
c. Forbearance – allowing other people to see things differently without being offended
d. Smiling – put up with their judgmentalism
e. Stay standing – watch as multitudes rise and fall like ocean waves, and stay standing
f. Worshipping and finishing whatever God asks you to do – no matter what is going on around us!
3. THAT is what Biblical Thinking can do!
III. Next Week…
A. Changing Our Mind
B. Learning HOW to Replace Wrong Thinking with Biblical Thinking
A. INSIDE our heads, the real war is being won or lost by the kind of thoughts that you and I think!
1. You probably don’t want to admit it… but…
2. Wrong and sinful thinking has wrecked our homes, our society and most of all, our churches
3. Oh that we Christians were a right-thinking people, and not just emotion-led, and constantly offended people – upset at one another instead of the devil!
B. As Amazing as our mind is, it is probably messed up, the devil’s playground, wasted, rarely used, and rarely developed
C. Four Things Make a Thought Right
1. They are what God thinks – do you even KNOW what He thiks about things?
2. They are Sceptical of Everything – Careful to not be gullable, and manipulated
3. They Do Not Think Evil of Others
4. They are Settled Thoughts – not anxious, panicky, always changing with every wind of doctrine, but knowing some important things for sure
a. Are you blowing around like the wind with every religion, and every opinion, and never able to make up your own mind?
b. Do you even know the Gospel?
c. Do you just HOPE you are saved, or do you know that you know that Jesus in your heart of hearts as your Saviour and Lord?
d. Have you humbled yourself and cried out to Him as a sinful wretch, and asked Jesus to forgive you and make you His child simply by His grace?
D. Dear Christian
1. Right Thinking, Biblical Thinking BREAKS the Cycles of Confusion, Manipulation, Offenses, Frustration and Defeat that characterise most of Christianity today
2. So, Open the Bible every morning from now on, and ask God to teach you HOW TO THINK RIGHT from the words you read
3. It will start to truly change your entire life – because that is why it was written!
E. If you don’t KNOW how to be saved, let’s talk!
1. You Can Know...
2. The God who made you – He wants you to know Him (Jer 29:13)
3. That He loves and wants you (John 3:16) – you don’t need to do anything b/c you can’t
4. That Jesus lived and died in your place on the cross – paying your penalty for all your sin – death! (Romans 6:23) Only HE could live perfectly, and die in your place
5. You can know that THAT death was and is enough to make you perfectly righteous!
6. All that is left for you to do is repent, and believe it with all your heart! (Mark 1:15)
7. It is like accepting a gift of a million euros! Just accept it!
8. And you will know you have eternal life (1 John 5:13) – because God will give it
F. Make today your spiritual birthday!