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Monday, September 26, 2011

Where is peace? 8

Picking up the threads from last week and our discussion about peace, we’ve got the Apostle Paul in prison, the disciple Peter standing on the water and Peter of the Pan flying around the room.

This second Peter is advising his wards that they just need to…”think lovely, wonderful thoughts and they lift you up in the air."

The same is true for us as believers. The only way to defeat evil thoughts, the thoughts that destroy our peace, is to begin to think of something else.

You have heard it said that an empty mind is the devil’s workshop. By the same token, a mind that is filled with the wrong stuff is one that can and will rob you of your peace.

And now we come full circle, back to the Apostle Paul and the church at Corinth. He says to us in 2nd Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

In plain English, pay attention to what you are thinking about. Don’t allow your mind to wander in all kinds of directions. Keep it under the Spirit’s control.

Paul even takes the time in this letter to supply us with a list of things to fill our minds with in order for us to have peace.

As a thought enters your mind, and you begin to dwell on it, stop and ask yourself if that thought meets the following standards:

  • Is it True? 
    • Does it correspond to reality and to God’s declaration of truth in His Word? 
    • Is it a figment of my own imagination? 
    • Am I interpreting the events and the motives in the correct way,
  • Or…
    • am I letting my pre-conceived notions about that person govern the way that I see what has happened? 
    • Am I just being paranoid?
    • Remember Adam and Eve? When God came to Adam, and Adam admitted that he was naked, God asked him a question; “Who told you that you were naked?” Who told you that? 
    • Examine where the thoughts that you are having came from.

  • Is it Noble? 
    • Do these thoughts place a high value on people?

  • Is it Right or just? 
    • Do they correspond with God’s laws of conduct?

  • Is it Pure? 
    • Are they mixed up with sin in the middle of them?

  • Is it Lovely? 
    • Are they beautiful emotionally and spiritually? 
    • Are they uplifting and encouraging?

  • Is it Admirable? 
    • Are they something that you think others would look up to and say, “I want to think just the way that you do”? 
    • Would you have a problem with people that you respect thinking the same thoughts that you are thinking right now?

  • Is it Excellent? 
    • Do you think about stuff that is important, top of the line, useful, meaningful

  • Is it Praiseworthy? 
    • If others knew what you were thinking, would they praise you for it? Will God reward you for what you are thinking right now, or will you receive discipline from God for what you are thinking and the actions that will come from those thoughts?

The battle for peace is won or lost in our minds.

[Conclusion tomorrow…]

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