We talked tonight about the fact that, as Christians, we have the ability to think in a whole new way because we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:11-16). We also talked about how we must work at thinking right every single day. It's not just something we do naturally (Romans 12:2). Our thoughts can run away from us and go crazy making us think all sorts of untrue things about ourselves, others, God, and the things that we are going through. We need to capture those thoughts and hold them up to God's truths to see how they compare (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
Then we looked at our Scripture for this week, which is also our Scripture memory for the month of September:
Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
We discussed what each of these words means:
True - Since God's Word is true, do our thoughts measure up to what God's Word tells us?
Noble - worthy of respect, not trashy or filthy
Right - righteous, in sync with the Scriptures
Pure - morally clean
Lovely - just what it says
Admirable - having a good report
Excellent - just that
Praiseworthy - just that
We talked about how we need to measure every thought we have about God, ourselves, others, and the things we are going through by this Scripture. We used a coffee filter as an object lesson and discussed how it filters out the coffee grounds which would ruin the taste of the coffee and only allows the tasty coffee itself to make it through to our cups. We talked about other filters we know of too...air conditioning, water, pool, aquarium, oil (cars)...and how its also their jobs to filter out the bad.
We also used a colander to get our point across. We set the colander on top of a clear bowl. Each of us threw some rocks into the colander for each bad thought we have about ourselves, sometimes God (He doesn't care what happens to me.), others, and the things that happen to us (It's not fair! I'll never be able to handle this!). Then we poured the clear, pure truth of God's Word (water) over our "bad thoughts" and watched to see Philippians 4:8 works, by filtering out the bad things and only allowing what should be in our minds.
Then we even refuted some of our negative thoughts with God's Word:
Psalm 139:14 - "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Matthew 5:43-44 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Matthew 5:21-22a "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.
1 John 4:20-21 "If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."