"Mind Your Mind"
Date: 18 September, 2016
Title: Mind Your Mind
"Mindfulness" has been in the news lately.
· Adele sent out an email this week making people aware that the government is thinking about implementing a class on mindfulness.
It is basically transcendental meditation....
a technique for detaching oneself from anxiety and promoting harmony and self-realization by meditation, repetition of a mantra, and other yogic practices, promulgated by an international organization founded by the Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
· I also briefly scanned an article this week about a man who made 1,000,000 pounds in a few months with a website focused on Mindfulness.
The World is beginning to realize that what you think really does effect who your are.
However - emptying our minds is not the solution. The solution is rather to fill them with what God wants them to be filled with.
Our text is large this morning as we scan the book of Philippians for thoughts Paul gave on the mind.
We've heard often that the theme of Philippians is joy.
note: 15 of the 104 verses refer to joy in some way.
However, if joy is the them then "thinking right" is the way to get the joy. I would almost argue that Paul may say more about "thoughtfulness" than he does about joy.
When an American first comes to Britain signs that say, "Mind your head or mind your step etc" stand out to them.
In the States the sign would read "Watch your head" or "Watch your step."
"Mind" is probably a better way of putting it because you need to "think - about protecting your head or think carefully about where you put your foot down."
I want to preach a message this morning that I have entitled, "Mind Your Mind." BE THOUGHTFUL ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS. What do we need to think about according to Paul?
I. Mind your thankfulness. 1:3-7
3. ¶ I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
7 ¶ Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart;
exp. Paul spent time thinking about the Philippians and THANKING GOD FOR THEM. As he was praying for his churches he would smile as he got to the church in Philippi and say, "God thank you for my fellowship with these believers."
ill. When we were back in the US on furlough, my mom and dad rented a Christian Camp Lodge by a river in the woods of WI (Bald eagles in the trees around the property.) Mum bought all 24 of us matching polo shirts with "Shore Family Camp 2014" on them and took a family picture. That picture is by my desk. That picture brings a smile to my face as I look at it and think ABOUT HOW GOOD GOD HAS BEEN TO OUR FAMILY.
exp. THAT IS WHAT PAUL WAS DOING. Have you ever been heavy hearted and had a good thought about someone and thought, "God thank you for them?"
· Maybe a parent, friend, spouse, child, or maybe just thinking about your relationship with the Lord......etc.
app. If you have no one else to thank the Lord for (but you do) you ought to think about your relationship with God, smile and thank Him for loving you.
(Mind your thankfulness....)
II. Mind your affections. 1:9-10
9 ¶ And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
exp."love" here is the same word used in "Love not the world" It has to do with one's affections and Paul is praying that they would love things that are excellent.
note: "Knowledge" and "approve things" are the mind word in these verse. Paul is desirious that their affections would not be thoughtless but thoughtful.
ill. Imagine a restaurant where you were eating and you get your food and there is a long black hair in it - you bring it to the attention of the owner and they pull a pair of tweesers out of their pocket and gently take that long hair out of your food and say, "Is there anything else I can help you with?" You say, "How about a new plate of food, an apology and a voucher for a free meal." They get upset and say, "Well! I thought that should be good enough!"
(Is that good enough?)
ill. This past week Mrs. Shore had to go into the A and E. She had to have a long needle insterted into her knee to take out some fluid. The lead doctor was explaining to a junior doctor how it should be done." She said, "Do you want me to to do it? He said, "No, I'm feeling good about this." That wasn't good enough for me. I don't want her to ask him in front of us if he thinks he can handle it.
exp. We demand excellence in food preparation and in health care!
app. God demands excellence in our affections (what we love). Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
(Trans - mind your thankfulness, affections, ....)
III. Mind your unity. 1:27
27 ¶ Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
exp. Paul wanted them to have "one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel." They had to think the same about the battle. They had to think the same about the truth.
ill. In this case - he had a specific example of two women who couldn't get along. He names them in chapter 4:2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
question: Is it becoming to the Gospel when believers are fighting amongst themselves?
ill. The early church in Corinth had believers suing one another. Paul admonishes them and says it would be better to suffer wrong than to so disgrace Christ.
I Corinthians 6:1-8
1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
warning: God put a high premium on unity in the church. It would be better to be defrauded than to cause a rift in the body of Christ.
ill. Dad - left a church rather than destroy the unity of the body and split the assembly.
exp. BUT IT IS EVEN BETTER WHEN THAT UNITY IS NOT JUST PHYSICAL - BUT MENTAL.
App. We ought to strive to be united in mind - but to have that unity of mind, we need to all be striving together for the faith of the Gospel.
(Mind your thankfulness, affections,unity ....)
IV. Mind your love. 2:2
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
exp. Paul expresses like mindednesses here in the context again of love with unity. He is speaking about the likemindedness of brotherly love.
ill. When we travel in the States - we remark often on how believers immediately feel like family even with believers that they are just meeting.
ill. Helen noted this with the Britten family - this is a new experience for her as a believer.
note: Love for the brethren is a halmark of true Christianity.
1Jo 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Joh 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Joh 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
Ro 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
1Th 4:9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1Jo 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
1Jo 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
1Jo 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jo 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1Jo 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
2Jo 1:5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
app. We are to be likeminded in our love for one another....
(Mind your thankfulness, affections,unity, love for one another ....)
V. Mind your humility. 2:3-7
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
exp. How did Jesus think about coming to earth.
· He thought about putting off his deity.
· He thought about becoming a servant.
· He thought about dwelling in poverty without a place to call home.
· He thought about our needs and not his own.
· He thought about taking our punishment so that we could have everlasting life.
question: What do we often think about? Self, our needs, wants, desires....
note: True humility is thoughtful. You think about it and then do it.
Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
ill. Being in a play with Dr. Bob III, "Merchant of Venice." I asked him to sign my program and I'll never forget the verse he signed by his name. Ps 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
app. Do you have humility of mind this morning in submitting yourself to the Father's will and serving those around you?
(Mind your thankfulness, affections,unity, love for one another , humility)
VI. Mind your work. 2:19-20
19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
exp. Most people weren't likeminded with Paul and Timothy. Timothy naturally had a desire to care for others and DO GOD'S WORK. Most people were consumed with themselves!
verse: We are living in days of self will. II Timothy 3: 1 ¶ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
exp. And it is creeping into our churches?
statement: 10 percent of the people do 90 percent of the work.
exp. Timothy didn't have to be told what to do - HE NATURALLY PICKED UP THE WORK OF THE LORD AND DID IT.
app. What have you done in the last month for Jesus?
· Have you handed out a tract?
· Have you attended the services?
· Have you come to the prayer time?
· Have you invited people to come and spoken to them about Jesus Christ?
· Have you helped set up and take down?
· Have you done any of the many other things needed in the work of the Lord?
(Mind your thankfulness, affections,unity, love for one another , humility, work....)
VII. Mind your pursuits. 3:14-15, 19
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 ¶ Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
exp. Paul's mind was RUN TOWARDS THE HIGH CALL OF GOD....other were EARTHLY minded and running after those things.
ill. You can know how you spend your money by looking at a pie graph. We can do the same thing with our time.
· The average person has 14-16 awake hours in a day.
· What amount is spent on pressing on towards Christ?
exp. Yes, "All ground can be holy ground and every bush a burning bush" if what you are doing is being done for the Lord! But, can you stand before God and say that it is?
1Co 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Ill. King David as an old man wanted more time to serve the Lord with his life. Ps 71:18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
app. Are you mindful of your pursuit? Is it heavenly or earthly?
(Mind your thankfulness, affections,unity, love for one another , humility, work, pursuit....)
IX. Mind your prayers (for peace of mind.) 4:6-7
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
exp. Were they worried in their minds? They needed to cast those cares at Jesus feet and let him give them PEACE OF MIND.
saying: If it is big enough to worry about - it is big enough to pray about.
note: Be careful for nothing - means to be anxious for nothing.
app. Are you worried this morning - or have you taken your burdens to the Lord and enjoying his peace of mind?
(Mind your thankfulness, affections,unity, love for one another , humility, work, pursuit, prayers,...)
X. Mind your Lessons. v.8-9, 11
I. Think about good things.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
note: This isn't the power of postive thinking it is THE POWER OF PURE THINKING.
ill. Even in reading the news we read about - murder, homosexuality, abortion, economic failure, earthquakes, wars, lust and sin....
app. He tells them where to find these good things....
II. Think about Paul's teaching and testimony.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
exp. God was instructing them through Paul's revelation of God's Word and his personal testimony. Those thoughts were praiseworthy.
III. Think about being satisfied by Jesus wherever you are and with whatever you have.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
exp. Paul writing an epistle of Joy from prison had his mind in the right place. He wasn't dissatisfied. He was content and thankful for what He had in prison.
app. What a lesson Paul taught them through his example and how they needed to learn (mind) contentment.
app. Believer are you content this morning? Not complacent? Not resigned? But, enjoying godly satisfaction with the will of God? Have you learned (mind) God's lessons?
(Mind your thankfulness, - Are you thinking of God's goodness in relationships?
affections, - Are you thinking of putting affection on good things.
unity, - Are you thinking about unity?
love for one another , - Are you thinking about brotherly love?
humility, - Are you thinking with humility?
work, - Are you thinking about how to help the cause of Christ?
pursuit, Are you thinking about striving to follow Christ?
prayers, Are you thinking peacefully because you have prayed about your anxieties?
lessons?...) Are you thinking about good things, Biblical things, thoughts of contenment?