Lord of Our Thoughts

July 9, 2005

Read: Col. 3:1-2; Eph 4 and 6; Rm 12:1-2; Mt. 5:27-30; 2 Cor. 10:3-5

Lord of Our Thoughts. It’s one thing to control our actions in the name of Jesus; it is quite another thing to control our thoughts. If I am angry with you, how does accepting Jesus as Lord affect that?

  1. Set your minds on things above. Colossians 1:1-2. If God asks us to set our minds on heavenly things, how does that affect our earthly affairs? Where in the Bible do we have people who escaped earthly things? Is John the Baptist a model for all of us? For any of us?
  2. Gentle warfare? Ephesians 4 and 6. In Ephesians 6, Paul plays on the military metaphor, one that is increasingly popular today among some Christians. But what are we to make of Paul’s advice in Ephesians 4:32 to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another”? Does that apply just to our attitude toward believers? How does the warfare mode line up with loving one’s enemies and turning the other cheek?
  3. Transformed by the renewing of the mind: Romans 12:1-2. How can we put arms and legs on Paul’s counsel to “be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (12:2)? What practical counsel can one give to struggling believers to make that happen?
  4. Controlling “natural” appetites: Matthew 5:27-30. How does the Christian effectively place limits on those natural appetites which God expects us to control? How does a believer come to the point where the response to temptation is as instantaneous and complete as Joseph’s response to Potipher’s wife: “How then could I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen. 39:9)
  5. Divine weapons against human obstacles. 2 Corinthians 10:1-5. In 2 Corinthians10, Paul again uses a military metaphor, but applies it to the world of thought as well as the world of action. How does one “take every thought captive to obey Christ”(10:5)?

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