Philippians_4-8

What Are You Thinking About?

Good Afternoon Everyone!  I am so excited about being able to resume writing the Christlike Ministries NWA Devotional messages.  As I mentioned before as I work harder towards finding a better balance between writing these messages and being a stay at home parent I believe the Lord is leading me to write weekly messages instead of daily.  That doesn’t mean there won’t be side messages as He leads…it just means that until the Lord leads otherwise these are going to be weekly devotionals instead of the semi-daily posts.  So, here’s first Christlike Ministries NWA Weekly Devotional for the week of May 18, 2015.

“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.” – Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

This is one of those verses that can sometimes be easier read and said than done, isn’t it?  I don’t know about anyone else, but there are times that my mind is consumed with things that have absolutely nothing to do with anything Paul writes about here in Philippians 4:8 (KJV).  For the most part, I find myself thinking about Elisabeth’s future, and I was just doing that a moment ago while she was napping.  If I’m lucky enough to have a cigar to smoke during the week a lot of times I’ll step outside while she’s napping, and that’s kind of my quiet place.  It’s where I prepare my mind, and some times I find my mind wanders to places like it did today as I thought about what Elisabeth is going to have to endure as she grows up.

So, here I am sitting down to write this weekly message, and it’s thoughts like I was having today that steal my peace.  I have to remember to think about what the Word of God says in regards to her future, and that it’s my job to equip her with the full armor of God so that she’s fully protected in a world that is likely to only get worse instead of better.  I have to remind myself that greater is He that is in her then the things that she’s going to face in the world. I have to teach her to fill her mind with these same things, and (of course) the Word of God.

I love how God can take a moment like this afternoon, and give me a teaching moment not only to write as the weekly devotional…but to teach me as well.  That’s why I’m the first to tell you that I don’t have all the answers, and I won’t ever pretend to.  Just because I’m in ministry that doesn’t mean I stop learning…and it also doesn’t mean that God stops teaching me.  No…it’s just the opposite.  I often go back and re-read my posts because I need the information that’s in them too.  I’m still learning how to live and walk through this Christian life too, my friends.  Anyone that’s not still learning…those are the people you have to stir clear from.

The result of doing what Philippians 4:8 (KJV) says is reaping the peace that Paul writes about in the next verse.  I just mentioned that the thoughts I had about Lizzie’s future were stealing my peace, and now that my thoughts are back on the Word and things of God…my peace of mind has been restored.  Funny how that works isn’t it!?!  Let me take a moment to pry into your thought life.  Are you having a hard time finding your peace of mind?  The peace you are seeking may be as simple as how you answer the question that titles this message:  What Are You Thinking About?

Let’s Pray:

Loving Lord, still our hearts and quiet our souls before You I pray, that we may learn to wait upon You and hear Your still small voice. Let Your perfect peace flood our minds – for You are our strength and our sufficiency – You are our all in all. Protect our minds, I pray from the clamor and intrigue and distractions of this worlds system, that so often fills our hearts and minds with fears and deflects our thoughts away from You – so that we may rest in Your arms of love and be filled with Your perfect peace that passes understanding. Help us to take every thought captive and when the distractions of the cares of this world seek to manipulate our attention away from You, help us to fix our minds on Jesus knowing that He is the Author, Perfecter, and Finisher of our faith – and our Prince of Peace, in Whose name we pray. Thank You Lord for Your promise that You will keep us in perfect peace when our minds are centered in You. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!

In Closing:

One of the greatest attacks upon us as Christians is the devil loves doing everything he can to distract our minds with the cares of the world.  It’s okay to admit that the devil wins that battle some times, and I can tell you that some times if I’m not careful the devil can still get me distracted by the cares of the world.  I think it’s interesting that Jesus talks about the third soil being those who have received the Word of God with gladness, but some times the Word gets choked out by the thorns of the cares of the world.  He already knows there are times we’re going to be distracted, but it’s important that when we realize we’re being held captive by a thought life that’s contrary to the Word of God that we recognize it…and we do that by taking time once in a while to take an inventory of our thought life by asking what we’re thinking about.

If we’re having a hard time finding our minds at peace then it’s a pretty good indication that we’ve allowed our minds to drift away from the things written in Philippians 4:8, and on to other things.  We can take those thoughts captive once again by reminding ourselves what the Word of God says.  That’s why a healthy relationship with the Word of God is so important.

So, what are you thinking about?

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Blessings & Grace:

Pastor B