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Thoughts--How We Should Think

God's Thoughts About Us

Our Thoughts---How Should We Think?

Joyce Webb 2010

God thinks about us:

"For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord.

Thoughts of peace, and not of evil,

To give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11

God is talking to the people of Israel. Jeremiah is the prophet/preacher.

God is telling them that His thoughts about them are for their good. He plans peace for them, not evil.

Sometimes we get so discouraged--- because of bad things that have happened to us----that we think the God is planning bad things for us to punish us for some reason.

God says that His thoughts for us are not for evil.

It is true that God at times allows evil to come into our life.

For Israel, because they had worshipped idols, and they were doing many evil sinful things--sex sins, cheating, lying---many others----God allowed nations around them to come against Israel in war. God allowed these nations to win over Israel. Israel had sad times for many years.

In the end, God helped Israel again. He began to bless them and help them succeed.

For God to let the other nations win over them, was not because God felt mean and hated Israel.

The purpose in all of that was to get the people of Israel to worship God again and obey Him.

So the reason for allowing evil to come to them was for the purpose of them coming back to God. God wanted Israel to be faithful to Him. He wanted to be their God so He could bless them and be good to them.

When God allows evil to come into our lives is not because He does not like us, or that He is wanting to be mean to us.

Sometimes He allows evil to bother us because he wants to get us to come closer to Him and learn to depend on Him.

Sometimes evil things come into our lives because we live in a world full of sinful people.

God does not save us from all the influence of sin. He has made this world and allowed Satan to move in it. People from the time of the Garden of Eden have made choices about following Satan's ideas or following God's.

Satan works through people. Many people in our lives are not obeying God.

They do things for their own selfish reasons. That makes it bad for us.

Because we live in this world of sin----we suffer from the sin of others.

We also suffer because of our own sinful and selfish choices.

Sometimes God does protect us from some of the evil. We can be thankful that we have missed some of the evil.

God has promised to help us and walk with us all our life-----if we choose Him. When the evil comes to us----God helps us as we live through the problems. That is the way of this world. Someday----in heaven---and in the new heaven and new earth that will be----we will not have to be bothered with evil.

As a father or mother, do you not think of your children many times in a day? Even if your children are grown and away from home---you still think about them. You have many thoughts about them. You do not think of evil things for them----but you think of good things for them.

"Many are thy wonderful works, O Lord my God,  which you have done;

And your thoughts which are toward us." Psalms 40:5

"How precious (dear, loving) are your thoughts to me, O God!

Your thoughts about me are many!

They are more than the sand on the beach of the sea!" Psalms 139:17, 18

 

David has a healthy understanding of how God thinks of His people.

David tells God, "I know you think of me. I know you have many thoughts about me."

How much more God must think of us! We are people given to be selfish----and yet we want the best for our children. God is perfect in His love. How much more He wants the best for us.

"If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more does your Father in heaven, give good gifts to those who ask him." Matthew 7: 11

Our problem is not that God has bad thoughts of us-----but that we have bad thought of ourselves.

Another reason we think God is against us is because Satan accuses us. He blames us with things. Anything thing that he can think of that would upset us----he will use against us to make us discouraged and think badly about God. Satan blames God to us. He wants us to feel bad toward God.

Satan will make any fault or weakness we have and blow it up to be big.

He will even take our good points and try to make out that they are bad in some way.

He blames us to ourselves. He blames us to others. He blames us to God.

He blames God to us. He blames others to us.

"for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, he accused them night and day before God"

Revelation 12: 10

Satan does not rest----he is busy day and night blaming and making trouble.

When our thoughts begin to get blaming ----to ourselves, to others, or to God-----we need to remember that those thought may be Satan trying to get us off track.

Sometimes when the Holy Spirit speaks to us to tell us that what we are doing, or thinking is wrong, we begin to "beat ourselves up" because of our sin and failure. Satan is right there to help us "beat ourselves up".

"Beating ourselves up" is not helpful to God. That is not the Holy Spirit's purpose. It is our pride that makes us "beat ourselves up". When we see our sin, we call ourselves names, and say we are so awful, God would not want us, we should hang our head in shame and go hide.

This is not the Holy Spirit's aim. Our pride wants us to be perfect---no mistakes. Our pride does not want to be corrected. Our pride does not want our shortcomings to be pointed out.

So we swing to the low side and tell ourselves how awful we are. Do we think we will get God's sympathy for our feeling so low? Do we think if we "beat up" on ourselves, that God will pat us on the head and say Now, now don't be so hard on yourself---you're ok."

God's love for us is deep and lasts forever. But we will not get God to join us in our "low feelings" about ourselves. And He will not come and try to talk us out of it and pat us. But the Holy Spirit will try to get us to think in a right way. 

Telling us about our sin is God showing His love to us. Sin will destroy us. Sin will rob us. Sin will break our fellowship with God and with others.

God is being loving to show us our sin. Sin is dangerous.

We do not need to feel low and "beat ourselves up" because of our sin. All we need to do is say, "Thank you Holy Spirit for showing me. Forgive me. Help me to obey and do right." That is all we need to do. We do not have to smear ourselves with "mud".

God does not think lightly of sin. No! Sin is serious. But for us to "beat ourselves up" over sin, shows our pride. Our pride did not like it to have our mistakes pointed out. Our pride did not like it that we did not do well.

God is talking to Israel: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; so with loving kindness I have pulled you to Me." Jeremiah 31: 3

When God is talking to Israel, He is talking to the people He called to follow Him. As Christians, we are following God, too. So many of the things God says to Israel, can be things we can take for ourselves.

When thoughts come to you to blame God, or thoughts come to doubt He is really for you, or that He really loves you, or likes you-----remember Jeremiah 31: 3.

Everyday----say this verse to yourself---"He loves me with an everlasting love."

Our Thoughts---How Should We Think?

"Whatever things are true,

Whatever things are honest,

Whatever things are just,

Whatever things are pure,

Whatever things are lovely,

Whatever things are of a good report (message, story, talk)

If there is any virtue (value),

If there is any praise,

Think on these things." Philippians 4: 8

This verse tells us to keep control of our thoughts. We choose what we will think on.

Thoughts come to us. But we do not have to keep the thought.

We can stop the thought and refuse to allow it to continue.

If we are going to be successful as a Christian, we must learn to do this.

If we want to be happy, and of a healthy mind---we must learn to do this.

Bad thoughts---unhealthy thoughts can destroy you.

They can destroy you and make you depressed, crazy, and they can destroy your spirit.

Only we can control our thoughts. Even God can not control our thoughts.

Satan would like to control our thoughts. Satan will try to control our thoughts.

He will put thoughts into our minds.

Some of our thoughts come from our own memories, experience and worries, etc.

Some of our thoughts come from the Holy Spirit.

We need to learn where the thought is coming from.

Learn to recognize the things Satan tells us. He blames, he tempts to do wrong, he puts down, he encourages us to put ourselves down.

The Holy Spirit encourages us to be our best. He encourages us to trust Him for strength and wisdom. He warns us. He tells us when something is wrong or sinful and tells us to stop. He does not put down. He does not blame.

So many Christians do not understand how important our thoughts are to our spirit. Thoughts are the most important thing!

Proverbs 23: 7 "as a man thinks in his heart---so is he."

Actions come from thoughts.

What you do---comes from what you think.

What you believe---comes from what you think.

If your thoughts are wrong----what you do will be wrong---what you believe will be wrong.

Jesus said, "Out of the heart come evil thoughts of murder, adultery, sex sins, stealing, telling lies, cursing." Matthew 15: 19

Jesus said, " Whoever looks at a woman to lust (sex desire) for her, has done adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:28

II Corinthians 10:5 "Bring down every imagination, and every thing that lifts itself up against God, bring every thought under the obedience of God."

People do not do sex sins unless they have thought about it first.

Control your thoughts and you will not be doing the wrong thing.

That is why sexual pictures are wrong. They fill the mind with doing a sex act with someone other than your wife or husband.

The Bible says that the sex act is for a wife and husband married to each other. That is the only situation for sex.

In modern America, many people do not want to accept that. But that is God's word to people----so if they do not want to accept it, they will have to argue with God. I do not think that God will argue about it.

Imagination (day-dreaming, making a fantasy in our mind) can get us into trouble. We imagine ourselves making love to someone---not our married partner--- these thoughts make it easier to do what we were imagining in our minds.

Imagintions can think of ourselves doing many kinds of sinful things----not always just sexual.

We may never do those things. But when we condition our minds to such actions and behavior----it is easier to do it.

Even so, Jesus told the disciples that imagining sinful things is doing sin. Even thinking about doing these things that are sinful have an influence on your spirit.

Sinful thoughts weaken the Holy Spirit in your life. The Holy Spirit will not keep on staying around where there is willful sin. If you keep choosing to sin---even in your thoughts---the Holy Spirit will not stay with you.

If you want the Holy Spirit to be strong in your life, you need to keep your thoughts and spirit clean of sin. We are weak humans. We make mistakes and we yield to temptation. The Holy Spirit does not walk out on us every time we do wrong. But if we are choosing ----over and over again---to sin---even in thoughts and imaginations----the Holy Spirit will not live in a life that continually chooses sin.

The Holy Spirit will try to get you to stop sinning. But if you continue and ignore the voice of the Holy Spirit---at some point the Holy Spirit will say "This is enough."

And He will leave you to your sin.

You will be out of fellowship with God. Your fellowship with God will be broken. You will need to confess your sin and stop sinning. Then you can be in fellowship with the Lord again.

Paul tells people to be careful not to be proud, not to be overly sure that they will never sin and do wrong.

Romans 12: 3 "....not to think of himself more highly than he should think; but think carefully, seriously ------as God has given to every man a certain amount of faith."

I Corinthians 8: 1, 2 "....knowledge (education, learning) can make a man proud thinking he knows more than others. Love for others makes us try to build them up--encourage them."

"If any person thinks he knows so much, he needs to be careful, he may not know as much as he thinks ----or as much as he needs to learn."

Galatians 6: 3 "If a man thinks he is ňúsomething special" when he is nothing, he fools himself."

I Corinthians 10:12 "He that thinks he stands firm and strong----be careful---you might fall and sin. Don't be over sure about never falling into sin."

If we need wisdom----the Holy Spirit will give us wisdom and help us make the right choice.

James 1: 5-8 "If you need wisdom---ask God for it. He will give it generously to anyone. He will not scold you for asking, or make you feel bad because you need His help. You will be given wisdom."

"Ask in faith. Do not waver (go up and down, off and on). Stay strong in faith. A person who wavers is like the sea water when the wind blows it."

"A person's whose faith is up and down--on and off--will not receive anything from the Lord."

"A man whose faith and trust is on, then off, ----is like having 2 minds-- you are not sure, you are not firm, or decided."

God knows our thoughts.

I Chronicles 28: 9 "....for the Lord searches (looks carefully) all hearts, and he understands all the imaginations of the thoughts...."

Psalms 94: 11 "The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are proud."

 

God sees our thoughts when we are upset and He speaks comfort to us.

Psalms 94: 17 -19 " Unless the Lord had helped me, I would have died---my soul would have been gone. When I cried out, "I am falling---I am slipping! Lord, you held me up.

In all of my many thoughts---rolling, rolling in my mind----you gave me comfort and made my soul happy."

God speaks to us through His Word.

Hebrews 4: 12 "The word of God is quick and powerful. It is sharper than a sword with 2 edges. It cuts and divides the thoughts to see into the spirit.

It knows the thoughts and intent (aim, purpose) of the heart."

 

We need to invite the Holy Spirit to show us the truth about our thoughts.

Psalms 139: 23,24 "Search me, O God. Know my heart. Try (test, examine) me. Know my thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in me.

Lead me in the way that is everlasting."

God's thoughts are bigger and better than our thoughts

.

Isaiah 55:8, 9 God said, "My thoughts are not your thoughts; and my ways are not your ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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