HOW TO HAVE A

PURER AND HOLIER MIND-SET

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

 

1.      Suppose Christ broke through the veil that separates the spiritual realm from the physical realm and audible said to you today, "I am going to require you to have my mind in all its fullness.  However, I want people to know what a miracle of change I can work, so I am going to reveal to your church what your mind is like right now.  Next Sunday, in your church, I am going to take over the morning service and play back for all to hear every thought you had this week."

 

a.      Would it frighten you or delight you if Christ revealed your thoughts to your church family?  I don’t know about you, but I would be a little embarrassed. 

 

2.      We unconsciously assume that our outer, physical, and visible actions are going to be the basis for our judgment.  In the Bible, though, God places the emphasis on the inner, invisible actions of the mind.

 

a.      For example, we may protest that we have never committed adultery.

 

 

b.     We may protest that we have never committed murder.

 

c.      We may protest that God doesn't care about our evil thoughts or our evil imaginations.  He only cares about our sinful actions.

 

 

 

3.      God is certainly concerned with our thought patterns.  You see, the mind has always been more important to God than our outward actions.  Most of us, at times, are satisfied if we appease the expectations of society and the requirements of God by our outer, visible actions.  However, we must understand that God looks on the inner part of man as well as the outer part of man.

 

 

THIS MORNING, WE WILL LOOK AT A FEW POINTS REGARDING THE MIND OF MANKIND.

 

I.                           FIRST, LET'S DO AN EVALUATION OF THE CONDITION OF OUR MINDS.

 

1.      On the overhead, you will notice two opposing sets of mental states.  As I read them off, try to figure out where your mindset is most of the time.

 

a.      Do you have a tendency to exhibit:

 

Jealousy or envy--Rejoicing in the success of others.

 

Bitterness toward others--Generosity toward others.

 

Wanting to get even--Praying for enemies.

 

Sexual lust--Holiness of thought.

 

Hatred of someone--Love of enemy.

 

Resentment--Forgiving.

 

Pride in your station of life--Humility before God.

 

Slandering others--Encouraging others.

 

Reliance on self--Reliance on God.

 

Unthankful to God--Always thankful to God.

 

Headstrong--Willing to yield to others.

 

Tendency to lie--Telling the truth.

 

Attention usually focused on the world--Attention usually focused on God.

 

2.      Well, how did you do?  Do you like the current condition of your mind?  More importantly, would God like the state of your mind right now?  Speaking for myself, I need some improvements.

 

3.      If you need to make some improvements in your mind-set, the good news is that it is possible to do it.  We can improve the way we think.  We can obtain a purer & holier mind-set.  We can exhibit a more Christ-like attitude.

 

II.                         SECOND, HOW CAN WE OBTAIN A PURER AND HOLIER MIND-SET?

 

A.                        TO HAVE A PURER AND HOLIER MIND-SET, WE MUST FIRST PURGE SIN FROM OUR LIVES.

 

ILLUSTRATION:

 

According to an October 29, 1994, news story, a Chinese woman named Zhang Meihua began to suffer mysterious symptoms when she turned twenty.  She was losing the ability to move her legs and arms.  Doctors could not find the cause, and the symptoms continued.

 

Two decades passed, and Zhang began to also suffer from chronic headaches.  Again she sought help from the doctors.  This time a CAT scan and an X-ray found the source of the woman's mysterious symptoms.  A rusty pin was lodged in her head.  The head of the pin was outside the skull, and the shaft penetrated into her brain.  Doctors performed surgery and successfully extracted the pin.

 

The news agency reported the doctors expressed amazement that the woman "could live for so long a time with a rusty pin stuck in her brain."  After noting the position of the pin in her skull, they speculated that the pin had entered her skull sometime soon after birth and before her skull had hardened.  Zhang, now fully recovered, said she "had no memory of being pierced by a pin in the head."

 

1.       Like the rusty pin in that woman's brain, sin that is lodge in our lives will cause us to have an unwholesome mind-set.

 

a.      If we allow sin to reign in our lives, then we will have a corrupted mind.  Sin influences the way we think. 

 

b.     Before we can have a purer and holier mind-set, we must purge sin from our lives.

 

B.                       SECOND, TO HAVE A PURER AND HOLIER MIND-SET, WE MUST GET RID OF UNWHOLESOME THOUGHTS AND REPLACE THEM WITH GOOD THOUGHTS.

 

1.      Paul is telling us that if we want a good, healthy mind-set, we must program our minds with thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.  If we feed our minds with good things, we will have good thoughts.

 

2.      Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done.  It would be easy to think good thoughts if we lived in a good, positive world.  But the reality is that we live in a sinful and negative world that is constantly bombarding us with unwholesome ideas.

 

3.      Not only does society fill us with unwholesome ideas, Satan is doing it as well.  He is constantly planting evil thoughts in our minds hoping that we will meditate on them.  Satan knows that if he can get our attention for five seconds with an evil or sinful thought, he may have our mind for five minutes.  And the longer we entertain a poisonous desire, the longer we sin against God.

 

4.      Brethren, we are in a war--a battle of the mind.  Every day we must fight off our evil thoughts and desires and focus on pure and wholesome thoughts. 

 

 

5.      In another words, the next time an unwholesome thought enters your mind, don't entertain it, don't delight in it, instead, immediately get rid of it and replace it with something pleasant and wholesome.  Replace it with a godly thought.

 

ILLUSTRATION:

 

In the early morning darkness of January 8, 1991, an Iraqi Scud missile streaked high over the Saudi Arabian desert, bound for the coalition forces allied against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.  But as the Scud raced across the night sky, it was fixed in the invisible spotlight of American radar.  Sent rushing up to meet it was a 17- foot-long rocket called the Patriot.  Three miles above the earth, the Patriot destroyed the Scud in an immense orange fireball.  American forces also have stealth bombers that can evade enemy radar and smart bombs that hit their targets with pinpoint accuracy.  But for all of our technology, we haven't a single military weapon that can destroy an evil thought before it penetrates the human heart.

 

6.      Thankfully, God has given us weapon to defeat evil thoughts.  The weapon He has given us is not called a "Patriot" missile.   It is called the "No" missal.  Every time an evil thought or evil desire penetrates through to our minds, we send the "No" missal to destroy it.  The only thing we can do when an unwholesome thought enters our minds, is tell it "No" you are not welcomed here in God's temple.  And then replace that negative thought with a good one.

 

C.                       LASTLY, TO HAVE A PURER AND HOLIER MIND-SET, WE MUST SET OUR MINDS ON SPIRITUAL THINGS.

 

ILLUSTRATION:

 

As a young boy, I would sometimes go with my father and brother to a near by pond to hunt frogs.  While stalking those green lepers, I was unaware of their unique visual powers, which enabled them to elude me so easily.

 

Later I heard that the frog's optical field of perception is like a blackboard wiped clean, and that the only images it receives are objects that directly concern him  -- such as his natural enemies or the food he needs for survival.

 

Therefore these little creatures are never distracted by unimportant things, but are aware only of essentials and whatever may be dangerous to them.

 

1.       I think we can learn a spiritual lesson from my froggiggen experience.  In the Christian life we frequently become preoccupied with the vain things of the world.  We allow our lives to become so cluttered with worldly things and thoughts that we lose our spiritual perspective.  As Christians, we must start concentrating more on the eternal rather than the temporal.  We must stop flooding our minds with earthly concerns, and start flooding our minds with spiritual concerns.  We need to be like frogs who are only aware of the essential parts of life.

 

2.       If we can start concentrating more on the spiritual sides of life, I guarantee you that our minds will be much purer in the sight of God.

 

CONCLUSION:

 

1.       God is concerned with our hearts and minds.  He cares what we think and meditate on. 

 

2.       If you struggle with evil and negative thoughts, then help is on the way. 

 

3.       You and I can have a holier and purer mindset if we do three things:

 

a.       Purge sin from our lives.

 

b.      Get rid of unwholesome thoughts and replace them with good thoughts.

 

c.       Set our minds on spiritual things.

 

4.       If you have been losing the battle of the mind, you can regain it this morning.  If you would like to rededicate your life to the Lord and give Him back your heart, then please come now as we stand and sing.