As A Man Thinketh :: by Grant Phillips

What do we think about? What consumes our thoughts? Only one person on the planet truly knows all my thoughts─me. But there is a God in heaven who knows my thoughts even better than I do.

Have you ever sat in a church service but your mind was elsewhere? Perhaps you have been with friends and said, “I’m sorry, what were you saying?” Have you ever had your spouse say, “Aren’t you listening?”

Perhaps your child is trying to get your attention, but you have other things on your mind. We’ve all been guilty of this to one extent or another, but not too often I would hope. Here’s the big question, how often do we tune God out? Notice that I didn’t say, “Have we ever?” but “How often?”

The Lord Jesus has instructed us, by the writings of the apostle Paul, in this manner:

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may        instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).

If we want to know what kind of persons we really are, we should consider the next verse:

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7).

Ouch! Now that hurt! Each man, woman, boy or girl is responsible for his or her own thoughts. Our thoughts are limited only by our desires.

One person’s thoughts may be on their family, another on their job, another’s on their leisure activities. Some may think pure thoughts, while others dwell on illicit activities.

All Sally can think about is what QVC may have on next, but her husband is consumed with the Sports channels on TV.

Pastor Bob is only concerned with serving Jesus. On the other hand, Pastor Will’s thoughts are on the offering plates.

(By the way, these are purely fictional people.)

Our thoughts can go in so many directions. While some contemplate murder, theft, power and money, others dwell on helping and praying for others.

Some people are obsessed about their looks, and others are always coveting material possessions.

Is it true that we are what we think? It must be true. It’s in the Bible. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”

Can we call ourselves Christian, but never think of Christ? Is it possible to love someone, but not want to be in their company? The answer is obvious. I love my wife and enjoy being with her. When she is away, I miss her. So how can I love my Savior, and not long for His, company?

Jesus has told His church that He will return to take us to the Father’s house because of His great love for us, He gave us many signs that will follow that event (the Rapture) but few are paying attention. It really isn’t on their minds. Can I honestly say, “I love the Lord” and covet His personal presence but have little anticipation of our reunion?

Am I the center of my own attention or do I long for others to be blessed? Where do my thoughts lie? What are they mainly about? This should tell me something about myself.

What should I be thinking about? What should be the thoughts that drive me? Jesus also said this, through the apostle Paul:

“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).

If I am not thinking on whatsoever things are “true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report,” then I am falling short. These things are most excellent and worthy of praise, as noted by Paul.

Do you need to change your thinking? Does a lot of unnecessary “stuff,” perhaps even damaging thoughts, occupy your mind? Jesus says through the Apostle Paul again:

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not       provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof ” (Romans       13:14).

A quotation from the movie, The Iron Lady, about the life of Margaret Thatcher, is as follows:

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.

Watch your words, for they become actions.

Watch your actions, for they become habits.

Watch your habits, for they become your character.

And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny! What we think, we become.

I am reminded of one of my favorite Scripture verses, Hebrews 4:12 which says:

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper       than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing       asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and       is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

If you are a Christian that old sin nature that resides within you still wants to occupy your mind, but Jesus Christ wants our minds to be occupied with Him. When we wrap ourselves in the mantle of Jesus Christ we learn to not make provision for anything that would come between our Savior and ourselves.

If you are not a Christian, you too, can receive this same blessing. Your mind can be cleansed of those things that are contrary to God if you receive and accept this verse:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten       Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but       have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

You can be cleansed and receive everlasting life by totally trusting Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to do all He says He will do. He will save your soul, and you will be born again, spiritually, into the family of God.

How can we not spend much time thinking of the One who saved us, the One who gives us life eternal and prepares for each of us a home with Him in heaven?

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Let us think upon Him.

Grant Phillips