The Mind and Actions Connection

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

–Philippians 4:8

When you hear the term positive thinking, you might think about self-help gurus or “health and wealth gospel” preachers. Nowhere in the Bible does God promise that believers will be healthy and wealthy in this life. But the Bible continually extols the importance of right thinking.

For example, in Romans 12:2, Paul wrote, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” In Philippians 4:8, he said, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

Several years ago, a church member told me he watched cable news every night, but it made him so anxious that he had trouble sleeping. So he stopped watching the news and started listening to sermons instead. He said, “Pastor, I’ve been listening to your sermons at night, and after five minutes, I am out like a light.” I’m not sure what that says about my sermons, but it demonstrates the importance of controlling what you put into your mind. The mind is command central for everything we do. Our thoughts determine our actions.

We see the connection between mind and actions in the first sin ever committed. Long before the garden of Eden, the archangel Lucifer (now known as Satan) decided he was tired of playing second fiddle to God. So he rebelled against God, and he and his followers were cast out of heaven. In Isaiah 14:13–14, God pinpointed the cause of Lucifer’s rebellion: “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God. . . . I will make myself like the Most High.’” Notice that the seed of rebellion began in Lucifer’s heart. Remember, in the Hebrew culture, the heart was the center of thought. Lucifer’s rebellious actions began with a rebellious thought. And that rebellious thought ultimately led to every other sin in history.

That’s why Paul prayed that the Colossians’ hearts—in other words, their minds—would be encouraged (Colossians 2:2). If you want to remain steadfast in your faith, you have to strengthen your mind with the Word of God.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “The Heart of the Matter” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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