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Verse for Today

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye." Psalm 32:8

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Challenge


A challenge for each of us as we end this study:

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. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Philippians 4:8-9



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lies in our Thoughts

By Ana Renee

 “It really isn’t that bad.”
“It could be worse!”
“At least I’m not thinking about this!”
“Just a few minutes won’t hurt me.”

Image from PrintMaster Gold

How often do we preface our thoughts with similar excuses and then proceed to slip into the thoughts that we know are not true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praise-worthy?

Let us take on a challenge: the next time thoughts come up that are not wholly acceptable, do a quick check: “Do these thoughts strictly follow Philippians 4:8 or am I being tempted to sin?” Thoughts might come that are not wholesome, but we will one day be judged for what we did with those thoughts. Did we excuse them and fulfill the lusts of our flesh (Galatians 5:16)? Or did we realize that they were trash and throw them away?




Monday, February 27, 2012

Overthrowing Doubts

Quote by Charles Spurgeon, shared by Erika T.


Should you not, besides reading the Bible, store your memories richly with the promises of God? You can recollect the sayings of great men; you treasure up the verses of renowned poets; 
ought you not to be profound in your knowledge of the words of God, so that you may be able to quote them readily when you would solve a difficulty, or overthrow a doubt?
Since "He hat said" (Hebrews 13:5) is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort, let it dwell in your richly, as "A well of water, springing up unto everlasting life." So shall you grow healthy, strong, and happy in the divine life. (from Charles H. Spurgeon)





Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fear

By Amanda T.
{Note: while I did not write this specifically for the topic of our thought-life, I have found that many times, fear invades our thoughts and steals our peace}


Image from PrintMaster Gold
“What is happening to my America?” This was a question posed by a lady who feared the changes that have been made in our country. As Christians, we also ask the same question, with the same tinge of fear. What is happening to our country? What will happen to us? What freedoms are going to be taken away? We have no peace. Why? Because we are all fearing instead of trusting.

What is fear? The modern dictionary defines fear as “a feeling of anxiety and agitation caused by the presence or nearness of danger, evil, pain, etc.” but I believe that God’s Word defines it much better.

Fear is not from the Lord:
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Romans 8:15)
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7-9)

Fear is lack of love:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. I John 4:18

Fear is lack of trust:
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. Psalm 56:3-4
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. Psalm 27:1, 3

When we spend time in God’s Word, it should cause our fear to come crashing down. Our Heavenly Father has given us many promises that we should hide in our hearts to combat the devil’s weapon of fear.

 God is always with us:
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deuteronomy 31:6
 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5b)
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

Image from PrintMaster Gold
The Lord is always ready to help:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Psalm 46:1-3

The Lord will watch over us:
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

The Lord will protect us:
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? Psalm 118:6
Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. Proverbs 3:25-26

The Lord does not intend to do evil to us:
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

How can there be peace with fear? There cannot. Peace comes by simply trusting God, loving God, and determining to push away any fear when it arises.


I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8




Friday, February 24, 2012

Proud Thoughts

Image from PrintMaster Gold

Often, our thoughts lead us to think very highly of ourselves, something we are warned not to do.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Romans 12:3

For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
                                                                     Galatians 6:3                                   



Thursday, February 23, 2012

Whatsoever Things

By Guest Writer, Bethany, from Sisters in Christ

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

For many young ladies, their thought-life is troubling to them.  Many questions arise as to how they can think God-pleasing thoughts and overcome the temptation to think thoughts that are contrary to God.

It is a hard and continuous battle to overcome these thoughts that aren’t acceptable to the Lord...how well I know, for it is a battle that I, too, face.

God has not left us without guidance. There are many times, in His Book, that He has shown us what He desires His children to fill their minds with.  The reference that brings it all together is the well-known verse: Philippians 4:8, which I would like to look at in depth.

...whatsoever things are true...
To be able to think on things that are true, we must love the truth and uphold it in every part of our lives, no matter what others may do.

What are we thinking?  Does it accurately portray what we are thinking about?  I know that young ladies tend to fantasize, and look at things through rose-coloured glasses, but we need to see things for what they really are.

Image from PrintMaster Gold
...whatsoever things are honest...

Honesty is very closely linked with truthfulness...you cannot be honest without being truthful, and you can’t be truthful without being honest.  The two go hand-in-hand, and to drop one part simply means to drop both.

...whatsoever things are just...
Just thoughts are thoughts of righteousness...thoughts that are within the commands of God.  What a restriction, but also what freedom!  We serve a holy and blameless God, and as His children, ought we not to act and - above all - think how our Father thinks?  Proverbs 23:7a says, For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...” If we are thinking righteously and guiltlessly before God, we will act that way in our daily lives, and people around us will see us reflecting the Lord’s character.

...whatsoever things are pure...
What a wide range of thoughts this simple word “pure” covers...it means to think those things that are clean and free from any ungodliness and avoid thinking on those things that would make our minds dirty.  In even simpler terms, it means to think like a holy person.

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holly, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation: Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy (1 Peter 1:13-16).

...whatsoever things are lovely...
Lovely...there are many things we see in life that we pronounce lovely, whether it is scenery or an item of clothing or a rose in bloom or something that a person has made...the list could go on and on.  But when we say something is lovely, we are saying that it is acceptable to us; we are pleased with it.

And so it should be with our thoughts - when God looks upon our thoughts and views them, can He say that they are acceptable to Him; that He is pleased with them?

Image from PrintMaster Gold
...whatsoever things are good report...
Could it be said of us that our thoughts are good thoughts, pleasing thoughts, thoughts that are right in every way?  Although our thoughts can be seen by no other human while being thought, they will be eventually seen by our actions.  Can we truly say that what we are thinking, we’d be happy for others to see?

...whatsoever things are virtue...
“Virtue” could be simply known as “good”, or –back to the oft repeated statement– acceptable to the Lord.

...whatsoever things are praise...
We need to think thoughts that are building up others–not putting other people down “in the dumps” so to speak.  I know that there are people who are very hard to get along with for whatever reason, but when we - with the Lord’s help - think good, up-lifting thoughts of those people, the Lord bestows upon us a special love to share with them.

This study has been a blessing to me as I have prepared it; I hope it has been to you dear sisters.

May the Lord bless each of you as you seek to glorify Him in a thought-life that is pleasing and acceptable unto Him.
           
Until next time...think on these things!







Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Our Thoughts - and Love

Image from PrintMater Gold

Are our thoughts reflecting love for our God and others?
Charity . . .
thinketh no evil
(1 Corinthians 13:4 and 5)





Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Casting Down Imaginations

Image from PrintMaster Gold
Remember that to fully obey God in our thought-life, we must apply 2 Corinthians 10:5-6,

Casting down
imaginations,
and every high thing that exalteth itself
against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity
every thought
to the obedience of Christ;
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience,
when your obedience is fulfilled.



Monday, February 20, 2012

"Thou Shalt Not" and Thoughts


Have you ever applied the Ten Commandments directly to your thought-life? I have not . . . until the study on our thought-life set me to thinking.


1 - Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3)
2 - Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. (Exodus 20:4)
What is foremost in our thoughts? Are our thoughts focused on God and pleasing Him? If not, what keeps our thoughts away from God? These thoughts could be “gods” or “idols” (graven images) that come between us and God.

3 - Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. (Exodus 20:7)
Image from PrintMaster Gold
Many of us would never dare let a curse word out of our mouth (note: most curse words are derivatives of God’s Holy Name) but what about in our thoughts? Do we keep our thoughts pure from using ugly words?

4 - Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. (Exodus 20:8)
While listening to the sermon, do we let our thoughts wander? Do we go to church to learn of God, or simply use that “wasted” time to daydream? When we are home on Sunday, do we keep our thoughts pure, or on this “day off”, do we take a day off of guarding our thoughts?

5 - Honour thy father and thy mother. (Exodus 20:12)
It is easy to smile and act obedient to our parents, but what about our thoughts? Do we boil and rebel inside? Do we tear down our parents in our minds? Do we compare them to others’ parents? Do we grumble about our parents in our thoughts? Honor does not come from without, but from within.

6 - Thou shalt not kill. (Exodus 20:13)
While we may not physically commit murder, remember that 1 John 3:15 says, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer.” Are our thoughts full of love for others? Or do we mentally “kill” our family and friends?

7 - Thou shalt not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)
Jesus said, “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28 – note: this can apply to women lusting after men as well). Do we look at others with pure eyes? Or do we look to supply our minds with food for thought? Do we lust after (long for) young men and thereby commit adultery?

8 - Thou shalt not steal. (Exodus 20:15)
Is it possible that when we think prideful thoughts, we are stealing glory from God? Do we steal time from God when we allow our thoughts to wander idly about instead of using them for His honor and glory?

9 - Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (Exodus 20:16)
Do we contrive ways to damage others’ reputation? Do we always “speak the truth” in our hearts about others, or do we allow our injured feelings to shade the truth in order to justify ourselves?
Image from PrintMaster Gold

10 - Thou shalt not covet. (Exodus 20:17)
Do we greedily long for something that someone else has? Do we spend our time wishing or dreaming for things that are not?

As we view our thoughts in light of the Ten Commandments perhaps there are a few things to consider.
     - Where do I fail in obeying God’s Ten Commandments?
     - Where have I disobeyed and need to ask God’s forgiveness?
     - How can I change my thoughts to be more Christ-like?

Perhaps we do not think that we are in trouble of falling, but remember, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark 7:21-23 – emphasis added) The quote, “Our actions follow our thoughts,” is very true according to God’s Word. A person does not become a murderer overnight neither does one become a thief overnight. It begins within, when we fail to keep our thoughts in line with God’s laws.

It is so important to judge our thoughts in light of the Ten Commandments because, one day, God will judge us not only for our actions, but also for our thoughts.



Friday, February 17, 2012

Psalm 139:1-3


Photo by Amanda T.
O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
Psalm 139:1-3





Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ways and Thoughts

By Erika T.

Walking in my ways down here,
I find only death and fear.
May I learn to walk Thy ways,
Follow higher for Thy praise.

Raise my thoughts to be like Thine,
Holy, purely, may they shine.
May above earth’s filth they rise,
Follow Thine to glorious skies.  


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Discerner of our Thoughts

There is a ruler by which we must measure our thoughts: God's Word. Do our thoughts line up with His ideas of what is righteous and good? If we are struggling with thinking pure thoughts, ought we not go to God's Word to help us through this time?



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.
Hebrews 4:12



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Higher Thoughts

Image from Reusable Art

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:7-9





Monday, February 13, 2012

Renewing our Minds

By Ana Renee

We can know that our thoughts are wrong, and we can even fuss at ourselves for thinking things we ought not, but unless we take an extra step and try to “fix” our thoughts (renew our minds), it will profit little.

 “. . . it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

Image from Reusable Art
Frankly, sometimes I like to think impure thoughts. I like to follow my trail of daydream and plot out a good story. I dislike knowing that my thoughts are not where they need to be, but I also dislike the fact that to follow my God-given conscience and do right, I have to put aside those thoughts and exercise self-control. It is during times like these when I realize that I need to just cry out to God. I need to tell Him my problems, “Lord, I like these lustful thoughts but I know that they are displeasing You. I don’t want to change; can you please give me the desire to change?” God already knows I am struggling, and He is waiting for me to realize that I need His help.

“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Psalm 119:9

The very best cleanse that a Christian can do is a Scripture cleanse: reading it, memorizing it, and meditating (thinking) on it. When I remove impure thoughts, I must replace them by the most pure thoughts: the Bible. If tempted to think something wrong, I should go to God’s Word. If I cannot physically open God’s Word, I should recite verses that I have memorized.

 “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22

Another way to skillfully cleanse my thoughts is to “run away” – flee. Instead of simply stepping into temptation, I need to do what I can to avoid it. If I know that my points of temptation come strongest while driving down the road or washing dishes or going to sleep, I need to arm myself against these times. I should pray for special help during these times and enter the field of temptation by quoting God’s Word or singing hymns.

 “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” 1 Corinthians 11:21

One week, as part of a Bible study I was doing, I had to write down a certain area I struggled with in my thoughts. Then, each day, I was to keep a sharp lookout for times when I was tempted to think these thoughts. Going further, I had to write down the times when I yielded to temptation. It was very eye-opening and made my thoughts look very disgusting! If they are so disgusting in my eyes, how disgusting are they in God’s eyes?

 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

Trying to keep my thoughts pure is often hard work! It is often not very fun, but it is very essential for me as a Christian. The blessing of striving to follow Christ instead of my lusts is that He will help me to get victory!!! Does it take perseverance? Yes. Is it worth it? YES! Being free from lustful thoughts is free indeed! There is such joy and peace in spending my thoughts meditating on God and His Word rather than chasing wild dreams. It is hard to describe but wonderful to experience.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:5

So, dear sisters, I challenge you to try taking every thought captive and casting down every idle imagination. On our own, we cannot do it, but through Christ we can do all things!!



Saturday, February 11, 2012

What Are Our Thoughts?

Are we righteous or wicked in our thoughts?

The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words. Proverbs 15:26


The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
Proverbs 12:5



Friday, February 10, 2012

Search My Thoughts, O Lord

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24

God is searching our hearts. He is searching our thoughts. What does He see?





Thursday, February 9, 2012

Our Thought-Life

By guest writer Miriam - from Maidens of Virtue

Our thoughts...if they were shown on a big screen in front of all our family and friends, how would we feel? Would we be ashamed? Embarrassed?


“O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.”
-Psalm 139:1-4


“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
-1 Samuel 16:7


The Lord sees and knows all. He knows what we are thinking now, and what we will be thinking in five years from now.


Image from PrintMaster Gold 5.0


Our thought life ultimately determines our character. What we think in our hearts is what we really are.


“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee”.
-Proverbs 23:7


What we sow {what we think about in our minds} is what we will reap. Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”


If we feed our minds with things that are not honoring to the Lord, those things will soon begin to outwardly show in our lives.


See Philippians 4, verse 8. Paul wrote this because of how important it is to think godly thoughts. Holiness begins in our minds, and works out to our actions. Since this is true, what we allow to enter into our minds is critically important. The books we read, movies we watch, conversations we have, and the music we listen to all affect our minds and what we think about.


Are the thoughts that these things bring up true? Are they lovely and pure? Are they excellent or worthy or praise?


I have found that when I have bad thoughts, reciting Bible verses is the best way to get rid of them. Girls, the devil will use anything to try to hinder you from serving the Lord! Do not give in to him!


The cure for these sinful thoughts is to find our contentment in God. Also, we need to pray daily for humility and honesty to see these sinful thoughts as they really are, and then for grace and discipline to root them out of our minds. Then, we can replace them with thoughts that are pleasing to God.


May the Lord bless you all and help you to please Him in every area of your minds!


“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



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What Think We?


And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 
Matthew 9:4

What if that question was asked to us verbally today? Would we not change our thought-pattern quickly? Yet Jesus still sees our every thought and He knows whether they be pure or evil.




Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Battle for My Thoughts - Part 2

(Continued from yesterday)

“Okay,” I breathed decidedly, “What do You say about our thoughts?” I thumbed through the pages of the concordance until I reached “th.” My eyes quickly scanned page after page until thoughts glared up at me. I grabbed a notebook and pen and settled on my bed.

Photos by Amanda T.
Genesis 6:5 – And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

“Wow, wicked thoughts have been a problem since the beginning.”

1 Chronicles 28:9 – And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for ever.

I paused for a moment. “Even if I don’t understand all my thoughts, God does. I guess that means that He knows where they all come from. Where do they come from, I wonder?” And here my thoughts raced. Movies, books, conversations, posters, adds, emails, letters . . . everything that I see, hear, and ingest are food for thought. I shuddered. It was scary to realize it. I pulled away from my thoughts and looked through the next few verses.

Psalm 10:4 – The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

This time, I completely stopped with my heart pounding. “God is not in all his thoughts!” In the course of a day, how often did my thoughts turn to daydreams, stories, movies, or plans? How often did they turn to God? I felt hopeless again.

“Lord, I don’t want to simply be a Sunday-morning Christian, thinking of You only when I read my Bible or go to church! I don’t want to be wicked without You in my thoughts! But how do I keep you in my thoughts?” I waited for a moment. Maybe another verse would have the answer. I kept going. When I flipped to Psalm 119, my eyes immediately fell on a heavily marked verse.

Psalm 119:9 – Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy word.

“That’s it!!” I exclaimed. My voice bounced off the walls and I smiled sheepishly. I read the verse again. “How does one cleanse his ways? By listening to God’s Word: living it and doing it.” Impure thoughts were simply filth in my life that needed to be cleansed and renewed.

I knew from sermons I heard that when we take something out of our lives, it must be replaced with something good, but I had never applied it to my thoughts. “I can’t simply take out my impure thoughts,” I mused, twisting my pen. I looked back down at my Bible.

Psalm 119:11 – Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.

I grinned again. The answer was so clear: memorize God’s Word!! My grin quickly turned to a thoughtful frown. What should I memorize? There are so many wonderful verses in God’s Word!

“Well,” I said testily, “I guess if I’m struggling with my thoughts . . . maybe I should memorize a verse about my thoughts.” I looked through the concordance again.


Isaiah 55:7-9 – Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
 
I read the verse several times, the realization sobering me. I had always read the verse, thinking, “Of course God’s thoughts are higher than mine – He is God!” But I had always neglected the command to forsake my thoughts and turn to God. It was a command – not just a suggestion.

Again, I took a deep breath. Three verses would not be so bad to start off with. I quickly bowed my head, “Thank You, Father, for leading me today. I know that I have sinned by dwelling on my impure thoughts, but thank You for showing me a way out. I ask for You to help me purify my thoughts because I know that I cannot do it on my own. Thank you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

~*~*~
Though this is a fictional story, much of it is gleaned from glimpses of my own life. Are our thoughts really where they need to be? Or are we simply ignoring the need to cleanse our thoughts? May God help us all to cleanse and purify our minds so we can better serve Him!



Monday, February 6, 2012

The Battle for My Thoughts - Part 1

By Amanda T.

"A penny for your thoughts!" My sister quipped, nudging me as she slid a pot in my sudsy water.

I quickly started scrubbing the pot, bending my head down to hide the red that boiled in my face. "What thoughts?" I muttered, but my sister had already flitted to the dining room to wipe the crumbs off the table.

I had done it again. My eyes had rested on an object outside the window and in my mind I was fashioning a scene. Unconsciously, my sister had probed into a struggle I was having. She did it merely for fun - she was simply quoting a line from a book she had recently read.

Photograph by Amanda T.

As soon as the last dish was put away, I hurried to my room and swung the door shut. With my back resting on the door, I looked up at the ceiling.

"Why? Why am I still struggling? I'm supposed to be over this now! I've worked so hard but I'm still struggling! God, I don't know what to do next!" My jaws clenched and my fists doubled up. It seemed like I was fighting against an invisible enemy within myself.

"My thoughts aren't worth a penny." I moaned. How ashamed I would be to admit to my sister what I was really thinking! And yet . . . I slid to the floor and hid my face in my knees. God knew what I was thinking! If I was ashamed to let my younger sister know my thoughts, how much more ashamed should I be that God was looking down and seeing every detail of my thoughts!


"Lord, I give up! It's too hard! No one tries to keep their thoughts pure! It's such a bother! How am I supposed to know what You want me to do about them? Or do You even want me to do anything about them?" I caught my breath and slowly raised my head guiltily. There was no reason for me to complain about my problem as if I were in the dark because I knew where to find the answer to all of life's problems - no matter how small.

With a deep breath, I stood up and reached for my Bible then hastily pulled out the drawer where I kept my neglected concordance.

"Okay," I breathed decidedly, "What do You say about our thoughts?" I thumbed through the pages of the concordance until I reached "th." My eyes quickly scanned page after page until thoughts glared up at me. I grabbed a notebook and pen and settled on my bed.


. . .  To Be Continued Tomorrow . . .


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Think on THESE Things

By Erika T.

When I read “Thought-life” would be the next topic for the Rubies Like Ruth, Philippians 4:8 was the first verse that came to my mind. I had been studying it from a completely different aspect but really, it’s all about your thought life.

 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.
The application I’d like to give this verse today that it is a call to think on our Lord Jesus Christ. After all, nothing and no one is so
true,
honest,
just,
pure,
lovely,
of good report,
virtuous
or praiseworthy
as our Lord, Himself!

Photo by Amanda T.

So, when the temptation comes
to fantasize about your future,

to listen to Satan’s presentation of a “fun” activity,

to dwell on the ungodly images popping up on the internet,

to wonder about a worldly lifestyle,

to consider the ugliness of sin as not so bad,

to imagine doing something that could not be well spoken of,

to wish, for a moment, not to be quite so “virtuous”,

to allow the thought of something that has no good in it,

FLEE!

Flee to thoughts of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is everything your thought-life needs. He will fill your heart with everything you need - maybe not everything you want right now – but you will find that what you need is far more satisfying after all.

Finally, sisters, think on Him. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Transformation of Our Mind

Photo by Amanda T.


And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed 
by the renewing of your mind
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Middle Ground??

Image from Reusable Art
By Ana Renee

What kind of thoughts do we have? Good thoughts, decent thoughts, questionable thoughts, not-so-good thoughts, ambiguous thoughts, and bad thoughts, right? 

Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” According to these verses, thoughts are not categorized in levels of “goodness” or “badness,” but simple as Godly thoughts or human thoughts.

Will God one day judge us and say, “Well, those thoughts weren’t really good, but they weren’t very bad either, so I won’t count them.” NO! God is a just judge, and He will judge according to His perfect measure of what is righteous and what is evil – there is no “in-between.”

We are given a clear set of rules after which our thoughts should be patterned. “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)

What thoughts do we think? Are our thoughts virtuous and worthy of praise? Or are we dwelling on thoughts that we know are not “good?”

Let us evaluate our thought-life and remember that in God’s eyes, every thought counts!

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