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The Gospel Changes What We Think About

Philippians 4:8-9


In our passage for today the apostle states the importance of thinking ______________ about the things that we think about.



Two things related to Godly Thinking:


1.         The P______________ of Godly Thinking         V. 8-9a


“Love is patient; love is kind. Love does not envy; is not boastful; is not conceited; does not act improperly; is not selfish; is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs; finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”   -I Corinthians 13:4-7



The word for dwell in verse 8 could also be translated meditate, consider, or take into account. The present tense calls for a continual or ___________________ action.



2.         The P____________ Given to Godly Thinkers   V. 9b


If the born again Christian will think about the right things and more and more have that overflow into doing the right things, they will enjoy a greater sense that God is with them ________!  



As we replace bad drinking habits with good drinking habits, it helps our physical health. When we replace bad thinking habits with good thinking habits, it helps our ______________ health!







A Matrix* to Guide the Christian’s Thinking:


Is this thing I am thinking about true or a lie based on the Bible? 


Is the way I am thinking about this thing dignified and honorable?


Does the thing that I am thinking about promote me and others doing the right thing?


Does the thing I am thinking about promote my own purity or defilement?


Is there beauty, loveliness and a “pleasing-ness” to the thing I am thinking about?


Could I commend the thing I am thinking about to others with a clear conscience before God?


Will thinking about this thing help me be ethical and virtuous, above reproach?


Does my thinking about this thing glorify God?


Is this thing I am thinking about consistent with things recommended by Christians I respect?


Is this thing I am thinking about consistent with things modeled by Christians I respect?


*Matrix = That which contains and gives shape or form to anything (Funk and Wagnall 1963). In this case, these are questions that shape the Christian’s thinking based on Philippians 4:8-9.


Don’t be surprised if some things elicit a clearly positive answer (+), some elicit a clearly negative answer (-), and others elicit a neutral answer (?). Items that consistently elicit a negative response (-) should be shunned as either unbiblical or unhelpful or both! As to items that consistently elicit a “neutral” response (?), growing Christians will often come to differing conclusions regarding these. Be convinced in your own mind, don’t violate clear scripture commands or your own conscience, and don’t judge your brothers and sisters in Christ on non-essential matters!   


Potential ways to use this matrix:

Evaluating whether or not to watch specific television shows and/or movies.

Evaluating whether or not to listen to specific songs and/or singers/bands.

Evaluating whether or not to frequent specific websites.

Evaluating whether to read specific books and/or magazines.

Evaluating whether or not to listen to specific radio personalities/shows/ stations.

Evaluating whether or not to have extended conversations with specific people.