Weekly Bible Study
The Power of Thought
July 8, 2012
“What he thinks is what he really is.” Prov. 23:7
Most everyone who knew Michael enjoyed his company. He was an excellent supervisor, an elder favored by most congregants, a gifted city-league ball player, a charitable man, father and husband of one wife. Michael was the kind of guy people would line up to toast at his funeral. Most men envied him and many women secretly wished their husbands had some of his traits.
But who was Michael…really? His secret thought life was not exactly parallel with his exterior. Over the years Michael developed resentment at not being selected as the Vice President and he harbored a simmering bitterness. The same was true in his church life. He spent more than ten years at his church before being selected as an elder. This was definitely not right or fair, he thought, casting the blame on his pastor who he knew was responsible.
And so it went for Michael, finding fault with people and companies who he blamed for various insults and rejections. His thought life was his secret refuge, a place that allowed him to get even. His thought life was also building a wall between himself and the Lord. After all, the Lord could have given me the desires of my heart, he thought.
As we can see, Michael allowed himself to live in a secret thought life in which he was superior, the winner, the smartest and best. The problem with living like that is. . .it is not real. It is a false life that leads us away from actual life and its challenges. And for a Christian, real life is built on their faith in Jesus Christ and forgiveness of sins, not promises to give material possessions and power.
What do you “think”? Are you building a secret thought life that gives you the pleasure and gratitude you “think” you deserve? Satan is the father of lies and is willing and able to help you along that road. He did remind a hungry Jesus that He could turn stones into bread!
John 5:39-40 “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.”
Luke 12:16-21 Then Jesus told them this parable: There was once a rich man who had land which bore good crops.17 He began to think to himself, I don’t have a place to keep all my crops. What can I do?18 This is what I will do, he told himself; I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, where I will store the grain and all my other goods.19 Then I will say to myself, Lucky man! You have all the good things you need for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself 20 But God said to him, You fool! This very night you will have to give up your life; then who will get all these things you have kept for yourself? 21 And Jesus concluded, This is how it is with those who pile up riches for themselves but are not rich in God’s sight.
Rom. 12:2-3 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
1 Cor. 8:2-3 Those who think they know something really don’t know as they ought to know.3 But the person who loves God is known by him.
1 Cor. 3:18-20 You should not fool yourself. If any of you think that you are wise by this world’s standards, you should become a fool, in order to be really wise.19 For what this world considers to be wisdom is nonsense in God’s sight. As the scripture says, God traps the wise in their cleverness (Job 5:13);20 and another scripture says, The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are worthless (Ps. 94:11).
Eph. 3:13-21 So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
Many people have written books that promise riches through positive thinking. Why do you suppose so many books and celebrities talk about the same idea? Because there is truth in it. A kernel of truth that says whatever you think you will walk in. If you think you are a loser, that is how you will live. Your life will manifest circumstances to convince you it is so.
As a Christian, it is essential that we think on Jesus Christ and his promises so our life will reflect the light of God. See Phil. 4:8-9. Think on these things!