PHILIPPIANS 4:8

YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK!

You have heard it said, "You are what you eat!"† This reflects on the fact that your health is affected by what you put in your body.† Have you ever stopped to think what it would look like if everyone came to church looking like what they ate the most!†

 

"Oh look, there's Mrs. Burger and Fries. And here comes Mr. Pizza. Look, here comes Pastor Peters. He's a giant ice cream cone.† And look at that guy over there. Why he looks like a Ponderosa Grand Buffet."

 

Here's another idea. What if we had to come to church dressed like our thoughts? Here's Mr. Bitter, and here's Miss Sweetness, and here's Mr. Angry, and here's Mr. Impurity, and here's Miss Hypocrite, and here's Mr. Faithful, and here's Mrs. Love.† Aren't you glad that there aren't captions above our heads like in the cartoons, telling others what we are thinking?

 

Although there are not captions above our heads, the Bible clearly tells us that we are what we think!† Eventually our words and our behavior will reflect what we are thinking on the inside.

 

Proverbs 23:7 - "For as he thinketh in his heart, so [is] he:..."

 

OUR DAILY BREAD† - "In Mammoth Cave in Kentucky are enormous pillars that have been formed by the steady dropping of water from the roof of the cavern. A single drop of water finds its way from the surface down through the roof of the cavern to deposit its minute sediment on the floor of the cave.

Another drop follows it, and still another, until an 'icicle of stone' begins to grow. Ultimately it forms a tremendous pillar."

 

A similar process is taking place inside of our hearts. Each thought is a little drip that begins to form a pillar.† Each pillar has the quality of those thoughts that have been dripping, dripping, dripping, in our hearts.

 

We build pillars of character that show the world exactly what we are like."

 

"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he."

 

Matthew 15:18-19 - But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

 

Luke 6:45A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

 

You are what you think.† And people can get a pretty good idea of what you are thinking by your words and your actions. As someone has said:

Sow a thought, reap an action.

Sow an action, reap a habit.

Sow a habit, reap a character.

Sow a character, reap a destiny!

 

If we are going to think the way God wants us to think, and as a result act the way God wants to act, we are going to have to learn how to think properly, because "You are what you think."

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Changing your thinking begins with salvation.† If you have truly recognized yourself to be a sinner, and have truly turned to Jesus Christ, as the One who died for you, and have trusted Him for forgiveness of sin and eternal life, there will be a change in your life!

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

As a result of the new life in Christ, we are told to make some changes. One change is who our boss will be in life. Another change is how we think through life's situations.

 

Romans 12:1-2 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. 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.

 

If our mind is renewed, it means that our thinking will be different than the way it was before we knew Christ as Savior. It means that we must learn how to think differently. This all brings us to our text, Philippians 4:8:

 

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.

 

This verse gives us a pattern for our thinking.

 

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We'll talk about how to implement that pattern at the end of the message.† But first, let's look at the types of things about which we should be thinking.† We can break down the types of things to think about into three categories.

 

PROFOUND THOUGHTS

PRECIOUS THOUGHTS

POSITIVE THOUGHTS

 

PROFOUND THOUGHTS

 

I call these thoughts profound because they are certainly of the highest and deepest quality. They include the things that are true, honest, and just.

 

        THE TRUE

 

The things which we think about should be true.

They should be valid thoughts.

They should be responsible thoughts.

They should be honest thoughts.

 

Have you ever stopped to realize how much we think about is just not true?

We worry about what this one is thinking.

We worry that this has happened or that has happened.

 

We worry about what will happen.

We assume people are saying and doing things that they are not saying and doing.

 

Why is this?† Ever since the Garden of Eden, Satan has been getting man to believe lies which he tells.† If he gets you to believe what isn't true, he can paralyze your testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

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John 8:44 - Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

 

Thinking about lies will upset you, make you worry, make you angry, make you ineffective for the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

How many of you have worried and or gotten angry about something that just wasn't true?

How many of you have worried and or gotten angry about something that never happened?

 

PROFOUND THOUGHTS

WHAT WE THINK ABOUT IS TO BE TRUE

        WHAT WE THINK ABOUT IS TO BE HONORABLE.

 

That's what the word "honest" means here.

What we think about is not to be simplistic.

What we think about is not be trash.

What we think about is not to be sheer imagination.

So much of what we think about is useless!

Thinking on the honorable takes us to a higher plane.

What we think about as Christians is to be better than what our unsaved friends are thinking about.

Our thinking is to be honorable, or reputable, or noble.

 

Think of it this way. Your thoughts should be on such a level, that if a Christian were to read them, he would still respect you.

 

Think of it this way. Your thoughts should be on such a level, that if an unbeliever were to be able to read them he would respect you.

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Think of it this way. Your thoughts are to be on such a level that when God reads them He finds them respectable, and even reverent towards Him.

 

PROFOUND THOUGHTS

WHAT WE THINK ABOUT IS TO BE HONORABLE.

WHAT WE THINK ABOUT IS TO BE TRUE.

        WHAT WE THINK ABOUT IS TO BE RIGHT

 

The word just would mean right.

According to the Expositor's Bible Commentary just would mean "conformable to God's standards, and worthy of His approval."

Back in the Old Testament days of the Judges it is said that every man did that which was right in his own eyes.† It's not hard for me to view my own thoughts as right according to my standards.† I can easily justify the way I think.

But to have my thoughts conformable to God's standards is something else.

 

Micah 6:8 - †He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

 

To do justly, I must think justly.

To love mercy, I must think mercifully.

To walk humbly with my God I must think about Him enough to meditate in His Word and talk to Him.

 

When we are practicing profound thinking.

WHAT WE THINK ABOUT IS RIGHT

WHAT WE THINK ABOUT IS HONORABLE.

WHAT WE THINK ABOUT IS TRUE.

 

 

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PROFOUND THOUGHTS

PRECIOUS THOUGHTS

 

We get the mistaken idea that when we think the way God wants us to think, that things will be dull.

I think quite the opposite is true.

 

The next two types of thoughts are precious to God and precious to others, because of the way we will treat them when our thoughts are precious.

 

And these thoughts will be precious to ourselves, because we will be so much happier when we think this way.

 

Precious Thoughts - There are two types here.

 

        WHAT I THINK ABOUT IS TO BE PURE.

 

First and foremost my thoughts must be morally pure before God.

I am not to be dwelling on that which displeases God!

I am not to be dwelling on the filth of this world.

I am not to be dwelling on that which would make me blush if others knew what I was thinking.

 

How can I help make sure that my thoughts will be morally pure?

You've heard of the old computer term "GIGO".

GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT!

 

Psalm 101:3 - I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; [it] shall not cleave to me.

 

When a person feeds on garbage from books, radio, television, videos, movies, etc. he will think about garbage.

 

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As he thinks about garbage, he will start doing things which are immorally pure.

 

Roy Laurin told about a disaster which occurred several years ago.

A deluge was created by the breaking of the St. Francis Dam in the Santa Clara watershed, 42 miles north of Los Angeles. "Without warning its foundations gave way in the middle of the night and the lives of at least 500 sleeping persons were snuffed out. A thundering cascade of swirling water, as high as 125 feet at its crest, roared its way thought a narrow 65 mile path from the dam site to Montalvo, a little coastal town below Ventura....

 

"The victims of this gigantic wall of floodwater were forewarned only by the noise of the onward mountain of angry water which uprooted trees, lifted homes from their

foundations, crushing boxcars, automobiles, farm buildings, and sweeping livestock and poultry on to destruction.

 

"Built only two years before its collapse, St. Francis Dam had been declared to be the last word in engineering and the safest dam ever built. It was discovered that a portion of the dam was built on a faulty shale formation. Water seeping imperceptibly ate away at the foundation and so weakened its inner structure that the relentless pressure of 36,000 acre-feet of water forced it into collapse.

 

"This is the way men collapse morally. The inner thought life harbors the impure thought which destroys the moral defenses of the mind and when temptation comes there is no defense to meet it. Then there is collapse and destruction and another life has been swept into moral ruin."

 

All because thoughts were not kept pure!

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PRECIOUS THOUGHTS

WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE PURE

        WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE LOVELY

 

When we think about lovely things they are pleasing.

When we think about lovely things they are agreeable.

When we think about lovely things they are amiable.

 

Lovely thoughts are beneficial towards God.

Lovely thoughts are beneficial towards others.

Lovely thoughts are those which would put God and others first.

Lovely thoughts are probably the thoughts that motivate us towards service for God and kind deeds towards man.

 

When you've done something nice, it is because it began with a lovely thought.

 

PROFOUND THOUGHTS

PRECIOUS THOUGHTS

† PURE

† LOVELY

 

POSITIVE THOUGHTS

 

Do you know why we are often critical?

Do you know why we are often unkind?

Do you know why we are often guilty of slander, and a judgmental attitude?

It is because we do not think positive thoughts.

 

        WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE OF GOOD REPORT

 

Instead of dwelling on bad news dwell on good news.

Instead of trying to make yourself look good, try to make God and others look good.

 

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This occurs when we think about the good we find in others instead of the bad we find in others.

There are some verses that Paul shared with the Philippians that should be our attitude towards other believers.

 

Philippians 1:3-6 - I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:

 

The words "good report" mean worth talking about.

If it's worth talking about something, it's worth thinking about.

If it's not worth talking about, then it's not worth thinking about either.

 

Positive Thoughts

A GOOD REPORT

        IF THERE BE ANY VIRTUE

 

The word virtue means "excellence".

We are to be so choosy about what we think that thinking just good thoughts isnít enough. We must strive to think excellent thoughts.

 

We want to think about that which is excellent in God's eyes.

When we praise we should think on the excellent.

When we pray we should think about the excellent.

When we consider God's will, we should think about doing what is excellent.

 

 

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Part of Paul's prayer for the Philippians in chapter 1 of that book is that they would "approve things that are excellent".

May we strive to do the same.

 

One final positive thought.

 

        IF THERE BE ANY PRAISE

 

We should think on things worthy of our praise.

We should think on things worthy of God's praise.

We are to think thoughts worth sharing to others, that they would think them too.

 

We have quite a list here this morning.

 

PROFOUND THOUGHTS THAT ARE TRUE, HONORABLE AND RIGHT

PRECIOUS THOUGHTS WHICH ARE PURE AND LOVELY

POSITIVE THOUGHTS WHICH ARE OF GOOD REPORT, EXCELLENT, AND WORTHY OF PRAISE.

 

The question now is, how do we go about thinking such thoughts?

 

Let me give you three suggestions, remembering that you can't think thoughts pleasing to God, until you are a child of God.

 

1. Ask Christ to control your thought life, using Romans 6:13 as a model.

 

Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.

 

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Yield yourself to God as one who is alive from the dead in Christ.

Yield your thoughts to God as instruments of righteousness unto God.

 

2. Think of the ways the Lord Jesus fulfills all of these qualities found in Philippians 4:8. (Review)

 

3. Memorize and Meditate on the Scriptures.

 

Joshua 1:8 - This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

 

3X5 cards

repetition

reflection

 

God's word is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue, worthy of praise, thinking on it and the Lord Jesus are the best ways to revolutionize your thought life.

 

        PROFOUND THOUGHTS THAT ARE TRUE, HONORABLE AND RIGHT

        PRECIOUS THOUGHTS WHICH ARE PURE AND LOVELY

        POSITIVE THOUGHTS WHICH ARE OF GOOD REPORT, EXCELLENT, AND WORTHY OF PRAISE.

 

1. Ask Christ to control your thought life, using Romans 6:13 as a model.

2. Think of the ways the Lord Jesus fulfills all of these qualities in Philippians 4:8. (Review)

3. Memorize and Meditate on the Scriptures.