Your Mindset Determines Everything

Spiritually MindedThe Apostle Paul in Romans 8:6 says, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” A Christian is to be spiritually minded which means their mindset is what it ought to be! Paul again states this concerning our mindset, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”(Phil. 2:5). Christ had the proper mindset! Over in Colossians 3:2 we are told: “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” In order to set my affection, I must have the proper mindset and this simply means that I’m keeping God, people, and things of this world in their proper place in my mind!

Why Is This So Important?

In the Bible the words “heart” and “mind” are often used interchangeably and involve a person’s intellect, volition, and emotions — it’s much more than just our physical muscle known as the heart. Jesus stressed the importance of having our hearts (minds, intellects, emotions) in the proper place when he said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:21). So according to Jesus, where my mindset is will determine where my treasure is which will in turn affect the way I live in this world. Paul stated the same thing when he told us to set our affections on things above! Paul was in essence reminding the Colossians and all who read his letter today that one’s mindset must be in the right place.

This Answers Many Questions

1. Why is it folks will dress up when going to parties, or funerals, or weddings and yet give little regard to their appearance when coming to church? THEIR MINDSET! They have unknowingly placed parties, funerals, and weddings on a higher level in their minds than they have given to almighty God!

2. Why is that children today are taught to say, “Yes sir” and “No sir” and “Yes ma’am” and “No ma’am” to their elders and yet speak of God in terms of “you,” “the man upstairs,” or “him”? THEIR MINDSET! They have placed giving respect and honor to men of this world on a higher level in their minds than they have given to almighty God!

3. Why is it folks can’t make it to service but one time a week and yet they can attend a ball game and sit and watch a double header, or not miss one single meeting at school or work or even in some cases attend these functions sick? THEIR MINDSET! They have given things of this world a higher position of importance than they have given to almighty God!

4. Why is it that folks respect the laws of this land and readily accept their responsibility to obey them and yet try to disprove the law of God and show little regard for God’s authority today? THEIR MINDSET! They have brought God down to man’s level and in their minds they no longer respect and honor and give God the important position that he deserves!

Are You Happy?

Are you happy? Have you ever had someone ask you that question lately? One of the things we do in our marriage is called a happiness check. Every now and then Carey or I ask each other are you happy? I got one of those checks the other morning as I was stumbling into the bathroom to see how bad I looked that day and Carey caught me and looked me in the face and said those magic words “Are you happy?” Now at the time I didn’t realize it was a marriage happy checkup but instead my mind immediately went to what Paul said through the Spirit in (Phi.4:11) “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” So that’s what I told her and she smiled and left for work.

 

That question stayed with me the rest of the day “Are you happy.”

You see from the worlds standpoint happiness comes from various things: (1) Money (2) Pleasure (3) Fame (4) Success (5) Beauty

Just to name a few but to the Christian happiness is not based on these things and that’s what Paul was talking about I believe. If you are happy generally you are content with the way things are going in your life. The Greek word “Content” is (autarkes) and Thayer says it means

1. Sufficient for one’s self, strong enough or possessing enough to need     no aid or support.

2. Independent of external circumstances.

3. Contented with one’s lot, with one’s means, though the slenderest.

 

This is the only time this particular word is used in the New Testament and Paul was simply saying he was independent of circumstances going on in his life and the reason he could say this is found in (vs.13) “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Paul’s self-sufficiency was based on his dependency on the Lord!

 

Easier said than done, you say preacher, but you’ll notice in (vs.11) Paul said “For I have learned” In other words we have to learn to be content in this old world and if we are truly Christ’s disciples then the process becomes routine because we have devoted and given ourselves to His service! (Col.3:23-24) We realize God is in control, God knows what’s best for us and our times are in His hands and our duty is to simply press on no matter what circumstances we may find ourselves in at the present time! Remember, it’s not what happens to me but what happens in me that counts! Change your thinking and you change your actions but this is something we must learn to do as Paul said he learned to do. I ran across this article called the city of regret and I think it ties into a lot of folk’s attitudes today.

City of Regret

I had not really planned to take a trip this year yet I found myself packing anyway. And off I went dreading it; I was on another guilt trip. I had booked my reservations on Wish I had airlines. I didn’t check my bags; everyone carries their baggage on this airline. And I had to drag it for what seemed like miles in the Regret City airport. And I could see that people from all over the world were there with me, limping along under the weight of bags they had packed themselves.

 

I caught a cab to Last Resort Hotel, the driver taking the whole trip looking over his shoulder. And there I found the ballroom where my event would be held: The Annual Pity Party. As I checked in, I saw that all my old colleagues were on the guest list: *The Done family-Woulda, Coulda, and Shoulda *Both of the Opportunities-Missed and Lost *All the yesterdays- there were too many to count. But all would have sad stories to share *Shattered Dreams and Broken Promises would be there too, along with their friends, *Don’t Blame Me and Couldn’t Help It.

 

And of course, hours and hours of entertainment would be provided by that renowned storyteller *It’s their fault! As I prepared to settle in for a really long night, I realized that one person had the power to send all those people home and break up the party: ME. All I had to do was return to the present and welcome the new day! If you have found yourself getting on a flight to the City of Regret, recognize that it’s a trip you book yourself. And you can cancel it at any time-without penalty or fee. But you’re the only one who can.

 

So I ask you now “Are you happy?” If you are not putting God first in your life the answer will always be no! Why not change that today and come to God through Christ which will not only save your soul but change the way you think! If you are wondering my marriage checkup question “Are you happy?” is yes! The same hold’s true for my life now, even though I might not understand a lot of things, as long as I’m right with God I’m going to be happy! I wonder how it is with you?

Are We Confused Christians?

Teach all nationsThe early church grew numerically very quickly after the day of Pentecost. We read in (Acts 2:41) “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Over in (Acts 4:4) we are told, “Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.” When we get to (Acts 5:14) we learn, “And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.” Finally in (Acts 6:7) the Spirit tells us, “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” We are not left to wonder why there was such growth for in (Acts 8:35) we learn the reason,

“Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.” But wait a minute! Didn’t they remember what Jesus had told them earlier?

 

I mean when one goes back to (Matthew 16:20) Jesus specifically told them the following, “Then charged He his disciples that they should tell no man that He was Jesus the Christ.” I believe a lot of Christians today must think they were confused because many today are still heeding the words of Jesus in (Matthew 16:20)! There are many people who haven’t told a soul who Jesus is or what Jesus did for them. Bible students understand what Jesus meant in Matthew when He made that statement and yet many today are living as if they don’t have a clue.

 

Jesus also told them in (Matthew 28:18-20) “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” The early Christians understood which statement they were to follow and the result was growth!

 

If we want to grow like the early church all we have to do is heed the right commandment. There is no reason why we shouldn’t be growing just like the early church grew in numbers! If you think about it we have the same Jesus, the same Gospel, the same opportunities, the same time, the same problem (sin)! Paul plainly tells us in (Rom.1:16) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

 

The early church didn’t have a more powerful gospel than we have today! The only difference that I can see between them and us is they told others about Jesus! They understood the power was in the gospel not them and their mission was simply to sow that gospel into the hearts of men and women everywhere, every day, every chance they had! Over in (1Cor.3:6) the Holy Spirit through Paul says,     “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”

 

They sowed the seed, some planted and some watered and the result was God gave the increase! Since we have the same gospel all we have to do is exactly what they did and I guarantee God will give the increase! If we have the mentality of a lot of football teams today and we think all we have to do is send in our star quarterback and he will get the job done, what happens if he gets hurt? Football games aren’t won by just one person they’re won by every person doing what they can to help the team accomplish their goal!

 

The early church didn’t just depend on one man or one woman to spread the gospel to tell everyone in Jerusalem about Jesus. Every Christian did what they could some planted and some watered! We have to do the same thing today because like them we are commanded to tell others about Jesus the Christ. There are lost people all around us and the fields are white unto harvest but indeed the laborers are few! Let’s change that by remembering which commandment of Jesus we are to follow today.

 

When we stand before Jesus in the last great day let’s don’t make the excuse, “I was confused about which command to follow Jesus.”

Let’s all, like the early church, get excited about our salvation and about Jesus and start telling others about the Christ who died for them! If we don’t then I ask the question:

ARE WE CONFUSED CHRISTIANS?