Thankful Hearts

Thankful HeartsThankful Hearts

Thankful Hearts

Todays verse is not a typical “Thanksgiving Verse”               

Romans 1:21

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENS TO US WHEN WE DON’T HAVE THANKFUL HEARTS:

  • Our thinking becomes futile
  • Our hearts become darkened

The PROBLEM is not a lack of knowledge, but an ignoring of the knowledge they have

Romans 1:22-23

“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Romans 1:24

“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”

HOW DOES GOD GIVE US OVER TO OUR SINFUL DESIRES?

Here is the truth:

  • God gives us strength
  • God protects us

Proverbs 30:5

“The Word of God is flawless. He is a shield to those who take refuge in him”

1 Peter 1:4-5

“This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time”

Ephesians 6:16

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one”

Job 1:8-11

  “Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied.

10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON’T GLORIFY HIM OR GIVE HIM THANKS?

  • He hands us over to our sinful desires
  • He gives us what we ask for

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

God formed us in our mother’s womb! He:

  • Formed your gifts and abilities
  • Formed your desires
  • Formed your mental aptitude

There are two ways we can express unthankfulness:

  • Receive God’s blessings without giving Him any credit &
  • Grumble about what we don’t have

Philippians 4:11-13

”I  am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Nehemiah 8:10

                “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

How to be filled with the joy of the Lord?

  • Have a thankful heart
  • Glorify God
  • Be content

The progression of unthankfulness:

  • Minds start to think futile thoughts and heart begins to darken
  • Their lifestyle becomes more foolish
  • Thus God gives them over to their sinful desires and sexual impurities
  • Then God gives them over farther in unhealthy relations
  • Then God gives them over to a depraved mind that does things that ought not to be done

 

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Under Construction – Taming the Tongue-2

The Tongue is a FireUnder Construction-Taming the Tongue – part 2

Under Construction – Taming the Tongue Part 2

What do we know about James?

  • Jesus’ brother
  • Became a believer probably after resurrection
  • Became head of the church in Jerusalem

The Book of James gives us a clear picture of what a mature Christian is to look like

  • James 1 – To persevere and be patient in trials and troubles
  • James 2 – Practicing true religion
  • James 3 – The power of the tongue and how to and not to use it

James 3:1

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly

James 3:3-4

”When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.

1. The tongue has the power to direct

Here is a very important thing we need to understand on how God created us

  • Made in God’s image
  • The power of speech
  • Freedom of choice
  • God’s authority

Luke 9:1-2

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick

Luke 10:19 tells us that

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you

God’s people have authority

  • Our words influence
  • Our words impact

James 3:5-6

Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

 

2. The tongue has the power to destroy

What do we know about fire?

  • It is incredibly useful
  • It is incredibly destructive

James 3:7-8

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison

Fire and animals can both be wild and out of control

James 3:9-12

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water

3. The tongue has the power to refresh

As growing mature believers we can bring

  • Nourishment
  • Refreshment
  • Hope
  • Peace

James 3:8

“but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison”

James 1:18

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry

 

Mature believers are…

  • Quick to listen
  • Slow to speak
  • Slow to anger

               

James 1:26

“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

Better to remain Silent

 

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Under Construction-Taming the Tongue

Speak Life

Under Construction-Taming the Tongue

Under Construction-Taming the tongue

We have looked at a couple of the biggest battle fields going on in our lives:

  • Guarding our mind
  • Guarding our heart         

Proverbs 18:21

“the tongue has the power of life or death

Under-Construction-Taming the TongueEphesians 4:29

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen

  • Our words are to build up others
  • According to their needs
  • That others may benefit

Instead of hurting people with our words:

  • Our words are to be nicer than others give to us
  • Our words are to encourage and build others up

Matthew 12:33-36

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every idle word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

1.We don’t have a tongue problem. We have a heart problem

Jesus’ point is clear:

  • A tree is recognized by their fruit
  • A person can be identified by what they say

2. We will be held accountable for hurtful words

Matthew 12:36-37

36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every foolish word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

In God’s Kingdom PEOPLE ARE IMPORTANT!

  • For by your words you will be acquitted
  • For by your words you will be condemned

That is our purpose:

  • Build others up
  • Speak kindness
  • Speak encouragement,
  • Speak life

Here is a guideline to help us to build up others:

  • Refrain from attack words

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Here is a guideline to help us to build up others

  • Refrain from attack words
  • Refrain from gossip

 

  • Proverbs 16:28 A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends
  • Proverbs 20:19 A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.
  • Proverbs 26:20 Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.

Here is a guideline to help us to build up others:

  • Refrain from attack words
  • Refrain from gossip
  • Use edifying words

Ephesians 4:29

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Under-Construction-Taming the Tongue

It takes intentionality to build others up!

 

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Under Construction – Guarding Our Hearts

 

Under Construction - Guarding Our HeartsUnder Construction-Guarding Our Hearts

Under Construction – Guarding Our Hearts
            

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”                                                        Proverbs 4:23

Who is Solomon writing to?

  • Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
    pay attention and gain understanding (1)
  • Listen, my son, accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many. (10)
  • My son, pay attention to what I say;
    turn your ear to my words. (20)

He uses the phrase “listen my son” 19 times just in these first 10 chapters

Solomon is being a dad passing down wise instruction to his kids:

  • Take hold of wisdom
  • Listen to instruction
  • Stay off the path of evil
  • Pay attention to my teachings
  • Do not despise discipline
  • Avoid unrighteous sexual activity

He says something that is unique – ABOVE ALL ELSE

Why should we guard our hearts?

  • Your hearts are valuable
  • It is your source of joy
  • It is under constant attack

ONLY POWER OVER YOU THE DEVIL HAS:

  • Get you to think wrong
  • Get you to feel wrong

What are we to guard our hearts against?

  • Unhealthy relationships
  • Divided devotion
  • Wrong feelings that drive us in the wrong directions

Matthew 22:36-37

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and all your strength”

 

Solomon tells us to guard our heart because… IT IS THE WELL SPRING OF LIFE

 

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Under Construction – Guarding Our Minds

Under Construction

Under Construction: Guarding Our Minds

Under Construction: Guarding our minds

John 8:44

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Here is the truth about our minds:

  • Steering wheel of our lives
  • It supervises everything that you do
  • It gives us the chemicals of love, fear, pleasure, pain

Romans 12:2 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

The Apostle Paul recognizes this invisible battle:

  • He tells us to renew our minds
  • He tells us to demolish every pretension against the knowledge of God
  • He tells us to take every thought and make it obedient to Christ

Definition of Pretense

  • An attempt to make something that is not the case appear true
  • A claim, especially a false or ambitious one

We are to demolish every…

  • Lie
  • False claim
  • False belief

The Bible gives examples of the fallen sinful mind:

  • Troubled mind – 2 Kings 6:11
  • Depraved mind – 1 Timothy 6:5
  • A sinful mind – Romans 8:7
  • A dull mind – 2 Cor. 3:14
  • A blinded mind – 2 Cor. 4:4
  • A corrupt mind – 2 Tim. 3:8

So how do we guard our minds?

 

  1. Don’t believe everything you think

We all have wrong thinking

Wrong thinking leads to  – Wrong feelings

Wrong feelings lead to – Wrong actions

 

  1. Guard your mind against garbage

The devil tempts you with junk thoughts

But his real goal is to lead you to the toxic thoughts

               

Proverbs 15:14

A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while a fool feeds on trash (NLT)

Philippians 4:6-8

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Ways to guard your mind:

First – In every situation pray

 

The result – God’s peace will guard our hearts and mind

Ways to guard your mind:

Second – Think about Godly pure stuff

Don’t just resist the thinking – replace it

 

Ways to guard your mind:

Third – Never let up on learning

We are called to be disciples of Christ

  • A disciple never stops learning

5 levels of learning

  • Knowledge
  • Perspective
  • Conviction
  • Character
  • Skill

 

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