1 Timothy 6:11-12 (NAS) Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (TEV) The weapons we use in our fight are not the world’s weapons but God’s powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds. We destroy false arguments; we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ.
Proverbs 4:23 (TEV) Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.
Romans 12:2 (NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Ephesians 4:21-24 (NLT) Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
Romans 8:5-6 (NCV) Those who live following their sinful selves think only about things that their sinful selves want. But those who live following the Spirit are thinking about the things the Spirit wants them to do. If people’s thinking is controlled by the sinful self, there is death. But if their thinking is controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace.
2 Corinthians 11:3 (NIV) But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Isaiah 44:20 (CSB) His deceived mind has led him astray, and he cannot rescue himself, or say, “Isn’t there a lie in my right hand?”
Matthew 9:4 (NIV) Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?”
Philippians 4:8 (NIV) Finally brothers, 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.
Matthew 22:37 (NIV) Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
When did you first come to realize how your own thoughts could defeat or motivate you? Can you give an example of each?
React to this statement: “Change your thoughts and you will change your world.”
Why do you think it’s easier for people to worry or become focused on negative thoughts or misbeliefs than on positive truths? What’s the “Achilles’ heel” that tends to suck you into gloomy or negative thinking?
Where are you especially conscious that you need to guard your thoughts and change your mental diet?Read Philippians 4:4-8. How does this passage encourage you with the fight in the battle zone of your thought-life?
Which of the scriptures from this message seems to be addressed right to you and your needs? What would putting that scripture into practice in your life look like? Is there a scripture passage you and your group could try to memorize and meditate on this week?
How have you experienced the truth of some of the ideas found in the practical section of the message about “hardening the target” of our minds? Which do you feel you’d like to understand or practice better? How can your group best encourage, support or hold you accountable about this?
Elementary Parents – today your kids learned that sometimes life is hard and we go through bad times. But we can have HOPE no matter how bad it gets. Remember God is with us. Ask kids who had a bad day. (Jesus) Did his friends leave him? (Yes) As a family, look up and read John 16:32. Talk together about how it feels to know that God is always with us.
A born teacher, Steve combines a depth of insight with unchanging biblical truths to provide messages that are both engaging & life changing. Married to Jean, his bride of 35 years, and the father of three adult children, Steve enjoys early mornings on his porch in study, time with family & friends at the coast, and playing Bluegrass music on his guitar.