Think God’s Thoughts
A sound mind focused on God's Word is vital for all people, and pastors especially. Fill your mind with God's Word, then live it and share it with others.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Dr. Cook, and that little corny greeting establishes the fact that we’re back again to look at the Word of God, and put a handle on it so that you can get hold of it for yourself. My purpose in producing these broadcasts is just to, to put a handle on God’s Word, so that you can apply it to your own life. God’s Word is forever true, whether or not anybody reads or believes it, but it’s, it’s of value to you when you put it to work in your own life.
Well, it’s nice to be back with you. I’m producing the broadcast once again, here in the little room on the ground-floor level of the house in Tannersville, PA, up in the Pocono Mountains, with the bear and the deer and the rest of the flora and fauna, and it’s just so wonderful to have this chance to be with you, day by day, and open God’s Word. Thank you for being there.
We’re starting in chapter 3. Went through with, with chapter 2. Start with prayer. For whom? What kind of prayer should it be? “Prayers, intercessions, giving of thanks. Supplications, prayers, intercessions, giving of thanks.” Who should we pray for? “Kings and for all that are in authority.” Pray that we might have “a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” What’s a good life? “A quiet life and peaceable life, a godly life and an honest life. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” Pray that people will be saved. God wants all men to be saved. And pray everywhere. “Lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting.”
Then there was a section there having to do with the place of women in God’s work. You probably didn’t agree with what I said, but then we don’t always have to agree on everything. Stick to the Word of God. That’s, that’s the test. If the Word says it, that’s what, what we want to follow, right? Key word there is, “adorning.” Women adorn themselves. Peter used the same thing: “Whose adorning let it not be what you put on but what lives inside of you.” And gentlemen, that’s true of you as well. The older we get, the more we have to try to fix up these poor, sagging bodies. And we, we find that what was once a wavy, wavy head of hair is now just a beach. The waves are gone, and the, the teeth need fixing, now and again. And the shape… Well, I used to have an hourglass figure, but the sand has shifted. That sort of a thing. So, you need a little fixing up now and again, that’s for sure. But you don’t depend upon what you can hang on your body to be the real source of any kind of beauty, any kind of attractiveness. You know that. It’s the person who lives inside that body that counts. Key word there is “adorning.” “Adorning the gospel.” “Adorning the doctrine,” Paul says. “Adorning the doctrine.” What does it mean? Make God’s truth beautiful by the kind of person you are; that’s what it means.
Well, we’ll go on into chapter 3. Paul says, “You want to be a pastor?” That’s a good job. Anybody wants to be a pastor. I’m taking this word “bishop” to mean our word “pastor.” Pretty, pretty much parallel. Says, “he desires a good work.”
Alright, what kind of a person do I need to be if I want to be a pastor? “Bishop then must be blameless.” That’s an interesting word. “Amemptos” is the Greek word. That’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it? And what does it mean? “Blameless.” Here it means “not reproachable, not open to censure, never apprehended, cannot be laid hold of.” Now that’s what Thayer’s Lexicon says, and you can go a little farther, if you want to look it up, in some of the other authorities. “Blameless” means there isn’t anything on you anywhere that anybody can lay hold of and, and criticize you.
Boy, that is something, isn’t it? Who can be that good? Well, if you walk in the Spirit, day by day, the Holy Spirit of God, talking through your throat and God guiding your footsteps and your decisions, you’re going to be “kept” – Peter says – “by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” You can live the standards that God sets for you. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Any time God sets a standard for us, He’ll enable us to do it.
And so, this is what it says: “irreproachable, not open to censure.” Watch out for the kind of things that you have to explain. My rule through life, and I can’t say that I’ve kept it always – you know, I’m just as human as the rest and more so – but my rule through life that I’ve tried to follow is: “Don’t do anything you’ve got to explain.” Do things that you can proclaim to the glory of God. Watch out for anything that you’re going to have to explain, because the more you explain, the less people believe, and finally, your credibility is gone. Right? Blameless.
“Husband of one wife.” A home that’s set up properly. Now, does that mean that every pastor has to be married? No, not necessarily. That does mean that the pastor that is married has to have a home that’s set up – a godly home – and he’s not a polygamist, and that he’s living for God with his wife in, in a godly Christian home. That’s what that means.
Then this word “vigilant,” and interestingly enough, your King James Bible says “vigilant.” I looked it up in the Greek New Testament and it means “temperament, sober.” Either a teetotaler or, or a very moderate use of wine; that was what Josephus said about it anyway, and so “vigilant” has to do with staying sober.
Now, you have the English word “sober” coming right up, and that’s a different meaning altogether. I’ll get at it in just a second, but “vigilant” means that you have all of your faculties about you, that they’re not clouded by alcohol or drugs or tobacco or anything else. You can’t be a successful pastor and not be physically and emotionally and nervelessly a hundred percent on the job. I think that’s what that’s talking about. “Vigilant” means “on the job.” “Hitting on all eight cylinders.” You know, life doesn’t have to take you by surprise. You can know what’s going on – you can “be with it,” as the young people say – and that’s part of the job description of the pastor.
Then he has this word, “sober.” Now that’s an interesting word, too. It’s a combination of two words, “sos” and “phren.” “Sos” has to do with saved. “Phren” has to do with minds. Sober means having a “saved mind.” A mindset that’s been to Calvary.
Oh hey, that’s something, isn’t it? When you become a Christian, do you think differently? Yes, you do. Do you have a different perspective, a different point on your life? Yes, you do. A “saved mind.” Not a carnal mind, not a worldly mind, not a conniving, deceitful mind, not a covetous mind – we’ll get at this matter of “covetous” a little later on here – not a combative mind, but a saved mind. Paul says, in another book, in 2 Corinthians: “Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Ready to take revenge on anything that isn’t honoring to the Lord Jesus.” “Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience to Christ.” A saved mind. How do you get a saved mind? You bring the person in whom the mind lives, you bring that to God. You bring yourself to God, day by day. You plead the merits of the blood that was shed on Calvary for you. You confess your sins and shortcomings to God. You fill your mind with the Word of God.
Now, many a person has difficulty living a Christian life because he isn’t in the Word. I know people, whom I know personally, who are dear Christians – I know they’ll be in Heaven – but they, they are constantly under the burden of the, the circumstances in which they live. They are down, they are gloomy, they are burdened. They, they fail oftentimes to measure up to their own standards. Why? Are they not Christians? Yes, they are. But they’re not in the Word.
“The entrance of Thy Words giveth light.” “The Words that I speak unto thee are Spirit, and they are life.” The Word of God gives faith. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God,” says Paul. And so if you get in the Word, day by day, and fill your mind – we’re talking about “saved mind,” aren’t we – if you fill your mind with the Word of God, it’s going to be a saved mind. It’s going to be a mind that reflects the truth of God and the love of God, and the purposes of God.
How much of God’s Word are you in every day? How much of God’s Word do you absorb every day? How much of God’s Word are you meditating on every day? Do you ever do that? As a matter fact, some people don’t. They read the Bible when they go to church, perhaps, or on other rare occasions, but to feed on it – day by day – it’s not their dish. Oh beloved, get into God’s Word, will you? You know how to do it? Open the Word of God. Start reading consecutively in some book of the Bible. Try Mark, try John, try Romans, whatever. Start reading consecutively in any book of the Bible. Read a little, pray over it, ask God to speak to your heart through it, and memorize some portions of it, and then share it with somebody as the day wears on. That’s how to get into God’s Word.
A “saved mind.” Not only is it a saved mind in terms of its content, but it’s a saved mind in terms of your, your mental procedures. What do you do when you are in wrong thought? Do you harbor it? Do you nurture it? Deeply incubate it? No, you bring it to Calvary. A saved mind brings wrong thoughts to Calvary and has them cleansed. That’s what to do. And a saved mind in terms not only of the thoughts that you have, but of the ambitions and purposes and plans that you have. You do your planning in your mind. If you have a saved mind, that means you bring your plans to your blessed Lord. Let Him control them.
How long has it been since you prayed about what you’re going to do in any given day? Have you laid out the day? Have you said anything to God about what you’re going to do? All of my mistakes have been made in a hurry, without too much praying. Every time I’ve waited on God and asked for direction, He has guided me. I know you’ll find the same to be true.
I remarked to Mrs. Wasserzug years ago… This would be 1948, in Switzerland, where she was in charge of the Bible Institute that she and her husband had founded some years before; the Bible Institute at Beatenburg, Switzerland. And I said to her, “Frau Doctor, here we are: 500 delegates – many of them impatient Americans and others from all over European countries and the Orient – and you are just as calm as can be.” I said, “Doctor, if, if I were you, I think I would just be climbing the walls. There are so many things to frustrate you and upset you.” She smiled and walked, and never said a word.
Mrs. Nabor was standing there, and she said, “You know I’m her roommate this, this week. I gave up my room so that you Americans would have a place to sleep, and I’m, I’m rooming with the Frau Doctor. Do you know the secret of how, why she’s so calm?” I said, “No, what is it?” She said, “By 5 o’clock this morning, she had prayed clear through the day.” That’s the secret, isn’t it? By 5 o’clock in the morning, the Frau Doctor had prayed her way through the day, and she was poised and ready.
Oh, I want to be that kind of person, don’t you? I want to have a saved mind. I want to have a mind that thinks God’s thoughts. The way you do that is to get into the Word. I want to have a mind that plans God’s plans. The way you do that is to pray about what’s going to happen. I want to have a mind that responds immediately in confession and contrition when it gets out of line. The way to do that is to practice 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” A saved mind. Let’s pray that God may give that to each of us, today and every day, as the time goes by.
Dear Father today, may our minds be under Thy control. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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