Returning to Holiness ~ Sins of Thought

Are we ready to begin?  To delve deep?  To walk closer with Christ?  This journey may be totally uncomfortable ~ but oh so worth it!

jumbled thoughts

According to God’s Word sin begins in the heart and mind.  Matthew 15:19 KJV “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”  Our thoughts and attitudes must be under God’s control or we will never know the fullness of life in Christ.

Let’s take a minute to think about how Satan attacks us?  Satan cannot attack us physically but he can fill our minds with inappropriate, sinful thoughts…he tries to develop strongholds in our thinking, doubts, so we can be led into sin and away from God.  How many times have you thought, “Well, it will be okay, it’s only this one time.”?  That one time leads to another and another leading you further from God and deeper in with Satan and his lies.

Proverbs 23:7 KJV tells us, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”  God is telling us the importance of fully allowing our minds to rest in Christ.  What you think is what you are is true without a doubt.

Prayerfully read the all the following scriptures.

Matthew 1:22-23 KJV “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

John 17:3 KJV “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

Romans 8:16 KJV “ The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”

The first sin we must overcome is any doubts about our salvation ~ we cannot be pleasing to God if we have this doubt in our minds and hearts.  We cannot make any progress in our spiritual journeys until you are completely, utterly certain of your relationship to Christ. God doesn’t want you to live another day in doubt.

Honestly answer all the questions.  Don’t answer with how you think you are “supposed” to answer!  We can only be filled with God if we are willing to empty ourselves and allow Him to fill us up.  Be willing, be honest, be thorough in your confession.

Questions for Reflection

Do you have nagging doubts about whether you have been saved? Do you sense times that God is speaking to your heart or is that a foreign idea?  Do you have a personal relationship with Christ or do you just know “facts” about who He is? Can you remember a time when you were deeply convicted of your “lostness”?  Can you remember a time when you truly turned from sin and surrendered your life to Christ?  When you made your profession of faith was there a noticeable change in your life?  Do you have complete peace that you are forgiven of your sins and are destined for Heaven? Do you have a desire for Bible study and prayer?  Do you have a longing to be in church and with God’s children?  Are you known as a person of kindness?  Are you known as a person of love?

If you answered no to many of these questions, it’s imperative that you stop and get your relationship with Christ right!  The good news is that you can get it right!  God is willing and wants to give you the assurance you need.  Please stop and read “How to Be Certain of Your Salvation”.

If you answered yes then rejoice that your eternal security is in Jesus… let’s continue….

Questions for Reflection

Honestly reflect on the type of thoughts that occupy your mind.

Is your mind focused on with thoughts of Christ or with worldly things? Do you think more about work or recreation than spiritual growth and serving God?  Are you sometimes filled with unclean thoughts? Do you have angry or fearful thoughts? Do you frequently watch programs or movies that cause improper thoughts and feelings? Are you conscious of unclean thoughts or motives? Do you have thoughts that you would be ashamed for others to know about? Do you have a wandering eye? Do your affections and priorities often revolve around people and things more than Christ? Are more passionate about worldly things or spiritual things? Do you get more excited about work, sports, etc., than God’s kingdom?  To what or whom do you devote most of your thoughts and energies to? Is Christ the center of all of your life? Of your plans?  Is it a habit to seriously read and study God’s Word daily or is it another thing to cross off your to-do list? Do you meditate on key verses? Do you write down key verses that speak to you so you can apply it your life?

If you sense God’s conviction, be specific in your confession to Him. Decide how you are going to change your thoughts to remove the pattern of sin ~ it’s vital that you replace the wrong thoughts with thoughts of Christ.  Try to memorize Scripture that will give you a powerful way to over come the wrong thoughts. Would you share your scripture choices with us?   If many of your thoughts are undisciplined, worldly, confess this to Him and ask Him to transform your mind.  By God’s grace, you can change your affections and thoughts!  Praise His Grace!  Think of specific ways you need to set your affections and thoughts on Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

Romans 12:2 KJV  “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.”

Matthew 22:37 KJV “ Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

Personal Reflection

What specific Scripture has God brought specific conviction?  What thoughts have God told you to change? Which do you need to address first?

How do these sins affect your relationship with God and others?

Has God given you specific Scripture promises to help you overcome each sin?  What are they?

In what specific ways are you prepared to change your thoughts?  What thoughts will be the replacements?

 

 

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