Captive Thoughts

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2 NLT


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.
2 Corinthians 10:15 NIV


Once I was in a bible study and the leader brought that last verse up. I immediately found myself confused and overwhelmed. “Wait,” I said.” I have no police or military training. I’m not even sure I’m qualified to perform a citizen’s arrest! Besides, we’re talking about arresting thoughts. How? Should we be contacting Ghost Busters?” A brief group discussion ensued regarding whether this particular bible study was appropriate for me. After I agreed to some ground rules which involved my raising a hand and only speaking an agreed upon number of times per class, I was given some instruction which began to clarify the issue for me.

Seriously though, it’s clear God is telling us the battlefield of our mind needs a lot of attention, the kind of attention which calls for continued prayer and attention to the Word. Challenge what passes through your mind and the concepts you allow to shape your mental and spiritual life. Changing our discussion’s locale, consider your mind a garden. Something will definitely grow there. Either you choose that something, or you can wait to see which weeds volunteer. How do we choose what grows? First, identify the behavior and customs God would have you emulate and compare and contrast those with that of the world. As you identify and quarantine those thoughts which war against you spiritually and mentally, allow God to make you a new person. Make yourself a student of the master gardener. Finally… Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV

Lord, your gracious promise to us is to finish what you’ve begun
by the blood soaked sacrifice on the cross rendered by your Son.
Jesus, you gave us victory when you died and took death’s keys.
I will be forever grateful to You for this gift to sinners like me.


© Joel Tipple 11/23/2019











Sacred

“The moment someone chooses to trust in Jesus Christ, his sins are wiped away, and he is adopted into God’s family. That individual is set apart as a child of God, with a sacred purpose.”
Charles Stanley

“What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and work flow.”
Martin Luther

“Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God too. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life … One who cannot listen long and patiently will presently be talking beside the point and be never really speaking to others, albeit he be not conscious of it. Anyone who thinks that his time is too valuable to spend keeping quiet will eventually have no time for God and his brother, but only for himself and for his own follies.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sacred is an anagram for the word, scared. This, I believe, is a hint to the attitudes we choose from in pursuing the lives our God has entrusted us with. We each have the choice to live our lives in a fear based manner that views each day as a series of attacks and challenges on our well being, or we may choose to see our lives as sacred gifts we can dedicate to service and transformation of ourselves and others through Jesus Christ. Which theme will you choose… scared or sacred?

Our lives are not our own,
they are sacred.
Invaluable gifts,
to never be squandered.
There should be no mystery
at the end of our days
how we were used by God
when it’s pondered.


A pen should only be lifted
if God’s invited to write.
A speaker should only read
if he’s prayed for God’s sight.
Silence is sacred
and listening king
when the suffering are heard
and given love’s wings.


©Joel Tipple 7/20/2019