What’s on Your Mind?

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

Philippians 4:6-8 (NKJV)

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

We are what we think about. The Bible tells us, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). It is in the mind that our successes and failures reside. It is in our minds where the greatest victories and the most devastating defeats exist. Your thoughts consume your entire body, which is why the Bible says, “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he!” Whatever is on your mind is also in your heart.

Paul writes this letter from a jail cell, one of four “prison letters” (Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon). It was a letter of gratitude expressed to this church for their support and their gifts. He encourages them to maintain their spirit of unity and loyalty. Paul writes to thank them for their generosity and show them how to be transformed in their minds and their spirits. He wanted to help them to manifest a deep and abiding joy that touched their souls. He was not talking about the kind of joy that is dependent on outside circumstances or conditions, not the kind of joy that loses enthusiasm when adversity, suffering or persecution comes. He was writing to encourage them about an internal and genuine joy that advances from the inside out. It is irrepressible joy.

Paul’s letter is filled with instructions on how to access this joy. He talks about it throughout the text. He constantly refers to the mind. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (2:5), “Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you” (3:15); “I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord” (4:2). In each of these verses, Paul is stressing the need to think, to use your mind for the good of mankind and the glory of God. How else could he say, “Be anxious for nothing?” The characteristics of a good and faithful servant of God are shaped within the mind. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding (beyond our ability to ‘think’) will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.”

Paul is talking about transformation. To be transformed, we must keep our minds focused on the things of God and off the things of the world. We must meditate on the things that are true and noble and just, thinking about how to bless others. When we do, we turn our problems into blessings, our sorrows into joy, and our eternal souls toward heaven. We are transformed!

What’s on your mind?

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book (eBook available at www.smashwords.com/books/view/993177)

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