Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's on Your Mind?

We've been reading Ninety Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper.  As we read today, the Holy Spirit gave us a very practical illustration of a truth that He continues to sear into the core of my being.  We become what we continually think about.  Don talks about a man who became blind.  That blind man was bitter, and angry because of all the things he couldn't do anymore.  But that man had a friend who challenged him to make a list of all the things he could do.  So the man did it--reluctantly.  It completely transformed the man! Suddenly, the man realized that there were thousands of things he could do, and he resolved to spend the rest of his life doing those things.  He moved from bitterness, to thankfulness.

We, too, can transcend the problems and imperfections of this earth, by focusing our minds on Heavenly things, by choosing to dwell on the blessings which flow out of Heaven's gates to earth, by keeping our eyes gazing upward, seeing glimpses of Heavenly treasures, and enjoying the pleasure, beauty and rest that we find in God Himself.  Out of Him flows every good thing.    Praising this magnificent King and thanking Him for His lavish gifts brings us to His gates, allowing us to enter His courts.

Simply stated, praise God and thank Him for everything in your life, good, and bad, small and large.  If we do not do this small thing, we cannot expect to enjoy the delights of His very presence.

There will always be a hundred million things that we don't have in this life.  There will be pain, suffering, and disappointments, but we have the opportunity to choose how we will respond.  Aren't you thankful that we can choose?  I tell my children all of the time, "You choose your attitude."  And aren't you glad that when we choose thankfulness and praise, that we are blessed with sweet heavenly treasures that transcend all human understanding?

I challenge you.  Get out a sheet of paper.  Make a list of everything that you are thankful for--small and large. Nothing is insignificant.   Fill up the front.  Turn over to the back and fill up the back side.  List every positive quality in that person that gets on your last nerve.  As you fill up the paper with your thanks, God will fill up the treasure chest of your heart with peace, contentment, joy and confidence in this God who loves you so dearly.  As my youngest son said to me after completing this activity, "You feel rich!"  It's a promise directly from the Heavenly Throne.

And when you realize how much you've been blessed, you'll want to bless others with the gifts you've received.

Phil 4: 6-9 [6] Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. [7] And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    PHP 4:8 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. [9] Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

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