Don’t Waste Any Opportunity

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

– Philippians 4:8 NLT

 

Dr. Bob Miller

Dr. Bob Miller

Albert Einstein said, “The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”  The “why” and “how” we think determines the “what” of “who” we are.

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste” was a slogan used by The United Negro College Fund in the early 1970’s.  Solomon penned the thought, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is . . .” (Prov 23:7 NASB)

Throughout Scripture, God reminds us that our thought process impacts our life’s pattern.  Our outlook directly effects our outcome.  Our primary focus can be entangled in our failed past or embrace our future position.

This is not “positive self-talk”, it’s “promised Scripture truth”.  Paul reminds us that we are not to be “conformed” (crammed into the mold) to this world culture (the thought patterns of pleasure, possession or position – 1 John 2:15), but instead, to be “transformed” (changed from the inside out) in the way that we think. (Rom 12:2)

In Philippians 4, Paul shows us how to stop wasting away . . .

Rejoice:  We are to take joy in Jesus . . . Always.  It starts with Him.  The psalmist reminds us, “This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps 118:24 NLT)  No matter what, I will grab on to it with gratitude and jump into it with joy.  The Message really captures Paul’s thoughts to Christ-followers in Philippi, “Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!” (Phil 4:4 MSG)  Thank a moment . . . Look around . . . whether it’s good or bad . . . and, celebrate Who God is.

Respond:  When problems show up, my prayer gets down and His peace kicks in.  Replacing my worry with worship surrounds what I think and feel with peace.  Paul writes, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7 NLT).  Here’s Paul’s formula . . . Problems . . . Prayer . . . Praise . . . Peace.

Renew:  GIGO.  It’s been used to describe “Garbage In, Garbage Out”.  What we let in our minds is what we let out in our lives.  I like “Grace In, Grace Out.”  It’s finding and focusing on things full of faith.  The Message brings these critical choices to light, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” (Phil 4:8 MSG)

So as Mr. Einstein would ask, “What are we creating?”

Your mind . . . Your heart . . . Your life . . . Waste not, want not.

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