The Most Excellent Thoughts


Maybe you've read or heard the quote, "An idle brain is the devil's workshop." This quote has been around a long time. It comes from H.G. Bohn's A Handbook of Proverbs, published in 1855. Often, the word "brain" is substituted by the word "mind" and "workshop" is sometimes changed to "playground" in the modern daily use of the expression. Its meaning is, simply put, if a mind is not kept busy with good things, wicked or evil thoughts and ideas are likely to enter.

So what has filled your mind? Consider all the experiences, images, songs, words and phrases, thoughts, memories, prayers, and other stuff that has been absorbed or dumped into your mind. Our quick fix is to ask God to erase all the bad stuff and allow only the good stuff to remain. But, that doesn't work. It seems like the bad stuff comes to mind far too often and quickly. It's so tempting to get weighed down, feel guilty or get mired in past failures and mistakes. The Apostle Paul suggests a different approach.  

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. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8-9 The Message

We wrap up our series this weekend with a challenge to put into practice what we've learned. There are times when we need to press on, endure and persevere even when we're not feeling it. We need other Christ followers who really know us and our story to help us through challenging times. Christians serve and suffer with one another. We live life together because we know our faith will be challenged and we are tempted to do all the wrong things daily. There will be times when we're just not feeling it. We believe a Christian small group is crucial for developing spiritual maturity and can be our only defense against the spiritual forces of darkness that own this world. Imagine the infiltration God's Kingdom not by force but through the gradual transformation of individuals working in groups to change the world. Sounds like God's perfect plan to save the world, doesn't it?