It’s the thought that counts!

In 2015, I brought a message titled Thinking.

Thinking is an interesting topic, because, at the time, we were talking about the fact that our brain doesn’t switch off.

God had provided us with this brilliant piece of equipment called a brain, and from the time we wake up in the morning, we are thinking, and we seem to think around the clock.

When we wake up in the night we are thinking, and we even think when we dream. Thinking just doesn’t seem to stop, and it appears to be ordained by God.

Because of this, I raised the point of what should we be thinking on?

I brought out Philippians 4:8, “where the Lord instructs us to focus our thoughts on particular mental behaviours, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

This is a range of activities that our minds should be directed towards, but we often find we think on many things not in this list.

The reason why we are meant to have our minds on these behaviours is because the Lord also instructs us in Romans 12.2, to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so we can discern the will of God — the good, acceptable and perfect.

We need to be renewed in our minds to accept the instructions of Christ, when they are spoken unto us, because, if we are not renewed in our minds we find we tend to reject these life-giving orders.

Today’s topic is different from that.

When we have an action, it is preceded by a thought. Many relationships are destroyed simply because we have a thought in which we think we are right, then tragically move it through to an action, either physical, written or verbal, and then reap the consequences. I believe that 95% of our relationship problems come from a lack of good communication.

Yet, there are further thoughts that we need to understand are in society now.

In 2 Timothy 3:1-4 it states, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;…”

It is clear there are many evil thoughts that transpire in the minds of people in the last days. It is very important that we see and understand this trend, as, prior to situations going awry, thoughts occur in the mind. Before we take a step in the wrong direction, we have thought it out.

The latin legal term, Mens Rea, is about determining if a person who was found guilty of committing a crime was also guilty of the premeditation; e.g. a guilty body and a guilty mind.

Prosecutors in legal systems often spend so much time on big cases because they need to establish the aspect of a guilty mind.  For instance, whether the charged person meant to do it, or didn’t. i.e. was it manslaughter or premeditated murder?

This exactly how God views our life, and how Satan bring charges before God about us. If and when we sin, is it premeditated or accidental? God’s law has much written about this.

The word Perilous in Strong’s concordance means troublesome, and the latter day will be troublesome for not only Christians but anybody who gets on the wrong side of the laws which allow the above behaviours (in 2 Timothy).

It also means Harsh & Savage. As it says, men shall be lovers of their own selves. It’s interesting that we have seen this over the last twenty years or so, where gym memberships have increased exponentially, and various cosmetic items and services are sold en masse. All, so people can pamper themselves.

Australia is in debt up to its ears, and much of it is so human beings can pamper themselves. It has been brought out before, but in 1975, the average weekly savings was 12.7%. Presently, it is – 0.03%…no savings at all across the board. Yes, people save to get the deposit for their homes, but after that, they simply spend to ensure they are comfortable.

We can’t wait for anything! We need to have it now. Advertisements continue to suggest we need it now, and encourage us to do so; even if it means taking it on a three-year payment plan.

We have more clothes than we need, more shoes than we can wear, but it is still not enough. We need to be entertained all the time. We are all becoming lovers of our own selves, looking after No 1.

So long as we are ok, the world is a fine place. However, Christ commanded us to look after our brother or sister as much as we look after ourselves, but this current regime does not allow for that.  Society dictates that we become lovers of our own selves, and go into debt if necessary because we deserve to be pampered.

Without natural affection is another latter-day issue. We can take this out of context and link it with Romans 1 regarding homosexuality, however, when we look in Strong’s concordance again, we find it refers to hard-heartedness towards one’s family.

When we look at current laws that allow teenagers to run away from home, and run amok within the home without suitable punishment, we see the child-defiance described of in the last days, all supported and encouraged by legislation.

Many parents are now in tears, bewildered at these children that they have raised, that were beautiful when they were around 3 or 4 years old, but now, at 13 or 14, have turned into monsters who are hard to handle, with complete disregard for the parents and even other family members.

More than 50% of all prison inmates come from single-parent homes with no father or suitable male role model.  Therefore, many were not taught over the time of their early life, like more fortunate children, on how to model family softness and natural affection.

I was in a shopping centre recently buying some groceries. As my items were being swiped across the barcode reader, the lady before me was exiting with her many bags of groceries in hand and her children close behind. There was one adorable looking child, the eldest of the three children, standing next to the last bag of groceries, which mum asked her to bring along.

The child was about eight years old, blond, nicely dressed with a beautiful blue cardigan, and cute enough to be in a Myer’s catalogue for kids. She had the latest silver smartphone with cute little beads on it. She was the perfect little girl…until she opened her mouth.

As mum walked away, expecting the child to grab the last bag and follow along, all of a sudden, we were all shocked when we heard the angelic child say to her, “hey, how do you expect me to carry this?

Within the space of a few words, this angel had grown horns. What trouble will she be when she is 15 or 20 if she is like that now?

Many of these last days issues result from the removal of the Bible and biblical principles from our schools, followed by the legislation against corporal punishment for parents who slap their children.

False accusers! We know that in cases of divorce, numerous false accusations come forward on both sides. Many men have been accused of beating up their wives, when in fact they have never laid a hand on them. They have had intervention orders placed on them, and been accused of paedophilia, when all they did was love their children. Sometimes the wife ends up with similar accusations and restrictions.

Innocent parents in those situations weep great tears of anguish, as they can see the estrangement between them and their children begin to emerge.

Fierce! Despisers of those that are good! We have just endured the YES / NO vote on the legalisation of homosexual marriage, and we saw the rage that went on there. Many evils are here in our day, now!

There was no reason for the plebiscite or for any politician to take it seriously, they just did, like it was a matter of life and death, to the bewilderment of many. What is was, was a direct challenge to God’s ordained manner of life for humankind, and was meant to be exactly that. It has split the nation, will increase homosexuality tenfold and, despite the constitution stating that politicians do not have the legal right to change the Marriage Act, like that, they will do it anyhow.

This is precisely how the kings of Israel and Judah often acted, and lost God’s protection and therefore their own insurance policy.

During times of wars, we were all Australian, we were all of one accord, we all fought together, whether on the front line or back in Australia making produce, clothing and armaments, or simply looking after families. We helped our neighbours out and they helped us. But, when we get to the luxurious stage that we currently enjoy, we can become enemies across the side fence. That is not to be with the Christian, regardless of what comes against us.

Facebook raged during the YES / NO campaign. It raged!

There were many Christians that were themselves getting quite angry and putting the wrong statements up on Facebook. However, on the whole, they were just trying to defend righteousness and the status quo of the Marriage Act; defend what is right!

A real marriage is a man and a woman forming a lifelong union to the exclusion of all others, and it is Godly. It is a righteous undertaking. So, many people who simply want the meaning to remain the same, and not include homosexuality, are in fact defending righteousness, though they may not have realised it.

Righteousness was hated during that campaign, and will be more so in the future. The flow-on effect will be the commencement of the persecution we have read about in other countries.

Incontinent is another word used in Paul’s letter to Timothy. One preacher said that it stood for verbal incontinence…and overflow from the mouth when we shouldn’t; as it states in the book of James, where our mouth can start a fire that sometimes we cannot control, but wished we could.

When we look it up in the Greek, G193, we see it states being without self-control and intemperate. If there is one thing a Christian is called to by the Lord, that is a life of self-control. It’s one of the fruit of the Spirit and underpins much of our life’s successes, whether it is self-control of our mouths, as the preacher put it, or any other part of our nature.

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