What a bargain!
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When we saw the price on the beautiful two-storied brick house, we knew we had to see it. But, when the realtor unlocked the door, we covered our nose and held our breathe—it stunk…really stunk…bad. The tall walls, elaborately crowned with carved molding, wore the tattered strips of what had been wallpaper.
The big old house had numerous amenities that hinted it had once been beautiful, but time and it’s most recent and unusual residents had almost destroyed it. The owners had wintered their unruly kids, KIDS as in goats, in the house.
And believe me when I tell you, it was a terrible…horrible…no good…really bad idea! As bad as a skunk!
What were the owners thinking?
Their crazy idea gives new meaning to Zig Ziglar’s term “stinkin’ thinkin’!” Allowing the goats to live in their house turned it into a stinking mess. And your stinking thinking will do the same thing to your mind, heart, emotions and choices! Stinking thinking affects you physically, spiritually and emotionally!!!
Stinking thinking can turn a molehill into a mountain.
It can twist perceptions and turn a family gathering upside down. Suspicious or fearful thoughts can turn a wedding into a tragedy. Jealous or angry thoughts that fester and boil can lead to criminal and deadly choices.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander.
What is your stinking thinking doing to you?
God has a better plan for you.
Please read these verses from Ephesians slowly. They are so important.
Ephesians 4:17-24 NLT
17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. (their opinion, their human reasoning)
18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20That, however, is not the way of life you learned
21when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
You can control your thinking.
And you better control them because they will either poison you or position you for God’s best.
If you are like me, maybe you are asking, “But how?”
Basically, it’s a lot like farming.
Weeds, like stinking thinking, are automatic, but the good things that we want to grow in our lives must be planted and nurtured. Fertilized. Watered. Weeded. We don’t want weeds. We want the seeds of good things to grow in our lives. So what are you planting?
Even the youngest child understands If you want corn to grow, then you plant corn. They know if they plant birdseed they’ll grow birds…ha! Just teasing! Stinkin’ thinkin robs us, makes us feel yucky and afraid, which often causes us to make wrong choices. And we KNOW if we sow bad actions, we reap bad consequences! Right? But did you realize that it works in the positive too?
An ordinary question that grabbed me
A pastor answered my generic “How are things going?” with “Great. I’ve sowed good things and I’m reaping good things.” His reply was so much more than an empty mantra. It was an honest, unemotional reply to my question. That one sentence has hounded me!
I’ve used that verse like a goad to encourage and sometimes manipulate my children into doing what they need to do! But why couldn’t I see that the verse works in the positive equally as well. Why haven’t I believed God that when I plant good things that I will reap good things?
I want to get better at planting good stuff.
Sometimes I am better at it than other times. I’ve noticed everywhere I go I see smiling faces. One day I realized that people are simply responding to my smile. That’s reaping what you planted at it’s simplest level. That is God’s law working in the positive! I plant kindness and thoughtfulness and I look for it in other people. And the wonderful thing is…I find exactly what I am looking for…almost every time!
You’ve probably seen it work with something as simple as a smile, but can God’s Word change our stinking thinking?
I wouldn’t say this if I didn’t know it personally, but yes, God’s Word is powerful enough to change not only what you think, but also what you believe. His Word is pregnant with hope. It will birth hope in your heart. God’s words are like buckets full of cool water on a sizzling hot day, like buckets full of His love. Don’t underestimate the power of God’s Word.
Peggy Williams says, “praise God for the power of His written and spoken Words. Words that create, heal, resurrect, calm waters, create abundance out of lack, wine out of water, and make saints out of sinners.”
The problem is not in the seed.
God’s Word is powerful enough to accomplish what needs to be done, so the problem is not in the seed.
You have a role in this process.
Weeds thrive without any assistance, but good crops must be nurtured. Are you nurturing and cultivating God’s Word in both your mind and heart? Are you cultivating it by renewing your mind, examining and ruminating on specific Scriptures in your heart? Then, do you align your choices with Scripture so you walk in the truth that produces the fruit you want instead of choosing to believe only what you see?
Maybe you are thinking, why do you keep harping on feeding your spirit, planting the Word, meditating on Scripture? What’s the Big Deal?
It is a huge deal because it affects your heart. Your heart shapes the core of who you are. It is where you grow your beliefs, strengthen or undermine your will and hone your character.
Luke 6:45 NIV
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
I want good treasure to come out of my heart.
So what do I need to do? Proverbs 4:23 NIV “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. The NLT says “for it determines the course of your life.”
Really? The things that make their way into your heart, the thoughts and ideas that you mix with faith and believe will affect everything- mind, body and spirit.
Most of us understand the value of caring for our body, yet we don’t seem to practice that same wisdom when it comes to our thoughts. Real wholeness begins with wholesome thinking.
Guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
That is both a scary thought AND a wonderful thought. It is scary because it is a huge responsibility and wonderful because I can plant and nurture the right seed to produce the virtues that I want to enjoy and share with others. You can’t have a good harvest without strategic planting and it all begins with right thinking!
This is not a rigid formula. Walking with God is a relationship. Right thinking affects right believing; right believing leads to obedience and obedience positions us for a good harvest.
2 Corinthians 9:10 NLT For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
Listen, my son, and be wise, and guide your heart on the right course. Proverbs 23:19 BSB
So let me ask you again…What are you nurturing?
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