“I Think . . . .”

During her last semester before graduating from high school, Amy took a course in the New Testament. Probably not too many public schools offer Bible classes, but hers did.

Opposite approaches

At various times during the semester the teacher would ask what the Bible says about such and such. One male student tended to respond by saying, “Well, I think . . .” and he would give his opinion.

Among the issues discussed were whether one can fall from grace and whether baptism is essential to salvation. This student did not offer much if any Scripture as the basis for his assertions.

About once a week Amy responded to his “I think . . .” by saying, “The Bible says . . . .”

Good for her! She knew that what we believe must be Bible-based—and she had studied enough to be able to say, “The Bible says . . . .”

How many people twice her age can do that? Or three times her age?

Why we believe what we believe

Many people simply inherit their beliefs from parents without question, or they uncritically accept what some preacher says.

Bible study takes effort. Are we prepared to invest the time and energy required?

Also, if we discover we’ve been taught wrong, will we change our thinking to conform to Scripture?

What if we discover from our study that God expects us to make a major change in our lifestyle? Are we willing?

Or what if accepting biblical truth means we will face opposition from family and friends? Will we go with the truth, regardless?

What Bible study involves

To be effective, Bible study requires that we: 1) love the truth, and 2) diligently search the Scriptures (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; Acts 17:10-12).

The goal of Bible study is not simply to accumulate knowledge but: 1) to learn what God expects us to do so we can do it, and 2) to share what we’ve learned with others (James 1:22-25; Ezra 7:10; 2 Timothy 2:2).

People like Amy are in the minority. Many don’t know what the Bible says. Many don’t care.

So, Amy, keep on saying, “The Bible says . . .” and you’ll enlighten those who love the truth as you do, but who also need your help to find the Way.

questioning-tagged

Please share this post!

david_gibson6@yahoo.com

 

Where Repentance Begins

Thinking at its best

“And when he came to himself . . .” (Luke 15:17). The Prodigal Son was now tasting the bitter fruit of his foolishness. Having hit bottom, he made up his mind to go home.

Honest self-examination is one of the hardest but one of the best things we can do. Since repentance involves a change of mind, thinking is critical.

We must make time to think.

Thoughtless living

To be saved we must repent (Acts 17:30-31). But how can we repent if we don’t think?

Satan knows that. If we let him distract us with entertainment, pleasure, or busy-ness, when will we ever get around to reflecting on our sins?

Have we, like the Prodigal, come to ourselves?

Like him, our story can have a happy ending.

Something to think about, isn’t it?

man reflecting-tagged

Please share this post!

david_gibson6@yahoo.com

Think So?

Thinking reconsidered

The bumper sticker caught my eye. It said, “Don’t Believe Everything You Think.”

If it’s unwise to believe everything we hear, isn’t it also unwise to believe everything we think?

‘There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Our thinking is shaped by our upbringing, peers, the media, and our own desires and prejudices.

Thinking corrected

Initially, Peter’s audience thought Jesus was an imposter. Many changed their minds when convinced by the evidence (Acts 2).

It is humbling, but good, to admit, “I was wrong about that.”

God’s word is the standard for what to believe (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

We can’t afford to assume we’re right if we’re wrong.

That’s why we mustn’t believe everything we think.

man thinking-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Please share this post!

david_gibson6@yahoo.com

The Day He Changed His Mind

Speaking to King Agrippa, Paul recounts his own conversion (Acts 26).

“I thought”

“. . . I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus . . .” (v. 9).

Point: What we think may contradict what God thinks.

“I saw . . . I heard”

“. . . at midday, O King, I saw . . . a light from heaven . . . . I heard a voice . . . saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (vv. 13-14).

Point: Painful truth is far preferable to sincere ignorance.

true-false-tagged

“I obeyed”

“. . . I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision. . .” (v. 19).

Point: Truth learned must be truth lived.

Have we made sure what we think is really the truth?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Please share this post!

david_gibson6@yahoo.com

From the Inside Out

Seen on a stairway at a Burger King in Oxford, England: “Mind your head.”

Thinking about what we’re thinking about

Aside from taking care to avoid getting a knot on the noggin, there is another good way to mind one’s head: by cultivating the habit of monitoring our thoughts.

On one occasion Jesus rebuked Peter, “. . . you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” (Matthew 16:23). In time, Peter learned to think in harmony with God’s interests. What he did, we all can do, with God’s help.

woman-thinking-tagged

The place to begin

Since every word, every action starts in the mind, if we can get our thinking in line with the will of God, the rest will follow (Romans 12:2; Philippians 4:8).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Share this post!

david_gibson6@yahoo.