Focal Passage: Psalm 1:1-6; Philippians 4:8
We live in a “feeling culture” not a “thinking culture.” More emphasis is placed on how we feel than on what we think. Feelings can be mercurial, subjective, even dangerous (Jeremiah 17:9).
And while God has given us the gift of emotion, the focus on emotional wellbeing has stunted the development of a robust intellectual life that is based on God’s Word. The thinking life should drive the feeling life, not the other way around.
As we think over spiritual truths God gives us the insights and wisdom we need to live life and to keep our emotions in check (II Timothy 2:7). God’s Word provides the “stuff” that guides and shapes the contours of our thinking. Two such “thinking passages” are Psalm 1 and Philippians 4:8.
Blessing and delight (Psalm1:1-3). God’s Word provides blessing and delight to the one who meditates on it. The believer does not walk in wickedness, hindering sinners from coming to the truth and mocking the way of righteousness. Instead, the blessings associated with meditating on God’s Word produces spiritual and moral fruit that does not fade or whither.
Nothing is more important than having one’s mind saturated with the Word of God.
True emotional health comes from right thinking. Right thinking comes from having one’s mind shaped by the Word of God. Reading and thinking through God’s Word is essential to our spiritual growth. This is why Jesus called us to love God with heart, soul, strength and mind (Matthew 22:37).
Right vs. unrighteous living (Psalm 1:4-6). Not only is God’s Word the source of spiritual blessing and intellectual delight, but thinking on God’s Word helps us pursue godly living, whole avoiding ungodly living.
The wicked do not think along the lines of God’s Word. They are like the “chaff that the wind blows away” (v. 4). Further, the wicked will not endure the judgement of God nor will they be able to engage in the “assembly of the righteous” (v. 5).
Question: Is having one’s mind and way of living shaped by God’s Word worth it? Yes. Psalm 1:6 notes, “For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.” God honors His Word in us by watching over and guiding us every day in every way.
Sustained focus (Philippians 4:8). Psalms 1 is complimented by Philippians 4. Paul reminded the Philippian believers that the peace of God would guard their “hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (v. 7). This kind of peace comes from the presence of the Lord and from a sustained focus on the principles found in God’s Word — truth, honor, justice, purity, love, what is commendable, excellent and praiseworthy (v. 8).
The call to think. God’s Word calls us to think. The critical issues of our day require thoughtful responses shaped by God’s Word. When we do not think we are driven by the roller coaster of our emotions.
However, as we meditate on God’s Word our emotions are directed in a pure love for God and others, and our minds are renewed by God’s truth (Romans 12:2). We can have the “mind of Christ” as we live for God (I Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5). Meditating on God’s Word strengthens and sustains our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. B&R