11-25-18

11-24&25-2018
Dr. E. Dale Locke and Jeff MacIntosh
Series:  The Attitude of Gratitude
Week 4:  P.O.W.
PDF File for printing 11-25-2018

 

  1. What was the best aspect of Thanksgiving for you this year?

 

  1. Continue memorizing Philippians 4:8-9:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

 

What thoughts or questions come to your mind as you read this passage?

 

  1. Each one of us can be either a force for good or a force for evil. What makes the difference in which of those we are?

 

  1. Read 2 Corinthians 10:1-5
    By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! 2 I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

 

What thoughts or questions come to your mind as you read this passage?

 

  1. The church at Corinth was a very difficult church for Paul to pastor. They had a lot of issues.  Generally Paul was very gentle and full of grace with them, but at times he needed to get stronger in his tone.  This passage is one of those times.  This is similar to how it is with a loving parent.  What kind of situation causes a parent to use a stronger tone with their kids, even as they continue to love them?

 

  1. Sometimes products we buy give us instructions that seem weird or obvious. Pastor Dale gave some examples.  Share some examples that you can think of.

 

  1. Paul says we need to “take every thought captive to make it obedient to Jesus Christ”. What does that mean?

 

  1. Pastor Dale said, “If we don’t take our thoughts captive, our thoughts will take us captive.” What did he mean by that?

 

  1. The Cognitive Behavior Theory (CBT) is based upon the idea that our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are constantly interacting and influencing one another.  How we think about a situation determines how we feel about it, which determines how we react and becomes our guide for how we react in the future.

 

It looks like this:

 

Situation:                   Something happens.

Thought:                   We interpret the situation – and it shows up in our minds as a thought.

Emotion:                   A feeling occurs within us as a result of the thought.

Behavior:                   The action that comes in response to the thought and emotion.

Here’s an example of two different ways to respond, according to the principles of CBT.

 

Situation:                   Jack and David both receive a similar poor grade on a math test

Jack thinks:               If I were smarter, I would have passed.  I’m stupid

Jack’s emotion:        Depressed and negative about future tests

Jack’s behavior:       He develops a negative opinion of himself, but he doesn’t make any adjustments to his test preparation, because he believes he’s the problem.

David thinks:             I must’ve underestimated this test.  I didn’t study hard enough.

David’s emotion:     Disappointed, but confident that he could do better on the next test.

David’s behavior:    He isn’t happy about his test score, but it doesn’t affect his self-esteem.  Instead he makes a plan to study harder in the future.

 

Discuss how this can be either a positive or negative thing in our lives.

 

How have you observed this pattern in your own walk with Jesus Christ?

 

Pastor Dale encouraged us in our thought life to follow the shampoo instructions – “lather, rinse and repeat.”

 

Lather:

Think deeper, better thoughts.  Use stronger stuff.

Look at 2 Corinthians 10:3-4:

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

 

  1. What is Paul getting at in this passage? What does he mean?
  2. Paul says to demolish the strongholds of negative thinking in our mind. How do we do that?

 

 

Rinse:

Look again at 2 Corinthians 10:5a:
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God….”

 

Three things Pastor Dale has built into his life that help cleanse his thinking – rinsing out the bad stuff to get his thinking on the right track:

 

  • Worship: Gather regularly to worship God by singing, praying and acknowledging out loud who God is and what He is really like. 

 

  1. How can regular attendance at church worship services help your thought life?

 

  • The Word: Regularly spend time reading God’s Word and applying it to your life.

Read Ephesians 5:25-27
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

 

  1. What does it mean for a person to be “washed with water through God’s Word”?

 

  1. Describe how you have experienced God’s Word washing your life?

 

  • People: Hang out with people who help you think better thoughts.

 

  1. Are there currently people in your life who tend to impact your thoughts in a negative way? What could you do to improve that situation?

 

Repeat:

Go back and do it all again and again.

 

  1. Read Romans 12:1-2:
    Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

 

What is Paul saying here?  Describe the process that can help renew a person’s mind.

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