Grace For The Journey
I am sure the title of today’s blog certainly got your attention . . . I will not advocate what you think as I write today. You might think that this title was taken from some “health and wealth” leader living today. This title, Think and Grow Rich, is actually from a motivational and personal development book written in 1937 by Napoleon Hill. Hill is considered to be one of the first influential “self-help” authors. At the time of his death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold more than 20 million copies. Amazon.com reports that BusinessWeek’s best-seller list ranked Think and Grow Rich as the sixth best-selling paperback business book 70 years after it was first published, with more than 70 million copies sold worldwide.
Several years ago, Charles Stanley, the popular senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta wrote, “I began to apply the principles of Think and Grow Rich to my endeavors as a pastor, and I discovered they worked.” I began to think about that. Why did they work for him? Is Dr. Stanley promoting a positive-thinking, health and wealth philosophy? As I studied the Scripture, I discovered why Dr. Stanley made that statement . . . Because the principle is biblical.
The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
God has given human beings a remarkable ability to “think about what we are thinking about” moment by moment. God has endowed us with the power to choose what we will think about and dwell on. This is one of the great gifts from God and part of His image He created within each human being. And this ability is the pathway that God has provided to help us grow into the person He is calling us to be.
The challenge for most of us is that we forget this, or we think it applies to worldly success and prosperity. Here is a reminder from the apostle Paul:
“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame – who set their mind on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:18-19)
Over and over again, the Bible reminds us to think about what we are thinking about in order to live on the level of our position in Christ and gain victory over the battles we are fighting against self and sin on a daily basis. In our therapeutic age we have fallen prey to the passive mind-set approach – we believe we’ll gain victory by talking through our problems with a therapist, working through our issues with a friend, or looking for the roots of our brokenness in a review our painful past.
I’m not saying that these approaches are bad; they can actually be helpful. But there is a better way to personal growth and change, and it is found in the Bible.
The Bible says in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever thing are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – think on these things.”
And the Bible says in Colossians 3:2, “Set your minds on things above, not on things on the earth.”
The mind will continually dwell on something, and what it dwells on continually it becomes like. The Bible tells us that we must intentionally set our minds on things that are eternal. We are to focus our minds on the glory of Christ and the truths of the Gospel. This is the key to empowering us to focus on things that matter and last, live as God wants us to, and rise above it.
To “think and grow rich” is . . .
To think about the riches we have in our Savior
Proverbs 22:4 – “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life.”
Romans 9:23 – “Ad that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory.”
Ephesians 1:18 – “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”
Ephesians 2:7 – “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 3:8 – “To me, who am less thatn the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.”
Hebrews 11:26 – “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt …”
Grow into the person He is calling us to be
Ephesians 4:14 – “But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the heard – Christ.”
2 Peter 3:18 – “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Now that is a thought worth holding on to moment by moment!
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”