My Thoughts Are Not Your Thoughts

Methodist Pastor Bill Berney, in Pullman, said he felt a person could go to Heaven without accepting Christ — just by living the moral code of the Bible.

– I asked why he had a cross on the front of his church — it should’ve been a horseshoe

saying, “Good Luck Brother, hope you make it!”

 

LISTEN TO ME!  This generation has only one problem — we’ve not let God’s thoughts be our thoughts.

– Today’s homes have only one problem — we’ve not let God’s thoughts be out thoughts!

 

Isaiah 55:8-9 — “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
9  For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

 

America’s only problem — we’ve gotten a little education — learned a few facts and ideas, and decided we have all the answers!

 

NO!  The answers are found in God’s Holy Instruction Book — The BIBLE!

– For instance — discipline of children.

 

Years ago Dr. Spock, Ann Landers, and other misinformed people wrote books saying, “Don’t discipline the children — you’ll warp their little personalities.”

– Let them express themselves so they can develop to their potential.

– Those kids are grown now and are causing more trouble than we can handle………….

 

NO!  God’s Plan — discipline your children to teach the difference between right and wrong — to submit to authority……………………..

 

Proverbs 22:15A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away.

 

Proverbs 23:13-14 — “Don’t fail to discipline your children. They won’t die if you spank them.
14  Physical discipline may well save them from death.

 

Proverbs 29:15 — To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.”

 

 

That’s God’s Plan — you say, “I don’t see it.”

    – You don’t have to — God said you wouldn’t — Isaiah 55:8-9 — “My thoughts are

     nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond

    anything you could  imagine.
     9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than

     your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

 

    – OUR THOUGHTS ARE NOT HIS THOUGHTS!

 

Our trouble — we’re running a country with our thoughts — not HIS THOUGHTS!

– We’re raising families with our thoughts instead of HIS THOUGHTS!

 

THERE’S NOT A PROBLEM WE COULDN’T CURE IF WE’D READ THE BIBLE AND FOLLOW GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS.

 

GOD SAID, “MY THOUGHTS ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS.”

 

Some things God said I can’t understand.

– I can’t comprehend a burning Hell where people suffer forever…………….

– That’s irritating to my culture to think there’s a place where people who haven’t accepted

Christ burn forever and forever! — THAT’S NOT MY THOUGHT!

 

THE BIBLE SAYS THAT’S GOD’S THOUGHT!

Matthew 18:8 — “So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet.”

 

So where the Bible disagrees with me — I follow and believe the Bible…………

 

There are many things in the Bible I wouldn’t think.

– Example:  Someone cheated you and spread gossip that’s hurt your reputation — you ask

if you have the right to even the score and destroy that person for what he’s done to you.

– I say, “Of course you can!” — but there’s nothing in the Bible that says you can!

 

If I’d written the Bible, I’d said if someone does evil to you — you have a right for revenge — but I didn’t right the Bible!

– The Bible says, “Forgive you enemies.”

– The Bible says, “Return goodness for evil.”

– The Bible says, “Turn the other cheek.”

 

Now, I can’t understand that!

– To me it’s reasonable if someone hurts you that you should have the right to hurt him back.

– So I agree with you!

– You say, “Nah! I just don’t agree with you!”

         – No!  You and I agree, it’s just that neither of us agree with God.

 

The truth is, I take what God says.

“If you want my opinion!”

– I’m not interested in your opinions………………

I WANT TO KNOW WHAT GOD SAYS!

 

I learned a long time ago Somebody wrote the Bible who knows more than I know.

– So I trust it!

– Just like I trusted Mom when I was a kid…………………

 

We were a lot better off when we felt we may not understand the Bible or agree with it rationally, but God said it and that settles it — we believe it!

Our ways are not His ways!  Our thoughts are not His thoughts!

 

There are 3 things to look at this morning.

 

  1. OUR THOUGHTS ARE NOT HIS THOUGHTS CONCERNING SUFFERING.

 

Our thought:

– It’s better to have plenty.

– Have lots of leisure time – a 30 hour week is better than a 40 hour week and a 40 hour

Week is better than 50 hour week.

 

Our thought — good health.

– 2 cars in the garage — better garage around the cars.

– Better house hooked to the garage.

– More food on the table.

– More time to play.

 

BUT THAT’S NOT GOD’S THOUGHT!

 

God knew we’d get into mischief if we had too much time to play so God said work was better than play.

– God said responsibility is better than irresponsibility.

– The reason there’s so much crime is too much idle time — too much luxury.

 

I’ve had burdens and heartaches – so have you.

– Looking back I see often the places I thought were mountain peaks were valleys and what

I thought were valleys were mountain peaks.

– There were times of distress when I thought God had deserted me:

 

FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

Missionary in West Indies had a daughter with a bad heart condition and he had to move to Hawaii, for her health.

– He thought his ministry was over — he started a retreat for worn-out preachers and

missionaries and has directly and indirectly touched more lives for Jesus than he ever would

have in the West Indies.

 

You say, “I don’t know why I’m not well!”

– I don’t either — God does.

 

You say, “We’re facing financial crisis — I don’t know why!”

– I don’t either, but I’d rather face troubles and have to depend on God than be someone

with no troubles who doesn’t depend upon God.

 

There’s so much talk about recession, shortages, high prices, economy collapse………..

– Don’t worry!  Be in God’s Will — let Him take care of you!

 

We can’t see God’s Plan: (lyrics from a record:  (‘I Received a Loving Letter)

“Dear Child,

             I heard you prayer last night and I know that things are not right.

      So I’m sending this to say, though things are not just right — I planned your life    

     this way.

        If every day brought sunshine, you’d hunger for the rain, and if every

           Voice held laughter — you’d long to cry again.

       And so I’m sending you some heart-aches — treat them tenderly.

         But when they become too much for you, just send them back to Me.”

 

  1. OUR THOUGHTS ARE NOT HIS THOUGHTS CONCERNING

     SALVATION

 

How do I get to Heaven when I die? — Everyone ought to ask that question.

 

Our thought — good people go to Heaven — bad people go to Hell.

– That’s our thought — That’s not God’s thought!

 

God doesn’t say, “Good folks go to Heaven — bad ones go to Hell!”

– God says, “Born again folks go to Heaven and folks that aren’t born again go to Hell.”

 

Our thoughts say there’s something I can do — if I do good and sacrifice — I’ll go to Heaven.

NO YOU WON’T!

– Nobody earns his way to Heaven.

 

You say, “Why won’t good works take me to Heaven?”

    – Because nobody does good works.

Isaiah 64:6 — “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.”

 

The best thing you ever do won’t get you to Heaven.

Our thoughts are not His thoughts.  (elab. On our thoughts)

God doesn’t say that.

– Listen to what He says:

 

Ephesians 2:8-9 — “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
9  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.    

Titus 3:5 — “He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.”

 

What does God say?

“Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”

      “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”

       “As many as received Him to them gave He the poser to become sons of God.”

 

You must let Jesus into your life!

– Too many people try to hold Him at arm’s length and appease Him without accepting Him.

 

– Imagine if Lauren came to my house wanting in out of the heat and wanting water.

– I tell her, “You can’t come in now — I’m too busy doing good for someone else……………..”

 

It doesn’t matter what good I’m doing, it won’t take the place of letting that heat exhausted little girl come in where she’ll be safe.

 

I DON’T CARE WHAT GOOD YOU DO (repeat) it won’t take the place of receiving the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and life!

 

Our way says live good and go to Heaven.

God’s way says take my Son and go to Heaven.

 

Our way says pay your debts and go to Heaven.

God’s way says take my Son and go to Heaven.

 

OUR WAYS ARE NOT HIS WAYS AND OUR THOUGHTS ARE NOT HIS THOUGHTS!

 

  1. MY THOUGHTS CONCERNING SANCTIFICATION

 

God wants control of my life.

– He wants me to obey — John 14:15 — “If you love me, obey my commandments.”

 

He wants to fill me with His Power and Love and cleanse my heart of sin until He can see

Himself reflected in me.

– Dad melting lead to make sinkers — skimmed all the slag out.

 

This comes only through TOTAL SURRENDER

– Question: “Don’t I fit in there too?”   “Can’t I reserve on little part of my life for me?”

 

My thought: if you’re too tired for Church or Prayer Meeting stay home — take care of yourself.

 

My thought: If you find it hard to meet financial obligations — it makes sense to withhold your

tithe.

– My thought if witnessing embarrasses you — you shouldn’t be put on the spot.

– My thought — you’re entitled to your rights.

 

BUT WAIT!  WHAT ARE GOD’S THOUGHTS?

“You are not your own — you were bought with a price.” 

 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 — “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,
20  for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

 

I don’t have rights! Romans 12:1-2 — “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
2  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

 

It’s important we forget self and do what God wants us to do.

– We need dedicated people if we’re going to see our kids saved.

 

We must set the example! – Cecil Greene told his daughter, Shamela, she had to go to church with her Mom.  She told her Dad, “You don’t go to church, why should I?” 

We’ve none to lose…………….

 

The only hope for this Church and our families is total surrender to God.

    – God said, “Be ye holy for I am Holy.”

 

This means surrender to Christ in all areas of our lives — elab. on motives (God looks on heart)

– Little boy forced to sit down by is mom — “I’m sitting on the outside, but standing inside.”

 

“I’ve a right to do my own thing!”  — My thoughts exactly!

God’s thoughts — “Forsake all and follow Me!”

 

OUR THOUGHTS ARE NOT HIS THOUGHTS 

    – HIS ARE SO MUCH HIGHER THAN OURS ARE!

 

By Bill Woods

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