Calvary Road Baptist Church

“THE THOUGHTS OF THE GODLY” Part 2

Malachi 3.16

 

Please turn to Malachi 3.16, where we find that portion of the verse we will use as our text: “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.” Last week’s message a rebuke of those who do not think upon God’s name, who do not think upon God, who think they have better things to do with their time than contemplate God and His goodness, God and His greatness. Tonight, by God’s grace, I want to begin sharing with you Thomas Watson’s thirteen Biblical reasons to prompt you, to motivate you, to encourage you to think upon God.[1]

For the child of God, who does not mind earthly things because we are seated in heavenly places in Christ, there should be a recognition that each day is wasted, each day is tossed away and useful for nothing, in which he has not directed his thoughts to God, in which he has not conversed with God, in which he has not admired at least one of His marvelous attributes. We admit that it is not enough to have a few passing thoughts of God along the way, and that there must be a fixing of one’s mind on God, until your heart is warmed in love toward Him, and you can say, like those in Luke 24.32, “Did not our heart burn within us?”

Ever wonder what, precisely, you should think about when you think upon God? Let me suggest that you think of God’s immensity. Or, as I mentioned a moment ago, adore His other illustrious attributes, which are the radiant beams by which the divine nature shines forth. Think of God’s omniscience. Remember that He particularly and critically evaluates all our actions, and notes them in His book of remembrance. Think of God’s holiness, which is the most sparkling jewel of His crown. Exodus 15.11: “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”

Let me also suggest that you take the time to think of God’s mercy. This makes all His other attributes sweet. Holiness without mercy, and justice without mercy, would be terrible. Think of God’s veracity, that He is “Abundant in . . . truth,” Exodus 34.6. That He cannot lie, Titus 1.2. That is, God will be so far from coming short of His word that He does more than He has said. He shoots beyond the promise, and never falls short of it. Then there is thinking on the works of God: “I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings,” Psalm 77.12. God’s works are bound up in three great volumes for our consideration. There is His creation, His redemption, and His providence. What pleasant subjects for your mind to dwell upon.

To strengthen your willingness to think upon God, let me propose some arguments and inducements:

 

First, THE REASON WHY GOD HAS GIVEN US A MIND CAPABLE OF THOUGHT IS SO WE MAY THINK ON HIS NAME

 

When your thoughts run irrelevant trivialities, you should think to yourself in this way: Did God really give me such a mind as I have to use in this way? Did God give you thoughts so that you would think of everything but Him? Is it not reasonable to conclude that the reason God gave to us the capacity to think about Him, of all His earthly creatures, is so we would think about Him?

 

Next, IF YOU DO NOT THINK GOOD THOUGHTS, YOU CANNOT BE A GOOD CHRISTIAN

 

Thinking seriously on heavenly things makes heavenly things stay in your mind, causes delight in heavenly things, and makes heavenly things nourish your thought life. Meditating on holy objects is like digesting food, which your body then turns it into energy and tissue to replenish and strengthen itself. In the same manner, without holy thoughts there is no real Christianity. Can a man be a Christian, a lover of God, and scarcely ever think of Him?

 

Third, WE HAVE A DEEP OBLIGATION TO THINK ON GOD

 

Because, first of all, God is our Maker. “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves,” Psalm 100.3. Our bodies are God’s curious needlework. Psalm 139.15: “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.” As if God has built a cabinet, He then places a jewel in it, a precious soul. Of course, the cabinet with jewel is you, and is me. Therefore, has God made us, and shall not we think of Him?

Second, God has enriched our lives with many mercies. It used to be said that the city of Syracuse in Sicily was so curiously situated that the sun was never out of sight. God has so placed us by His providence that the sunshine of His mercy is always shining upon us. We are miraculously attended with mercy. Mercy feeds us with the finest food. Mercy protects us with the most comfortable shelter. Mercy guards us by means of guardian angels. Mercy makes the earth yield an abundance of oil to us. Mercy enriches us with advances in technology. Do we then respond to God’s abundant mercies by then refusing to think of Him? That would be the height of ingratitude.

 

Fourth, FREQUENT AND DEVOUT THOUGHTS OF GOD SHOWS SINCERITY

 

Is there a better indication of genuine spirituality than the spirituality of your thought life? You see, what a man is, he is in his thoughts: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he,” Proverbs 23.7. Thoughts are more free from hypocrisy than are a man’s words. You see, people frequently speak for effect, either to garner applause from an audience, or to gain a standing of right opinion from others. However, when you are alone in your thoughts and think on God’s name, and admire His excellencies, this shows the heart to be right. Thoughts are more free from hypocrisy than a blameless life. You see, a man may in his outward behaviour be one thing, yet have at the same time a covetous or a revengeful mind. The acts of sin may be conceived when the heart sits brooding upon sin, but to have spiritual thoughts that are set upon God is a more true symptom of sincerity, than a life that is free from vice.

Christian, what do you think about for hours at a time? Where does your mind make its most frequent stops? Can you say, “Lord, my heart still mounts up to heaven on wings of eagles, and my thoughts are lodged in paradise.” Though you do not see His face, do you yet think on His name? This is a good evidence of sincerity. We judge men by their actions; God judges men by their thoughts.

 

Fifth, THINKING MUCH ON GOD WOULD CURE YOUR LOVE OF THE WORLD

 

Great things seem little to him that stands high. To a man who stands on top of a mountain, the great city below seems like a little village. In like manner, those who are mounted high in the contemplation of Christ and glory, how do the things of the world disappear, and even shrink into nothing.

A soul elevated by faith above the visible planets, has the moon under his feet. A true saint intermeddles with secular affairs more out of necessity than choice. The Apostle Paul’s thoughts were sublime, he lived in the stratosphere, and how he scorned the world. “The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world,” Galatians 6.14.

 

Sixth, THINKING ON GOD WOULD CROWD OUT THOUGHTS OF SIN

 

Where does sin find its most fertile soil to grow in, but in the minds of those who are thoughtlessness? If only men carefully considered God’s holiness and justice, would they dare sin like they so often do? That which kept Joseph in check was the thought of a sin-revenging God.

Therefore, when the temptations of the pleasures of sins cross your mind, let the thoughts of God also come into your mind. He is both Spectator and Judge, and after the golden crowns and women’s hair of sins come the lions’ teeth, Revelation 9.8.

Such thoughts should put a guy into a cold sweat, and acts like the drawn sword of the angel of the LORD did to Balaam’s ass, Numbers 22.31. It will scare you from sin.

 

Seventh, THINKING ON GOD IS A WONDERFUL WAY TO IMPROVE YOUR LOVE OF GOD

 

As it was when David meditated on his own mortality — “As I was musing the fire burned,” Psalm 39.3 — so it is when you think deeply, and on God. While you are thinking on God, your heart will grow in its love for Him. The reason your affections are so chilled and cold for spiritual concerns is because you do not warm them with thoughts of God. Hold a magnifying glass to the sun, and the lens burns that which is near to it. So it is when your thoughts are lifted up to Christ, the Sun of righteousness, your affections are set on fire. In the Song of Solomon, no sooner had the spouse been thinking upon her Savior’s beauty but she fell sick of love. Christian, let your thoughts dwell on the love of Christ, Who passed by angels and thought of you, Who was wounded that out of His wounds the balm of Gilead might come to heal you, Who leaped into the sea of his Father’s wrath to save you from drowning. Think of this unparalleled love which sets the angels wondering, and see if it will not affect your heart and cause tears to flow.

 

 

We will take up where we left off next Sunday night, Lord willing.



[1] Thomas Watson, The Great Gain Of Godliness, (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2006), pages 83-92.



Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org