Verse for the Week: “The peace of God … will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
Scripture Reference for Small Groups: Philippians 4:6-9
Have you ever told someone “TMI” or too much information! Maybe they started to tell you about a medical procedure or that their kids threw up and you realized you couldn’t handle the information? It’s information overload. Our world lives in information overload. Because it is so accessible it creates a lack of filter, no boundaries, and a ton of anxiety. I can appreciate that God is omniscient or all knowing because the more I know the more I tend to freak out! Do you ever feel like that? We are so hungry for knowledge about the current state of the world, the virus, the stock market, kids, school, and jobs that we live in a state of anxiety and for us it has become normal. I just typed all those things and I can feel my heart rate accelerate! This level of anxiety is anything but normal. How can we stop this madness? Make your MIND! The first thing you do when you get up is to make your bed, right? This is like that except you get up and you “make” or set your mind on things above. You focus your thoughts and energy on God. I have noticed that when I do this it shifts my focus in an entirely different direction. Philippians chapter 4 verse 6 says to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” So when I feel anxious and overloaded by the ridiculous amount of news, social media or just the thoughts that are running through my head I simply say, “God please help me to not be anxious and focus my attention on what you want me to think about,” this gets my eyes off me and out of my brain. When we tend to dwell on all the things that are going wrong in the world or in our lives it makes it very difficult to be content. That lack of contentment makes us strive and feel unsettled. When we feel unsettled then the anxiety kicks in and kicks God right out of the way! Paul had every right to feel anxious, discontent, and just plain upset by his circumstances. He was in prison and always in trouble! He wrote the words in Philippians as an encouragement to the church to be able to rejoice in any situation, to not be anxious and to be content. Paul made his mind. He intentionally set out each day to clean up his thoughts and to focus them on God. I think we forget that we have the power over our minds, our actions, and our mouth. There is a verse that I love that says to “take every thought captive.” That means to own it. You focus your mind on God and then you let him drive the bus of your thoughts and your actions. Like verse 13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” What will you do when you have TMI this week? Give God control and allow him to help you make your mind!
What is something that causes you to become anxious and how can you make your mind this week to overcome it?
Paul was always encouraging others even when he was in the worst of situations. How can you reach beyond yourself this week and be a Paul to someone while they are in their own prison? Who would you reach out to?
Philippians 4:8 lists things to set your mind on to help bring you peace. Verse 13 holds the key to unlocking that potential. What is it?