Protecting Your Mind
Hello everyone. My name is Pastor Roderick caesar the third on the lead pastor of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Jamaica queens new york and my prayer is that you would be blessed, you would be encouraged and strengthened by this word. Hope you enjoy God bless what a blessing and honor and privilege it is to be before you on this wonderful day. Thank you so much for joining us in our service today And I pray that as I speak and share that you would just be blessed today. I’m coming from the book of Romans chapter 12 romans chapter 12 If you have your bibles, please turn with me to the Book of romans chapter 12, verses one and two romans. Chapter 12 versus one And two, I appeal to you. Therefore, brothers by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing, you may discern what the will of God is, what is good, what is acceptable and what is perfect romans, Chapter 12 versus one and two, it’s important to know that as believers, as citizens of heaven, we know that we are called not just to live any old kind of way, but we’re called to live differently, recalled to live differently. We’re called to be witnesses were called to love jesus and in the midst of this challenging, challenging season that we’ve all been in for all of us. Our thoughts in our minds are sometimes under attack. Our thoughts and our minds are sometimes the thing that fields feels oppressed and we have to know how to navigate and deal with the onslaught of thoughts that may come our way because of the pressure that we may be under. It’s important for us to know how to protect our peace and our peace of mind. When difficulty, when stress, when strain, when struggle arrives. As believers, we’re called to live differently. We’re called to love jesus and we’re called to be transformed by the renewing of our mind and that all sounds good. It sounds great, it sounds wonderful, but it’s not going to happen overnight and it’s not going to happen by itself. People of God, we need to make a conscious and committed decision to renew our minds and pick up our cross daily. We can easily be stuck or trapped or connected with the wrong people or engaged in wrong activities and unwilling to see tangible and real change if we don’t renew our minds, if we don’t get committed daily, if we don’t make a committed and conscious decision, we can remain stuck, we can remain trapped. We can remain thinking through the same things again and again. But we must realize that it takes time to protect our minds. Let me open up with a word of prayer. Dear God, I thank you so much for this time. I thank you for these people for your people. I pray that you would be glorified as I speak and as I as I share that you would do what only you can do in the midst of the lives of your people as I speak. We thank you and praise you in jesus name, Amen, Amen and Amen. And so paul is, he’s writing in the Book of romans, he challenges the reader to do two things to do. Two things. Present your bodies as a living sacrifice just as Abraham presented Isaac on the altar uh present his body as a living sacrifice just as God became the son that that finished through and died on calvary’s cross. For us present your bodies. We too must present our bodies as living sacrifices. Holy and acceptable. This is our spiritual worship, this is what the Lord has called us to do. And then paul says another thing. So we have to present our bodies and then he says, we have to renew our minds. In verse two, he says, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed. How by the renewing of your mind that by testing you may discern with the will of God is what is good was what is acceptable and what is perfect. Many of us, we may try to be transformed in other ways. But is your mind renewed? Is your mind renewed? Is your mind renewed. Paul says the way that you can be transformed is by renewing your mind. The question is why do our minds need renewing in the first place? Oh, I’m good. I’m great. I’m you know I’m good. Everything is good up there. Everything is good in my brain, everything is good in my mind. David writes in the book of psalms 51 he says, behold I was brought forth in iniquity. I was born in sin and shaped in iniquity and sin. My mother did conceive me. David says, So sin is something that we’re fully aware of from the start, Romans. Chapter three says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All of us have fallen short all of us have sinned Ephesians. Chapter two takes it a step further and says, you were dead in your sin and trespasses in which you once walked, following the course the ways of this world, following the Prince and the power of the Air, the spirit that is now at work in the Sons of Disobedience, among whom we all lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind and were by nature, Children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. This is how depraved we were. This is how far we were. This is how far from God we were. Yet we ask questions like, oh, why do I need to be renewed. Why do I need to change my mind? No, no, but now we realize that God loves us so much that he brought us close. He brought us close, he has given us a time to be reconciled with God. Second Corinthians says if therefore if anyone is in christ, if you’re in christ, you are a new creation, the old has passed away and the new has come. All of this is from God who through christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. That is in christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting us the message of reconciliation. The wonderful thing about this is God brought us close through christ and God made us reconciled with himself. So we see through scripture that we are reconciled, we are Children of God, we are citizens of Heaven, We are born again and as a result we must be renewed. And oftentimes we do ourselves a disservice by thinking that renewal comes immediately. Oh, I’m saved. I said the sinner’s prayer, oh, my mind is renewed. Oh, I’m saved. I’ve done X, Y and Z. Oh, my mind is renewed. No, no renewal does not come immediately. It actually takes some time because there’s a difference between salvation and sanctification. You see salvation is the process of becoming saved and we see in romans chapter 10 verses 9 to 13 paul writes and he says, if you confess with your mouth that jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved for with the heart one believes and is justified, but with the mouth one confesses and is saved for the scripture, says, everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame. There is no distinction between jew and greek for the same. Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches to all who call him because everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. This is another scripture that most of us know john 3 16. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life, that is salvation for 17. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through him. So we see salvation is being saved. Salvation is being born again. Salvation is the new birth, the second birth. But sanctification is one of the fruits that we see of salvation. So, salvation is the process of becoming saved. And sanctification is a fruit of that salvation sanctification. We see in first Thessalonians, paul writes, he says, this is the will of God for you, that you uh this is the will of God. For you, it’s your sanctification that you will abstain from sexual immorality, that each of you know how to control his or own his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know God. What does paul write? He says this is the will of God for you, your sanctification that you become more like God, that you reflect jesus in the process, Romans Chapter six says when you were slaves have sent you were free in regard to righteousness, but what fruit were you getting at that time? From the things of which you are now ashamed for by the end of those things is death. But now you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God. The fruit that you get leads to sanctification and at the end of sanctification that get you get eternal life for the wages of sin is death. But the gift of God is eternal life in jesus christ Our Lord. The beauty of the gospel of jesus christ is that were saved, but we don’t have to stay the same were safe, but we don’t have to be tied to the things that held us down. We’re saved. So we don’t have to continue to engage in the things or think through the things that we that once held us down, We are now in christ, we’re a new creation were saved and we’re declared righteous through jesus christ sacrifice. We are justified. We are made new and through the authority and the power of the Holy Ghost, we are now empowered to shed off our old self, our old way of thinking our old ways of talking our old ways of living our old ways of being and each day we can now grow to be better and to better reflect jesus christ in our lives. That’s why it’s so important that we don’t stay the same saints of God. It’s so important that we don’t just say, oh I pray the prayer, I’m good. No, no, no sanctification is key. Sanctification is important. We must renew our minds and submit them to christ because if we’re going to become more like him, we have to pay attention to our command center. If we’re gonna become more like him, we have to pay attention to our mind. Yes, out of the heart. The mouth speaks. Yes, you could say, oh God renew my heart. Yes, God renew my heart. Yes, God renew my heart. It is important. It’s very important. But also we have to think. The bible also says as a man. Think if so is he So from your thoughts flow, you’re being from your thoughts flow who you are. There’s power in your speech life and death and the power of the tongue, but there’s also a power in your thoughts, romans chapter eight says, for the mind set on the flesh is death. But the mindset on the spirit is life and peace for the mind that set on the flesh is hostile to God. For it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God colossians, paul writes, he says, set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth. We have to renew our minds Saints of God. We have to submit and walk in a way that’s pleasing to God. The reason why the scripture tells us to think on things that are above and not to to think on things that are the earth. They’re not saying that success in life is bad. They’re not saying that everything on the earth is bad. I’m not saying don’t plan something. Don’t build a life for yourself. Don’t try to leave a wonderful legacy. I am saying that if that’s all you’re doing, you’re missing the point. There’s a life that’s bigger that’s greater than what we can just see with our natural eyes. We have to understand that, as paul writes again, we don’t look to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. Second Corinthians chapter Four, the things that are seen are transient or fleeting, our vapor. They don’t last. But the things that are unseen are eternal. You can build great Barnes, you can build great cathedrals, you can do great things for yourself, you can make a name for yourself, but only what you do for christ is going to last. Only what takes place in the spiritual realm is going to have those lasting effects. And so it’s important for us to know that we don’t want to walk. Like we used to walk, we don’t want to think like we used to think, paul says this again in Philippians, he says, for many of whom have I told you now and even tell you with tears, I’m writing this. They walk as enemies of the Cross of christ many of us, we used to walk as enemies of the Cross of christ he says their end, is there destruction? Their God is their belly and their glory and their glory is in their shame with their minds set solely on earthly famous as believers as saints of God. Moving through this time, moving through this year. It’s so important for us to not just set our minds on earthly things. We must set our mind on spiritual things on heavenly things and be seated in heavenly places. So I ask you today, what are you setting your mind on? What are you setting your mind on quote, it says something like you can’t control the birds that fly over your head. You can control the ones that you can prevent them from building a nest in your hair, right. And your thoughts come through, thoughts just come, they come they flow through but you can decide what stays, you can decide and say, I’m gonna meditate on on this. I’m gonna uh think through this or you can say no, no, keep it keep it moving, no no no keep it pushing. No, no, no. It’s our job as believers to take authority. It’s our job as believers to set up guards, to protect our mind, to guard our minds. Why is it that we have to protect our mind? We have to protect our mind because in a battle in a war, whoever has the high ground usually has the advantage usually has the advantage. So think of your mind as the high place, the enemy wants to come and corrupted the enemy wants to come and eroded. The enemy wants to come and chip away at it, but God wants to renew it. God wants to make it more like him. It’s valuable ground. That’s why it’s so important to keep it guarded. It’s valuable ground. That’s why it’s so important to keep it guarded. If it wasn’t valuable, you wouldn’t have to fight for it. If your peace of mind wasn’t valuable, you wouldn’t have to fight for it. But you have to fight each and every day to anchor yourself in the truth and the word of jesus christ to know, to say no, no, I’m not going back to the ways I used to think, I’m not going back to the ways I used to behave. I’m not going back to those thought patterns because those those thought patterns lead to actions and so I need to now anchor myself in the truth of God. That’s why it’s so important to keep ourselves guarded psalms 1 19 versus 15 and 16 says this, how can a young man keep his way pure by guarding it? According to your word? Excuse me? That psalms 1 19 verse nine. And now if we go down to verse 15 and 16, David writes, and he says this, I will meditate on your precepts and I will fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes. I will not forget your word Philippians. Chapter four says The Peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in christ jesus. Finally, brothers, Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just whatever is pure, Whatever is lovely, Whatever is commendable? If there is any excellence? If there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. We have to guard our mind, as David writes in the psalms according to his word. According to his word. Many of us, we have different guards up. But are we are we using the Word of God to guard our minds? According to the Word of God. If you don’t have the weapon, the sword of the Spirit, how can you protect what God’s called you to protect? How can you protect the Word? Your mind? If you’re not guarding it with the Word of God, How can you protect your mind? If you’re not guarding it with the helmet of salvation? How can you guard it? And he says, the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, which means even when I feel I should have lost my mind, I still have it. Even when I feel it doesn’t make sense for me to be in my in my right mind, the peace of God is keeping me in the midst of it and it’s guarding my heart and guarding my mind in the power that I have through christ jesus. We have to understand this Saints of God that we need to be intentional and become intentional in seeking God for protection over our minds. In seeking God for our peace of mind in seeking God to help us keep our mind on him. God my mind is straying God. There’s so many thoughts, so many negative thoughts. God, I’m depressed. I’m sad, I’m anxious. I’m I’m feeling all of these thoughts and I need you God to help me. I’m seeking God to keep my mind on him. We have to know that God is our helper. We have to know that God is our keeper. We have to know that God is our strong tower, that God is our deliverer, that God is our protector, our defender and he can keep our minds if we want to be kept. Now these are spiritual steps. But we need some practical steps as well. We need to guard the gates, guard the gates, guard our irrigates and ri Gates watch who or what we give access to and for how long you may think it’s just a helpless conversation. But this person you’re speaking to is venting to you venting and your irrigates are just being flooded with all of their problems and here you go, taking home all of their problems in your heart and your mind on your shoulders. And what is it we’re doing with the information, What is it we’re doing with what we watch? What is it we’re doing with what we hear after all these things, do we go to God and say God, this isn’t mine to carry and leave this at your feet. God, I’m thinking through all of these different things and it’s weighing on me God, but I just lay it at your feet and whether we know it or not what we listen to, what we watch can shape, how we think, can shape how we think and how we think can shape what we do. And so it’s so important for us to understand. It’s been studied. Uh there was an article in the new york times. It says a wave of new social science research shows that the quality of shows that we watch can influence us in important ways shaping our thinking and political preferences, even affecting our cognitive ability and music as well can affect your mood. And so it’s so important for us to watch. The things that we watch and to also watch or listen listen out for the things that we listen to because they can take root and help to change who we who we are and how we behave. So it’s so important for us to know that we have to take action to guard these things, put parameters up, put a guard up so that we are taking responsibility and ownership of the mind that God has given us. We have to understand, I’m not saying that all of this is bad, am I saying all music is bad or all tv is bad, I don’t want you to get that that perspective. But what I am saying is if you notice it changing or severely impacting your decisions or thought processes in a way that leads you away from the truth of jesus christ, then that becomes a problem. We have to guard it and say look these thoughts that have taken real estate, real estate up in my mind, it’s time for them to be evicted, it’s time for them to go. They’ve been here too long and they don’t have authority over me anymore. They’re not gonna gonna be stuck with me anymore. I lay those down at the foot of the cross, I give those up to jesus christ. They are no longer mine to carry. We have to understand that we have the power to take authority through jesus christ. We have to understand that we have the power in taking authority to submit our minds to jesus christ. You see sometimes we don’t we, we think of submission and authority as complete opposites, but we take authority by deciding where our mind will be placed and we say God, I’m not going to just surrender my mind to the, to the to the will of the enemy to the ways of the world, but I’m going to take authority and submit that my mind and my thought patterns to you and I’m going to be changed as a result and transformed as a result. And so it’s so important for us to understand this. So important for us to see this so important for us to know that our mind is oftentimes leading us our thoughts is oftentimes leading us and we have to take the necessary steps to guard our hearts to guard our minds in christ, jesus. So as I close, it’s so important for us to know that we have to be committed to loving God, committed to loving God. We have to love the Lord, our God with what all of our heart, our mind, our soul, our strength, we say these things, but being committed to it means we take up our cross and die daily means we take up our cross and die. Daily paul writes, I appeal to you therefore, brothers by the mercies of God that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, both holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. That by testing, you may discern what the will of God is, what is good was what is acceptable and what is perfect Saints of God, transformation. Your transformation, my transformation, our transformation, we’ll start in the mind. If your mind is made up. If your mind is dedicated, then you’re able to persist for the change that you desire. Do not give up. Do not throw in the towel. I know it has not been easy specifically with these couple of months. You probably faced an onslaught of different thoughts coming your way but continue to persist and chase after the things of God and say God, I’m going to chase after you. God, I’m going to submit my mind to you. God, I’m going to bring these thoughts to your throne. No matter how I may feel about them. God, I cannot stay where I am. No matter how I may feel about them. Lord, I cannot let them drag me back to where I was. No matter how I may feel about them. Lord, I am going to submit them to you. And so I pray father that you would continue to help me to renew my mind. That’s how it needs to be our prayer today. That God will continue to help us as we renew our mind remember, it is God’s will that we be sanctified. It is God’s will that will be saved. It is God’s will, that our mind is renewed. We have to pray for its Saints of God. We have to fight for its Saints of God. And as our mind is being renewed, let us remember to guard it with the authority that we have through jesus the christ. Let’s give God some praise. Let’s give God some praise. Thank you Lord, thank you Lord for who you are, for your goodness, for your mercy, for your compassion over us. We thank you father for the ability father to guard our minds to guard our minds and protect Lord what you’ve called us to protect our minds in this time and in this difficult season, I thank you father because you haven’t cast us aside. You haven’t thrown us aside. You haven’t said oh oh this this person is thinking of this or thinking of that. But God, you have been one that has been patient with us and able to help us renew our minds and become more like you. In the midst of our difficult process. We thank you and praise you for sanctification. We thank you and praise you because we can be more like you. We thank you and praise you for you’ve called us to be and we won’t fail to give you the praise to give you the honor to give you the glory. We ask all of these things in jesus name. We pray Amen Amen and amen. Now if you are here, you’ve heard this message and you realize you don’t know jesus christ. You don’t have a relationship with him. I want you to just be open, be honest and just repeat after me as I pray this prayer, your life will be drastically changed after this. Dear God, I thank you for your son, jesus christ. I thank you that you sent him to die for my sins and to live again so that I can have eternal life and have victory. I believe that he died. I believe that he lived. I believe that he wrote and that he’s coming back again and I pray Lord that you would forgive me of my sins, cleanse me of mine righteousness and make me more like you. Day after day, I thank you, I praise you and I give you glory. I ask all of these things in jesus name. Amen Amen and Amen. Give yourselves a round of applause applause If you prayed that prayer, your life is changed from this day forward, you’re not gonna be the same continue to be sanctified. If you want more information on salvation, you can visit our website for more information on that. Hello again, Pastor roderick caesar third here, thank you so much for watching my prayer is that you were blessed. You are encouraged and strengthened by that message. If you would like to be a blessing to the ministry, you can text B. G. T. F. I 277977 again, you can text B. g t f i 277977 to sow a seed into the ministry. And we thank you. Thank you so much for your generosity. Or you can visit our website at b g t f i dot us For more information. Thank you so much. Once again, I hope you were blessed. I’m praying for you. We love you here at Bethel, God bless.