Positive thinking will produce positive thoughts, and positive actions.


Week ending in: 041220

Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Weekly Review
041220
Positive thinking will produce positive thoughts, and positive actions.

Let’s begin with the first six verses of John 15 to refresh your mind concerning what our LORD’s goal is for every believer who desires to know the Truth, and share it with others.

In this section of the Word of GOD, we have a reminder of the function of a vine and its branches in the natural realm. And then, we have the principle of perception, metabolization, and application (PMA) in the spiritual realm.

JOH 15:1-6, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.

You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

So, in JOH 15:1-2, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.”

What happens to this unfruitful branch?

First of all, some say that unfruitful means that this is:

  1. Merely a professing but not a genuine believer,
  2. Those who lose their salvation.
  3. The unfruitful believers experience divine discipline but are still saved.

As usual, the original language of the Bible is the main word of importance here because when it says in JOH 15:2, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away;”

Notice the verb translated “takes away” which is the present active indicative of the Greek verb eiro which means that HE lifts up; HE takes away; HE removes by raising us up, or by carrying the burden away.

The words “take away” is a mistranslation, it is the Greek word eiro which can mean to take away or remove, but it also means to lift up.

In Israel, when you go out into the fields and see the vineyards out there, the lower branches on the vine that may be weak are propped up by rocks, so that by the elevation they are strengthened and then produce fruit. That is the meaning of this particular word.

It does not have to do with removal (there is removal in verse 6 which has to do with the sin unto death).

JOH 15:3-4, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”

In order to resolve these interpretive problems and to understand this so that we know what Jesus is talking about in this chapter, we need to do some word study.

If I were to give some young student some doctrinal and educational advice, I would say to learn as much as you could about history and the importance of the English language as well as to find a Church that teaches the word of GOD.

I say all this because words are so important. Words are the substance of thought, and your words, and your thoughts make up your personality. Without words, we cannot think. With the wrong words, we cannot express ourselves as we want to.

Words have significance and meaning. This is another reason why we need to have a positive way of dealing with negative problems. Negative thinking produces negative thoughts that express negative words. This is why you have heard me mention the wisdom of Solomon in His book of Proverbs,

PRO 18:21, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Positive thinking will produce positive thoughts which is usually positive words of edification that we all need to hear. Notice the advice that David gave to his son Solomon.

PRO 4:20-22, My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart [don’t let anyone take away your joy]. For they [the powerful words that you speak] are life to those who find them, And health to all their whole body.

Notice that our soul and our body derive life from the words that we speak. And why not? Didn’t our LORD say: JOH 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

So, in PRO 4:23, Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.

On the other hand, there are those who are pessimist and David warns Solomon about this in PRO 4:24, when he writes, Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put devious lips far from you.

There are many believers who are involved with pessimism, which is the tendency to take the most unfavorable view of situations, or to expect the worst outcome in any circumstances.

These are not the kind of people you want in your presence; you want those who are positive and say positive things rather than focus in on the negative. Words are so vital, even the tone of the words or the look in the eyes when positive words are spoken.

The positive believer has the tendency or habit of seeing and expecting the good in things; looking on the bright side; anticipating favorable results; hopefulness. The positive believer thinks like those believers we studied in the Church at Philippi: They perceived the positive work of GOD the Father in PHI 1:6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who has begun in you an absolute good work will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

They perceived the positive work of God in the Apostle Paul when the apostle Paul said in PHI 1:20, “On the basis of my intense concentration and confident expectation [a personal sense of destiny] that I shall not be put to shame in anything, but with all confidence, Christ shall even now [in time] as always [in eternity] be glorified in my body, whether by life or by death.”

Then Paul said in PHI 1:21, “For me, living is Christ, likewise dying is profit.” Those are positive, thoughts, words, and action. In fact, how much more positive could Paul be when he said in Philippians 2:3-14?

PHI 2:3-14, Do nothing motivated by contentiousness or ambitious pride, but with humility of mind [by means of grace orientation] let each of you keep on considering one another as more important than himself; do not merely be regarding your own personal interests, but also for the personal interests of others.

Keep on thinking this [doctrine] within yourselves which was also resident in Christ Jesus, who, although He preexisted in the essence of God, did not think equality with God a gain to be seized, but He deprived Himself of the proper function of deity when He had received the form of a servant and was born in the likeness of men. In fact, although having been discovered in outward appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of spiritual death, that is the death of the cross.

Therefore, also the God has highly exalted Him to the maximum, and bestowed on Him the name or rank which is above every name,

By means of the office, rank and dignity belonging to Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven, on earth and under the earth. and that every tongue should acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, resulting in the glory of God the Father. [Notice Paul’s positive attitude in Phi 2:13 concerning the work of God the Holy Spirit within Paul] for it is God [the Holy Spirit] who is at work in you, both to will [give you motivation] and to work [He gives you the ability to execute] above and beyond His good pleasure. Keep on doing all things without complaining, grumbling or arguing;”

PHI 4:4, Keep on having perfect happiness by means of the Lord at all times; Once more I repeat the command, keep on having perfect happiness.

PHI 4:6-8, Stop worrying about anything, but in every circumstance through prayer and through supplication for personal needs after thanksgivings let your requests or petitions be revealed to the God.

In fact, that spiritual peace and prosperity from the source of the God, which surpasses or rises above and beyond all comprehension, shall garrison your hearts [right lobes] also your motivation minds in Christ Jesus. From now on, members of the Royal family of God, whatever is true [doctrinal], whatever is honorable [noble], whatever is just [just], whatever is pure [of proper motivation] whatever personal loves exist, whatever is commendable, if there is any virtue [and there is for the mature believer says the first-class condition] and if anything worthy of praise [and there is for the mature believer says the first-class condition], be concentrating on these things.

So, here’s some principles concerning the optimist and the pessimist.

Giving place to negative thinking only bears bad fruit.

PRO 23:7a [If you give place to negative thoughts, you will become a negative person]. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

PRO 15:13b [Sad and negative thoughts weaken our spirits and lead to discouragement]. “By sorrow of the heart, the spirit is broken.”

LUK 6:45, [to those whose hearts and minds are filled with negative thoughts usually spread them by voicing them]. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

ROM 8:6-7, [Negative thinking is not walking in “newness of life,” but in the old carnal nature which is against GOD]. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

What is the reason?
Because the carnal mind is enmity [hostile] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. We need to ask the LORD to “wash” our hearts and “renew” our minds to think only HIS positive, good thoughts. Ask the LORD to help you learn to recognize the Enemy’s negative thoughts so you can resist them. 2CO 2:11, in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

Be positive, not negative, count your blessings, recounting all the wonderful things the Lord has done for you; beginning with PSA 103:1-22, ({A Psalm} of David.) Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, {bless} His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits.
Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases? Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion? Who satisfies your years with good things, {So that} your youth is renewed like the eagle?
The Lord performs righteous deeds, And judgments for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive {with us}; Nor will He keep {His anger} forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on {his} children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are {but} dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more; And its place acknowledges it no longer.
But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, To those who keep His covenant, And who remember His precepts to do them. The Lord has established His throne in the heavens; And His sovereignty rules over all.
Bless the Lord, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word! Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will. Bless the Lord, all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Even in death, our LORD is there to help us endure what we need to endure; PSA 68:19, Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our Salvation. Selah.