• Matt Beaney

#208 – WHATEVER IS PURE AND LOVELY (7/10/20)



Have you ever drunk or eaten something that you thought would be lovely only to find it was disgusting, or ‘off’, had salt rather than sugar in it…?


God wants to replace impure and ugly thinking with what is pure and lovely. I’m sure that we all think this is a good idea, but if you’re anything like me, thinking on what is impure and ugly can be attractive to our fallen nature. Paul writes,

‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.' (Philippians 4:8-9)

Enjoying peace requires that we think about the pure and lovely.


Pure

Purity is about being unmixed. In this context, that which is unmixed with sin. This has particular reference to sexual purity. Our culture is saturated with sexual impurity and it’s vital to positively pursue pure forms of entertainment if we are to protect ourselves.


Lovely

God warns that ‘without love I am nothing’. If we are to please ‘the God of peace’, it’s vital that we learn to love. When faced with situations that tempt us to division, may we think, ‘Jesus, how do you want me to love this person?’.


RESPONSE

This text in Ephesians summarises both of these thinking traits. Paul writes,

‘Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.’ (Ephesians 5:1-3)


Take a moment to think:

From this text, how has God shown His love and is there anyone that you need to pray for, adjust your thinking about, or show God’s love to at this time?


What are the kinds of things that pollute our thinking? Do you need to adjust what you allow to inspire you or how you might be thinking?

COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - REPLACE “WHATEVER!” WITH “WHATEVER IS…”


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Have you ever had a moment when you have shouted, spoken out automatically, cried, laughed… because you were so amazed at something?


Introduction - please share in your group

If we are going to enjoy God’s peace - assurance of our peace with God, peace relationally, and the experience of the peace of the Spirit, it’s vital that we not only pray and give thanks over anxiety, as we saw last week, but that we also think about and then do what is good. Paul writes,

‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.' (Philippians 4:8-9)

Too often, we don’t take responsibility for what we think about and what we allow to inspire our thinking. We say ‘whatever’ rather than think about ‘whatever is…’. These eight thinking traits have a lot of overlap, but each term encourages us to focus on what will inspire good thinking, inspired by Jesus, that will lead to peace in the fullest sense.


Discuss in your group

(Choose which questions to cover based on the time you have)

1. Which of these thinking traits do you find hardest and why?


2. It’s good to practice this kind of thinking. Let’s do that together now; how would each of these traits help you to think about a relationship breakdown?


3. How would each of these traits help you, or someone you were cancelling, if one felt deserted by God?


4. I encourage you to memorise Philippians 4:8-9 and purposely practice applying this kind of thinking.


Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:

1. What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message or your bible reading this week)?

2. What will you do in response?

3. How can we pray for you?



Copyright © 2020 Community Church Putney | Site design CCP Creative Team

Community Church Putney is a registered Charity: (1158141). A limited company registered in England (09012734)