Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2005
[Title] Lord of Our Thoughts
[Texts] Exodus 20:17; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Matthew 5:8; 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5; Colossians 3:1,2; Romans 12:1,2
[Use] July 16, 2005
It would be easy for our small group discussions this weekend to focus on the atrocities in the news of this past week. What was a 42-year old sex offender Joseph Duncan III thinking...? What were those responsible for detonating bombs in the underground and above ground transportation systems in London thinking...? What was the young man who blew himself up inside an Iraq army recruiting station, killing 25 and injuring 50 of his fellow countrymen, thinking...?
Adventist attorneys met together at a special luncheon during the 10-day World Congress of Seventh-day Adventists in St. Louis, Missouri, USA this past week. They were visibly disturbed by a report from Greg Young, Adventist Disaster and Relief Agency (ADRA) director for Thailand, that over the last three decades thirty million girls have been sold into the sexual trafficking trade in Asia and the Pacific region alone. After drugs and weapons, sexual trafficking is the third largest international industry. What are those predators thinking?
In North America there are growing numbers of Adventist church school teachers, pastors and church leaders being accused of crimes of child molestation and sex abuse. Pornography is a silent addiction damaging too many Adventist homes. Adventist wives are being beaten or verbally abused. Husbands are being demeaned. Children are shuttled between parents living in two different locations. In our churches, splits are occurring not through normal conflict but by power struggles where individuals suggest in various ways, "We will get our way." What are we Christians thinking?
While we must not hide from these realities, but pull together to change these deplorable situations, there are additional important concepts for us to seriously consider:
- What was God thinking when Jesus was sent to die for me?
- What is the current condition of my own spiritual life? Really.
- What thoughts do I have daily that enhance or hinder my own spiritual growth?
- What am I doing to minister the grace of Jesus to other travelers on life's journey?
Our thoughts precede our words and behaviors. Jesus said it best, "As s/he thinks so is s/he." Bringing every thought into captivity to Christ, as 2 Corinthians 10:5 suggests, doesn't mean we have to think Jesus-thoughts 24/7. But it is a significant Scriptural suggestion for keeping our thoughts captive to Christ and our behaviors Christ-like. If you were being held captive, who would you rather have be your keeper—Christ or Satan?
This past Saturday, the Adventist World Congress ended with the Parade of Nations.  It was awesome to see Adventists from 204 countries and hear General Conference President Paulsen keep referring to everyone in the audience--as well as those viewing and listening via other media--as family. What a great thought! Regardless of where we live, we all serve the same God. We all have the same mission to spread good news about Jesus' life, death, resurrection and homes-for-free bring prepared in a place better than earth.
As we make Christ Lord of all our priorities, consider memorizing Ephesians 4: 29-31: "Let no evil talk come out of your mouths but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you."
Now that is something to think about this week!
 Read report of the Parade of Nations here: http://www.nad.gcsession.org/newstext.php?id=29