Pastor John E. Russell
Senior Pastor
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Game

I was thinking about a little toy that Carolyn and I bought for our granddaughter to play with at our house. It's one of those wooden boards with all the different shapes cut out: square, circle, triangle, octagon, etc. The object is to put the right shape in the right hole, and it ends up teaching you about all the different shapes. In fact, this particular board speaks out the name of the shape when you put the right shape in the right hole, so you also learn how to pronounce the words.

The reason I brought this little game up is that it's a matching game and I thought I would challenge you to a matching game of our own. Remember the scripture I talked about on Sunday? Let's look at it again.

Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brothers, 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.

Here's the way this game goes. Consider what you have been thinking about for the last day or so. You've probably had hundreds if not thousands of thoughts. Now write them all down. Yeah sure! I'm not going to get a lot of takers on that challenge. Ok - how about something a whole lot easier. Write down the main parts of this scripture, just the key words.

True, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely (lovable), Admirable, Excellent, Praiseworthy.

Eight simple words. Now when you start thinking about something or talking about something, see which word it matches up to. Remember the one who is really challenging you to this game is not me but God himself. He is the all-time champ. He's the one who made up the rules and who is also the judge.

This is a great way to begin to train our minds to start thinking as God would have us think. This is how we renew our minds. This is how we are transformed. This is how we are then able to determine God's will or purpose for our lives - His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

If you would like to take this challenge a step further, look up the eight key words. In fact, I'll give you the Greek translations for them, and you can go to a search engine ( and look them up.

Here they are:
  1. Alethes
  2. Semnos
  3. Dikaios
  4. Hagnos
  5. Prosphiles
  6. Euphemos
  7. Arete
  8. Epainos

Type the word above and type "Greek" next to it. The search engine will give you a definition of the word. Now you're doing a Bible study!

Get these words in your head and use them like a filter. See how many of your thoughts can pass through them and how many get filtered out.

This is a great way to grow. Challenge yourself and see how well you do.

Remember you do have a partner who will be more than happy to help you - the Holy Spirit. He will guide you into all truth.

God Bless You Abundantly,
Pastor John

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