Think Right

Hope for Today (English)
Hope for Today (English)
Think Right
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John 16:1-6

Hello, and thank you for joining us; welcome to Hope for Today. This program is produced by Heralds of Hope. Every week our Bible teaching circles the globe in English and 22 other languages. We thank God the Bible is not limited to a certain area or people; it is relevant for all people no matter where you are. We have been studying from the book of John, and today we will be starting chapter 16. Today’s title is Think Right; we pray you will be blessed by our time together, and may our look into His Word help our thoughts line up with His thoughts.

So many of our actions are a result of how we think. Have you ever thought about what makes you think the way you think? This requires introspection; you need to look within yourself. This can be hard, but it usually is very worthwhile.

There is a story from the building of the Panama Canal which illustrates the importance of thinking right. The French began construction of the Panama Canal during the late 18 hundreds. The work was strenuous and hard, but the challenges were far more than construction and engineering. The deadly diseases of yellow fever and malaria were taking a toll on the French work crews.

So, the French built hospitals to combat these diseases. Unfortunately, the hospitals were largely ineffective because they were not thinking right. Around 75% of those hospitalized died. The hospitals did not have screens in the windows, and the people were divided by nationality, not disease type. Then even went so far as to put water dishes under the posts of each bed so ants could not crawl on the patients.

They did not know yellow fever and malaria were being spread by mosquitoes. Instead of closing off rooms, mosquitoes could fly in and out and go from one space to the next. Even worse were two bowls of water under each bed; this gave the mosquitoes many places to lay their eggs and fill the hospital with more mosquitoes. If only they would have known, if only they would have corrected their thinking, then the lives of many workers would have been spared.

As it was, the French were defeated and left before the canal was completed. The Americans came a few years later and faced the same challenges. However, William Crawford Gorgas came and fought the diseases by going after the common mosquito. With time and lots of effort, the results proved he was right. There was a major shift in everyone’s thinking, and the effect of yellow fever and malaria was minimized.

In this example, you can see the importance of thinking right. The French did not understand the cause of yellow fever and how it is spread. They were destined to failure unless their thinking would change. In the same way, we want our thinking to be in line with what actually is; we want our thinking to be true. Jesus said He is the Truth.

Let’s listen to Bible teacher J Mark as he teaches us more about right thinking.

Isn’t it wonderful that God has made us so that we can think? Oh, how thankful we should be that we are not like the animals that can’t think. They have only one way that they can do anything. They are programmed by nature to do certain things which they cannot change by thinking.

But God has given us the right and ability to think. He has never violated that right and ability. It, therefore, becomes a high privilege to be able to think. And I should add, our thinking may well be like God’s thinking. It can be as we think God’s thoughts after Him. The Bible tells us that God made us in His image and after His likeness, which includes the ability to think and the power to choose. But then for us, there is a right way and a wrong way to think. Since God has given us the ability to think, He surely wants us to THINK RIGHT, to think the right way.

Jesus was concerned about His disciples and about us. This concern is expressed as He spoke to the disciples in John 16:1-6.

  1. These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
  2. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
  3. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
  4. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
  5. But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
  6. But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow bath filled your heart.

From Jesus’ words to His disciples, we should find two DIRECTIVES for how we think.

There are several aspects to The Directive Of Preparation.

        He said, “I have spoken these things unto you, that you should not be offended.” To think right, we need the preparation against offenses. What does that mean? To be offended means to be shocked or to be scandalized, to be greatly distressed, troubled, worried, or hurt. But to know beforehand what is going to happen will be a great help when that time comes. So Jesus gave these words to the disciples to prepare them so that they would not be shocked and would be able to understand better.

There is also the preparation against mistreatment because He said, “They will separate you, they will put you out of their worship places, their synagogues. And, in fact, they will think that when they kill you, they are doing God service.”

I have learned through my study of religions that religion is a mighty force. That is why it is so important, my friend, for you to be sure that you are right in the kind of religion that you have. Because Jesus said, it could even get to the place that when people kill you, they will think they are doing God service. It surely seems that that would be a seriously distorted conclusion, wouldn’t it?

Then He said also we need preparation against partial knowledge. When He was commenting about these people who would think they were doing God service when they killed believers, He said, “They do that because they do not know the Father, and they do not know me.” That means they have only partial knowledge, not enough knowledge, just some knowledge. They don’t know the Father, because the Father would not tell them to take life, you see.

So, to think right, we must take seriously this matter of preparation, so we know what is coming and will not be shocked, but will be able to understand more clearly.

We get very close to the heart of Jesus as we consider The Directive of Consolation.

Jesus said to the disciples that He was telling them about these things beforehand so that they could remember them later. They were to remember Jesus’ words, and they were to think of the good things that had happened. He said, “I couldn’t tell you this in the beginning, because I myself was with you. But since I’m going away, I’m telling you these things so that you will be able to remember them.” They could not remember what they had not known.

All of us, I’m sure, have some very precious memories. We like to remember the good things in life. These words from Jesus to the disciples would surely be good things to remember. It would bring consolation to their hearts to remember these words of Jesus.

In addition, there is a consolation in separation because Jesus said, “I am going away to the One who sent me, and I want this to be a consolation to you. Many of you ask me, ‘where are you going?” So, it would seem to me that there would be consolation in separation if you knew where Jesus was going. That’s why He was telling the disciples that He was going back to the One who had sent Him.

They also had Jesus’ consolation in sorrow because He said sorrow had filled their hearts because He had told them these things. I was trying to imagine how the disciples must have felt when all of this was going on. It must have been a real consolation to them to know that they could have the words of Jesus to think about after He had gone. And so, Jesus told them that the sorrow would be only for a short while. They would then be able to rejoice and be glad.

To think right, read this consolation from Jesus. I believe that thinking right is surely connected with Jesus and our relationship to Him. His Words give us helpful guidance. We should be prepared so we will not be shocked when some of these experiences come. And we can be consoled because we can remember the words of Jesus.

But how we relate to Him, ah, that is the key. How we relate to Him is the key to think right.

My friend, was this teaching helpful? If you’d like a copy, either in print or on an audio CD, just contact us and ask for it by the title. Or log onto our website heraldsofhope.org

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Here’s the contact information again. Our email address is mail@heraldsofhope.org. Or write to Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. Remember, you can request a free copy of this teaching. It’s available in print or on an audio CD. And you can also request a free copy of our newest publication, Hope Herald. It will help you gain more value from our study in John.

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Now, I urge you to tune in next week as Pastor J. Mark continues our study from John’s Gospel. You won’t want to miss it. And until then, keep looking to Jesus. He’ll give you hope for every day!