Matthew 11:26… seemed good in Your sight  – eudokia, meaning ‘good- thinking’


Tim Keller explains that if we want to change our behavior, we have to dig down to the level of feelings that prompt the ‘act’.  But we can’t stop there, because beneath our feelings is the bedrock of our thoughts.  In other words, our meditations are …….seeds which grow into ……..feelings that eventually sprout……. deeds.  Painting blue an already growing daffodil won’t produce a blue daffodil next time.  To get a true blue flower, we have to plant and cultivate the correct seed.    And where do our thoughts and feelings reside? – in our heart.

God-pleasing behavior does not just happen, it takes planning.  A farmer who envisions a harvest of corn intentionally plants the proper seed.   We, too, are farming.  Our first field is our own life: to grow a God-pleasing life, we have to start with first things.  We acknowledge that it’s only through God’s mercy that we have been born again and brought into God’s ‘ambassador corps’.  As ambassadors and messengers of the good news, our focus is on pleasing God as we go about on this God-mission.  Our daily fitness in this new role depends on a new way of thinking.  Only by planting and consistently nurturing truth seeds from the Bible (our Ambassadors’ handbook), will our minds be renovated, our feelings changed and our actions conform to our new position in the Kingdom.

Paul’s claim of peace, despite horrid circumstances such as shipwreck and near death and pagan prison cells, startles us.  His contentment, another Greek word that has to do with good thinking is ‘autarkeira’.  It has to do with self boundaries, framing one’s circumstances in a way to be satisfied and free of anxiety.  How could Paul do that?  How can WE? – Only by thinking correctly.  If we absorb the truth that 1) yes, we can pray for what we need & desire and along side of that request 2) trust God that He will work out the circumstances for our greater good should He not answer the prayer according to what we ask.

I remember reading in the diary of George Mueller that he prayed for his wife to recover but at the same time affirmed in his prayer to God that if she were to die, he would still be at peace.  Yes, he would mourn, but he would choose to be at peace, because God promises that He will withhold NO GOOD THING from him who is righteous.  If she were to die, then Mueller reckoned it was for his good.

These kinds of responses are possible NOT because Paul or George Mueller were supermen.  Their way of thinking is the result of years of taking in and meditating on God’s truth.  May we be encouraged to follow their example in the power of Christ, through His word.    1 Tim 6:6   But godliness with contentment is great gain.