Pastor Vince Giardino read the words of Jesus in Luke 12:24-29 to introduce his next sermon on the “Mind”. Jesus was pointing out how God looks after the needs of his own and so man should “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on” Luke 12:22 … “neither be ye of doubtful mind” Luke 12:29. With those words in mind, Pastor titled his sermon this past Sunday evening (04-17-11), “A Doubtful Mind”.
A short history of the men who were assembled to translate the bible into English for King James 1 was given by our preacher. For seven years they labored, humbly and ardently seeking a true translation. The men had confidence and a good spirit when presenting the finished bible to the king. At the front of the bible was their Epistle Dedicatory, a preface to the work and a salute to the king. Pastor Giardino read the work in its entirety and concluded by saying, “There was no doubt in their minds that they had done their best.” Pastor then pointed out that we have doubt toward God because of our lack of devotion and discipline toward reading the Word during our daily lives.
Doubts Unveiled – “If you have a doubtful mind, you are not living by faith”, Pastor said, and “the cares and pleasures of the world will choke you.” He defined “doubt” as to waver or fluctuate in opinion, to hesitate, to be apprehensive, or to fear. Pastor read from the gospel of John three instances involving the Apostle Thomas (i.e. Doubting Thomas). In chapter 11, Thomas had a “gung-ho” attitude, fired up in his new faith. However, something happened from that point on. In chapter 14, Pastor G. showed how Thomas began to question Jesus. Thomas’s faith was dimming. By chapter 20, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, it is a different Thomas altogether as Thomas said “I will not believe” John 20:25.
Thomas was of a doubtful mind, but he was revived, giving hope that we too can be revived. Thomas needed things spelled out because he did not understand the deity of Jesus. Yet Thomas did achieve victory when he answered the risen savior, “My Lord and my God” John 20:28. Pastor taught that someone full of doubt and anxiety is faithless, as Jesus said to Thomas “be not faithless, but believing” John 20:27. Saying, “God is looking for us to walk in faith”, Pastor explained that our faith can begin to fade, and as it does, our doubtful mind can affect our health. He spoke about a book written by a Jewish doctor who wrote how most depression, anxiety, and mental illness is due to the lack of applying personal responsibility to our lives. Pastor suggested that, if we suffer from doubt, perhaps we do not know who Jesus is. Perhaps we forget about the deity of Jesus Christ?
The Devil Assails – Pastor Giardino read about the devil’s attack on Jesus in Matthew 4, tempting Him three times. He asked us to personalize the chapter, saying, “If the tempter came to the Son of God, he will come to a son of God.” Pastor portrayed the episode as rounds one, two, and three. In each case, Jesus countered the devil with scripture. We were reminded that the Word of God is a “sharp twoedged sword” Rev 1:16. Jesus used the Word of God to dispel the doubts, and we should do likewise. We need to be led of the Spirit and full of God’s Word. Pastor G. assured us that people will tempt us and try to cast doubt on our Christianity. He also assured us that we will get beat up if we are not prepared as Jesus was.