Biblical Positive Thinking

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, Sep. 30, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                  Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:1-9

Text: Philippians 4:8

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Introduction: In order to be balanced, a person must recognize that there are positives and negatives to everything in life. Positively, there is a place called heaven. Negatively, there is a place called hell. Positively, there is righteousness. Negatively, there is unrighteousness. There are things that are true, but there are also things that are lies. There are things that are just, and there are things that are unjust.

It is foolish to refuse to recognize the negative things of life. Wars, disease, death, divorce, treachery, deceit, hatred, theft, idolatry, and rebellion are a part of our daily lives.

However, we do not have to DWELL on the negative things of life. We do not have to EMPHASIZE them. We do not have to let them CONTROL us or DEPRESS us.

Tonight I want to challenge you again, as I did last Sunday night, to meet at 9 AM at the church for another MIRACLE Saturday. Last week our people knocked on the doors of 1,600 homes! Saturday I want to challenge you to achieve our goal of knocking on a total of 3,000 doors in two weeks. I have given each of you a commitment card. I don’t want you to sign it, but after the sermon I want you to check one of the numbers on it as your goal for door-knocking on Saturday. I want you to come down the aisle at the invitation, drop it in the offering plate, kneel, and ask God to help you to accomplish your goal and to help us all to accomplish our goal.

Additionally, this week I want you to BELIEVE GOD for great things to take place on Sunday, Oct. 7, “Miracle Sunday.” I want you to think positively. I want you to contact more of your friends, relatives, and loved ones and get them to promise to attend as your guests on that day. I want you to write letters, make visits, and make telephone calls to those who have already promised to be there. I want you to come to church on Sunday with your car full of people.

Most of all, I want you to BELIEVE GOD and think positively all week. Tonight I want to talk to you about “BIBLICAL POSITIVE THINKING.”

First of all, I want you to consider


This world has a view of positive thinking, but it is a sinful view. I am talking about the positive thinking of Robert Schuller and Norman Vincent Peale. It is almost always built around a goal of achieving something for SELF, rather than for the glory of God. God doesn’t want us to think positively for selfish purposes.

According to the Bible, boasting about what we are going to do, unless we say, “If the Lord will,” is EVIL.

James 4:13-16 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

A few of these worldly views of positive thinking are:

A. The sighted dream, or visualization

  • “What you see, you will obtain.”
  • What you had BETTER see is the WILL OF GOD for your life!

B. The spoken declaration, or vocalization

  • “What you say, you will obtain.”
  • This is the “name it, claim it” philosophy of the modern charismatic movement, promoted by Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, and the rest of them.

C. The sincere dependency

  • “What you believe, you will obtain.”
  • The problem here is that it is possible to believe something that is WRONG.

Notice how that it is possible to miss a goal by not asking, but that it is ALSO possible to miss a goal by asking for the wrong goal with the wrong motive:

James 4:2-3 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.


Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

A. Let’s think on purity rather than on prosperity (how much cash we can get)

  • Let’s think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, and lovely.
  • Let’s think about God, His word, His work, His will, and the things of God!

B. Let’s think on praiseworthy things rather than on power (how much control we can get


  • Let’s think on things that are of good report, virtue, and praise.
  • Think about the blessings, the growth, and the progress!


I am talking here about obstacles or difficulties that must be overcome in order to exercise Biblical positive thinking.

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

A. Listening to the wrong voices

  • Satan – the voice of deception, discouragement
  • Scoffers – disbelief
  • Scorners – disdain, disgust
  • Slanderers – defamation, disparagement

B. Looking at the wrong things

  • Remember that Peter walked on the water as long as his eyes were on Jesus! When he looked at the waves, he began to sink!
  • Looking unto Jesus – Hebrews 12:2!
  • Television – focuses on negative things, immorality
  • Literature – much of it is impure, or dishonest
  • Advertisements – many billboards, commercials, and magazine ads promote the wrong goals and ideas.

C. Lusting out of our own hearts

  • We have to be careful of corruption that comes from WITHIN as well as without:
  • Mark 7:21-22 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:


Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Biblical positive thinking results in:

A. God’s peace

  • Isaiah 26:3 above
  • Bring your burden to the Lord and leave it there!
  • Let’s set goals for what WE can do, ask God to do what HE wants to do (not MY will, but THINE, be done), and then leave the results to God!

B. God’s presence

  • Philippians 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

C. God’s pleasure

  • I believe that it pleases God for His children to BELIEVE Him!
  • Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Now, will you think positively this week as you

  • Invite more friends to come for our big day?
  • Contact your people who have promised to attend?
  • Prepare for “Miracle Saturday” and knock on doors for the Lord?
  • Ask God to work in hearts on Miracle Sunday next week?
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