Think AgainRelated Media
The Thinking process has stimulated many remarks concerning the thought process and the value and limitations of the mind. Although many commend and are committed to time spent in thought, Henry Ford once remarked, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably why so few engage in it.” Some have pointed out certain dangers involved in the thinking process such as too much self esteem. Thus Spinoza observed, “Pride is therefore pleasure arising from a man’s thinking too highly of himself.”1 As speech devoid of thinking,
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
Words without thought never to heaven go.2
Nevertheless, we need to be reminded of the necessity of sound thinking. Thus Sir Thomas Vaux declared,
When all is done and said,
In the end this shall you find:
He most of all doth bathe in bliss
That hath a quiet mind;
And, clear from worldly cares,
To deem can be content
The sweetest time in all his life
In thinking to be spent.3
Such is particularly the case in times when a person may be experiencing difficulties in his life. N. V. Peale therefore encouraged people to exercise sound thinking by dismissing negative thoughts: “To overcome troubles you must use the good mind God gave you. Think through and understand them. And you cannot think clearheadedly while seething with a sense of outrage, hating other people or life or even God for some harsh experience that has befallen you. Neither can you weep and wail about it—and at the same time think.”4
Paul’s admonition concerning the necessity and value of properly using one’s God-given mind is particularly apropos for believers. In what follows we shall note several scriptural passages concerning the dangers of faulty thinking and the need for exercising the sound mind that the Lord has entrusted to us.
It should be noted at the outset that the Scriptures plainly teach that man’s thinking and thoughts are too often incorrect. They are at times guided by such things as: incorrect or insufficient data, or misguided opinions and conclusions, or hasty decisions (cf. Prov. 21:5; 29:20). As the old saying expressed it: “haste makes waste,” whether in thinking or actions. This is especially true with regard to spiritual matters. Even the conclusions of many gifted teachers, philosophers or even religious leaders are ultimately simply finite observations. Indeed, man’s natural thinking is tied to “earthly things” (Phil. 3:19), hence too easily leads to unrighteous thoughts, which generate selfish attitudes and actions. Underlying all of this, of course, is that which led to man’s original sin—pride. Therefore, man recreates his god in terms of earthly values or things.
Rather than doing so, as God’s “offspring, we should not think the deity is like gold or silver or stone, an image made by human skill or imagination” (Acts 17:29).5 The same may be said of man too often conceiving of God in ways which are self pleasing and satisfying. The mindset of the natural man is thus fleshly and in strict contrast to that of a true, yielded believer in the Lord. The Apostle Paul declares, “Those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit” (Rom. 8:5). The contrast is a pronounced one, for Paul goes on to add, “The outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God nor is it able to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you” (vv. 7-9). The warning and admonition in the ancient proverb still rings loud and true:
Pride goes before destruction
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
It is better to be lowly in spirit with the afflicted
than to share the spoils with the proud. (Prov. 16:18-19)
Man’s sense of self worth or pride is often mentioned or portrayed in the Bible. It is linked with many improper areas of thinking that lead to unholy attitudes or actions such as: “perverse utterances” (Prov. 8:13), “boastings” (Jer. 48:30), lack of concern for those in need such as the poor (Ezek. 16:49), and at the root of it all, indifference to or a mindset against “The Holy One of Israel” (Jer. 50:29). Indeed, “The biblical images of pride add up to such a repulsive figure that they would lead one to abhor it, yet the frequency with which it appears in the Bible suggests something of its perennial appeal to the sinful heart.”6 How understandable, then, is Paul’s admonition to the Roman Christians that they should not “think too highly of yourself than you ought to think” Rom. 12:3). As we shall see below, rather than being prideful, people should follow Jesus’ own example of humility (cf. Matt. 11:29; Phil. 2:6-8).
Ungodly pride can lead to selfish greed. Such was pointed out long ago by David:
Yes, the wicked man boasts because he gets what he wants;
the one who robs others curses and rejects the LORD.
The wicked man is so arrogant he always thinks,
“God won’t hold me accountable, he doesn’t care.”
He is secure at all times.
He has no regard for your commands. (Ps. 10:3-5a)
Indeed, all too easily a person’s prideful greed can lead to the disregard of or the taking advantage of others. Moreover, from their arrogance arises not only a disdain for the standards of God but even a disdain for the Lord himself. As Van Gemeren remarks, “These greedy have no regard for God or his commandments.… Their goal in life is a purposeful avoidance of God.... They are not atheists but instead have conveniently chosen to live without God.… Worship of the creator-covenantal God has been exchanged for worship of themselves.”7 Such a prideful, arrogant thinking individual is an example of someone who is self-deceived. In his preoccupation with himself he mistakenly imagines that he is the master of his own little world and that he is the only one that matters. As Paul warned the Galatian believers, “If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Gal. 6:3). In their preoccupation with themselves, some may on the one hand even consider themselves and their desires to be supremely important in life and yet on the other hand, think themselves to be maintaining a religious course of life (cf. Col. 1:20-23). Such, however, follow a false religiosity and are gravely in error. James warns with regard to someone who goes through the motions of religion yet is not profited spiritually by it to such an extent that that he even disdains or disparages others:
If someone thinks he is religious, yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile. Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:26-27)
Is what a person thinks or desires all that matters? Think again! The Scriptures are quite clear in pointing out that improper thinking such as selfish desires and greed leads too readily to improper or fleshly attitudes and actions. As Paul writes to the Galatians:
For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other so that you cannot do what you want…. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I have warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:17, 19-21; cf. Col. 3:5-10)
Accordingly, it is essential for all people, not only unbelievers but believers as well, to develop and pursue proper thinking—thinking that is in accordance with God’s thoughts.
God and Thinking. Basic to understanding the relation between God’s thoughts and man’s is the realization that the Lord is omniscient (Isa. 40:28). Therefore, he has a depth of wisdom, knowledge, and thinking that is beyond the grasp of human intelligence (Ps. 139:6; cf. Ps 92:5). Thus the Lord spoke through Isaiah saying,
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not My ways.
This is the LORD’s declaration.
For as heaven is higher than earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa. 55:8-9; NASB)
Commenting on God’s declaration, Edward Young says, “The ways and thoughts of God are incomprehensible to man. Even though God reveal them to man, he cannot fully understand them; to him they are incomprehensible.”8 Smith adds: “Surely there are few similarities between God and the wicked, but there are some similarities between the righteous believer who reads or hears about thoughts and ways and attempts to live a life consistent with God’s instructions. Nevertheless, even with these few similarities with the righteous, it is not hard to accept the idea that God’s plans and purposes are exceedingly higher than anything the smartest righteous person has ever thought or imagined.” 9 All too often people may think that God does not see, know, or care about what they are doing. To the contrary, they should be aware of the fact that the Lord is so fully aware of them and their deeds that he even knows their thoughts and their motives (Ps: 94: 3-11). For example, Isaiah reports the Lord as saying,
“As for those who consecrate and ritually purify themselves so they can follow their leader and worship in the sacred orchards, those who eat the flesh of pigs and other disgusting creatures, like mice—they will all be destroyed together,” says the LORD. “I hate their deeds and thoughts.” (Isa. 66:17-18)
Indeed, the Lord knows the thoughts and motives all people—not just the wicked. Accordingly, when David was turning the kingdom over to his son Solomon, he admonished him:
“And you, Solomon my son, obey the God of your fathers and serve him with a submissive attitude and a willing spirit, for the LORD examines all minds and understands every motive of one’s thoughts. If you seek him, he will let you find him, but if you abandon him, he will reject you permanently.” (1 Chron. 28:9)
Although David’s charge to Solomon, his son and successor, was aimed at the necessity for Solomon to follow the Lord’s intentions and directions for building the temple, the principle that lay behind David’s words is true and exceedingly applicable. God does indeed have an intricate knowledge of man’s thoughts, motives, attitudes, and desires. As David pleads with the Lord elsewhere,
May the evil deeds of the wicked come to an end!
But make the innocent (the godly) secure,
O righteous God,
you who examines the inner thoughts and motives. (Ps. 7:9; cf. Jer. 11:20)
In harmony with all of this, David begins Psalm 139 by openly acknowledging that the Lord knows him thoroughly, including his every thought and action:
O LORD, you examine me and know.
You know when I sit down and when I get up;
even when far away you understand my motives.
You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest,
you are aware of everything I do.
Certainly my tongue does not frame a word
without you, O LORD, being thoroughly aware of it.
Appropriately, Leupold observes, “Before the thought has taken shape to the point where it can be cast into the appropriate word, God knows what it is going to be. This is knowledge superlative.”10 David admits that such awareness is “beyond my comprehension” (v.6). “How difficult it is for me to fathom your thoughts about me, O God! How vast is their sum total!” (v.17). Yet because David knows that God’s omniscience means that the Lord understands David better than does David himself, he goes on to plead with the Lord to examine his thoughts so that David might be led to living a thoroughly righteous life before the Lord.
Examine me and probe my thoughts!
Test me, and know my concerns!
See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me!
and lead me in the reliable ancient path! (vv. 23-24)
David’s prayerful thoughts are reflected in the familiar hymn by J. Edwin Orr:
Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from ev’ry sin and set me free.
Lord, take my life and make it wholly Thine;
Fulfill Thy word and make me pure within.
Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord—in me abide.11
Applying David’s desires to Christian believers, Futato remarks,
“I want the Lord to know me, so that I can know myself better. I want the Lord to know me, so that he can ‘lead me along the path of everlasting life’ (139:24) and that path is walked in a humble and loyal relationship with the God who knows me (139:1-6), who is always present with me (139:7-12), and who cares for me (139:13-18)—all because of his love for me in the Lord Jesus Christ.”12
God’s thoughts toward people carry a genuine concern for them. Thus in his concern for peoples’ spiritual health and true welfare, God continues to reveal his thoughts and standards to them (Amos 4:13). Therefore, people should gladly and willingly submit to the Lord, not only for God’s glory but for their own good. The psalmist’s words, though designed specifically for his people Israel, doubtless have application for all believers:
How blessed is the one whom you instruct, O LORD,
the one whom you teach from your law.
Certainly the LORD does not forsake his people. (Ps. 94: 13-14a)
It is likewise simply the case also that the old proverb in God’s everlasting Word remains pertinent:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding.
Acknowledge him in all you ways,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own estimation;
fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
This will bring healing to your body
and refreshment to your inner self. (Prov. 3:5-8)
As Buzzell rightly observes, “This means more than guidance; it means God removes the obstacles, making a smooth path or way of life, or perhaps better, bringing one to the appointed goal.”13
Man and Thinking. The Scriptures do invite people to participate in active, even deep, thinking (cf. Prov. 22:17). Indeed, many human examples of such a process (e.g., Einstein) could be cited. On a time-honored popular level the example of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes remains a classic standard. One is reminded of Holmes’ famous maxim: “When you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”14 Put another way, one might say, “When you have eliminated the seemingly impossible, and exhausted all seemingly possible conclusions, then something of the seemingly impossible, however improbable, must be possible.” It is a maxim that atheists, agnostics, and skeptics could well heed. Indeed, as the Scriptures point out, people may even profit by listening to wise counsel (cf. Prov. 1-9), especially when it is clothed with godly wisdom (e.g., Prov. 2:1-6).
Quite obviously, as we have noted above, the thinking capacity even of a redeemed, believing person, however well educated and informed, can never equal or even approximate the thinking of the omniscient God (cf. Pss. 40:5; 139:17; Eph. 3:20). Left to themselves, the wisest people, even believers, may at times be foolish in their thinking (cf. Ps. 73: 21-22). For example, even though some may find this difficult to understand, as not only an omniscient God, but as a loving Lord he is concerned for people’s welfare. Some may think, “If God really did exist, he would be too great and too occupied with cosmic affairs to examine men’s minds, much less guide his thinking or be concerned for their situation.” Thus the psalmist asks:
O LORD, of what importance is the human race,
that you should notice them?
Of what importance is mankind,
that you should be concerned about them? (Ps. 144:3).
Upon reviewing God’s essential power and goodness, however, he eagerly concludes, “How blessed are the people whose God is the LORD” (Ps. 144:15b). Thus by allowing God to control the thought processes, foolish thinking can be reversed, so as to allow a person to be guided by the Lord’s counsel (Ps 73: 24; cf. Ps. 7:9b). When he realizes this fully, he will desire and consistently seek God’s mind and will for his life. For he will have come to understand that God’s will is not only the best for him, but as a concerned God, “The Lord is near!” (Phil. 4:5; cf. Ps 34:18-20) to help and care for him.
Indeed, all people need to come to grips with the fact that (as we have seen) God does know their thoughts and desires. This is especially true for believers. As redeemed by Christ, believers can and should utilize godly thinking in their lives. As Paul admonishes the Colossians, believers need to overcome their preoccupation with self and everyday matters and, “keep thinking about things above, not on things earth, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:2-3; cf. Rom 8:5). As Bruce remarks,
“Don’t let your ambitions be earthbound, set on transitory and inferior objects. Don’t look at life and the universe from the standpoint of these lower planes; look at them from Christ’s exalted standpoint. Judge everything by the standards of that new creation to which you now belong, not by those of the old order to which you have said a final farewell.”15
There is indeed, then, such a thing as proper thinking. Believers have the greatest example of proper thinking in the Lord Jesus himself. Among Jesus’ departing words to his disciples was the declaration “I am doing just what the Father commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father” (John 14:31). In his farewell prayer to the Father he points out that he had “glorified the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4) and adds further, “Now they understand that everything you have given me comes from you, because I have given them the words you have given me. They accepted them and really understand that I came from you and they believe that you sent me” (vv. 7-8). Thus Jesus demonstrates to his disciples that his thoughts and resulting actions were because he was reproducing the Fathers thoughts and will.
Still further, Jesus revealed that after his departure, he would send the Holy Spirit who will, “Guide you into all truth,” and will, “receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you” (John 16: 13, 15). As Tenney points out, “Through the Holy Spirit every Christian can be provided with individual authoritative instruction.”16 Thus as Jesus reproduced the Father’s thoughts and will, so the Holy Spirit delivers the thoughts and instructions of Christ and the Father to believers in order that they may think and act in accordance with the divine perspective.
As those united to Christ, then, believers are enabled through the Holy Spirit’s guidance to think and act in accordance with Jesus’ example. As did the Apostle Paul, believers should “take every thought captive to make it obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). In so doing their very lives will be transformed. As Paul admonished the Roman Christians, if believers are to grow in their spiritual walk, they must,
Present your bodies as a sacrifice—alive, holy, and pleasing to God—which is your reasonable service. Do not be conformed to the present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect. (Rom 12:1-2)
Thus Cranfield wisely remarks, a believer should “allow himself to be transformed continually, remoulded, remade, so that his life here and now may more and more clearly exhibit signs and tokens of the coming order of God—that order which has already come—in Christ.”17 Such can indeed be accomplished by freely yielding to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and instruction.
In this regard, an examination of the word “transformed” is most helpful. The Grreek background of the verb rendered “transformed,-- metamoprhoomai informs us that this word was used in a variety of ways. Meaning basically “to change into another form,” that transformation could involve not only an outward change easily perceived by the senses, but on occasion, an inward spiritual one as well. The root idea is appropriately used in a number of fields of knowledge. Geologists apply it to rocks whose structure is so completely altered that their original form is no longer seen, calling them “metamorphic” rocks. Biologists use it to designate changes in the natural world by which creatures adapt to a new environment or way of living, such as tadpoles becoming frogs, and term it “metamorphosis.” Certain linguists speak of processes whereby meanings in the deep structure are transformed into the resultant words of the surface structure of the sentence.
The verb appears only three times in the New Testament but is especially instructive for Christian living in each case. Paul reminds the believer that, having presented himself as a living sacrifice, the whole person, inside out, is to “go on being transformed” in realizing the will of God (Rom.12:1-2). There is a metamorphic process that is to take place in ourselves, to conform us to “the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29), that involves an attitude of full surrender to Christ, But, granted this truth, how can that metamorphic, sanctifying process be fully realized? The two other contexts in which this verb is employed suggest two other avenues whereby the Christian can grow in grace.
In the first instance (Matt. 17:1-2) metamorphoomai is used of Christ’s transfiguration. Matthew reports that on that occasion Christ’s essential inner excellence shone out so brightly that not only was his intrinsic glory seen but his very clothing glistened with dazzling brightness. The parallel account in Luke 9:29 makes it clear that Jesus’ transformation took place “as he prayed,” This suggests that one means for the believer’s growth in grace is through prayer. Time spent in daily communion with God to know his mind and will allows the structure of our beings, already dramatically changed at conversion, to be further transformed. By knowing God better, we learn to think his thoughts after him and so to be like him.
In 2 Corinthians 3:18 Paul reports that the Holy Spirit also brings to the believer full liberty to behold the glory of the Lord in the Scriptures and thereby to be “changed, into the same image from glory to glory.” Thus, beholding the living Word in the written Word and submitting to its precepts brings such a transformational change in the depths of our beings that it must surface in the activities of our daily lives. Believers are programmed for holy living in a new, changed life situation (2 Cor. 5:17). The word metamorphoomai reminds us of the means that we have for allowing the sanctifying work, the metamorphic process of the Holy Spirit, to be effective: (a godly mind and attitude of full commitment to Christ, (2) an effective prayer life, and (3) the consistent study of God’s Word.
Paul goes on in Romans 12:3 to point out some of the results of the transformational process: (1) it will enable believers to think “with sober discernment.”; (2) it will perfect their faith; (3) It will produce genuine humility –a humility that reflects Jesus’ own humbling of himself to the Father’s will (cf. Matt 11:29). Paul also reflects this in his advice to the Philippians by saying, “Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others, as well” (Phil. 2:3-4). As Phil Comfort remarks:
A humble mind is the key to cooperative unity. Humility is the realization that we are creatures who are totally dependent on God, the Creator. If we are really humble before God, we are totally relying on God. This affects our attitude toward others, for as equally dependent creatures, we cannot take pride in ourselves.18
Paul then goes on to point to Christ as the ultimate example of humility and concern for others (Phil 2:5-7). Despite being fully divine, he was willing to assimilate human nature to his being and truly be concerned for the human beings, while submitting to the Father’s will in order to accomplish man’s redemption. This he did at the cost of his own life: “He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:8). As Comfort goes on to say, “Christ is put forth as the ultimate example of someone who cooperated with the divine will of his Father by exhibiting humility to the utmost.”19
By following Jesus’ example of true humility, believers will be enabled to live their redeemed life “with awe and reverence” (Phil. 2:12). And as they do so, even the thought of Jesus their redeemer and hope becomes very precious.
Jesus the very thought of Thee,
With sweetness fills my breast;
But greater far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.20
The believer’s life becomes one where his thoughts and desires are to follow the Lord in full dependence on his leading. Such will become evident in the believer’s everyday life and conduct. Full submission to the Lord will involve a life of prayer in order to know and follow God’s will. As Paul admonishes the Philippians,
Be not anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7)
The believer will also understand more clearly the will of God as revealed in the Word of God and motivate him to share that Word with others. As Paul tells the Colossians:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col. 3:16-17)
Thus Paul could serve as an example to the Philippian believers saying,
What ever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things; and what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you. (Phil. 4:8-9)
James also points to the fruit of exercising godly wisdom declaring,
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical. And the fruit that consists of righteousness is planted in peace among those who make peace. (James 3:17-18)
Such peace involves a total well-being of person, a full, healthy personal relationship with others, and above all, a complete and perfect identity in heart and mind with the Lord.
May we as believers always seek the mind of the Lord so as to do that which is proper and well-pleasing to him. As Kate Wilkinson expressed it,
May the mind of Christ my Savior
Live in me from day to day.
By His love and pow’r controlling
All I do and say.
May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His pow’r.21
Ah, then, you who claim, “I am all that really matters.” Think again! Rather than living for self, by having the mind of the Lord and living for him, a person’s life will be of far greater value both now and eternally.
May we truly be able to say,
All that I am and have—Thy gifts so free—
In joy, in grief, thru life, dear Lord for Thee!
And when Thy face I see, my ransomed soul shall be,
Thru all eternity, something for Thee.22
1 Benedict [Baruch] Spinoza, Ethics, III, proposition 2, note as cited in John Bartlett, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, ed. Justin Kaplan, 16th ed. (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1992), 278.
2 William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene iii, line 97, as cited in Bartlett, 197.
3 Sir Thomas Vaux, as cited in Masterpieces of Religious Verse, ed. James Dalton Morrison (New York: Harper, 1948), 440.
4 Norman Vincent Peale, as cited in Lloyd Cory, Quotable Quotations (Wheaton: Scripture Press, 1989), 399. Cory (ibid.) also quotes C. Neil Strait as saying, “Negative thoughts poison the mind. What a mind poisoned with negative thoughts contributes, then, to life is not progress, but problems.”
5 Unless otherwise noted, all scriptural citations are taken from the NET Bible.
6 “Pride,” in Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, eds. Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit, and Tremper Longman III (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1998), 662.
7 Willem A. VanGemeren, “Psalms,” The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, eds. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland 13 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, rev. ed., 2008) 5: 156.
8 Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 3 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972) 3:383.
9 Gary V. Smith, Isaiah 40-66, New American Commentary, ed. E. Ray Clendenen (Nashville; Broadman and Holman, 2009), 510.
10 H. C. Leupold, Exposition of the Psalms (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1969), 944.
11 J. Edwin Orr, Cleanse Me (verses1,3).
12 Mark D. Futato, “Psalms,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort, 18 vols. (Carol Stream: Tyndale House, 2009)16:140.
13 Sid S. Buzzell, “Proverbs,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, eds. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck (Wheaton: Victor Books, Scripture Press, 1985), 911. See also, Bruce K. Waltke, The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 1-15, The New International Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004) 243-47.
14 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet,” in The Complete Sherlock Holmes (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1992), 315. See also this maxim in “The Sign of the Four,” ibid., 111.
15 F. F. Bruce, “Colossians,” in The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1984), 134.
16 Merrill C. Tenney, John: The Gospel of Belief (Grand rapids: Eerdmans, 1976), 238.
17 C. E B. Cranfield, The Epistle to the Romans, The International Critical Commentary, 2.vols. (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1979) 2: 608.
18 Phil W. Comfort, “Philippians,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, 18 vols. (Carol Stream: Tyndale House, 2008) 16:168.
19 Comfort, ibid., 173.
20 Bernard of Clairvaux, trans. Edward Caswell, “Jesus the Very Thought of Thee.”
21 Kate B. Wilkinson, “May the Mind of Christ My Savior.”
22 Sylvanus D. Phelps, “Something for Thee.”