Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What Fits the Bill?

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.

In reading over this verse this morning,
I realised that there is only ONE thing that truly meets the high
standards of this verse. Only ONE thing that is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy. And that ONE thing, is the Word of God and God Himself.
(or is that 2 things?)

I have been trying to memorize this verse for a long time, but I always get my
just, pure and lovelies out of order. This verse has been a help to me when I find
myself with unwanted thoughts in my head. When I'm tempted to say that sarcastic
remark to that person who's 'got it coming', or I'm wanting to share that bit of gossip,
or speak that unkind word or serve my own biased justice onto someone.

This verse tells us what to think on instead. It gives us an alternative.
And what an alternative it gives us!

Our minds are very powerful things.
God has blessed us with a free will and a mind that
can think and make decisions. But, oh,
how easy it is to slip into
the negative and the sinful and the prideful.

Here, Paul exhorts the brethren
to think on Godly things.
When you're struggling with your thought life, what
better thing to turn your mind to,
than the Word of God!

What is more true, more pure, more lovely, more just,
more honest, more full of good reports,
more virtuous, more praiseworthy,
than the Word of God.

If we fill our minds and our hearts with God's Word,
His Word will drive away those ungodly thoughts
and fill us with His thoughts and His truths instead.

But how can we expect to have those Godly thoughts in our heads
when we neglect to be in the Word daily.
If we neglect the study of
God's Word and don't hide it in our
hearts by continual
reading and studying and memorizing,
how is it going to be there to call
upon in time of need?

It won't happen by osmosis!

It won't happen by attending
one church service a week,
with our Bible under our arm that
conveniently falls open to
where the Pastor is preaching his
current series of messages from,
because it hasn't been opened to any other passage for such a long time.

No! We have to be IN the Word
to gain benefit from it.
To be able to 'think on these things'
as our verse states,
we have to have put some of these Godly thoughts
into the memory banks of our hearts
and minds, beforehand.

Yes, there are lovely things and
true things to dwell on
other than the Word of God. And often we will
look at creation
and the amazing scenery around us and
use these things as
'good' things to think on. And yes, God
put them there for
our enjoyment. But, even viewing a
majestic scene from
a lofty mountaintop should bring us
to our knees in praise and worship
of the God of creation. These 'things'
should drive us to
reflection upon God and His goodness.
His glory. His righteousness.
His loveliness. His virtue.

So, while I am in need of this verse
and encouraged to think on things of a higher nature,
God's Word should be the goal of my thoughts.
Not just the lovely things around me that distract
me from my wicked thoughts.
But God's Holy Word that leads me to
repentance and reveals the darkness
that lies within me.

His Word and ONLY His Word can really fit the bill
of this verse. It is the only reliable source of all
these Godly 'things' to think upon.

Read it.

Meditate upon it.

Memorize it.

Study it.

Live it.

Psalms 119:11

Thy word have I hid in mine heart,
that I might not sin against thee.