Philippians 4:8 - Fix Your Thoughts!

Philippians 4:8 - Fix Your Thoughts!

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, 
whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is 
lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or 
praiseworthy--think about such things. 

   Think about such things Phil. 4:8: The word translated 
"think" here means to "continually focus your mind." But more is implied 
than considering. We are to concentrate on expressing these qualities 
in our lives, so that as we dwell on them, they in turn dwell in 
*      the true--meaning the truthful in thought as well as every 
aspect of life. 
*      the noble--meaning that which wins respect; the honest, 
honorable, worthy. 
*      the right--meaning that which fulfills all our obligation 
to God and to other men. 
*      the pure--meaning that which fits us for fellowship with 
and service to God, including but more than freedom from bodily 
*      the lovely--meaning that which is attractive and winsome.
*      the admirable--meaning that which is kind and likely to 
win others. 
   These were considered excellent and praiseworthy qualities in 
Greek culture as well as among Christians. The Christian is not to be 
the "odd" man in society, but the ideal man. [The 365-Day Devotional 


Meditate on These Things
   What you think about in your unguarded moments reflects what 
your mind dwells upon. What you speak about when your guard is down 
is a good gauge of what is in your heart (Mt 12:34). Your mind 
needs exercise just as your physical body does. To keep your body 
healthy, you must be careful what you put into it, and you must exercise 
regularly. To keep your thoughts pure, you must guard what goes into your 
mind. To exercise your mind, you must contemplate things that are 
noble and truths that stretch your mind. 
   Some Christians allow the world to fill their minds with 
ungodly thinking. Some people seem drawn to concentrate on the negative, 
choosing to be pessimistic about everything. Some remain satisfied with 
thinking of the mundane. Others fail to intentionally place Scripture in 
their thoughts, choosing instead to adopt human reasoning. Others, 
however, choose to expose their minds to the truths of God--to that which 
is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and good. 
   The things you allow your mind to dwell on will be revealed 
by the way you live. If you focus on negative things, you will 
inevitably be a negative person. If you allow unholy thoughts to fill your 
mind, ungodliness will become common in your life. If you fill your 
mind with thoughts of Christ, you will become Christlike. 
   What you fill your mind with is a matter of choice. Choose to 
concentrate on the magnificent truths of God, and they will create in you a 
noble character that brings glory to God. [Experiencing God Day by Day 
by Henry and Richard Blackaby re Phil. 4:8] 

Store Up The Sweet
   Change the thoughts, and you change the person. If today's 
thoughts are tomorrow's actions, what happens when we fill our minds with 
thoughts of God's love? Will standing beneath the downpour of his grace 
change the way we feel about others?  
   Paul says absolutely! It's not enough to keep the bad stuff 
out. We've got to let the good stuff in. It's not enough to keep no 
list of wrongs. We have to cultivate a list of blessings: "Think 
about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the 
things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and 
respected." Thinking conveys the idea of pondering - studying and focusing, 
allowing what is viewed to have an impact on us.  
   Rather than store up the sour, store up the sweet. [Grace For 
The Moment SB By Max Lucado re Phil. 4:8] 

Nothing Sweeter
   Brother Lawrence says, "If I were a preacher, I should preach 
nothing else but the practice of the presence of God. There is not in 
the world a way of life more sweet, nor more delightful than 
continual converse with God." 
   How did Brother Lawrence do this?
   "Make a holy and firm resolution," he writes. "For the love 
of him, live the rest of your days in his holy presence. Never lose 
the vision of it. Put your hand to the task." 
   In the pressures of today's urgent demands, which jam every 
hour, we may find the good brother's preachment guilt inducing. How 
can we possibly keep focused on God when a baby is wailing or we're 
late for a crucial meeting? 
   We can take large comfort that keeping focused on God is 
called the practice of the presence of God. Who knows what surprising 
grace we might experience as we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit? We 
can call on him who is called the Helper to help us stay alert to 
his guidance in this demanding adventure called life. 
   Brother Lawrence says he would keep himself apart with God 
"at the depth and center of my soul as much as I am able." 
   C. S. Lewis once observed that we seem to be on an inclined 
plane away from God and keep rolling away from him, despite our 
prayers and best intentions. Instead of letting this constantly 
frustrate us, we might take comfort in knowing that this is reality and 
that we can call on the Spirit to help us "in our infirmities." 
   Brother Lawrence urges us to "call the soul gently and 
quietly back to God as soon as we find it drawn away from him." 
   Lord, I realize I do keep rolling down that inclined plane 
away from you. With all that I'm now facing, help me to bring 
everything to you. Let me see through your eyes and follow your guidance. 
   Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, 
and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are 
excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8, NLT [The One Year Book of 
Encouragement by Harold Myra] 


Fix Your Thoughts
   I have a hereditary illness called dysthymia, which is a 
chronic kind of depression. People who have this disorder struggle 
nearly every day with low self-esteem, despair, hopelessness, and 
fatigue. I didn't choose it; in fact, as a young girl, it separated me 
from others.  
   I didn't know until I was an adult that waking up every 
morning with self-loathing and dread was symptomatic of a disease. I 
thought the way I felt was my fault, that somehow I just didn't "get" 
what everybody else understood about how to feel good. Medication 
counter acts the chemical imbalances, but the disorder is always there 
under the surface, offering information to my brain: Everyone is mad 
at you. No one likes you, not even God. You're ugly. Your kids 
don't have a chance to make it with a mother like you. Your life is a 
mess and a waste. You have no reason to live.  
   Philippians 4:8 tells me that it is not God's intent for me 
to focus on the messages of my disorder, for they are not true, 
they are not lovely, and they are not of him.  
   I have to read God's promises on a regular basis. I need to 
be reminded that God does indeed love me, no matter what my 
disorder tells me. I need Bible studies and devotionals. I need to study 
com mentaries that remind me of the truths of Christ: that he will 
glorify himself - even in the midst of my disorder and the way it 
sometimes manifests itself in my emotions and even in my behaviors. He 
will be glorified.  
   Janera Cagle is a teacher, writer, Christian speaker, Texas 
wife, and mother of four, ranging from ages ten to twenty-four. [The 
One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional] 

Garbage In, Garbage Out
   In a celebrated Florida murder trial, an adolescent claimed 
television addiction as his defense for the crime. "The tube made him do 
it," his attorney argued.  
   Despite this argument, media programming never "makes" anyone 
do anything. What we put in our minds, however, does influence our 
actions. With this in mind, the apostle Paul advises believers in this 
last chapter of Philippians to meditate on truth and other pure 
thoughts. This includes our TV shows, movies, videos, and music. What are 
you doing to keep the garbage out?  
   It seems nearly impossible today to think good and pure 
thoughts when we are constantly bombarded with immoral images, stories, 
and suggestions. Little entertainment today is free from profanity, 
"adult sexual themes," or violence. In addition, many books, magazines, 
and newspapers focus on those "big three," in one way or another.  
   Many people defend violent, obscene, and sexually explicit 
media on the grounds that they do no harm. They say that watching 
violent television doesn't make people violent. But they miss the point. 
The evil lies in thinking untrue, bad, wrong, impure, ugly, coarse, 
and contemptible thoughts. Whether or not we become monsters, we all 
think monstrous thoughts. Even if all the negative thoughts never 
corrupt our behavior directly, our minds can still become filled with 
violent, evil images, and that is an evil in itself.  
   The situation is not hopeless, however. If you commit 
yourself to God and follow Paul's advice here, you can find media 
entertainment that is clean and even glorifying to God. [The One Year Through 
the Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman re vv. 4-9]