Think About Such Things

(Phil 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.

 

In todayís world this is perhaps more difficult than ever. The media thrives on all the opposites of this verse. And, the news media covers negative events in great disproportion to positive events. Academia is a hotbed of moral relativism hell-bent on teaching perversion as an alternate lifestyle equally valid to, perhaps superior to, traditional American values. What are traditional American values? You will find them in the Bible. Try the Ten Commandments for instance! Try the Boy Scouts. Try telling the truth. Try the rugged individualism that built this country. Neighbors knew their neighbors and interacted with them as friends. You get the idea. People that didnít abide by the common standards were scorned, shunned. This type of peer pressure was usually sufficient to keep people from traveling very far off the path of social norms.

 

Yes people had dreams then, dreams of a better life for themselves and their families: Dreams of a more secure and happy life. They were willing to work for those dreams and they were willing to help one another achieve. They believed in freedom of speech but not freedom to be profane! They believed in freedom of religion but not freedom from religion. They believed in working for a living not living off someone elseís work. They believed in laws that protected the community not laws that protected the criminal and shysters.They believed in one nation under God! They believed in the Bible and they believed in the Word of God, Jesus! Philippians 4:8 was not something to be mocked but rather something to be embraced. Perhaps there was a certain Pollyanna element to America then but there was enough realism to recognize our enemies and defeat them when forced into war.

 

Today that dream has become a nightmare! Sure America is still a strong nation: Still a benevolent nation, still free in my ways. Still Ė America has made a turn away from God and His blessings and toward the idol of self-indulgence and the eventual destruction that follows. We live in perilous times for both body and soul.

 

So what am I getting at?

  1. Thoughts lead to actions.
  2. Words have consequences.
  3. Actions speak louder than words.
  4. As it is said: You are what you eat! This is true physically and it is even more true spiritually.

 

OK, letís look at the sermon verse again, piece by pieces this time.

A.    Finally, brothers, whatever is true,

*†† Valid, authentic, faithful, real, sincere, essential.

B.     whatever is noble,

*†† moral, courageous, splendid character.

C.     whatever is right,

*†† Just, righteous, truthful, genuine.

D.    whatever is pure,

*†† unmixed not adulterated, without blemish, free of foreign elements.

E.     whatever is lovely,

*†† Full of love, inspiring, beautiful, delightful.

F.      whatever is admirableó

*†† Deserving of admiration, worthy of esteem, and approval.

G.    if anything is excellent

*†† Finest quality, exceptionally good, superior.

H.    or praiseworthy

*†† Highly commendable, deserving, laudable, meritorious.

I.        think about such things.

*†† Consider, meditate, reason, judge, reflect, ponder.

 

Again, what am I getting at?

Simply this, the Word of God is enlightenment. Not the enlightenment of the world but true enlightenment. And true enlightenment brings wisdom. Wisdom has power and power can change things. It can change you, it can change your family, it can change this country, and it will, in Godís good time, change the world! Wisdom knows God. Wisdom embraces God. Wisdom marvels at God and His love. God is Good! When we contemplate as instructed by Philippians 4:8 we will be drawn to God and an appreciation for just how magnificent He is. You see God is all of the things we are asked to think about.

  1. True,
  2. Noble,
  3. Right,
  4. Pure,
  5. Lovely,
  6. Admirableó
  7. Excellent
  8. Praiseworthy

 

When I started I noted how America has changed for the worse in the last 50 years, spiritually that is. Well here is what you can do about that.

(Phil 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.

Whenever you do this you will be make your world better and make the world better for others. Thatís because you will better know what is right, what is wrong, and what to do about it. You will find you are stronger, more confident and able to standup for what you believe in. You will be better able to communicate to others their need to know God because they will see God in you.

 

I started with scripture and now I will close with scripture.

(Prov 4:5-7 NIV)Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. {6} Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. {7} Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.