Think On These Things
The First in a Series on 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.”
Philippians 4:8 (KJV)
Often I return home to find my daughter watching a nature programme and it never ceases to amaze me that with all of technology and reality shows around, she gets real enjoyment out of something that is true: God’s creation. It’s awesome the intricate details that went into the design of these creatures and the somewhat human traits they display, this connection to me declares a common Architect. Psalm 19:1 says “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.”
The header scripture above exhorts us to think, ponder, and meditate on what is true. And yet we find it so hard to speak in truth. Even the simple question of “How are you?” is often answered with a lie; we are programmed to respond with “I’m fine” whether or not we are. This may seem a harmless example but is it not the beginning of the journey down a slippery slope?
Matthew 12:34 tells us that out of the heart the mouth speaks, so it follows that if we fill our hearts with what is true, we will ultimately speak of true things (see Luke 6:45).
Proverbs tells us “He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness” (12:17) and in verse 19 “the lip of truth shall be established for ever:” It also says that truth is something to hold on to like wisdom, instruction and understanding (23:23).
Where will we find what is true so that we can fill our hearts with it? Psalm 119:160 tell us that all God’s words are true and again in John 17:17 it is repeated that God’s word is truth. Psalm 119:160 says that God’s word is true from the beginning of time.
True, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue and praise are all interrelated. The first seven point us to the eighth—everything should point us to praising God. Jeremiah 9:24 says “let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”
We need to reach a place in life where we can say our “mouth speaks what is true, for our lips detest wickedness” (Proverbs 8:7). Maybe watching nature programmes, as opposed to reality shows, is a step in the right direction.
Father, thank You for reminding us of the necessity to pause and meditate. We need to take stock and strip our lives back to what is true. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Jackee Brown
Worldwide Church of God London
Indian YMCA Student Hostel
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