Think On These Things~
If There Be Any Praise
The Eighth 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)
True, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue and praise are all interrelated. The first seven point us to the eighth—praising God. Jeremiah 9:24 (NKJV) says, “let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth:”
Praise belongs to God and, as we have seen in previous studies, meditating on the above cannot but lead to praising God. God designed us and all of creation to praise Him. Even the way we farm had the praise of God as an integral part. Leviticus 19:24 (NKJV) says, “but in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, a praise to the Lord.”
Whole Psalms are dedicated to praising God and also instructing us how to praise God. Psalm 150 (MSG) tells us where to praise God—in His holy house of worship, under the open skies; what to praise God for—for His acts of power, for His magnificent greatness; and even how to praise God—with a blast on the trumpet, by strumming soft strings, with castanets and dance, banjo and flute; cymbals and a big bass drum, fiddles and mandolin; and finally verse 6 tells us just who should praise God—let every living, breathing creature praise God!
Praise is not something that naturally comes off the tongue. As a nation we Brits used to be known as being pretty stoic, but of late we have begun following America and are fast becoming a litigious nation with both extremes miles away from being full of praise. We criticise and cut down many people who try to succeed. There’s a comedy show called Russell Howard’s Good News (topical comedy show hosted by Russell Howard, who offers his unique perspective on the big stories dominating the news outlets, from online and print to broadcasts) in which he ends each show with a short video highlighting good someone is doing. First time watching I was ready for the quips to follow (which says more about me!) but he is genuinely just highlighting a good deed.
Let us all take time to ponder on things which are praiseworthy.
F ather, thank You for reminding us of the necessity to pause and meditate and for helping us to understand the value of praise. Help us to praise you directly for all You do, and indirectly when You use others to point us to You. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Jackee Brown
Worldwide Church of God London
Indian YMCA Student Hostel
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41 Fitzroy Square
LONDON W1T 6AQ
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