Whatever Is Lovely: Think about Such Things: Encouragement from Philippians 4:8

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So, we are to think—with our minds—about what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy. And the best guard for such thinking is the peace of God Himself.

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Fix your mind on God—even now. As you live your life and interact with others and love your neighbor as yourself and proclaim Christ to a perishing world, look for God in all of these things. For in Him is the brightest picture of all that is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Will God guard our hearts and minds with his peace regardless of what we do, irrespective of what we allow to enter into our heads? Absolutely not. My sense is that in v. And it is only as we take steps to fill our minds with what is honorable and just and pure and lovely and commendable.

Second, please observe that there are two imperatives, two commands, not just one. People often read vv. They fail to observe that Paul also commands us in v. This is not a call for merely intellectual reflection, but for sober consideration of what is good so we can live it out daily.


So we see that this is not the counsel of someone seeking to withdraw into a cocoon of isolation or of someone trying to escape the hardships and heartaches of life. This is rock-solid counsel for those who need the strength and presence of God to help them triumph over all such challenges.

What is the moral and aesthetic tone of our existence? Make no mistake: There is no enduring change in life, there is no meaningful Christ-exalting, sin-killing sanctification apart from a transformation in how you think. Your mind matters. In fact, it matters eternally. So Paul tells us all to think about true things, not lies; ponder and reflect on what is noble and dignified, not what is base and vulgar; meditate on what is just and righteous not what is wrong and distorted; focus on what is pure, not sleazy; fix your thoughts on what is admirable and praiseworthy, not offensive and ugly.

Another thing to remember is that these virtues are not distinctively Christian. They can be found in the world around us. Countless non-believers have made remarkable personal sacrifices of time and energy in order to assist those in need. Thus, wherever these virtues in v. Look for whatever reflects and gives expression to these virtues and bring them into conformity with Christ and the gospel.

You can learn a great deal about these virtues from reading books by non-Christians. We can learn from film and theater and political life and works of art. Rather, take advantage of their knowledge and insights. Truth is whatever conforms to objective reality. Sadly, increasing numbers of people are drawn to the outlandish notion that there is no objective and universal truth.

Truth for them is entirely subjective, which is to say, whatever feels true or seems true to each individual subject, is true. Christianity should never lead us to embrace mediocrity or slovenliness or vulgarity or crudeness, whether in our speech, our appearance, our activities, our productivity, etc. He has in view things that lift the mind rather than dragging it through the gutter. Again, we live in a day when any such notion that there is an ultimate righteousness, an eternal and unchanging justice is simply ignored, or perhaps even mocked.

Paul probably has in mind purity of thought and deed and words, as well as sexual purity. These are the sorts of things that are endearing.

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It focuses on what is recognized by the world at large as admirable, whether a symphony by Beethoven or a charitable deed by Mother Teresa or sacrificial efforts in Moore. Good enough is the mantra. But God calls us to excel, to do all within our power and by his grace to pursue and produce the very best. Professionalism and performance are man-centered and are concerned with drawing attention to us.

The pursuit of excellence should direct attention to God. And what is our responsibility? Direct your attention and energy and action toward such things. Give these values and virtues weight in your decision-making. Take these things into account in the evaluation of how you will live and spend money and raise your kids and watch on TV.

An undisciplined mind is the enemy of Christian growth and maturity. In other words, how do we know if something is consistent with these 8 virtues? In this He will be glorified. This results in harmony with one another. In Philippians Paul provides us with some practical guidelines for being of the same mind toward one another. In his exhortation he says, "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. Adrian Rogers - Paul tells you how to guard your thought life.

I said that's kind of like going to the airport; and, you have to pass through that security gate, and that security gate has a sensor on it. And there are certain things that are contraband. There are certain things that you are not to let through. The Spirit enables us to turn away! Believe me, my friends, the mind today is in profound trouble, perhaps more than ever before.

How to order the mind on sound Christian principles, at the heart of where it is formed and informed, is one of the … greatest themes that can be considered. If it cannot pass the test of ringing true and being of honest worth, righteous, incorruptible, and attractive, it is to be rejected and repudiated. If you introduce one drop of contaminated water into a pitcher of cool water, the cool, refreshing, pure water will not purify that defilement, but the defilement will corrupt the pure; so these thoughts will contaminate your mind.

Satan wants to turn your mind into a cesspool and have your mind occupied with that which ultimately must corrupt, defile, and spoil the whole body, distort the life, and produce sin. The battle is not first in the field of action; it is in the field of thought. Transport yourself to the pasture, consider the cow chewing her cud, and learn that lesson from nature that the psalmist learned. Your delight must be in the Word of God, and in His Word you must chew your cud day and night. Wayne Barber has some additional thoughts on logizomai in his Word Study of the Month.

The apostle Paul in Philippians tells the Philippian believers that when they see godly living this should cause them to reason out how and why this kind of living exists. He wants them to see the source from which this kind of living comes. Now, the whole verse hinges on the phrase dwell on these things. It literally means to ponder these things. The word is logizomai. It is in the present imperative.

Always be pondering these things. It means to reason something out. To look at something and see what it is all about and how it came to be. When I get on a to take off from an airport, I am amazed at how that plane can fly. I catch myself sitting there thinking that we are never going to get off the ground.

The Things to Think About: A Meditation on Philippians

It is like a hotel taking off. But, somehow it does and it causes me to ponder as to what in the world makes this thing work. You see, Godly living is just not the result of a good intention by a sincere believer. When you see someone living the way God says to live, this should make us sit up and take notice. This lifestyle is the fruit of someone's life when that person is drinking from the right well. Jesus Christ is the only well from Whom we must drink. When He is our life Php note , our attitude of Php note , and our goal Php note , then He is the very source of all that we are and all that we do, the well from which we drink.

So much of what is called "Christianity" is coming from the wrong well. The well of sincerity, the well of good intentions, the well of tremendous effort, but still the well of ignorance. Finally brethren, whatever is true. Now the word true is alethes derived from a which means "without" and lethous means that which is hidden.

That which is true contains nothing that is hidden that will cause it to self destruct. You see, any well that proclaims truth, that is not the well of Christ, contains something hidden within it that will cause it to self destruct. In fact, anything that man comes up with and calls truth has something that is destructive in it. So many people think that Paul is saying,. When my daughter Stephanie was 5yo, she was having a very bad day. My wife told her about Philippians She went into her room and when she came out about an hour later she said,. Well, while that was cute to us as parents, that was far from what Paul was saying.

Paul is saying that all that is praiseworthy comes from the well that has nothing hidden in it that will cause it to destruct. That well is Christ and His Word. In John says that God is true referring to God the Father. In John Jesus says I am the Truth. It doesn't take much intelligence to realize where the source of Truth in these verses. Until a person is seeking God in His Word… until a person is realizing that Christ is his life… until a person is living out of God's Word, seeking to allow Christ's life to live through him… it is not until then that his life will take on the characteristics of that which is worthy to be pondered by others.

Paul adds the phrase if there is anything worthy of praise to wrap up anything left out that speaks of a person's lifestyle and then he ends by saying ponder these things. Oh, how we need to come back to the right well. To drink from that which has within itself nothing that would cause it to destruct. To live lives fired by the power of God and fueled by His Word. To live in such a way that others have to stop and ponder our lifestyle. And when they look deep, they do not see us, but they see Christ in us. When you believe the truth, then the Holy Spirit can work in your life.

When you believe a lie, then the devil can work in your life. The Reliance Test First of all, is what I want to call the reliance test. We will let all these start with the letter "R," so you can remember them. The reliance test—the reliance test: Is it true? Can you bank on it? Can you rely on it? Do you know that we live in a generation today that doesn't ask, "Is it true? Don't absorb it into your heart, into your philosophy. Don't dwell on it; don't let it be a part of your thought patterns, if it is not true. And of course, the Bible is the prime source of truth.

The Respect Test Now, secondly, not only the reliance test, but the respect test. The second question is, "Is it honest? Now the word honest, here, literally means, "honorable"—things that are "honorable. Are there things that are not worthy of your respect? Things that are not worthy to really occupy your time? Some things are not bad because they are vile; they're bad because they're inane—just silly, stupid, and not worth it. The Rightness Test All right, here's the third thing.

Not only the reliance test, and not only the respect test, but the rightness test. Look again here—he says, "Whatsoever things are just" Philippians And, the word just, here, means, "straight," as opposed to "crooked. Do you think straight? Do you think on a straight line? In my Bible study, in my preaching, and in my devotional life, I try to think in a straight line. I think many of us let things that are crooked come in. I mean, we don't lay down a measuring rod by what we do. We just kind of go this way and that way a little bit. Now, Paul says that there are certain things that are not going to get through the gate.

Anything that is unreliable, disrespectful, or not right should not come through the gate. The rightness test: Is it right? Now the word pure, here, means, "free of contamination. That is, could it be offered to God? So, the next test is what I call the reverence test: "Whatsoever things are pure.

Could I take this story, could I take this movie, could I take this friendship, and could I say, "Lord, I worship you with it? You are supposed to worship God with everything. The Bible says, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" 1 Corinthians Is this relationship a relationship I could say, "Lord, I offer to you? And, we had a chance to go up into the Smokies, and see those gorgeous leaves. And, I found myself—Joyce and I were there together—I found my life just overwhelmed with praise to God, and joy was coming up in my life.

And, I said, "Lord, this is such a beautiful experience; it's just a time of worship. And, I just offer this to You. I just offer it to You, just this good time. Just this joy, just this beauty—I offer it, Lord, to You. It is pure. It is worthy. The Relationship Test And then, next of all, the relationship test. He says, "Whatsoever things are lovely" Philippians Now, the word lovely, here, doesn't mean, "beautiful. If there's something that comes into your mind that causes you to criticize unjustly, or brings division between human beings, then it is wrong.

This word lovely is a combination of two words, which actually means, "toward love"—"toward love. You say, does that mean I have to approve what other people do? Absolutely not! I watched television this afternoon. I got so perturbed with it, I can hardly remember his name. I must have a mental block Sam Donaldson. Boy, but I love him. That's one of the great proofs I'm saved. I mean, does it move you to love?

The relationship test. The Refinement Test And then, finally, the refinement test. Look, if you will, here, as he goes on to say, "Whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report" Philippians Actually, this word means things that are "high-toned"—"high-toned. It is refined. You know, I have people in every church I've ever pastored who are gossips. You know, I think gossip is a form of insanity. I'll tell you why I think it is a form of insanity.

I've never met a gossip who knew they were a gossip. And, this is what they say: "You know me; I don't gossip. Well, if a person's doing something, and they don't know they're doing it, I think they must have rooms to rent upstairs unfurnished. I mean, it's a form of insanity. They love to listen to things that are not of good report. People use their ears for garbage cans. They say, "You know, I don't know why people always come and tell me these things. They know you want to hear them. You know, they know that you will allow them to track mud on the carpet of your mind.

They know that—if you're one who has all the latest news about everything. You know those kinds of folks? I mean, buddy, if it's bad, they've got it. I mean, it just comes to them. They say, "You know, well, I don't start all of these rumors; just the ones I tell them to, they're the ones who start them. Now, Paul is running out of time.

He's already said, "Finally," like some preachers, but he doesn't mean immediately. Then, he just kind of wraps it up, and says, "If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" Philippians Folks, it is so simple, and it is so wonderful. You can absolutely take back that conquered ground, and you can say, "I'm only going to let these thoughts in my mind.

But now listen—you must be thinking something. You cannot control your thought life by keeping your mind in neutral. You will think something, and if you're not thinking something right, you're going to think something wrong. If you're not thinking something good, you're going to think something bad. And, the way not to think bad thoughts is not by trying not to think bad thoughts. Try not to think of a submarine, right now.

Are you sure you're not thinking about a submarine, right now? All right. The only way not to think about a submarine is not by trying not to think about a submarine, but by thinking about something else. People who are trying not to think about a submarine are thinking about the submarines they're trying not to think about. Isn't that right? You see, the Bible says, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" Romans Just let these thoughts come into your mind. And, just keep your heart and mind stayed upon Him.

Learn to think God's thoughts after Him. And, use Paul's standard here in Philippians 4 as the grid through which everything must come, before it finds lodging in your mind. Ray Pritchard - Almost a generation ago, when the computer revolution had just begun, the pioneers in the field coined a brand-new word. In those days not many people knew how to operate a computer and those who did made many mistakes. What you put into a computer determines what comes out. If you put the right data in, the right answers come out.

The reverse is also true. In order to express that truth, a new word was coined. It describes in four letters both the cause and consequences of putting the wrong data into the computer. The word is GIGO. It stands for Garbage In, Garbage Out. Those four letters summarize a huge truth about computers: What you put in determines what you get out. If your input is garbage, guess what your output will be? What is true of computers is also true of the human mind. That comparison is apt because the human mind has often been compared to a computer.

In fact, the human mind is far more complex than the most advanced computer ever designed. What you put into your mind determines what you get out. That works out to be 3. Every one of those 10, thoughts represents a choice you make, a decision to think about this, and not about that.

How sad that we devote so much time to how we spend our money and so little time to how we spend our thoughts. How sad that one seems so important and the other so trivial. But are your thoughts really so unimportant? Friend, there's nothing wrong with positive thinking; the Bible absolutely, totally, teaches that we're to think positively. You see, it is your mind that controls your actions; and you need to get control of your thought life, and you need to practice positive thinking. You see, the Bible says, in Isaiah "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee" Isaiah You need to get a lock on the Lord and just keep your mind on the Lord.

Fifteen prominent college professors took this challenge. Here's the challenge that these professors, who worked in human psychology and motivation, took—here's the challenge: If all the books on the art of moving human beings into action were condensed into one brief statement, what would that statement be? That is, if you were to take all of these motivational books—all of these things that are going to show people how to motivate other people, or to be motivated themselves—what would that statement be?

Now, they deliberated, they pooled their resources and their minds; they wrote, and they rewrote a statement. And, this is what these 15 prominent professors came up with. Are you ready for it? I'm going to talk to you, now, about the power of the mind—the power of positive thinking. What they said is this: "What the mind attends to, it considers. Well, it just means that, if you hear something—or, if you think about something—you've got to consider it.

I mean, when you give your attention to it, you're going to consider it, no matter what it is. There's no way to hold it, without keeping your mind on it. What it does not attend to, it dismisses. What the mind attends to continually, it believes. Listen—there are a lot of people who are going around spreading filth and discouragement and gloom and doom and gossip.

Don't let them make a wastebasket out of your ears. Refuse to hear it. And, that's the reason that it's so important that you have a quiet time with the Lord—because all of these things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtue, praise—all that—is just a string of pearls that tell the character of Jesus. I've just given you the biography of Jesus, right here. Fill your heart with Jesus. Every morning, load up on the Lord Jesus; bathe yourselves in the presence of Jesus; practice this positive thinking.

God has so engineered you that you cannot be thinking two thoughts at one time; and, if you're thinking what is right, you cannot be thinking what is wrong. Have you ever tried to get a clam open without a sharp knife? But, you know what this parasite does? It feeds on those marine animals. But, what it first does—it attacks the muscle that holds the clam together. Now, what the devil wants to do, by the wrong thinking, is to open your life. He paralyzes your thought life, and then he destroys you.

Common English Bible

You see, the Bible says, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" Proverbs And, don't you let the devil pry your mind open with things that are not true, things that are not honest, things are not just, things that are not pure, things that are not lovely, things that are not of good report—where there's no virtue, where there's no praise—refuse to listen to these things. I was sitting in the lounge of a Christian radio station, waiting my turn to go into the studio and guest a talk show. Another Christian program, on the air at that moment, was being intercommed into the lounge, so I couldn't help but listen.

It was gross. In the name of "exposing" the sins of our day, shocking activities were being described, filthy words were being repeated. I guess listener reaction was supposed to be to pray or send money. I thought about all the New Testament letters, written and circulated in an equally obscene world; the Roman culture was then in its last throes of degradation.

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But the Scriptures didn't describe the society's filth, they only warned against it; and then spent the space teaching the positive -- both in doctrinal truth and practical application for daily living. Never does Paul say Christians "need to be informed" of what they're fighting against so they can "pray intelligently. He says, "Stay ignorant! It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret Ephesians How do you become "blameless and pure. I can't imagine how beautiful You must be. My senses are dazzled.

Oh, how charming! In mystical meditation, according to one explanation, "the rational mind is shifted into neutral.. Its objective is to reflect on what God has said and done Ps ; , 97 and on what He is like Ps In Psalm , David wrote, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, 0 LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Fill your mind with Scripture and focus on the Lord's commands and promises and goodness.

And remember this: Whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, meditate on these things Phil Lord lead me to meditate on your Wore so that I may know you better, become more like your Son, and please you in all I do and say. The temple of God is holy, which temple you are. In journalism, the term gatekeeper refers to reporters, editors, and publishers who consider various news items and determine which stories are newsworthy. Some long-time news professionals warn that the Internet allows information to get through without being checked at the gate.

In Old Testament times, gatekeepers guarded the temple to prevent those who were unclean from entering 2 Chron. In ad 70, the temple was destroyed by the Roman armies of Emperor Titus. But the destruction began years earlier when the Levites assigned to guard it failed to do so after coming under the corrupt influence of the Syrian king Antiochus iv. Evil may gain a foothold through unfortified areas of our spiritual life—places where envy, strife, or divisions may undermine us 1 Cor Each of us must be on guard against the enemy of our souls and never give place to the devil Eph.

The criteria for what may enter is found in Philippians —whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. The resulting peace will guard the gate of our hearts and minds. Help me to guard my troubled soul By constant, active self-control. Clean up my thought, my speech, my play; Lord, keep me pure from day to day. A good exercise is to analyze the kind of thoughts you have been thinking. Some will be spiritual thoughts that make a positive contribution to life, others will be thoughts about things that are not necessarily good or bad, and there will be thoughts that are definitely bad--and you realize this without anyone's telling you so.

The quickest way to deteriorate or to degenerate is to allow your mind to be occupied with unworthy thoughts. We soon become what we think. Thinking good thoughts contributes to building character; thinking bad thoughts leads downward. Jesus explained that the mouth really reveals what is in the heart: "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart" Luke What the conscious mind thinks on gradually sinks into the subconscious mind and becomes the building blocks, or material, for one's character.

We can make a positive contribution to our subconscious mind by controlling the thoughts of our conscious mind. But when we think selfishly, covetously, jealously and lustfully, these characteristics will become evident in our character. Pastor Steven Cole concludes his message on this verse with an excellent discussion of application…. Proverbs see notes says, "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.

Frank Outlaw wrote, "Watch your thoughts , they become your words ; watch your words , they become actions ; watch your actions , they become habits; watch your habits , they become character ; watch your character , for it becomes your destiny. To obey what Paul is saying, we must exercise control over our thought life. This involves at least five things:. He lives in the lusts of his flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind Ep note. God must supernaturally raise us from our state of being dead in our trespasses and sins see note Ephesians and impart to us a new nature that is able to obey Him Eph , 23, see notes Ep ; 23 ; Paul says that "the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. As he goes on to explain, the Holy Spirit gives us the power to put to death the deeds of the flesh and to live in obedience to God. We cannot have a pure thought life without first ridding ourselves of things which defile us. The first step is to get out of the mud and get to a source of soap and water.

If we allow things into our lives which promote sensuality, greed, sexual impurity, crude language, violence, hatred, love of self, or anything else not pleasing to God, we cannot grow in holiness. Here it is: It is impossible for any Christian who spends the bulk of his evenings, month after month, week upon week, day in and day out watching the major TV networks or contemporary videos to have a Christian mind.

This is always true of all Christians in every situation! It needs to be said: You will not be a godly person if you do not control the TV, videos, movies, music, magazines, books, and even the radio programs you take in. If something is polluting you or tempting you, get rid of it and make plans to avoid it! Read it daily. You have no excuses for not saturating your mind with Scripture. As Kent Hughes also says,. I cannot encourage you enough to memorize verses that relate to problems you struggle with. You do not need to read the newspaper every day, but you desperately need to read your Bible every day!

Expose your mind to the teaching and examples of the great Christians down through history. See related resource Christian Biography. Listen to and read sermons from godly men. Ryle, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and other giants of the faith are available in print. Ed : Listen to John Piper's excellent biographies of these men at Biographies Read the biographies of these and other godly men and women. With a few exceptions, avoid most of the modern Christian best sellers, and spend your time reading the works that have stood the test of time.

These men walked with God, and they will feed your soul. I enjoy many of the praise choruses, especially those that are taken directly from Scripture. Get recordings of the great hymns and play them until you know them by heart. They will fill your mind with wholesome truth. She spent her time rummaging through trash cans.

She would bum cigarettes off her neighbors. Police took her to a psychiatric hospital after she was stopped for questioning and found to be in a confused state of mind. When they went into her filthy apartment, they were astounded to find stock certificates and bank books indicating she was worth at least a million dollars. She was the daughter of a wealthy Illinois lawyer. But instead, they surround themselves with moral filth, wallowing daily in raunchy TV programs, polluting their minds with the sordid stories of this condemned world, rather than focusing their thought life on the things of God and Christ.

Think through me, thoughts of God, And let my thoughts be Lost like the sand-pools on the shore Of the eternal sea. A raging battlefield is a frightening place to be when your head is exposed. Just ask any veteran who saw combat in any war of any period in history. The head is the body part of a soldier that is the most guarded—and the most targeted. The way to do that is to saturate yourself in the salvation God has given and continues to give freely, not just for your soul and spirit, but for your body, your work, your relationships, your service, your finances—everything.

Let your mind be immersed in such truths and absorb them as deeply as you can. Then when you find yourself in the middle of a battle, you will know beyond the shadow of a doubt exactly where you stand. Are you serious? Where did you learn that? Let me explain. Joe had a goal in mind—the successful completion of the marathon. He knew that reaching the goal was going to require months of disciplined choices, like waking up early to run longer and longer distances. And it meant that he would need to carefully guard and consider everything that he took into his body.

Each meal—in fact, each snack—became an opportunity to choose to nourish and energize his body toward a successful marathon run. Spiritually speaking, we have a goal in mind. But the reality is that many of us are not very committed to the training process that gets us to the goal. Just as those training for a marathon need to guard and carefully consider all that they take in, those of us in training toward the goal of knowing Christ more fully need to guard and consider all that we take in.

How well does our TV viewing fit the criteria of true, noble, or right? What about the conversations we have at work? Do they fall in the categories of pure or lovely? Is there anything admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy about the movies we watch or the music we listen to? We could all stand to take a lesson from Joe—no junk food! His goal was to proclaim the Gospel to people who had not heard about Jesus. During the next 20 years he earned the nickname "Praying Hyde" because he often spent hours and even many days in prayer for the salvation of nonbelievers and the revival of Christ's followers.

On one occasion, Hyde was upset about the spiritual coldness of a pastor, so he began to pray,. Hyde was horrified when he realized that he had judged the man harshly. He confessed his critical spirit and then determined not to focus on the shortcomings of others but to see them as individuals whom God loves. Hyde asked the Lord to show him things that were "of good report" Philippians in the pastor's life, and he praised God for the man's virtues.

Hyde learned later that during this exact time the pastor's spiritual life was revitalized. Let's not be faultfinders—even in prayer. We can follow Paul's example of focusing on what God has done and what He can do in the lives of others Ephesians , 18, 19, 20, Instead of praying against people, let's pray for them. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Father, give me the wisdom to know how to pray for others—with kindness, not criticism; with love, not anger; with grace, not judgment.

The mind cannot be entirely at rest; it is not a blank. Hence the exhortation is given to think about right things. We are to be occupied with the Scriptures, with loving attitudes and holy desires.

The Things to Think About: A Meditation on Philippians 4:8

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