My column at the Twin Falls, Times News. Look for it in the Religion section of the Saturday edition.
Dwell on These Things…
Dear reader, there is no shortage of things to let your mind dwell on or think about in our day. There is no surprise that we behave like that which we dwell on or spend enormous amounts of time thinking about.
In Philippians 4:8, the Apostle Paul has some practical things he tells the local church to do. It is true that these things can be applied to an individual, but in the context of this letter it is to the whole of the local church, a group of people knitted together in harmony by the blood of Christ. This local church of Philippi was in agreement that salvation, or peace with God, was achieved by the sufficient work of the death of Christ for their sins (Philippians 2:5-11).
If their start with God is not here, at the cross, then the instructions he gives later are but a bundle of heavy burdens that give no peace with God.
So if you consider the list of things the Apostle Paul gives to believers to do in Philippians 4:8 without starting at the cross then you gain no ground in being at peace with God. When you read about being at peace with God, start at the right place and then make application of the nature and character of Holiness.
Now, once you are at peace with God, dwell on these things and do them.
When he says to dwell on whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, if there is any excellence, and anything worthy of praise he implies that a change of thinking needs to happen when the peace of God is in your life.
Many professing believers don’t get this. Maybe even today, you don’t see your need to change your way of living. Some false preacher has told you that there is no absolute truth, that you don’t need to submit to truth, or that all truth is equal.
The opposite of everything listed in this text is how many are living their lives. By many, I’m meaning many false professors of Christ. Maybe, even you?
Think of it. Do you let your mind dwell on whatever is true or false? Do you entertain your day with what is honorable or dishonorable? Are you a champion of right or are you a slight promoter of wrong? Are you hungry for what is pure or are you satisfied with impurity? Are you known as a lovely (pleasant) person or one who is unlovely in conduct? Is there anything known about you as a person of good repute or are you carless with your reputation? Are you a producer of excellence in your workplace or are you sloppy and careless? Are you devoted to above board living or are you a lover of deceit and deception?
This is no lightweight text.
Reader, think about these things then do what is expected and commanded of you by God. Remember this is not a list of how to be forgiven of your offense to God; this is a list of what those who make claim of Christ being their Lord do. Knowledge of what Christ has done by calling you unto repentance always leads to responsible Christian living.
Pastor at Eastside Baptist Church in Twin Falls