I’m hitting the ground running after Easter with a pretty full week, but I’m looking forward to it all. The only thing that’s bumming me out a little bit is the weather. We enjoyed a few days of sunny skies and almost-warm temperatures over the weekend, but now the clouds have rolled in and we are supposed to see drizzle, rain, and maybe thunderstorms all week. I guess it’s not bumming me out too much, though, because I do enjoy the extra time to dress in layers before summer hits. 🙂
This week’s verse (only 1 verse!) is Philippians 4:8, and the Seeds Family Worship song is called “Think About It,” track 2 on “The Power of Encouragement.” I have pasted the old NIV version below; the new NIV is the same except for the addition of “sisters” to the beginning.
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.
I have to admit that I have never fully memorized this! I always seem to miss at least one item on the list, so I’m looking forward to getting into it for a week and learning ALL the words. This might be one of those times where I write the verse out and feature hard-to-remember words more prominently.
The picture above is actually of a plaque hanging in our kitchen. I love it, although considering my little dilemma of not knowing all the words to this verse, it’s too bad that my pretty plaque doesn’t have all the words! 😉 But it’s pretty and contains most of the verse, so I keep it around.
This verse certainly has the power to convict, which I have seen in my own life when my thoughts are in need of a makeover. Having this verse (mostly) memorized has allowed the Spirit to take thoughts captive that do not fit the Philippians 4:8 bill, and replace them with thoughts that help me grow closer to God. This is the process of mind-renewal that we read about in Romans 12.
This verse is also aspirational, because a mind is not renewed overnight. A mind is renewed one second and one thought at a time as we work out the salvation we were so graciously given. The Holy Spirit, our Helper, will guide our minds toward what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
There is so much more that could be said, but I don’t have the time or really the wisdom to say it all. I don’t want to give the impression that this verse is about mere positive thinking, willpower, or a moral how-to list. I do want to present this verse as an encouragement to followers of Christ to remember that our thoughts matter to God, and even though they sometimes run wild and seem uncontrollable, they are redeemable and redeemed when we receive and work out our salvation.
I have seen the Spirit change my thought life in a variety of ways over the years, and can remember a few of the actual moments when I noticed the change. And it hasn’t been a feeling of being “busted” for having a bad thought, but a feeling of relief that because of God’s Holy Spirit, accessible to me through Christ’s sacrifice, I can choose something better that brings me closer to God. It’s a feeling of relief and appreciation, of encouragement and motivation.
How do you view this verse? How have you seen it at work in your own life? I feel insufficient at explaining it today and would love to hear from you. 🙂