A human being lives, but he is given life.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Meditate on These Things
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Thought of the Day
“You’re not what you think you are; but what you THINK—you are!”
The best way to keep evil ideas out of our minds is to concentrate on things that are good and pure and beautiful. 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 de-sires. We must look only on worthy things and meditate primarily on that which is of good report. To praise rather than to criticize is our first duty. As we thus allow the Holy Spirit to bring every thought into captivity to Christ, we will find that good deeds will automatically flow from such lofty and spiritual attitudes. Like our blessed Savior, we too will then go about “doing good” (Acts 10:38).
A college girl who was a fine scholar and had a noble spirit volunteered to be a counselor at a girl’s camp. Despite her abilities, she was required to peel potatoes in the kitchen. The head mistress of the camp, realizing that this was quite a menial task for such a talented and highly intellectual girl, exclaimed, “It’s too bad that a young woman of your education should have to peel potatoes.” The girl who was a splendid Christian looked up brightly and replied, “But, Miss Baldwin, remember, I don’t have to think about potatoes while I’m peeling them.” The application is obvious. You can keep your soul out of the dust no matter what your task, if you center your thoughts on the things mentioned in our text. Let the Holy Spirit discipline your mind by dismissing suspicion and replacing it with hope and trust. Forego grudges. Flout envy. Be appreciative, be kind, be gentle. Rejoice in the Lord a little more. Take pleasure in beauty and virtue. Clear away the cobwebs of doubt, frustration, and anger. Let your mind dwell on Christ and He will beautify your life.
Think truly, and thy thoughts
Shall be a fruitful seed;
Live truly, and thy life shall be
A great and noble creed. — H. Bonar
Personal Reflection and Discussion
As a young christian we learned the song “Oh be careful little eyes what you see, oh be careful little hands what you do”. As adults and more mature christians we don’t sing childrens songs but the words are still important to us. We are to be so diligent in what we think about, what we look at, what we listen to, and where we go. Television is one of the worst things to watch now. Even the commercials are awful! We are careful about the few shows we watch. Music! Oh my. We try to listen to mostly christian music but sometimes we wonder and believe me, you can feel the difference. I am not saying we have to give it all up and live in seclusion. We are not to do that. We can however, show God’s love in what we do. With God’s help we can think on what is good and what is lovely and what is from God.
Vrs 8 is one of my favorite verses; I’ve even made a song to go with it when first teaching it to my kids. I think I have sang and said it in soo many ways to them that hopefully they would never forget it when they’re grown. Teen years are especially a real stuggle (for everyone invloved) to focus on the positive with all the confusion of emotions. But at any age, we all struggle with what comes in through our senses. We need to make special efforts to sensor the imputs into our minds and hearts. It’s human nature, or better said sinful nature, to dwell on the negatives; but we as chrisitian train oursleves to sacrifce the flesh and turn our eyes on the spritual and heavenly…how else we’ll we have peace through it all?! We need to defend ourselves from the daily, minute by minute, attacks Satan throws us. It’s nice to be encouraged by Paul that it is possible to have peace…just look at him in jail with joy in his heart singing songs of praise.
When we have the faith of Jacob we can live a life of peace, even when faced with tribulations. When we truly understand and see Christ with our eyes not with just our ears like Job came to know God then we will know this peace. This faith comes from total surrender.
@ Bob….By the way I really do like your 8’s, now that I figured out which number it was. 😀
I am sorry, I try to catch it but some times it will not let me preview my post. the (v. 8) is the only one that does that.
I have come to appreciate vs. 8 so much more over the past year as I have been learning about neurobiology (how the brain and nervous system organizes themselves for optimal functioning) and neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to change its structure and function) for part of my continuing education at my job. I am no expert, but I have been fascinated to find that positive interaction (with others or with ideas) stimulates our brains and causes growth. Our patterns of thinking follow certain pathways in the brain. This means the more we think about negative or unhealthy things, the more likely we are to cement those pathways and use them over and over (i.e., we train ourselves into unhealthy thinking). Conversely, when we think on positive things (such as vs. 8 suggests), we actually reinforce healthy pathways in the brain, and the more we use them now, the more likely we are to use them in the future.
So, I can’t help but wonder if this is also a part of God’s holistic approach to health – think on these things not only because it is the Christlike thing to do, but also because you are maintaining a healthy brain as you do it!
I hope that is not too “dry” of an interpretation, but I find it so fascinating to think about how our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual selves are so interconnected.
I totally agree with you, stress causes or aggravates most illnesses. Just look at me, I have Parkinson’s disease and after being on the medication for about 5 years I was very sick and knew I was going to die. But now about 10 years later, I not only do I feel better after changing my outlook on my illness, now I take no medication. Now I do a lot of other things to control my illness holistically, but I believe that the prayer, meditation and just keeping a positive outlook on life helps the most.