Think On These Things: What Are You Thinking About?
I recently took a short trip to Washington State and the beauty of the Lord`s creation was so evident. I saw snow-capped mountains for the very first time! The grandeur of God`s creation was overwhelming. I stood in awe of God and the fact that He created every mountain peak and every single wildflower among the millions that grew near the base of the mountains. I couldn’t stop staring at the blanket of snow covering a mountain that stood towering thousands of feet in front of me. On a clear night, the vast array of stars that filled the night sky was equally as breathtaking, I was truly amazed.
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” -Psalm 8:3-4
Living in the city for the last three years I noticed how much I missed the quiet and peaceful atmosphere of the country. Going to a place where it was so quiet made it easier for me to find time to study God`s word and focus on what He had to say. I began to analyze myself and think about what fills my thoughts in the midst of a busy life. The Lord brought Philippians 4:8 and Psalm 19 to my mind.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” -Philippians 4:8.
“May my words and my thoughts be acceptable in your sight. O Lord, my sheltering Rock, and my Redeemer”-Psalm 19:14
I realize our culture is constantly influencing the way we think, whether it`s about sporting events, politics, or just random things that fill our minds and our time. As believers, in a culture that is constantly seeking our attention, we should give our attention to God and His word. We should ask ourselves this question, “How does God view the world and what does He want me to think about?” We should make what is important to God important to us.
Think On These Things: Rejoice
The book of Philippians was written by Paul during his imprisonment in Rome. He is writing to the believers in Philippi for several reasons. One of the reasons is to encourage the believers in their walk with the Lord. In Philippians 4:2-9 Paul encourages them to rejoice in the Lord, to pray, and to think about things that bring glory to the Lord.
Paul talks about rejoicing in the Lord. Paul was in prison at the time he was writing this letter and one of the major themes that come out in this book is having joy. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!” He talks about rejoicing in the Lord, not just once a week or once a month, but always. Despite the circumstances that come with living in a fallen world, believers can rejoice in the Lord. God has given us much more than we deserve. He sent His only Son to die for us so that we could have a relationship with Him. The grace that God has shown us gives us reason to rejoice even during hard times. He is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory.
“If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” -Romans 8:32-38.
Think On These Things: Pray
Paul continues his thought after saying that we should rejoice by encouraging us to pray. As believers, God is our Father and He wants us to talk to Him throughout our day. God provides for us in so many ways, so why not spend the day talking to Him about our worries and thanking Him for what He has given? He is worthy of our time.
“…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7.
Think On These Things: God`s Word
Paul wraps up his thoughts in Philippians 4 by telling us to think about things that are praiseworthy. The beauty found in creation declares God`s glory and proclaims the work of His hands (Psalm 19.1-6). In the second half of Psalm 19, the psalmist moves from declaring God`s glory through general revelation to special revelation, stating that God`s law is perfect, sure, and right (Psalm 19.7-14). The Creator of the universe is worthy of being praised and worthy of our thoughts. As I was surrounded by gorgeous mountains last week, I was reminded of God`s power. He is worthy of all praise, so let`s strive to think on things that reflect His heart and magnify Him.
“The Law of the Lord is perfect and preserves one`s life. The rules set down by the Lord are reliable and impart wisdom to the inexperienced. The Lord`s precepts are fair and make one joyful.” -Psalm 19:7-8.
Here at Ethnos 360 Bible Institute, we value having a firm foundation in God`s Word. As believers, we should study God`s Word and get to know His heart, so that we can direct our thoughts toward Him. The first step in missionary training with Ethnos360 is two years of chronological Bible teaching at the Bible Institute. Request your free information packet today!