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Cleaning Our Focus


Philippians 4:8-13

Verse 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.


Paul now starts his closing remarks to his friends, a few reminders of things that they had probably talked about before but that come as an encouragement to be intentional about living out a life of faith. He wants them to meditate on these things so that they will be familiar guidelines for the whole of their lives.


Paul starts out his list of things to be intentional about with a fundamental issue that he has already mentioned in this letter, the need to know truth. This knowing truth is more than just the understanding of what truth is, Paul wants his friends to saturate themselves with the fact that Jesus said He is the truth. If it is contrary to Him, it isn’t truth. We need to know Him so that we can measure everything according to Him.


Next Paul brings up the topic of being noble. This isn’t a term we use often these days but it can also be understood as honorable. Paul is encouraging his friends to think about things that are honorable, things that wouldn’t bring disgrace to the name of Jesus whose name they bear. This is important for us as well. We need to remember that when we live contrary to Christ’s example we are not just marring our name, but His as well.


Thirdly Paul says we should think about whatever is right. The only way to know what is right is to also know what is wrong. The important thing that he is pointing out is that while there is always a right and a wrong, Christ’s people will be characterized by their focus being always on what is right. They are the ones that are seeking out the right and therefore making it their focus with undivided attention. It is easier to look for the wrong because it is all around us. In fact we can’t seem to get away from it. It is on the TV, our phones and computers, society around us and often crossing our own minds. But when we are intentional about looking for right, we will find it. And when we find it, we need to attach our attention to it unwaveringly.


Making It Personal

Which of these three do you struggle focusing on? Why do you think it is a struggle for you? How can you be intentional about focusing on it today?


Making It Personal Kids

Do you find it harder to focus on truth, honorable things or what is right? Why do you think that is hard for you? Can you do something today to focus on it better?


Closing Prayer

Father, please forgive us the times that we have missed focusing on these things that would help us reflect You to those around us. Give us the needed wisdom and conviction to learn to live by everything on this list. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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