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Dwell on This!


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.


We continue our digging into the list Paul made for his friends to help them walk as Jesus would. Let’s learn to meditate on these things that Paul saw as so important for spiritual growth.


The fourth word Paul uses is pure. This is a word that has lost some in its translation as we tend to define it as clean, maybe even squeaky clean, but that isn’t the word that Paul used. The original Greek word used here (hagnos) is more about being ceremonially clean, to be clean to worship. This is what Paul had in mind. He wasn’t talking about just being clean in the eyes of the world. This purity that he was talking about was about being prepared to be in God’s presence. God can’t tolerate sin in even its smallest form. He abhors it and so we can’t be harboring any in our lives and think we can come into His presence to worship Him. We don’t need to be perfect, we can’t in this life, but we must be seeking holiness.


Next on the list comes the word lovely. We have no problem finding what is pleasing and agreeable to our eyes, but do we ask God what is pleasing to Him? Are we looking for what is pleasing to Him? If we want to please Him we need to focus on what pleases Him so we can head towards it.


Paul continues his list of things to meditate on with the word admirable. By this he was saying that we need to meditate on that which is of good report. We shouldn’t focus on the bad news but look for the things that are good. We need to stop focusing on all the negative that plumes in the world and instead spend our time thinking about the things that reflect the nature of Christ.


Paul concludes by summing it up with the words, excellent and praiseworthy. He knows the importance of meditating on things that are of moral goodness and worthy of praise. These are the things that we need to be focusing on and mulling over in our minds. Instead of letting our minds wander who knows where, we need to take our thinking captive and be intentional with what we dwell on. David understood this and wrote Psalm 101. Our thinking is very important.


Making It Personal

Do any of these items seem hard for you? How can you be more intentional about thinking as Christ would have you think? Read Psalm 101 and see if that can be your prayer too.


Making It Personal Kids

Which of these things is easiest for you to think about? Do you want to think about things that please Jesus? Read or have an adult read to you Psalm 101.


Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for calling us to think more like You. Help us learn to focus on the things that please You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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