Summary: Philippians 4:8 calls us to think upon such things as truth, nobility, righteousness, purity, loveliness, etc. Why? What help will that be to the Christian. More importantly, what help will that be for the Kingdom of God in drawing others to Jesus?
Please open your Bibles to Philippians 4:4-9 which we will read in a few minutes.
Our new memory verse is actually a follow-on to one of our earlier memory Scriptures; Philippians 4:6-7.
“Finally, Brothers (or Brethren) …”
Newer versions have “brothers and sisters”. Why?
We who have grown up on church know that when speaking to the church in general the words "brothers" or "brethern" refers to all believers regardless of gender.
When the newer version state "brothers and sisters" in the place of "brothers" they are simply explaining to the church newbie that the verse that follows is targeted to women as well as men.
With that in mind let’s go ahead and read: Philippians 4:4-9
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 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.
9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
“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.”
If the devil, the evil one, was writing a verse for use by his slaves to sin it might go something like this …
Finally strangers, if anything is false, if anything is dishonorable, if anything is improper, if anything is filthy, if anything is hateful, if anything is contemptible - if anything is inferior or unworthy – then don’t just think about such things; go out and do them!
But, look again at that verse. Someone might take that verse pull it out of the Bible and base an entire “self-help” book on it. “If we can only recondition our minds …”
Is this just a self-help verse? Can it really help us?
Let me give you an illustration of what spiritual self-help amounts to.
Imagine that I have fallen down and can’t get back up. While I am down there on the floor I see a reflection of myself in a mirror. And, imagine that I start talking to my reflection in the mirror saying, “Help me. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. Won’t you please help me?”
Now, I would only do such a thing if my brain has fallen as well and can’t get up.
My reflection in a mirror can’t help me no matter how much I plead with it.
Now, this verse may seem like a self-help verse and it certainly does contain a principle which could help the personality of a person but without the help of the Lord there is no spiritual help.
This is foundational principle of the Bible; we are unable to gain any spiritual ground without the help of the Lord. So, what is the first thing the Lord wants to help us with so that we can make use of Philippians 4:8?
Salvation! The KEY to unlocking the promises and the great spiritual truths of the Bible.
In addition to being saved we must have our minds oriented properly.
That job belongs to us aided by the Bible and the Holy Spirit.
It just so happens that this verse follows one of our other memory Scriptures, Philippians 4:6-7
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
In these verses, what is the key attitude that will orient our minds and unlock the promise of peace in our lives?
The key attitude is “with thanksgiving”.
Thanksgiving is the default setting of a Christian or at least it should be.
What happens if the battery in your car goes completely, totally dead or if you remove the batter for a period of time? What does your car clock say? 12:00. 12:00 is the default setting programmed into the hardware of the clock.
Thanksgiving is the default setting for Christians.
The more mature we become in Christ the more thankful we should be.
Complaining should pass away.
So, if our lives are oriented to thankfulness to God we should be filled with the peace of God which transcends all understanding and that peace should be guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.