Philippians 4:8 Part 1
8 Finally, brethren,
whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, a
nd if there be any praise,
think on these things.
We have now come to a verse that I would consider one of the key verses for any Christian in the whole Bible. There is such richness and so much depth said in such a simplistic way in Philippians 4:8 that it boggles my mind. I’m sure that you have been in this verse as many times as I have. I am not going to go over this very quickly. We are going to spend some time here because I feel what Paul says here is so essential to the church, especially in these last days. We must, and I reiterate, we must put these things into practice every day, every minute, every second.
First he says “Finally my brethren”. I get a picture of Paul putting his pen to the paper and preparing to finish his letter to the Philippians with another verse or two. And then outflows Philippians 4:8 and Paul can’t help it go on for another 15 verses. The power of the Holy Spirit overcomes him and he just keeps on writing. Reminds me of those preachers who say they are closing and then go on for 20 more minutes!
One thing we have to remember is the preceding four verses that tell us to rejoice, to be gentle, to give thanks, and to have peace. I think Paul led up to this verse brilliantly because the attributes mentioned I verse 8 would be very difficult if we did not have the previous four verses active in our lives. We learn to rejoice in any situation, we learn to be gentle, we learn to give thanks when we pray and we learn about the peace of God. If we have those disciplines down pretty good, then it makes it so much easier to do what Paul asked us to do here. If you’re not in that place you can try to do these things, and I would highly recommend that you try, but it will be more difficult. Imagine trying to think on only good things if you have not learned to rejoice in the Lord! Or imaging thinking on things that are lovely if you haven’t learned to give thanks in everything! Could you think only of things that are good report if you did not have peace? You being to see why the verses go in this order.
I want to skip down to the end of the verse before I go through the middle. Paul says “think on these things”. It’s not a matter of saying the right thing – Paul wants us to think on the right thing. To have our mind so in tune with God that all we can think about are things that are true, and honest, and just and pure and lovely and of good report and virtuous and praiseworthy. Those are the things that hold my mind everyday. There is no lust, no greed, no bad thoughts. We are thinking like God when we think like this.
The bible says whatsoever is in the heart the mouth speaketh (Matt 15:16). I need to think on these things so it will get it down into my heart. James says the tongue is an unruly evil )James 3:8) and that we need to learn to tame it (James 3:2). The writer of Proverbs, the wisest man in the world, mentioned several times that our tongue can be trouble for us (Proverbs 12:18, 15:4,18:21). But the mouth will only say what is in the heart. We don’t have to look any farther than the last presidential election to know what can be in some hearts.
So the next few days, as we go over these things, keep in your mind Philippians 4:4-7 and then keep in your mind the fact it we are supposed to think on these things. Don’t worry. I’ll be reminding you! Perhaps if each one of us would concentrate enough we could see this thought process very active and alive on an everyday basis. Wouldn’t that be awesome!