When I have changed my mind (repented), I need to fill my mind with the right things. What should I think about? What should concern me?
When I have learned something, I need to put it into practice. Life with Jesus, our Master, is not an exercise in intellectual gymnastics.
Thinking the right things and doing the right things makes everything work together. It creates an amazing harmony.
God has a goal from me. It is transformed thinking and acting on love.
Here is a great list of things to think about:
- What is true
- What is noble
- Who is reputable
- Who is authentic
- What is compelling from Jesus
- What it takes to be gracious
- What is the best
- The beautiful things in life
- Things to praise
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Source: Philippians 4:8-9 (The Message Bible)
Jesus knows us. Jesus, the Messiah and our Master, challenges us to not “be religious”. If we say we will pray, we must do it earnestly. We must do it often. We must go after the victory with our brother and sister. Jesus demands it. It is the way in His new agreement with God, our Father.
Jesus challenges us to be genuine in Him. Being pious and phoney makes things worse not better. We don’t make our words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making our speech sound more religious, it becomes less true.
“You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:33-37 The Message)
How would Paul summarize things? Well, he would suggest that I fill my mind on some things that are positive. Not the power of positive thinking but something way beyond that. I need to practice these things. Peace will be mine if I do. There is a blessing attached to this.
Here are some ideas he suggests to me to think on and contemplate about:
- What is true
- What is so amazingly noble
- Who has a reputation for being Godly and who is authentic
- What is God compelling me to do in His power
- What do I know about God’s gracious nature
- The best that I have seen Jesus do
- Things that are so amazingly beautiful
- All I have to give thanks and praise for
There is plenty here to focus on. If I focus my thoughts and action on these things, I will have peace.
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. 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. Philippians 4:8-9