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. (Philippians 4:8)

 LET US BE GRATEFUL!

Whatever is true: 

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

Without Him, how would we find the way, know the truth, or have eternal life?

Whatever is noble:

 1 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?  ²The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps an oath even when it hurts,   and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.  Whoever does these things will never be shaken.(Psalm 15)

Without Him, how would we know how to live a life that is noble before others? Where would we seek guidance to find the way to work on becoming that person who is beyond reproach before our children, our family, our neighbors, our brothers and sisters—and before Him?

 Whatever is right:

For the Word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. (Psalm 33:4)

Without Him, how would we know what is “right and true” and how would we know the real meaning of faithfulness, only given through His Word and the example of Jesus?

 Whatever is pure:

How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. (Psalm 119:9)

Without Him and His Word, what would we have to guide us–at any age– on the right path that leads us to Him?

Whatever is lovely:

 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Without Him, how could we grasp the concept of true beauty—that which is within us from Him?

Whatever is admirable, excellent or praiseworthy:

 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. . .  22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:15-16, 22-26)

Without Him, how would we know the way to developing a good and honorable character, one that can bring others to Him?

Thank you, Lord, for Your Word and Your example of how to live in this mortal life–that we might prepare to enter that eternal home with You. We are ever grateful!  Amen.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 11/19/17) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

 

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Keeping a Mind/Heart Focus on God

 

whatever is noble etc

Truth, Honor, Justice, Purity, Loveliness, Graciousness, Excellence, Worthy of Praise

No, this is not a preview line leading us into a foreshadowing of traits we will see develop in a fictional heroine from a movie or novel. Instead, these words are from a directive by the Apostle Paul to the brethren at the church of Philippi, real people like you and me:

“(8) Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (9) What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).

Paul’s directive to keep a mind/heart-focus toward Godly fruits of the Spirit is crucial: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. . . (Proverbs 23:7).  What we think directs what we do and how we do it. Is it done with truth, honor, justice, purity, loveliness, graciousness, and excellence? Is it worthy of praise from God? Do we ask ourselves these questions before we act or speak?

 “Think—before you act” was one poster on my classroom door. I, sometimes, had it taped on both sides of the glass window, so students saw this message while entering and exiting from my room. Do we need a poster to remind us—to STOP and THINK before we ACT?

 What we put before our eyes will become what we see in our thoughts and, ultimately, what we do in our actions and utter in our speech.  The Israelites were told to constantly and consistently place the commandments before them and their children: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

 I still have posters, plaques, and sayings to remind me to STOP and THINK. They are everywhere in my home. Some are included below:

**If you exit from the laundry room door to the garage, you will encounter one on that door:  “Help me to remember, Lord, that nothing’s going to happen today that you and I can’t handle together.”

**If you enter my condo from the garage, you will see the message: “God bless.”

**In my kitchen, you will see many messages, two being: “The Lord is my light and salvation.” (Psalm 27:1) and “Lord, guide me with your gentle hand.”

**In the dining room, there is the plaque “Prayer changes things” and the name “JESUS” in a wooden cast that some cannot clearly see until it is pointed out—and, from then on, it is before them.

**Moving to the living room, there is a picture of a deer herd near a stream of water with this scripture imprinted beneath:  “As the deer pants for water, so my soul pants for thee” (Psalm 42:1).

**In the hall, I have a crewel-embroidered and cross-stitched picture that I made of the 23rd Psalm.

**My favorite scripture is in my bedroom on the bedpost: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). It is before me—and beside me–every morning and every night.

What reminds you to have a heart/mind focus on God and these fruits of the Spirit, to think always upon these things: Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, whatever is excellent and whatever is worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8) 

                What is before you—that reminds you constantly and consistently of God?

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/10/16) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word