PUT THESE THINGS INTO PRACTICE

Philippians 4:4-7 ESV

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Let Peace Rule

To rejoice in the Lord always is to always be glad for God’s grace to us, to delight in his grace, in his favor towards us in sending Jesus Christ to the earth to die on a cross for our sins and to be resurrected from the dead so that we might have new life in him, free from the control of sin and Satan, free from our slavery to sin, and free to live for him and his righteousness.

And we are to let our reasonableness (our gentleness) be known to everyone. This has to do with fairness, with what is equitable and just. It is to let our sensibleness, our wisdom, our honesty, our fair-mindedness known to all, not in a sense of bragging, but by our actions, by how we treat other people kindly, free from self-interest and prejudice or favoritism.

We are not to be anxious or fearful about anything. We are not to “go to pieces” over things over which we have no control, fretting and worrying about this or that or what is going to happen if this takes place, etc. And in today’s world this is a real challenge because fearmongering appears to be in the news daily as a normal part of our daily diet of information.

This doesn’t mean we ignore real danger or that we become nonchalant about things that are serious matters. We don’t run from reality and escape into a fantasy world as a way to cope with everything going on all around us, either. But we need to test everything, for not everything that is being introduced into our minds each day is healthful or true. Much is not true.

So, when we are being daily bombarded with all sorts of information in the news media and via our political and church leaders, and via social media, we need to take it all to the Lord in prayer. We need to ask first if what we are hearing is true, and then we need to pray for wisdom in how to respond to what we are hearing. And then we need to trust the Lord and commit everything into his hands and trust in his sovereignty and in his grace.

And then the peace will come. For, Satan is on the all out attack because he wants to make us afraid. He wants us doubting God’s all sufficiency for our lives. He wants us fearing every person, every breath we breathe, every contact with other people, everything. For he wants us to take matters into our own hands.

And he wants us making decisions based on fear and not on faith. He wants us not trusting God but trusting humans and human remedies instead. But God is still God. So, we need to trust him in all things.

Philippians 4:8-9 ESV

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Think About These Things

Our minds are always thinking about something, aren’t they? My mind is usually thinking about something unless I am very tired. I remember when I was a lot younger that I had a close friend who said to me one day, “Hon, you make me tired all over just watching you think.” Someone else said something like that to me recently. I don’t remember who. But the older I have gotten the slower my mind is.

Anyway, we need to be thoughtful and careful about the kinds of things we are taking into our minds on a daily basis because whatever goes into our minds on a regular basis will usually come out in our attitudes, speaking, and behaviors. And I am not talking here about obviously bad stuff, for some bad stuff is cloaked as good stuff, and so it can be very deceptive. So, we need to be very discerning about what our minds consume each day.

So, if we are to think on the right kinds of things then we need to be taking the right kinds of things into our minds daily, and we need to be rejecting everything that is not healthful, that is not beneficial, and that is morally bad for us to be inputting into our minds. And this can include just stuff that is worthless and wasteful – just junk, mindless stuff that is a waste of time.

We, as followers of Jesus, need to be bathing our minds on the word of the Lord and then we need to be obeying the word. We should be listening to music that is uplifting, encouraging, and spiritually beneficial or at least that is not detrimental to our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. The same with things that we view. We should evaluate everything we take in our minds against this passage of Scripture.

But just because something is true doesn’t mean it is healthful for us. There are a lot of things which are true but they are not the kinds of things we should be consuming. What we should be feeding into our minds should be things that help us in our walks of faith or that do not deter from nor oppose our walks of faith. And they should be things which are morally pure and spiritually edifying and which give honor to God.

Lastly, the things we have learned of God, of the Spirit of God, as we study the Scriptures in their context, and as we prayerfully consider what is being taught us in the Scriptures, these are the things we are to put into practice in our lives. These are the things which should define us because we are living what we say we believe, and we are not practicing things that are sinful.

And when we walk the walk and not just talk it, the God of peace will be with us in all that we do in obedient heart response to what he says.

Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song)

Songwriters: Amy Lee Grant / Chris Eaton

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven

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