Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Philippians 4:8-9


8Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Just yesterday we saw that by taking your requests to the Lord, He will give you the peace that passes all understanding and that peace from God will guard your heart and mind. Once you have offered up your desire to the Lord, I think He will either give you that desire or change it!

Now, the concept of peace continues in these next two verses. NOTE the word "whatever" here. WHATEVER is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and of good repute. DWELL ON THESE THINGS. I like this word WHATEVER, because it fits what I understand about our relationship with the Lord. He first wants us to be interested and then we are called to FOLLOW HIM. And within this followship we have an amazing freedom to dwell on the WHATEVERS, as long as they are not illegal, immoral or fattening. This all fits very nicely with Jesus' words of invitation when He says, "Come unto Me, all of you who are weary and burdened down with all of the do's and don'ts of religiosity and trying to be acceptable to God." COME UNTO ME and I will give you REST. This rest involves a lot of freedom-the whatevers here!

So, first of all, dwell on the things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and of good repute.

And, second, practice the things that you have learned, received, heard and seen in me. THEN, the God of peace will be with you. In verses 6-7 the PEACE OF GOD will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus. Here, the GOD OF PEACE will be with you, if you practice the things you have seen in Paul. Let me ask you something here. If those around you were to practice the things they have learned from you, received from you, heard from you and seen in you, what would be the result? Would they be assured of the GOD OF PEACE showing up in their lives? Or, would they experience just the opposite?

So, if you find yourself overwhelmed with the stresses of this life, work on applying the formula for peace here. Set your mind to dwell and meditate on the good things. Be a good finder. AND, if you want the God of peace to be with you, then practice the things you have learned, received, heard and seen in those who are spiritually mature around you.

There is one more thing that is the challenge to me throughout the letter to the Philippians. CAN I SAY TO OTHERS, "DO AS I DO!" or am I relegated to "DON'T DO AS I DO, BUT DO AS I TELL YOU TO DO!" I am more aware than ever in my life that those around me are counting on me to be faithful in my walk with Jesus. If I am not faithful, then those around me will not be challenged or encouraged at all, but will embrace more complacency in their lives. But it's important for you to understand that this is not all about me and those around me. But, more importantly, what we're discussing here in this passage is all about you and your walk. As you are walking your walk of faith, walk it in such a way that others will get something out of it--that you have something significant to share with others.

This is how we can all experience the peace of God that is beyond all comprehension and how the God of peace will be with you. It's the difference between living in peace or pieces. YOUR CHOICE!

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