Philippians 4:8 – The Foundation Post

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. -Philippians 4:8

That last phrase of the above verse is, as you can see, where I take the name from. The KJV renders it “think on these things”, and my trusty NKJV renders it “meditate on these things.” The verse as a whole is my inspiration for this blog, and for writing. I’ve been struck lately by the number of mentions in the Bible about thinking and the mind. And it makes sense, since part of fulfilling the greatest commandment is to love God with ALL your mind:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. -Matthew 22:36-38

So, according to Jesus, (a pretty high authority on the matter), if you’re trying to love God with all your heart and all your soul, but leave out your mind, you still fall short. Consider Paul’s lament over the Jews who did not believe in Christ:

For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. -Romans 10:2

And consciousness is kind of crazy, isn’t it? Think about how while you’re awake, your mind is always on. Whether you’re driving, waiting in line, washing dishes, or whatever it may be, your mind is always going even when your body may not be. There is always a constant chain of thoughts moving. Have you ever had a moment where you stopped and wondered how you started thinking about what’s on your mind? That happens to me every once in awhile. It’s funny, all the thoughts that link together, one after another, to get you from one place to another in your mind. Here’s an interesting verse that teaches how intimately God knows us, even in our thoughts:

You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. -Psalm 139:2

It doesn’t mean that from a far distance away from us, God still knows what we’re thinking. God is spirit, so He’s not physically far from us. I take it to mean that God knows what we’re going to think before we even think it. Now, considering how our minds are always going while we’re awake, that gives us A LOT of opportunity throughout the day to either fulfill, or fall short of the great commandment. Examine yourself with this thought from John Owen. “What do you think about when you are not thinking about anything in particular? What is the default setting of your mind. What do you revert to when you are not being forced to go in a certain direction. That is an indicator of your spiritual mindedness.”

I guess what I really want to do in this foundational post for my blog is show the importance and the weight that Scripture puts on thinking and the life of the mind. Then, all the posts from here on out will be with the intent to help you do that. My hope is that I can provide some food for thought as it were. As in the exhortation of my banner verse, my goal is to provide words that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise, that you can meditate on. If I can help you even in some small way to love Jesus more with your mind, then I consider it success. With that in mind, allow me to add a barrage of verses to the ones already mentioned that will help lay the foundation:

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. -Isaiah 26:3

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:2

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. -2 Corinthians 10:5

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. -Colossians 3:2

And finally, without listing them all in their entirety, there are no less than 7 verses in Psalm 119 alone where David mentions meditating on God’s word. Verses 15, 23, 48, 78, 97, 99, and 148. When I read these verses they make me not want to lose even one moment of one day to vain thoughts. I don’t ever want to be caught off guard. May God bring me to the place where I can check myself at any moment of the day and find that my thoughts are worthy of the One who called me, and would bring honor to His name.

-Aaron

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2 thoughts on “Philippians 4:8 – The Foundation Post

  1. I love it!
    The unattainability of fully obeying this command just shows how wonderfully large & beautiful God’s Grace truly is!
    This verse came to mind when I read this:

    “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

    Like

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