Think On These Things. 10/30/2014 (Morning thought)

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

This passage of scripture gives us a list of the kind of thoughts which should pervade the mind of the Christian. In general it mentions things that are upright in nature, that would not pull us downward into the abyss of sinful thoughts and fantasies. The Bible does not always mention specific sinful actions or bad habits, but what it does is to give us the over-arching principles of righteousness, by which we should be guided at all times. For instance we may not read in the Bible of not clubbing or partying, or even surfing the internet for pornographic literature, but what we will read of is the laws against all forms of lust and reveling which lead us into moral abandon. Again, there is no statement in the word which says specifically that a person should not smoke, but it does tell us that our bodies are the temple of The Living God, and that as such we should take the very best care of ourselves, both physically and spiritually. Let's read:

1st Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

One of the reasons why we often hear the question "Is it wrong" to do this or that, is because we often focus on specific actions instead of specific principles, and when we do we are ultimately led down the path of myriad works and actions which result in what is known as salvation by works. But when we allow the grand principles of righteousness to govern our thoughts and actions, then they can be applied spiritually to any situation, and this is what is meant by being spiritually minded. Let's read:

Romans 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

The scribes and pharisees in Christ's day were caught up in a million and one works and actions by which they hoped to earn eternal life, and so they went through the motions of good works meticulously, whilst the spirit of the law was missing, hence the reason why they could return their tithes and offerings, and at the same time be plotting the death of Christ. This they had done on several occasions without being aware that they were in fact breaking all of God's commandments. Let's read:

Luke 4:25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. 28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. 30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way.

The question is "How can Sabbath-keeping folk, who were well dressed in suits and ties, and who had just sung hymns and paid tithe, now suddenly turn on the world's redeemer and hustle Him out of church, to throw Him over a cliff? The answer lies in our passage for today, for the thoughts they were harboring were not right, even though they were doing good works at times, hence the reason why the Bible teaches us to address the very important issue of our thoughts, by dwelling on those things which will lift us up closer to God, instead of driving us down the path to perdition.

We therefore end with a passage of scripture which encourages us to surrender our souls to God each day, so that the power of the Holy Spirit will enable us to stay focused on that which is good and right. Let's read:

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.

May God bless His word to our hearts today as we endeavor to "Think on these things". God bless!