Scripture:

Philippians 4:8: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Application:

When I finally started reading my devotionals for the day, I was amazed to see that the first one I opened was on Philippians 4:8—the exact verse I had just written about in the Resource section of this web site as illustrative of God’s command to change our mindset from “garbage in, garbage out” to one that fills our heads with things that are beautiful.

Of course, Our Daily Bread took my little thoughts to the next level, explaining that even watching all of the violence covered in the news gives us a steady diet of gloom. (I knew there was a good reason for me having stopped watching the news so many years ago!)

Joy.

And a grateful heart. That’s the outcome of living Philippians 4:8. A life that simply cannot co-exist with the garbage in, garbage out way of my former self. At least that’s been the result for me. And I hope to help others catch a little bit of it through these posts that I was so reluctant to put out there.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for affirming I’m on the right path with this nudge back into Philippians 4:8 this morning. And I don’t mean just for any potential “audience;” I mean for myself.

Look at the state I got myself into earlier this morning just by thinking about lesser things. Could there have been any bit of Scripture more appropriate to my state of mind today? Thank You for turning me around so quickly, for reminding me to focus on what is:

  • True: basing my life on reality according toYour Word—the source of all truth.
  • Noble: re-aligning my thoughts to focus on things that are worthy of respect.
  • Right: trusting my moral sense of what is fair and just.
  • Pure: living in a way that is unpolluted by sin.
  • Lovely: expressing love toward people, even toward those who are hard to love (hmmm).
  • Admirable: shining reliable Christian character and maintaining a positive reputation, even—especially—in difficult situations and with difficult people.

Shoot. You’re talking to ME again, aren’t You, Lord? Thank You for shifting my focus away from the “garbage” of this world, and for continuing to tweak me into the person filled with those characteristics called out in Philippians 4:8. Please help me live this day by honoring You as I guard my own heart and work to bring others into the light of Your presence. Amen.

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