A summary of our series
We have looked at the 8 things that Paul commands us to think on:
1) Whatever is true: “The Word of God”
2) Whatever is honorable: “A mental consciousness that strives to harmonize with God’s truth”
3) Whatever is just: “My thoughts immediately go to the only One who is Just”
4) Whatever is pure: “We see the perfect, sinless and Holy Lamb of God dying for our sins and raising again.”
5) Whatever is lovely: “An ‘acceptable and pleasing’ part of Lovely is that we renew our minds and our thinking to what honors God.”
6) Whatever is commendable: “Let our thoughts drift to how we respond towards others when going through trials.”
7) If there is anything of excellence: “Is the thought that is in your mind an example of “excellence or merit”? Does it honor God and reflect upon His excellence?
8) If there is anything worthy of praise: “Unceasing praise to the just and gracious God. From morning till evening the grateful tongue should talk and sing, and glorify the Lord.”
Once we have an understanding of the things that Paul is wanting us to think on, what should we do and what will we see. Well in verse 9 he says “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil 4:9 ESV) It’s pretty clear that we are to practice these things. Practice involves 1: Dedication , Maturity, and Repetition. It takes a level of commitment that drives us to perfect the achievement we seek. It also means that we can’t do it alone! We must depend upon the work of the Spirit in our lives to direct us and allow Him to help us focus on these things. We are to “fill our minds” with these things when “stinkin’ thinkin'” raises its ugly head. One commentary aptly summarizes it like this “As the Philippians practice what they have seen Paul doing they will make progress. They will see that it is not simply the “Peace of God” that they will find, but “The God of Peace” Himself will be with them.
When I look at the 8 things that Paul is directing us to practice, I began to notice one very common theme, and that is that when temptation is causing us to have “Stinkin’ Thinkin'” we are to turn our eyes thoughts and attitudes directly to Christ. Directly to His Word and listen to His Holy Spirit. Below is lyrics from an old hymn that I think is a good way to sum up this entire series!
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Helen Howarth Lemmel (1863-1961)
O soul are you weary and troubled
No light in the darkness you see
There’s light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace
Alan Jackson version of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus“!
Music and Lyrics
I hope that you have found this study helpful to you as you come across times of Stinkin’ Thinkin’ and that you will memorize Philippians 4: 8-10 and recall it to your memory when you are troubled in your thoughts.