..Whatever is true, Whatever is honorable (Phil 4:8)..
In our last post we talked about “Stinkin’ Thinkin’” and how our thoughts can wander and lead us into bad decisions. In a study of King David (2 Sam 11-18), we can see how his Stinkin’ Thinkin’ got him into serious trouble which ended in adultery, murder and the destruction of people’s lives. King David gave in to temptation because he didn’t flee from the opportunity. As believers, we know that in 1 Corinthians 10:13, God has given us a promise that we will never tempted beyond what we can stand and He will always provide a means of escape. It’s up to us to accept that means and obey what He is leading us to do. God’s word also points out in Numbers 32:23 that no matter how hard we try, our sin will always find us out. You can’t hide your sin from God and there is punishment for disobeying Him.
One of the most recited verses in the bible is found at Philippians 4:6-7 which tells us that if we are anxious about anything, to bring it before God and His peace will comfort us. If we read on however, we see that we are called to take matters one step further and to think and practice on a list of 8 things that will aid us in resisting and fleeing temptation. This verse says that we will not just have the “Peace of God” but also the “God of Peace” with us!
I’d like to begin a brief five part study with you to better understand what these eight things are and how we can identify them in our lives. We will base this study on verse 8 which says; “Finally brothers whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things….” If we can begin to apply these characteristics to our lives, I am convinced that we will grow in our sanctification in Christ. I would like to add that this study isn’t intended to be comprehensive, but rather a resource that can be easily read and applied to our lives.
Our first characteristics study: True and Honorable
Let’s begin with whatever is true. We know that without a doubt that the Word of God is true. Think about it! There is so much written in the word of God about the word of God. Psalm 119 explains in great detail about the truth of God’s teachings. Here are a few verses that you can click on to see how the psalmist explains the truthfulness of the word.
vs 105: Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
vs 130: The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
vs 165: Great peace have those who follow your law; nothing can make them stumble.
The gift of salvation that God has given to those who trust in Him is another truth we can think on. We read in Roman’s 10:8-13 a picture of the perfect love of God and His gift. We know it’s true that if we are saved, we will spend eternity with Him. We get to praise and worship Him and we get an eternity to thank Him for what He has done.
Another truth we can count on is that our savior will never leave us or forsake us! Deuteronomy 31:6 is a promise from God to the people of Israel where He tells them He will never leave them. We are His people and He will never leave us if we are saved. Jesus Himself promised us that if we are His people, no one can snatch them out of His hands. (John 10:28-30)
There are certainly many, many other things that are true in our lives that God has given to us. I would suggest that you build a list of the truths that He has given you and practice those also.
What does God’s Word say about honorable? I found a great reference that I thought I’d share with you here: 1 “It is a mental consciousness that strives to harmonize with God’s truth as found in Scripture and Christ. It transforms the content and habits of our thinking by aligning our values with God’s will. When our minds are renewed, our desires agree with God that his will is good, pleasing, and perfect (Rom. 12:2).” I believe that if we honor God in thinking about what His will for us is in the trials and temptations we face, we will be better equipped to stop the Stinkin’ Thinkin’!
Paul concludes this section by reminding us to practice these things and the “God of peace” will be with you. We started today by taking these first two characteristics and we learned to practice them daily. When temptation comes, we will be ready by thinking on what is true and what is honorable because we are prepared!
1) STOP and Think On What Is True:
- The Word of God – quote your favorite scriptures.
– Your salvation and Your Eternity with Him! Dwell on these things in your mind and the temptation will leave you.
– There is an endless supply of things that God has given us that is true. Use your own thoughts to remember those things and practice doing them.
2) STOP and Meditate On What Is Honorable:
– Align your thoughts with His.
– Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and He will!
– Ask Him to show you how to recognize and escape the temptation, and He will!
These are the first two characteristics for us to study in this passage. We will find that there are six more we can focus on when the temptations come.
Our next post will be on “Whatever is just, Whatever is pure”. If you have thoughts or an experience you would like to share, I’d love to hear about it. You can post it in the comment section or send to me directly via my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Steve DeWitt, Nov 19, 2021