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Philippians 4:8-9 Godly thinking and Godly actions and the God of peace with you
Created by Jon Taylor - Friday 01 Jul 2016
Jon Taylor
It is no great revelation that right thinking influences and aids right behaviour. Furthermore, Christians should be doers as well as hearers of the word. However, a reward of the righteous, (that is those who have right standing with God through no merit of their own but through His imputed righteousness), is that they have the God of peace with them.  The peace of God (Phil. 4:7) is incalculably treasured by those who know God and trust in Him as is the God of peace (Phil 4:9) who gives His peace.
 
Right Thinking

 
Paul implores us to think on that which is true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report that contains virtue or that which is praiseworthy. This doesn’t mean that we hide away in caves and wear ear muffs and blindfolds to eliminate anything that we encounter from corrupting our minds. We live in a fallen world and we are to be in the world but not of the world. This does mean that we should actively choose to focus our thoughts on that which is pleasing to God. This also means that we will make an effort to keep wasteful, self-centred or frivolous thoughts to a minimum, because our thoughts influence our actions and affect our walk with the Lord and effectiveness as believers.
 
This can involve who we choose to keep company with, listen to, watch, follow on the internet and social media sites and we should examine our thought-life in the light of God’s word to ensure that it is honouring to Him. Whilst we avoid the extremes of wearing ear muffs and blindfolds and the lifestyles and doctrines of the Pharisees, ascetics and monastics, we should be vigilant about what we allow to enter through our ear gates and eye gates and what we mediate upon.
 
God’s word reminds us to meditate on scripture (Deut. 6:6-9; Josh. 1:8; Psalm 1:2; 119:105) and to put those things into practise (John 15:15; 21; 1 John 5:2-3). As we read the book of the Lord we encounter the Lord of the book. The Christian fills their mind with the things of God which is the opposite of the erroneous forms of meditation which involve emptying the mind and being in a highly susceptible and suggestive state of consciousness.
 
Psalm 19:7-9 mirrors the virtues listed in Philippians 4:8 which are developed by meditating upon God’s word.
 
‘The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes, the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever, the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’
 
Whether we care to admit it, there is a constant battle waging in our minds between that which is helpful and a hindrance. We can overcome by fervently praying to God, trusting in Him and by taking our thoughts captive. The more we choose to meditate on that which is pleasing to God, the less opportunity there is to think about those things that we shouldn’t, though we should always be careful not to drop our guard.
 

Right Actions
 
In Philippians 4:9 Paul stresses the importance of what those in Philippi had learned, received, heard and saw Paul do. It is one think to learn; that is to accommodate intellectual assent to a matter, but another thing to receive it, hold that truth close to you and take it to heart. In other words, what we learn with our minds, we should guard with our hearts. The Philippians heard and saw Paul’s godly actions and so he encouraged them to imitate him in that respect.
 
Whatever we learn that is pleasing to God, we should try wherever possible to put that into practise. In the context of Philippians 4:8, the application is clear; be truthful, honourable, just, pure, clean, kind and gracious, exhibit excellent moral character and do that which is commendable.
 

The God of peace will be with you
 
In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul encouraged those who were anxious…
 
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
 
 The peace of God is an immense comfort. Here though in verse 9 he mentions the God of peace will be with you. That happens especially when we meditate upon Him and his word and put those things into practise. As we draw near to Him, He draws hear to us (James 4:8a).To know and experience God drawing near and being with us is in an inestimable privilege and as John Newton so aptly closed his hymn, ‘Solid joys and lasting treasure, none but Zion’s children know.’
 
 
   
Friday 01 Jul 2016