#DailyDevotion More Than A Positive Thinking Program
Phil. 48 Finally, my fellow Christians, keep your minds on all that is true or noble, right or pure, lovely or respectable, on anything that is excellent or that deserves praise. 9 Do what you have learned, received, and heard from me and what you saw me do. Then the God of peace will be with you.
It is always good to remind oneself that Paul is talking to Christians grounded in the good news of Jesus Christ. They are people who trust and believe in the good news that the LORD of the Old Testament came down to become one of us in our flesh, redeemed and atoned for our sins, conquered death, ascended to the right hand of God and is coming again to renew this world and us in the glory of God.
Being grounded in this Paul directs their gaze outward. What follows is words to keep us from being a morose lot, negative Nellies, and the like which can easily be used as tools for the devil and his lot. On the other hand, I don’t think he intends for us to be bouncing off the walls, happy happy, joy joy. It is more than being positive as it is grounded in faith in our LORD Jesus Christ and his pronouncement upon his creation in Genesis chapter one, Very Good. What he recommends is to give us a lighthearted and joyful countenance.
We are to guard our minds from becoming morose with all that is wrong with the world dragging us and other down. To that end, keep your minds on all that is true or noble. The world is not just one big lie. Everything and everyone is not ignoble. There are things and actions in the world that we observe which are true. Science is a wonderful exercise in truth. To some extent there are some principles of philosophy and psychology that have some merit. There are actions men take particularly in the worst of times which transcend our fleshly nature and are noble and worthy of our recognition. Such things we should focus on. Some things in the world are right and pure or just and innocent. People do do right occasionally. Children occasionally are innocent. Whatever is equitable or just we should focus on. Whatever is sacred, chaste or modest we can keep our minds on. Whatever is acceptable and worthy of praise should catch our attention and we should fix our minds on those things.
Finally, Paul tells them to remember what he taught, gave them, spoke to them and what he did. Pure doctrine about Christ Jesus and acts of love are the order of the day. One is never without the other. They are to feed one another. When all these things Paul talks about in this chapter are engaged by the Christian, then the God of peace is will be with us. That is to say, when we are engaged in such worthy things God’s peace will be manifest in us. We will not be disturbed by the wind and waves of the turmoil of the world caused by evil. We will be steadfast with our feet firmly on the foundation of Jesus Christ our LORD.
Heavenly Father, grant us that we may follow the ways of live directed by your servant Paul so we may be grounded on the faith of our LORD Jesus Christ and know your peace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.