(Want to listen to the full message? Just CLICK HERE.)
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Catcher, manager, and coach Yogi Berra brilliantly observed, “90% of the game is half mental.” Now really, that's more funny than brilliant, but Berra was on to something, and today's passage pertains to the Christian's mental game, or more precisely, to their thought life and the power our thoughts have.
Let me be clear - Philippians 4:8 is not about the power of positive thinking – it is about the peace of a transformed mind. We have to be careful to make this distinction, because anyone can be a positive thinker, but for the believer, the quality of one's thought life goes way beyond just keeping your chin up.
So let's consider the importance of the believer’s thought life briefly.
In Matthew 6 Jesus taught that murder can be traced back to thoughts of hatred. He taught that lustful thoughts are the beginning of - and tantamount to - adultery. That's kind of a big deal!
God is definitely concerned about what you think and how you think. Isaiah 55:7 commands: “Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 speaks of “taking captive every thought and making it obedient to Christ.” There is an exercise of control going on here, isn’t there? So we do have a choice, and that makes us responsible for our thought life. That’s why Paul urges us in Romans 12 not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. And that is where we’re at with Philippians 4:8.
If we are pursuing holiness and obedience to God, there needs to be a reformation in our thought life - a transformation in our minds - because our thoughts drive our actions.
So let’s resolve to think holy thoughts, to take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ, to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit when he points out our anger, our lust, our worry, and our garbage thinking.
To hear this message in full, including an explanation of why God is the "God of peace" and what he is doing when he is "with us", just CLICK HERE.