Philippians 4:8-13 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me- practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. 10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
The post today will be devotions for 22-24 July 2013.
The main verb in Philippians 4:8 is "think". The grammar tells us we are to think and keep thinking. We are to make thinking about what is good about people a lifestyle. The Greek word translated "think" could also be translated "keep a record of" as it is in 1 Corinthians 13:5 ... it keeps no record of wrongs.
Think what a difference it would make in times of conflict if we looked at the record of good things we kept on people and couldn't find any record of wrongs concerning people we love. What are we to apply to our lives from Philippians 4:8. Start keeping a record of good things about people and keep no record of wrongs. Keeping no record of wrongs doesn't mean we don't correct wrongs, it means after the wrong is corrected we don't keep a record of it. We let people off the hook.
Philippians 4:9 The verb in this verse is "practice". Paul instructs the Philippians to practice continually what they have heard and learned from his teaching of the word of God and what they have seen in him. We are to do the same. We can read what Paul taught under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We can observe how Paul lived his life. We are to practice daily what have been taught by Paul and what Paul has modeled to us as he lived the truth. Jesus said in Luke 11:28 "Blessed ... are those who hear God's word and obey it." We are to teach and live in our families in such a way that we can say to our children, "Practice what you learned and seen in me."
Philippians 4:10-13 These verses of Scripture teach us an invaluable lesson of how to be content in any situation. Being content is a great lesson to be learned that enables us to live an abundant life in any circumstance. We can learn to be content being rich and being poor, having more than we need and being in need. What did Paul learn that allowed him to be content at all times in every circumstance?
He learned that in Christ he could do whatever his God-given assignment was. We can learn that very lesson. We can do all things - raising a family, working a job, live paycheck to paycheck, etc. - through Jesus Christ who gives us strength.