The apostle Paul encourages his readers to be unique—to maintain stability in an ever-changing and often chaotic world:
Philippians 4:4-8 (emphasis added)
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
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.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
Joy, gentleness and unsurpassed peace characterize the stability of the Believer. The apostle Paul presents each as an imperative—meaning they all require a choice. We choose to have joy in spite our circumstances and gentleness in our treatment of others. Peace is more than a feeling; it stems from a definitive choice about the way we approach daily life.
The foundation for this unique stability in the daily realities of life requires choosing what fills our mind. We easily comprehend the six items in Paul’s list because they are virtually self-defining and need no interpretation.
The point is clear. Your life expresses the focus of your mind. Rather than cluttering your mind with the unwholesome message of popular culture or obsessing about all that is wrong in your personal experience and world, determine to concentrate on what is constructive, excellent and praiseworthy.
Begin today by filling your mind with the Word of God as the first step toward a life of stability. Then, follow Paul’s advice and loop an ongoing list of things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and commendable through your thought process. This is the apostle Paul’s formula for maintaining a healthy outlook and enjoying stability no matter what happens in our world!
IMAGE: Teddy Kolleck Park Fountain, Jerusalem. Boaz Dolev Pikiwiki Israel [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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