Dear brothers and sisters,
Quite recently I encountered again in my morning Bible reading the verse below, Philippians 4:8 as rendered in the American Standard Version:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
So many things try to crowd our minds, even on—or especially on—the Sabbath. Your list will be different from mine, but mine includes things like chicken feed (because I must tend to the flock even on the Sabbath), gasoline for the car (because my wife works on some Saturdays)—and you get the point.
What is trying to keep you from the Apostle Paul’s instruction in this verse today? We must work at it to keep our thoughts as they should be—and not just on moral issues. Many areas of interest are not the beset to consider when we have a choice. And for some of us, it’s difficult to think on high and holy subjects all the time.
The seventh verse, printed here, is the answer. He will “guard your thoughts”! As in so many other areas, we can and must rely on Him. So forget the chicken feed and think of something uplifting, such as the character of the Lord of the Sabbath, or the wonders of the Christmas season. And so will I.
whatsoever things are honorable, (right, winning respect, revered)
whatsoever things are just, (equitable, innocent, holy, righteous, fair)
whatsoever things are pure, (clean, innocent, modest, perfect, chaste)
whatsoever things are lovely, (friendly towards, acceptable, lovable)
whatsoever things are of good report, (reputable, worthy, commendable)
if there be any virtue, (manliness, valor, excellence, praise, worthiness)
and if there be any praise, (commendable thing, praiseworthy),
think on these things.”
“And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.