Monday, January 25, 2016

Think on these things...

Year 4-Day 25:  Today, I am grateful for instructions to "think on these things", as our thoughts are often in danger of taking us down a road we do not need to go. 

Here is my "Verse of the Day":  
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. -Philippians 4:8

Some days, I am grateful for a push to look for gratitude from a different perspective. Perspective plays an important part in gratitude.  Beyond the things I can hold in my hand or view with my eyes...there much thanksgiving to be offered. In the middle of whatever plans, tasks or time restraints...there is new found freedom making that place a place of praise. 

Whatever is true...from a truly perfect parking spot to the spiritual truth of Christ, the things that are "true" are worthy of a whispered "thanks". 

Whatever is honorable... I am fascinated by cultures that place so much emphasis on honor. Honor before profit. Honor before personal glory. Honor before convenience. Honor before individual desires. Honor combined with love make a powerful force. 

Whatever is just...because justice is a part of the character of our God who does not change!  He is a God who gives us guidelines for behavior so that we may live with freedom. Yes, knowing what is right and wrong helps us choose and protects us. He won't surprise us. He communicates clearly and gives us examples. Jesus paid the price of justice so that we might live pardoned and free, but sin required a sacrifice. Whenever tempted to join the "it's not fair ranks", I am reminded that through love and grace I am pardoned and I don't get what I deserve. God's sense of justice was met and the price on my head removed. I've received a full pardon.  Crazy love!

Whatever is the snow before human or beast defile with foot vehicle. What is pure is beautiful.  Clear Caribbean waters are deceptively deep as they are so clear. The love of a parent for a child...or a sibling. Sibling love melts my heart life few things. The essence of God is pure...and powerful. Something to ponder. 

Whatever is lovely... because lovely is equally pleasing to our Lord and Creator. 
Whatever is commendable... because focusing on what is commendable is better for our souls than living in the critical zone.  Now, constructive criticism can help us grow, but insincere praise can lead to destruction. 

If there is any excellence...because excellence inspires us and drives us to do our best and be our best. Surrounding ourselves with excellence inspires and motivates...and pushes us in the right direction.  We can choose to seek excellence in our work, in our relationships, in our parenting and in our care of others. To think on these things builds up and does not tear down. 

If there is anything worthy of praise... think on these thing! God, of course, is worthy of our praise and he inhabits the praise of His people. As we offer words of praise for one another in our we praise the things that matter.  Not a high grade, but the increase in learning.  Not a nice car, but how that car is used to serve the great commission. Not the beautiful home, but the lovely heart that opens it to fellowship and serves with an open heart. 
Think about these things...and it will protect your thoughts.  Because no matter how often my thoughts jump around, I can still only have one thought at a time. 

Today, I am grateful for instructions to "think on these things", as our thoughts are often in danger of taking us down a road we do not need to go. 

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