Saturday, February 24
"Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things."
Once the heart is changed through the “born again” experience, we are then able to begin the lifelong process of aligning our mind with that of the Father. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,” indicating that we are to think like and have the attitudes of Jesus in everything we do and say.
The problem is, we still have to deal with the sin nature that dwells in us ... “the mind set on the flesh is hostile towards God; for it is not subject to God's law, neither indeed can it be.“ (Romans 8:7) Even when one has experienced the new birth and has God's Holy Spirit dwelling in them, there is still the old mindset that hinders. From birth through every stage of life, we are bombarded on every side by a culture that is hostile toward God. As a result, our minds are programmed to think that way.
Paul emphasized in Ephesians 4:22 that we are to “... lay aside the old self which is being corrupted” and in verse 23
“... that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind” and in verse 24 “... put on the new self.” In other words, we are to consciously and deliberately stop thinking and acting like our society around us, and instead learn about and actively live the principles revealed in God's word by God's Holy Spirit.
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) Thus, it is imperative that in order to, as our verse of the day (Philippians 4:8) above states, “…. think on these things,” we must first have experienced the new birth and have God's Holy Spirit dwelling in us in order to experience the mind change necessary to create life change. Philippians 4:8 is not just an exercise in “the power of positive thinking” but is an encouragement to stay focused on the eternal, not the temporary. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed (focused) on you: because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
Pray that God’s Holy Spirit would strengthen you to focus on those things that will help you to become more like the Lord Jesus and to shut out those things that would hinder.
- Pastor Glen