A Focused Heart
Have you thought about pure things this week? What about lovely things, or things that are admirable? What about things that are excellent or worthy of praise? Have You? Have I?
Paul lists these things as those that deserve some of our time and consideration on a regular basis. Paul says "...Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice."
We don't get to observe Paul, his conduct or listen to him teach in person, but we do understand what things are good and proper and righteous, and we ought to pursue these and keep them in the forefront of our minds. There is a reward for recognizing and striving to achieve such things in our own lives, "And the God of peace will be with you.".
Paul was "signing off" as we would say, closing out a letter to the church in Philippi when he made these comments, and it was in the context of telling the church to rejoice and allow others, including those in the world to observe. He tells them (and us) to not be anxious, but to let God know our requests through prayer and to give thanks always.
In his final words, he also pleads for contentment, as he explains how he learned to be content. Paul says with the Lord's blessings "I can do all [things] through him who gives me strength." He likewise says, "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."
As we give thanks for what we have, and petition God for what we need and want in keeping with His will, let us be content, happy, joyful, remembering that " whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy..." these are the things we should think about and pursue with our lives. (Phil 4)