Posted in New every morning, Words For The Year

Think on these things

Philippians 4:8 (Amplified)-

For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things – [fix your minds on them].

Put another way, here it is as Eugene Peterson puts it in The Message:

 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

So what works for you?  What do you mediate upon?  We are fortunate to have wide pastures and fields and coastal foothills and the Monterey Bay not far away so it is very easy to consider the beauty God has blessed us with.

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We had very little to do with living here.  In fact, after twenty-five years in the same community, unless I give credit to God, I cannot offer a reasonable way I came to live in our little town.  I currently live within two and a half hours of where I was born, less than an hour to where we were married and lived eleven of our married years together and about eight hours where my wife and I met each other in high school.  

God’s majesty has naturally been a part of all we enjoy.  It is far more rewarding to me to observe than man-made stuff that has a very short lifespan (take a look at any western barn – 100 years is an amazingly long lifespan)  

Again, I recommend viewing your life through the lens of The Gospel – this time look at Matthew 6 in The Message:

25-26 If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

27-29 “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

34 Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Doesn’t it seem like God has already worked through all the emotions we might feel no matter the circumstances and He provides a view that brings peace and rest and beauty to our lives?  I think the admonition to think on these things is vital.  It is far easier on ourselves, spirit, soul and body when we do.  It is also much easier on those around us.  So enjoy all that has been provided for you and REST.  By the way, tomorrow is Sunday.  Whether you celebrate Saturday as the Sabbath or Sunday as the First Day of the week, listen to God and relax. Be BLESSED!