IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: WHATSOEVER IS TRUE, PURE AND HONEST.
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, 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.”
This is perhaps one of the most quoted verses in the entire book of Philippians. I believe the reason is that it offers so much insight concerning our thought process and how we should conduct our daily lives.
Living in an age of turmoil and strife where there are so many negative reports, it’s good to hear and have a positive input. Someone has said, “You are what you eat.” Well I don’t know about that, but I do believe we are affected by our thoughts and what we hear and the things we see.
Tobacco manufacturers put a warning on cigarette packages that smoking may be hazardous to your health. I want to tell you, in the same way, that wrong thinking can be hazardous to your health.
Is the thought you are having right now true? Can you rely on it? We live in a generation today that doesn’t ask, “Is it true?” Instead, we ask, “Does it work?” Don’t let anything consciously dwell in your mind that isn’t true. Don’t dwell on it, don’t entertain it. Don’t let it be a part of your thought patterns if it is not true.
If the raw data is bad, the computer can’t do anything good with it. What you put into a computer determines what comes out. If you put the right data in, the right answers come out. The reverse is also true.
In order to express that truth, a new word was coined. It describes in four letters both the cause and consequences of putting the wrong data into the computer. Most computer buffs know what word I’m talking about. The word is GIGO. It stands for Garbage In, Garbage Out. Those four letters summarize a huge truth about computers: What you put in determines what you get out. If your input is garbage, guess what your output will be? Garbage.
What you put into your mind determines what you get out.
What is true of computers is also true of the human mind. That comparison is apt because the human mind has often been compared to a computer. In fact, the human mind is far more complex than the most advanced computer ever designed.
But are your thoughts really so unimportant? Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Beware of what you set your mind on because that you surely will become.” Norman Vincent Peale said, “Change your thoughts and you change the world.” Henry Ford gave that truth a different spin when he declared, “Thinking is the hardest work in the world, which is probably why so few people engage in it.” Then I ran across this perceptive comment by Betty Sachelli: “Two thoughts cannot occupy the mind at the same time, so the choice is ours whether or not our thoughts will be constructive or destructive.”
Change your thoughts and you change the world.
This principle of concentrating on things that are admirable and lovely puts to rest the foolish notion that we should expose our children to sin so they will know what it is like. First of all, our children see enough sin all around them without any help from us. Second, exposing our young people runs the risk that they may be attracted to it. Sin is so sinful that we do well to stay as far away from it as possible. You don’t have to lift the top off the sewer in order to know it stinks.
Sin is so sinful that we do well to stay as far away from it as possible.
Examine the Influence of Your Friends
I Corinthians 15:33 warns us that “bad company corrupts good character.” Do you know what that means? If you run with the pigs, you’re going to smell like the pigs. If you run with the rats, you’re going to look like the rats. Let’s face it. You become like the people you hang around with.
Keep your mind true. (Matt 22:16) …the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, (Be true and teach truth) (John 8:32) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. NO LIES! (John 7:18) He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
Keep your thoughts on Honest things (2 Cor 13:7) Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, (1 Peter 2:12) Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Whatsoever things are just’ — let the great, solemn thought of duty, obligation, what I ought to be and do, be very familiar to your consideration and meditation. ‘Whatsoever things are just . . . think on these things.’
‘Whatsoever things are pure’ — let white-robed angels haunt the place. Let there be in you a shuddering recoil from all the opposite; and entertain angels not unawares. ‘Whatsoever things are pure . . . think on these things.’
Now, these characteristics of thoughts which I have already touched upon all belong to a lofty region, but the Apostle is not contented with speaking austere things. He goes now into a region tinged with emotion, and he says, ‘whatsoever things are lovely’; for goodness is beautiful, and, in effect, is the only beautiful. ‘Whatsoever things are lovely . . . think on these things.’ And ‘whatsoever things are of good report’ — all the things that men speak well of, and speak good in the very naming of, let thoughts of them be in your minds.
And then he gathers all up into two words. ‘If there be any virtue’ — which covers the ground of the first four, that he has already spoken about — viz. true, venerable, just, pure; and ‘if there be any praise’ — which resumes and sums up the two last: ‘lovely and of good report,’ ‘think on these things.’
Dear brethren, Christianity covers all the ground that the noblest morality has ever attempted to mark out and possess, and it covers a great deal more. ‘If there be any virtue, as you Greeks are fond of talking about, and if there be any praise, if there is anything in men which commends noble actions, think on these things.’
I beseech you, take Christ and enthrone Him in the very sanctuary of your minds. Then you will have all these venerable, pure, blessed thoughts as the very atmosphere in which you move. ‘Think on these things . . . these things do! . . . and the God of Peace shall be with you.’
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