8 “Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” [NASB]
In this chapter, Paul teaches and encourages the Christians at Philippi to have, do, and be certain things. The first thing he told them was to stand firm (persevere). He calls them his joy and crown. The Philippians are dear to Paul and he is proud of their testimony in the world. People from other cities and towns heard about them and spoke highly of them to other people and Paul heard. Paul gave a list of attributes for the Philippians to strive toward and to continue to be.
Paul told them to rejoice in the Lord always. No matter what occurred to or around them, to keep an attitude of joy and rejoicing. Rejoicing is the praise back to God for the joy that resides in a person. The joy comes from gratitude in what the Lord gave or did for a person.
Be joyful and not anxious about anything, remembering God provides. God wants you to come to Him with your requests and thanks. He wants to be in relationship with you in everything – good, bad, trials, temptations.
Have the peace of God, the one who is Creator, Provider, and Victor. Realize nothing can thwart God’s will.
Finally, think on the true and truthful. Dwell on the honorable and the things and people to be venerated and revered. Reckon with the right, righteous, innocent, and guiltless. Meditate on the pure from fault, sacred, chaste, and clean. Deliberate on the lovely, acceptable, and pleasing. Consider those people and things with good repute who and what are auspicious. Keep these things and people in mind. Consider them. Emulate them. See their effect. Keep your mind on that which God calls good, pure, etc. When you do, you will be less tempted and affected by evil and to sin.
If there is anything of excellence, virtue, moral goodness and purity, and if there is anything worthy of praise and commendation, dwell on and consider them. Keep these things most in your mind so you will be like them for these are from God. Practice them and the righteous God of goodness, peace, and love will be with you. He will reside with you and lead you to continue walking in these attributes.
So we see that thinking on each of these things, makes us consider them, count them worthy, and then emulate them ourselves as good things. These things, we will see, come from God. We will have peace when we do the things of God and use the attributes God gave us and approves of.
We each want peace. Paul was proud of the Philippians. There are “Pauls” in our day, too. Maybe you have a Paul-like person in your life, if you don’t, place Jesus in his place. As you consider these things and decide to act, make sure the actions you do would make your “Paul” and Jesus long to see you and declare you his/His joy and crown.
This is our mandate today. Have these characteristics and live them out so that Jesus can be proud of you and declare you His, just as Paul declared the Philippians his brethren and was proud of them.