Yes, I admit I struggle with my thinking at times, too many times!
And, yes, I admit that 99 percent of the time I choose to blame my stinkin' thinkin' on my chronic illness instead of choosing to personally take the responsibility myself.
My illness has become my scapegoat for my thinking, along with many other things, and that's the reason in last week's post I began to "break down" the words found in Philippines 4:8.
Why do I even attempt to blame my stinkin' thinkin' on my illness when Jesus Himself told me in His Word,
"In the world ye shall have tribulation:"
It doesn't get much clearer than that!
In this lifetime we WILL have troubles and trials no matter who we are!
But Jesus didn't stop there, He went on to say in the rest of the verse,
"but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
Yes, we will have troubles and trials in this lifetime, but we can still be of good cheer.
We can still be full of joy.
Because as believers, we know that Jesus conquered death when He died on the cross and rose the third day. Jesus is with us at all times. We have the peace of God reigning within us. We have the hope of Heaven before us!
could we possibly
Granted, it's so much easier and a lot less work to just stick with our stinkin' thinkin', but what absolute joy, peace and contentment when we think upon the things the Lord would have us to dwell upon!
So let's get started on our words for today from Philippians 4:8
"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."
Free from moral defilement; without spot; not tarnished; holy; innocent. Not with improper or corrupt words or phrases; Chaste; as a pure virgin. Free from moral depravity and wickedness.
"Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."
II Timothy 2:22
When I think of the word pure, I think of complete holiness and therefore I immediately think of my Saviour.
THE ONLY ONE
WHO NEVER SINNED!
It's impossible now-a-days to turn on your television, radio, computer, iPad, iPod, open a magazine or even see billboards without being bombarded with sexual immorality, violence, hatred towards one another, ungoldy speech, and on and one it goes.
Wouldn't it be great to go back to living in the small town of Mayberry? The innocence of Opie, and of Barney! Enjoying Aunt Bee's cooking on a Sunday afternoon after attending church! Knowing one of the biggest crimes was riding your bicycle on the sidewalk! Seeing Andy correct his son IN LOVE. Days when things were so much more pure than today!
I'm going to let you in on a personal secret of mine! I'm attempting to put pure thoughts into my mind by getting rid of a bad habit in my life.
Right before I fall asleep, I jump on facebook to catch up on all the latest "goings on". I'm in no way saying facebook is bad. It helps keep me updated with friends, with prayer requests, etc. But for me, personally, to get on facebook right before I'm ready to fall asleep is NOT a good thing.
It tends to lead me to stinkin' thinkin', and the most important reason, the Lord laid upon my heart to STOP DOING IT!
I end up viewing all the fun stuff people are doing which I can't. Yes, you may use the word envious! I may see a video of violence someone posted. I might read something which is definitely not true. Sorry if I just burst your bubble by letting you know that just because it's written or shared on facebook does NOT mean it's true! 😃😃
I try to
go to sleep!
So I'm attempting to push aside facebook at bedtime, and listen to a sermon, or godly music or pray myself to sleep. Pure things.
It's not as easy as it sounds! I'm constantly hearing the adversary whisper, "Oh, Barb, five minutes won't hurt!" But by the grace of God, I WILL win this battle and WILL be putting PURE thoughts in my mind before I drift off to sleep!
Amiable (having or displaying a friendly and pleasant manner); that may excite love; possessing qualities which may invite affection.
"Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives,"
II Samuel 1:23
I truly love the verse which the Websters Bible Dictionary included in the definition of lovely. I know some would look at that verse and totally think the absolute wrong thing about Saul and Jonathan. They were the very best of friends. They were closer than blood brothers.
I praise the Lord as I sit and type this out, I can think of at least three ladies in my life which I can say, "Barb and (_____________) are lovely and pleasant in their lives. What a joy to have such friends! Now, that's a lovely thought!
When I ponder upon the word lovely, I think about God's creation.
The magnificent sunsets He paints, The absolutely beautiful array of flowers. The mighty, majestic mountains. The ocean waves as they crash against the shoreline. And, oh, so much more loveliness which our God has created!
Valid reputation; excellent public character; as of good report.
Cornelius was of good report among the Jews.
"And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee."
WOW! Wouldn't you desire people to say the same of you as they said of Cornelius? A just man/woman, one that feareth God and of good report.
So how do we get people to say this of us? Better yet, how do we get the Lord to think this of us?
By dying to ourselves every single day. MANY times throughout the day. Saying, "No" to ourselves and "Yes" to the Lord. It's not a means of punishment. It's a means of obedience. The Lord only wants the best for our lives. He wants us to enjoy life, but He wants us to enjoy it His way and according to His Word.
Another way I think of the words good report is searching out, thinking about and sharing the positive qualities in others, not the negatives. Complementing others for their achievements. Being an encourager. Others have enough negativity in their lives. They need some cheerleaders to boost them up.
Of course the very best way to ponder things of good report is to read the ONLY book which contains on every single page and in every single word things of good report.
The Word of God!
Please join me
as we finish up
last few words!
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May God Bless You,