Sermon on the Mount: Day 24

Think About Such Things

Read Philippians 4:8–9
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
On Monday, we read Jesus’ instruction not to store up treasures here on earth but to store up treasures in heaven. Elsewhere, we are told to focus on eternal things, not temporal things (2 Corinthians 4:18). What are those eternal, heavenly things? Here, Paul tells us it is whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. These are the things we are to think about and practice. In order to focus on these things, though, we must be able to see them in the first place! In our cynical, negative, and divisive culture, this is no small task!

  • Reflect on the way you begin each day—is it by looking at emails, staring out the window, reading the paper, reflecting on Scripture, making breakfast for your kids or spouse? How does the way you begin your day shape your outlook on the day?
  • In whatever space you are in right now, what comes to mind that is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy? How might you keep those things at the forefront of your mind today?
  • What invitation do you sense God extending to you through today’s passage?

God, my thoughts are not Your thoughts and we both know how often my thoughts are lowly—focused on the temporal, the dark, the ugly, and the shameful. Particularly in the public sphere, I can be pulled into cynicism and blaming. Help me to focus instead on heavenly things. Fill my mind with ways to love better and more and ideas about how to encourage others. May I be a source of hope and light to others. Amen.

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