Finally, brothers, 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. Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
God’s directives are not simply suggestions, they are commands that we are to obey - for our own good. He knows how we are made. He remembers that we are but dust. Out of love He gives us His Word to encourage, strengthen, exhort, rebuke and train in righteousness. Indeed, His Word is to be our very life. Paul reminds us today in our verse that as we dwell and set our minds on the profitable – the true, noble, right, pure, lovely admirable, excellent and praiseworthy the peace of God will transform our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. And as we think, so we go, Amen?
Our thoughts are to dwell on the reliable, honest and respectable - wholesome and dignified things which conform to God’s standards and not the worlds – transforming us in incremental measures to be like Jesus as we fix our minds on things above. Things that promote peace in lieu of conflict and dissension. Things that are positive and constructive rather than negative and destructive. The Apostle Paul tells us this is both excellent and praiseworthy.
So often we set our minds on the lower objects of nature, Amen? We become consumed with the lesser and base rather than the higher. God is constantly reminding us to look up – not out or in but up. Those that are His are to set their minds on things above – not on earthly things because their lives are now hidden in Christ. And when He appears, we will also appear with Him in glory. We are to put to death whatever belongs to our earthly natures. And God tells us to set your minds and hearts on things above not on earthly things, for we died and our life is now hidden in Christ. When Christ, Who is our life, appears, we will also appear with Him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:5-10 (NIV)