8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Verse 8 is another I continually recall and quote because I want to put the right things in my mind. I’ve found this helps protect me from the deception of the world and of Satan. There is definitely a battle going on in this world for our minds and I want my thoughts to honor Christ and be filled with His truth. I once heard it said: “Sow a thought reap an attitude – sow an attitude reap an action – sow an action reap a habit – sow a habit reap a character – sow a character reap a destiny. It all starts with what you continually put in your heart and mind.
“Fix your minds” is an imperative in this passage; it’s a command. If you were using the ENSPEC method of daily Bible study that we talked about recently, this would be A COMMAND FOR YOU TO FOLLOW. Paul isn’t telling these Christ-followers that this is an option, he’s saying it’s a necessity – a command.
If you and I are going to grow and have spiritual stability and health, we have to learn to set aside the junk of this world and focus our hearts and minds on the things of God. We need to fix our thoughts continually on the truth of God’s Word, things worth our respect, things that line up with God’s standards, things that are morally clean, things that are highly regarded as good. The more you are able to do this, the more joy you’ll experience in your life.
A simple question we all need to answer: “How’s your thought life?” What are you putting in your mind; the Word of God or the world’s garbage? If you want to experience God’s peace and power, fill your mind with the things listed in this passage. Learn to memorize and meditate on God’s Word. A great passage to memorize is Phil. 4:6-8.
Paul also reminded these Christ followers to continue putting into practice the things they had learned from him and seen in his life. As he had done earlier, he suggested they follow his example. This wasn’t pride or arrogance; he admitted over and over his failures, but he wanted them to follow his example in striving to live for Jesus Christ!
Another simple question: “Could you make this same request of your family and friends?” Would you want them to put into practice what you say and do? If not, what needs to change?