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Focus On The Good (Philippians 4:8)

Sermon on 30 January 2022 by Ps Justin

Philippians 4:8 - “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.”

God is always good, so focus on God. To think of seven things - pure, noble, just, lovely, of good report, virtue and of praise worthy, we are to meditate on these things. It’s not a good advice to tell people to not think so much. We are to think, but we are to think of things that are true, pure, noble, lovely, praise worthy, and of good report. The word meditate carries more meaning than just thinking. It is to deliberate over and over again to fill your mind with these seven things. Our minds are very powerful. Our minds can control us. Circumstances that happen to us, be it planned or unplanned, are out of our control. If we let our thoughts run according to what we see, it will control our lives and influence our emotions. Emotions lie in our hearts. It will influence your heart, direction and actions. Sometimes you might not understand why you are always responding to a person or event in a very aggressive manner. This is not a sudden thing that happened. It has been carried forward for a while. This means that our thoughts are not in the right frame. Those seven things will be a checklist for our thoughts. If our thoughts don’t check these pointers, stop your thinking and start to control it. You can control your mind. You cannot control the circumstances. Your mind has the power to control you if you allow it. Your mind is the battleground that the devil will fight Christians. The day you become a Christian, you are on the battlefield. The only fight that we need to fight is our thoughts. The Bible doesn’t teach us to fight against one another or the devil. We need not have to fight even if we are in a spiritual warfare because the devil is under our feet. If we continue to read the word and focus our thoughts on the good (which is God), we will have peace.

Psalms 119:165 - “Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble.”

If we don’t control our thoughts, you allow the thoughts to run wild and the mind will receive the same truth with dejection and disappointment. You will always be anxious about many things. Our thoughts are so important. You will become what you think. What you think shapes your behaviour, your future and leads you to your destiny.

Proverbs 23:7a - “They are always thinking about how much it costs. “Eat and drink,” they say, but they don’t mean it.”

Always check your thoughts. The book of Philippians is a wonderful book. It is in the New Testament. It is included in the letters of Paul (Pauline Epistle). The main theme is about joy and great encouragement. He is encouraging everyone to rejoice.

Philippians 4:4 - “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!”

Think about your situation and compare it to Paul’s situation. Even in prison, he was rejoicing, and rejoicing in serving the Lord. Paul was controlling his own mind by not being driven by the circumstances he’s in. Paul cannot control the circumstances but he knows that God loves him. He has the mind of Christ. If you want to have the mind of Christ, you need to meditate on the thoughts of Christ. You need to meditate on these 7 things. If something that happened in your life caused your thoughts to run wild, and it doesn’t meet the 7 checklists, you have to take control over your thoughts so that you can influence your heart. If you want to have a complete alignment (1 Samuel 12:24), you must have the mind, knowledge and peace of Christ.

The 3 focuses when reading the epistles are 1. To have a mind of Christ, 2. To have the knowledge of Christ, 3. To have the peace of Christ. The next step is to meditate (applying). If you don’t apply, you won’t be blessed.

Joseph became the Prime Minister of Egypt even when he started from a slave because he has favour and mercy as God was with him. We only want the presence of God.

Matthew 6:33 - “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

Many Christians just quote this verse but don’t practice it. Focus on the good and be a doer of the truth.

Philippians 4:9 - “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.”

We cannot be a victorious Christian or overcome sin because we lack one element - the application. We must do it. All the things that you’ve received must be put into practice by taking control over your thoughts. Then, the peace of God will be with you. You must remember to pray too. The only thing that guards our heart and thoughts is God Himself. It is only in His presence that we have freedom. Without His presence, there will not be success. We are living in this temporal world but we can still live an abundant life.

John 14:27 - ““I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

The God of peace not only grants you biblical prosperity but puts the devil under our feet too.

Romans 16:20 - “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”

Peace of God is with you because God is in you. Whatever you focus on will expand. You receive whatever you are most fearful of. When you focus on the right things, you can control your mind. Your thoughts will shape your future.

Proverbs 23:7 - “They are always thinking about how much it costs. “Eat and drink,” they say, but they don’t mean it.”

Galatians 6:7-8 - “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.”

If you are sold to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life. Your mind is like a garden. If you don’t tend your garden, you will see unruly weeds growing. If you tend your mind, and meditate on the 7 things, the God of peace will be with you. The peace that God gives is unlike what the world gives. What and how you sow is what and how you reap. Your thoughts are a reflection of who you are. Your thoughts reflect your Spiritual state.

Romans 8:5 - “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.”

Don’t let our mind run wild. Don’t go into temptation. Don’t go into trouble until the trouble troubles you. It’s not pleasing to God to be in the flesh. A Christian’s daily life is shaped by their mind. From sunrise to sunset, let the name of God be praised.

2 Corinthians 4:4 - “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.”

2 Corinthians 11:3 - “But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.”

Sometimes when you think you are in the season of suffering, God might see it as a season of preparation. God is with us and that’s His plan. If you don’t wake up and take care of your mind, the devil will come and play with you. Let us have the simplicity of the mind of Christ. To rephrase simplicity, it means sincere, honest and genuine. If God says so, I’ll believe and do what He says. It is what we think that leads to what we do. It is only the God of peace that surpasses all understanding and guards your heart. Some Christians don’t understand simple truth. Focus on the thoughts of God which are the words of God. It is what we think that shapes our behaviour. To think rightly about God, about ourselves and about other people.

Philippians 4:6 - “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

2 Corinthians 10:5b - “We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”

A philosopher said this’ “Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action. Reap a habit. Sow a habit. Reap a character. Sow a character. Reap a destiny!”

Romans 12:2 - “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Matthew 13:22 - “The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.”

The love of the world, and deceitfulness of the riches will choke Christians. They will not be fruitful and multiply. Have a meditating mind by focusing on the good.

Philippians 2:5 - “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

Close all the doors to the world, the flesh and the devil.

Pointers for today:

1. Focus on whatever is the truth

The devil will corrupt our mind.

John 8:44 - “For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

2 Corinthians 11:3 - “But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.”

John 17:17 - “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.”

2. Focus on whatever is noble and just

Deuteronomy 16:20 - “Let true justice prevail, so you may live and occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

3. Focus on whatever is pure

Check your thoughts. Anything that you want to respond to that is impure, will influence your direction.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 - “Stay away from every kind of evil.”

4. Focus on whatever is lovely and of good report

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 - “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

5. Focus on virtue and praise

2 Peter 1:3 - “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.”

We are able to live a godly life. Anything that is not of virtue - moral excellence, stop. It will influence your emotions over a period of time. No matter what challenges come to you, the God of peace will guard your heart and mind. You will be so calm because you know Romans 16:20 is with you.

Right thinking is the result of daily meditation of the word of God. Great peace will be with people who have His word. Focus on good by focusing on learning and doing. It is impossible to separate inward attitude from outward actions if you want to be blessed. It is impossible to be set free if you don’t abide. Thinking right I’d a necessary condition for experiencing the peace of God. The work of righteousness is peace. Our peace in God is a sign that we are focusing on good and are in God’s will. To live a life with peace of mind and be successful, you must think right and act right.

Joshua 1:8 - “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

Isaiah 32:17 - “And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever.”


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