The Lord is still busy talking to me about making my life matter, so I am continuing with the theme of making life matter (click here for the previous blog on treasures). A while ago I read Philippians 4:8 (NKJV) again:
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
When I read this, I realised that in making my life matter, I need to make my thoughts matter. You may be thinking: How do I make my thoughts matter? What do thoughts that matter look like? Where do I start?
Well we start by looking at the Word. We all know Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV) very well, this is about the thoughts God has for us:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
God has thoughts of PEACE to give us a future and a hope. NOT evil. Lately I am especially challenged with this, because when I look at my own thoughts they are not always of peace. If we look at our Father and we want to follow His example, we should have thoughts of peace.
It is also very easy for us to think of others in a negative way, we remember and focus on their mistakes and flaws. We criticise, condemn, and think the worst of others. Whatever the reason for your thoughts – jealousy, your own insecurities, their actions or the past – these thoughts are definitely not of peace. The word also tells us what God’s thoughts are on this in Hebrew 8:12 NKJV:
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
So God doesn’t think about our sins and lawless deeds anymore. This is such great news for us! But if we want to make our thoughts matter, yet we keep ourselves prisoners in our minds by not letting these thoughts go, we miss the point. If God doesn’t think about the sins of the people around you (or your own), why do you? And what gives you the right?
So what would thoughts that make life matter look like? Let’s look at Philippians 4:8 in more detail. Here are the meanings of the words in this verse:
Whatever things are
- True – in accordance with fact or reality, accurate or exact
- Noble – having or showing fine personal or high moral principles
- Just – based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair
- Pure – not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material
- Lovely – very beautiful or attractive
- Of good report – a person’s high standing among others: dignity, good name, honour, prestige, reputation, repute, respect
If there is
- Any virtue – behaviour showing high moral standards
- Anything praiseworthy – deserving approval and admiration
MEDITATE on these things – focus one’s mind, think deeply, plan mentally, consider
These are the thoughts God wants us to have! I knew what all of these words meant, but looking deeper into it, it got me thinking… All of the things mentioned in the verse and the meanings of the words are values that remind me of the kingdom of God. Therefore Philippians 4:8 is about kingdom values – basically this verse says that we should have kingdom thoughts.
Matthew 6: 33 (NKJV)
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
A life seeking the kingdom of God, is making life matter. How do we seek the kingdom of God? One of the ways is to have kingdom thoughts. What are kingdom thoughts? Anything that is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, if there is any virtue and anything praiseworthy. This will become easier the more we practise it, the more we spend time with God, hearing His voice and the more we are in continuous conversation with Him.