Skip to main content

Meditate on things True

Dear Friends,

Here is the third of our REAL Devotions, written especially for you by one of the women from within Kerith community. We hope that these words bless and challenge you as you prepare for your weekend with us - it's just 2 weeks away!

With much love, Catrina and the REAL team x

 

"Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies." Philippians 4:8 [The Message]

Oh dear, we do tend to enjoy doing what we shouldn’t, don’t we?

Maybe you’ve read these verses before but in another version, and this one might sound a bit weird - a different translation can often do that. Our thoughts are the basis for our actions so what we think is really important.

This text comes from one of the apostle Paul’s letters that he wrote to groups of Christians to teach and encourage them. It has been called "the happiest of Paul's letters". With any text, it’s always key to bear in mind the context. Prior to this section, Paul has encouraged two women in the congregation to get along together and he has been referring to the importance of trusting God, having a relationship with him, and not worrying. Commentators of this text have been at pains to point out that this is far more than just the modern-day advice to think positively. Let’s break it down:

Meditating: Greek "Logizomai": Reason to a logical conclusion, really take to heart to modify our conduct

True: God is truth and the Word of God our standard. The question should be, "Is it biblical?" rather than "does it work/do I fancy doing it?"

Noble: righteous, just

Reputable: of good report

Authentic: pure

Compelling: lovely, like Jesus

Gracious: positive and constructive, choosing not to see faults. The chapter opened with this. Unity is much valued.

The best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. How easy it is for us to see the negative!

Paul talks of "circumstances", by which he means pains and difficulties in life’s challenges, which can affect our thoughts. In my life, although I haven’t faced beatings and shipwreck and the other things that Paul faced, I have certainly faced pain and ongoing difficulty, like anyone else. In the last few years our family has faced severe disability, cancer, bereavement and depression. It is so easy to be overwhelmed, but this scripture can be used not to castigate us but encourage us to take hold of our thoughts and think another way.

Examples:

Everyday life examples of this application might include:

- Thinking about Jesus and his example

- Apprenticeship: the followers of Jesus spent time with him. We can apply the WWJD rule – think what Jesus would do in a situation

- Read The Bible daily: it’s not just another book. It talks to us if we let it. If we feel the words don’t "speak" any more, consider another translation or another format, e.g., listen to a podcast.

- Beware of bad thoughts – take them captive straight away and instead, think along the lines of this scripture.

- Listen to worship music.

Action:

Finally, we can decide to do something radical. We can go to a quiet place, and let the Holy Spirit be our guide. Re-read these verses, think, study, delve, truly meditate, rolling them round in our mind. Then apply it.

We can’t always change our circumstances, but we can marshal our thoughts, renew our minds and decide to carry on trusting.

 

 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I Have Decided To Follow Jesus, No Turning Back

I have decided to follow Jesus...no turning back.Take a listen to this beautiful song from Hillsong - every time I hear these words and sing along it changes my perspective, turns me around, gets my focus off me and onto Jesus - "Christ Is Enough For Me". ...No turning back, I've been set free...Christ is enough for me.

Discover your Worth, your Strength, your Purpose

Following a successful Kerith launch in the Spring, Sarah Farley and her team are ready to go again,leading their 2nd SHINE course.
SHINE is an eight week self esteem course for women. The evenings are a mixture of Talks and discussion time, with a practical approach to learning. It's a really encouraging environment, and the evenings are a lot of fun. The course starts this Tuesday evening, and there are still some spaces available.Here's your personal invite from Sarah!Shine is about to run again and I'm excited to see what God is going to do this time round. If you haven't already heard, Shine is a course designed for women who want to live their life in abundance, the way God designed them to live it. To recognise all their worth, to grow in self-esteem, to see all their strengths and positives and ultimately live a life of purpose.We've still got a few places left so if you're interested there's more information here on the Kerith website, where you can…

It's been a while

So, I've been gone a while....and  I've been wondering about launching a new blog - perhaps a new look,a new blog, a totally new start? In the wondering I've done nothing, so instead, I'm just going to pick it up again, and start writing.... 
So this week I had the privilege of spending time with some Prayer warriors in the Kerith Prayer room. We gathered to pray for the upcoming Mission Trips to Albania and Macedonia.  - They did me such good, as they shared what God had been saying to them in their own prayer times - words of encouragement that He will bring restoration of relationships; He will bring healing ; there will be lots of new people who haven't been to UNIKE before; there'll be a fresh move of the Holy Spirit; somethingnewandmoreis going to happen this year; He is going to take things to another level. You can imagine how excited I was to hear these whispers from God - join me in a moment's prayer right now, that we'll see Him work?
It's …