PRACTICE THESE THINGS Dec 7, 2014 23:13:01 GMT -5
Post by tomdurst on Dec 7, 2014 23:13:01 GMT -5
PRACTICE THESE THINGS
Philippians 4:8-9 Common English Bible (CEB)
8 From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. 9 Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you.
There seems to often be a “disconnect” between our lofty ideals and how we put them into practice everyday, especially in our relationships with others. Those who take their beliefs real seriously or who try to follow certain religious practices closely are especially vulnerable to overlook the practical side of the faith journey. The people responsible for crucifying Jesus held tenaciously to their beliefs and practices and when Jesus seemed to contradict them they saw Him as a threat and got rid of Him. During the Dark Ages highly religious church prelates tortured and put to death believers whom they thought to be in error. Protestants, Catholics, and state officials all joined forces in persecuting the Mennonites and Quakers because of their nonconformity to the power brokers of the time. Sometimes people who hold very high ideals intellectually engage in shady business practices, treat others in very shabby ways, engage in arguments, and manifest more arrogance than humility. If you look at the above two verses carefully “practice these things” refers specifically to doing things that are admirable, holy, just, pure, lovely, and worthy of praise. These principles are very clear and don’t need a lot of explanation to understand. Somehow they must really reach our hearts in a way that exceeds just a mental acceptance. If we keep our eyes on Jesus and are touched by His acceptance of us through His grace we shall experience genuine transformation that will deeply impact us to really “practice these things.” When we may be tempted to think of others who aren’t practicing their faith the way we think they should I would recommend a prayer like this: "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” (Psalm 139:23 ESV) Indeed, all of us need to come up on higher ground everyday so let us not get sidetracked by the failings of others. We are all ever in need of God’s forgiving and enabling grace.
I invite you to read A SIMPLE GUIDE FOR LIVING which is on the link below:
A SIMPLE GUIDE FOR LIVING