Philippians 4:4-23

Daybreak for Students

Philippians 4:4-23

OVERVIEW
DAYBREAK
Philippians 4
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. — Philippians 4:8

As I clicked the remote to the education channel, I immediately became interested in the program that appeared on the screen. It was a concert of folk music by musicians who were popular during my high school years. I loved the music they were playing, and every song was familiar to me. However, when I turned the program off, the words kept going through my mind. The tunes were so catchy! Even when I got down to pray and do my devotions, the songs kept coming to my mind, interfering with my prayer and study.

I think of Philippians 4:8 as God’s filter for my mind to guard holiness. By thinking on godly things, I learn of those things that are pure, honest, and just. Contaminates from the world around me are kept away. What my mind thinks about impacts my emotions, as well as my actions.

Our society has many convenient means to communicate information. Through the newspaper, radio, internet, and television, we hear news and also strong opinions about almost every topic. The problem is that so often the statements are not true, and the values presented are not godly.

The Lord wants His children to be holy, and that includes thinking holy thoughts. Does that mean we should avoid knowing what is going on in the world? No, but it could serve us well to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” Would He listen to what we listen to? Would He go where we go? Would He watch what we watch? Would He read what we read? As we choose what to put into our minds, we need to evaluate how our choices might impact us.

If we regularly apply today’s focus verse to our thoughts, we will find that it makes a difference in every avenue of our lives, including our prayer lives.

How is your thinking today?

BACKGROUND

Paul’s letter to the Philippians was one of joy in spite of the fact that he was a prisoner when he wrote it. His heart was full of happiness no matter what circumstances he faced: prison or palace, adversity or prosperity, sickness or health.

In this chapter, Paul warned the Philippian church about Judaizers (Jews who wrongly believed that it was essential for Gentiles to follow all the Old Testament Jewish laws, including circumcision, in order to receive salvation). He condemned these teachings, pointing out to the Philippians that what a person did could not make him a believer; rather, salvation was the free gift of grace given by Christ.

The phrase, “Be careful for nothing,” means not to be anxious or worried. The key to not worrying is found in the latter part of the verse; rather than worry, the believer is instructed to pray. One writer says, “We should be anxious for nothing, prayerful for everything, and thankful for anything.” Paul knew that trustfully bringing one’s requests to the Lord in a spirit of prayerful thanksgiving was indicative of true worship and devotion.

True peace is not related to circumstances. It is based upon faith and the knowledge that God will guide His children and will only allow what is best for them. The peace of God surpasses all power of human reason or comprehension. Contentment also is related to focus and perspective. A firm belief that God will supply all our needs will certainly promote contentment.

Paul’s closing remarks to the church at Philippi again reflect the Gospel, which runs throughout the Book of Philippians. To Paul, the Gospel was the message of Christ, the content of the Christian faith, the whole of Christian service, and the main thrust of his entire career after he was converted. Paul challenged these people to program their minds with thoughts that were true, honest, pure, lovely, of a good report, virtuous and praiseworthy, and his life was an illustration of this high and holy thinking. He lived what he preached, and the Philippians could safely follow both his example and his preaching.

AMPLIFIED OUTLINE

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
V.   Joy in the provisions of Christ (4:4-19)
     A.   Peace (4:4-9)
           1.   Through prayer (4:4-7)
           2.   Through proper thinking (4:8-9)
     B.   Contentment (4:10-13)
     C.   Material needs (4:14-19)
           1.   The Philippians’ gifts (4:14-18)
           2.   The promise for their needs (4:19)
VI.   Conclusion (4:20-23)
     A.   Praise (4:20)
     B.   Greetings (4:21-22)
     C.   Benediction (4:23)

A CLOSER LOOK

  1. How are we to make our requests known unto God?

  2. In what ways do you think that daily, private Bible study and prayer help us to fulfill the directive Paul gave to the Philippian believers regarding their thoughts?

  3. Using Philippians 4:8 as “God’s filter,” list several ways you could gain and keep control of your thoughts.

CONCLUSION

You can determine your own thought life. What you watch, read, and listen to will impact your thinking and your actions.