The first verse that came to mind last night was Philippians 4:8. And, I think the only reason for that is because of the last few words in the verse: "...dwell on these things." And, then I felt compelled to dig in and study about what I'm supposed to be dwelling on. So, here we go!
Philippians 4:8~ Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right (just,) whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
- So, what is truth? Prime example:
John 14:6~ Jesus said to Him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Jesus Christ IS truth.
- What is honor? Well, to be honorable, is to have a good reputation. To have a good name. To be honest. Fair. To have integrity. And the very first person that came to my mind when I was thinking of someone honorable was : Jesus. I mean, He came to this earth in human form, died a terrible death, and then rose again, ALL FOR YOU AND ME! If that's not honorable, I don't know what is.
Jesus is honorable.
- What is right or just? The Webster's dictionary gives this definition for 'just:' Acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good; righteous. Who comes to mind, yet again? Take a wild guess..
I Peter 3:18~ For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit...
Jesus is just.
- What is purity? To be pure is to be spotless, unblemished, blameless, etc. You want to know who is the very definition of purity? I think I see a pattern developing here.
I Peter 1:18-19~ ...knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
Hebrews 4:15~ For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
Jesus is pure.
- The definition of 'lovely' is: Delightful for beauty, harmony, or grace; attractive. Now, I for one, do not think that Jesus was physically beautiful. I almost feel bad for saying that, but if you look at the Scriptures, it clearly says that He wasn't. I would probably say that he was closer to being down right ugly. That sounds even worse!
Isaiah 53:2-3~ He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
It seems to me like He was actually a very unattractive guy. Physically. But, guess what? I, personally, think that Jesus was the most attractive person that has ever walked on this earth. Spiritually. His inward appearance is incomparable. No one can match it. He had (has) amazing character. And, since the Bible tells us (over and over again) that it is what's on the inside that counts (I Samuel 16:7,) I consider Jesus to be VERY LOVELY person.
- Good repute? That's an interesting one. To me, this means to be well spoken of or to have a good reputation. And believe me, Jesus Christ is well spoken of around our house. I'll tell you why that is.
John 15:13~ Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.That is the ultimate example of love. For Jesus to give up His life for us is priceless.
He has an amazing reputation.
- The definition of 'excellent' is: Superior; very good of its own kind; eminently good. I encourage you to read all of Hebrews 1, which talks about Jesus' superiority, but I'll share the first 4 verses just so you get a piece of it.
Hebrews 1:1-4~ God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
Jesus is excellent.
- Now first of all, I'd just like to say that if Jesus fulfills all of these characteristics, I think He's pretty praiseworthy. But, we are also commanded, all through the Bible, to offer Him praise. I'll just list a few examples, though.
Psalm 145:3~ Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.
Psalm 96:4~ For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods.
Psalm 150:2~ Praise Him for His acts of power; praise him for His surpassing greatness.
Jesus is praiseworthy.
As I was thinking about Philippians 4:8 last night, I was trying to think of things that fit the descriptions in this verse. And, although there are other things that do fit those descriptions, I kept coming back to the ONE who fit them perfectly. Jesus Christ is the pure essence of Philippians 4:8. So, it seems to me, that whenever I am being totally focused on myself and whenever I have other things taking up all of my time, that is sin. Whenever I'm feeling exhausted because of what I'm choosing to dwell on, that is sin. My thoughts need to be completely consumed by Jesus. At all times.