There is a direct connection between what we focus on in the development of our character and our ability to be strong and courageous in our everyday lives. Most people can rattle off some pompous phrase or idiom, but does their walk match their talk… and do our shallow words and efforts really rise to the level of excellence? Paul tells us if you want to stand fast and know Perfection, or as he puts it, ‘the peace of God that guards your heart and mind in Christ Jesus,’ then you must focus on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].” (Phil 4:8) Notice he says what is ‘right and good’ is that which is confirmed by God’s Word. So anything not established on God’s Word would be ‘starting from the point of a lie, being neither right nor good’, and therefore will eventually crumble, taking everything and everyone who trusted the lie down with it. There are only two things that last forever, people and God’s Word (1 Peter 1:24-25). Therefore those who have trusted in God’s Word as the standard of ‘right and good’ remain steadfast and imperishable into eternity, while those who did not know only eternal judgment.
Paul’s list has provided you with markers or points of reference to help you chase perfection, all of which correspond with God’s Word. Since each of these are of the category of what is excellent and ‘that which brings order’; if you simply ask if what you are establishing your character on… or making your choice by… leads to order, then you can be confident you will know ‘the Perfect peace of God that guards your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.’
“Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” (2 Peter 3:17-18)
Praying you choose Christ today
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Daily Quote: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” ~ Lombardi
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
Do not trust in oppression, Nor vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them. Psalm 62:10