In the Bible Today; Philippians 4:8-9
Understanding the Bible
The Bible is a timeless text of perennial wisdom. It tells us not only of God and mankind, but it also guides us on our path as spiritual beings in human bodies.
Though the Bible sometimes seems inapproachable and complex, these studies are designed to make the Bible accessible to everyone and applicable to everyday life.
This study uses the SOAP technique: Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer. As you read through and study the bible, and a verse sticks out to you, write it down. Then write down your personal observations regarding the scripture, along with historical notations and any other pertinent information. After you make a thorough observation of the scripture, meditate on how you might apply the lesson learned to your own life. How can you use this particular verse to improve your life or make your spiritual journey better? Finally, write out a prayer to God, as you think about the scripture.
This technique will help you find more meaning from your study of scripture, and will help deepen your walk along a spiritual path.
Philippians 4: 8-9: "8. 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. 9. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." King James Version
Philippians 4: 8-9: "8. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." New International Version
Philippians 4: 8-9: "8. Finally, believers, 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]. 9 The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you." Amplified Bible
Think then on these things
Observation: As believers, as brothers, as spirit beings who walk this earth in fleshly bodies, we are not called to focus on the terrible, the hateful, the ugly, the mean, the bitter or the angry.
Instead, God calls each one of us to return to the light, to focus our energy and our thoughts on those things that are good, pure, lovely, admirable, noble. This is where we ought to place our energy, our time, our concentration, our resources, and our hope.
We are not called by God to spread fear and hate. We are called to share love and light. When we focus on these thing, then the God of Peace will abide with us and in us and through us.
In this way, we spread healing energy of love and light, thus improving our world. While we may not be able to change the entire world with one thought, we can change ourselves, thereby changing our own corner of the world.
Focus on whatever is good, true, right, light
Application: It is easy to focus on all the negative around us. The news is full of horrific stories. When we allow ourselves to be filled with these images and ideas, we magnify the negative energy.
What you think about increases. When you focus on anger, violence and rage, it increases in your life, and you draw these energies to yourself. If you want more peace, more beauty, more love, then think on these things.
Surround yourself with peace, with love, with beauty. Take a walk in nature and breathe deeply, enjoying the beauty and peace surrounding you. Spend some time volunteering, and focus on offering love to those in need. Create a safe, calm, peaceful environment in your home that offers a respite to you and your family. Allow your home to be your sanctuary from the harsh extremes of the world.
Consciously remove yourself from angry situations and people. Limit the amount of blood and gore you allow to enter your energetic field, whether through the news, movies or books. You don't have to stop watching the news entirely, but you can limit your exposure to negative stories and images.
In our daily lives, we choose what to think about. This passage assures us that thinking on the positive, light filled, loving energies will bring us peace. You can choose peace instead of this. With just a change of thought, you can choose to see your world differently. Look for love, look for peace, look for beauty.
In situations and circumstances where no light is found, you can be light. You can be love. You can be peace. You can be beauty. Let the change in the world begin with you, in your own life. You can choose today exactly what you will think about, how you will show up, and who you will be.
Today, you can choose peace.
Prayer; Lord, as your Saint Asissi so eloquently put it, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
Father, help me see the hurt and bring healing. Use me today to bring your love, your light, and your peace to the world around me.