4th November 2015

Think On These Things~
Whatsoever Things Are Lovely

The Fifth in a Series on Philippians 4:8

“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.”
Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

There are quite a few lovely stories in the Bible. In II Kings chapter 2 we see when Elijah was going to be taken away from Elisha and the latter asked the former for a double portion of his spirit. Elijah answered “‘You have asked a difficult thing, yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.’ As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, ‘My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!’ And Elisha saw him no more.” (Verses 10-12 NIV). And so Elisha’s wish was answered.

In II Kings chapter 20 we see Hezekiah is dying and God’s prophet confirms this: “In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, ‘This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.’ Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, ‘Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.’ And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: ‘Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, “This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.”’ Then Isaiah said, ‘Prepare a poultice of figs.’ They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered. Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, ‘What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the temple of the Lord on the third day from now?’ Isaiah answered, ‘This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?’ ‘It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,’ said Hezekiah. ‘Rather, have it go back ten steps.’ Then the prophet Isaiah called on the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.” (verses 1-11 NIV)

Genesis chapter 18 finds God musing out loud whether He should share His plans with Abraham (verse 17). God shares them and Abraham does what God knew he would—argues for the righteous. Abraham gets God to agree to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if there are 10 righteous people there and even though there are less than 10, God still spares those people. (Verses 23-32, chapter 19:15)

All these events have one thing in common. They are lovely things that happened and which can encourage us when all seems lost. The Message puts it this way “Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.” (II Timothy 3:16 MSG)

Prayer
Father, thank You for reminding us of the necessity to pause and meditate. Your book is full of lovely stories which can be used to encourage us and to lift and strengthen our spirit when we struggle. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen
 

Study by Jackee Brown

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jackeebrown1About the Author:
Jackee Brown is a member in the Worldwide Church of God UK Congregation in London.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God London
Indian YMCA Student Hostel
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
LONDON
W1T 6AQ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2:30pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Martin Ryan
Phone: 07958 386944
Email: martin_ryan@wcg.org.uk

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