Listen To Most Current
Grace Notes Archive
November 2022 (4)
October 2022 (5)
September 2022 (6)
August 2022 (4)
July 2022 (5)
June 2022 (4)
May 2022 (4)
April 2022 (7)
March 2022 (4)
February 2022 (4)
January 2022 (5)
December 2021 (5)
November 2021 (4)
October 2021 (5)
September 2021 (4)
August 2021 (4)
July 2021 (6)
June 2021 (4)
May 2021 (5)
April 2021 (4)
March 2021 (5)
February 2021 (4)
January 2021 (5)
December 2020 (4)
November 2020 (4)
October 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
August 2020 (5)
July 2020 (21)
June 2020 (29)
May 2020 (28)
April 2020 (31)
March 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
January 2020 (5)
December 2019 (5)
November 2019 (3)
October 2019 (5)
September 2019 (4)
August 2019 (5)
July 2019 (4)
June 2019 (5)
May 2019 (4)
April 2019 (4)
March 2019 (4)
February 2019 (6)
January 2019 (4)
December 2018 (4)
November 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
September 2018 (4)
August 2018 (4)
July 2018 (3)
June 2018 (4)
May 2018 (4)
April 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (4)
December 2017 (4)
November 2017 (5)
October 2017 (4)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (5)
March 2017 (3)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (3)
December 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (4)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (5)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (5)
March 2016 (4)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (5)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (4)
August 2015 (5)
July 2015 (5)
June 2015 (4)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (2)
March 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
January 2015 (5)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (5)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (4)
August 2014 (4)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (4)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (4)
November 2013 (5)
October 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (5)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (4)
February 2013 (5)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (5)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
January 2011 (5)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (4)
March 2010 (5)
February 2010 (4)
January 2010 (5)
December 2009 (5)
November 2009 (3)
October 2009 (6)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (5)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (4)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (4)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (5)
October 2008 (4)
September 2008 (5)
August 2008 (4)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (5)
February 2008 (1)
Grace Notes

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

DWELL ON THIS THING
by Philip Owen

          Toward the end of his epistle to the church at Philippi, Paul lists eight qualities or virtues that believers should “dwell on,” or ponder; namely, whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and worthy of praise (see Phil. 4:8). Seven of the qualities we might come up with given enough time to make a list. But one may be a little surprising, and men, in particular, might feel almost a little squeamish about it. Which one? “Whatever is lovely.” The word appears only here in the New Testament, so we have no opportunity to make a comparison of its usage in other inspired contexts. But lovely must be a good translation of the Greek because thirteen of the fourteen translations consulted chose that word. (The outlier translated the word as amiable.) The Greek word is defined variously as “acceptable, pleasing” and “lovable, gracious.” Although we might be inclined to think of the view of a placid lake, the aroma of a rose, or a skillfully knitted blanket as lovely, we know from the other words in the list that Paul has in mind that which is spiritually lovely. And since he instructs us to think on those things, we would do well to consider what God would put before us under the category of loveliness. Below are some possibilities.

            The Person and Attributes of God are lovely. There is no better place to start than to meditate on who and what God is. He embodies all that is holy and good. All that He does is right and perfect. He makes no mistakes. His judgments are right, His justice perfect. He never fails.

            The Work of Christ is lovely. The collective conclusions of the greatest minds of all time could never have devised the plan of redemption: the Son of God taking on human flesh in order to die and satisfy the holy and just demands of God so that He might be at one and the same time “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom 3:26).

            The Ministry of the Holy Spirit is lovely. That the Third Person of the Trinity would condescend to dwell in the hearts of redeemed men is beyond comprehension. That He would be pleased to exalt Christ rather than Himself, that He would make Himself a constant Helper to believers is unfathomable.

            The Word of God is lovely. A book containing the very words of God delivered in a way that frail humans can comprehend is marvelous. That it reveals to believers “everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Pet. 1:3) defies imagination. We need not guess what pleases God, what He expects of believers, or what He has in store for those who love Him. That it abounds with unbreakable promises for the believer is beyond lovely.

            The Biblical Biographies of believers are lovely. The recorded lives of Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Elijah, Elisha, Ruth, David, Josiah, Esther, Peter, John, Paul, Mary of Bethany and a host of others give believers examples that exhort and encourage us, reminding us that all believers have trials but that we may be overcomers in them. That all believers have the privilege of serving, and in so doing God is honored and we are blessed is lovely.

            The Gifts of God are lovely. From the gift of deliverance from sin to the indwelling Spirit, from the gifts of love, joy, and peace to the natural gifts that enable us to live, and even thrive, in this life, from the gifts that allow us to minister and serve to the unimaginable gifts that await us in eternity, believers are rich beyond full comprehension.             Perhaps you can think of a longer and better list of lovely things to dwell on. One thing is certain: eternity will not exhaust the loveliness of all that God is and all that He has done. We would honor Him and bless ourselves if we would devote more time and energy to the endeavor He exhorts us to pursue now.

Actions: E-mail | Permalink

Previous Page | Next Page