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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #5940 on: October 20, 2017, 08:57:50 AM »

The Scarlet Hope

“Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.” (Joshua 2:18)
 
These words were spoken to Rahab by Joshua’s spies after she had protected them from discovery by the officials of Jericho. She had testified to the spies that “the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath” (Joshua 2:11). Therefore, “by faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace” (Hebrews 11:31).
 
Rahab’s spiritual salvation came because of her faith in the true God; she soon entered into the covenant family of Israel and eventually even became a member of the family line leading to Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). Her physical deliverance, on the other hand, and that of her family depended on a “line of scarlet thread” suspended from her window, identifying her home as “under the blood,” so to speak, when Jericho fell and all its other inhabitants perished.
 
This thin, blood-red line constituted a very slender hope for Rahab in the midst of such a scene of judgment and total destruction, but it sufficed. It is fascinating to note that the Hebrew word for “line” (occurring here for the first time in the Bible) is everywhere else translated by the key word “hope.” Perhaps “line” soon came to mean “hope” because of this very experience, when a “scarlet hope” extended all the way from a repentant sinner to the very God of heaven! Note the same thought with the same word: “For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD” (Psalm 71:5).
 
“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:3). HMM
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« Reply #5941 on: October 21, 2017, 08:14:16 AM »

Sudden Creation

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)
 
Even a superficial reading of the account of creation in Genesis 1 and 2 impresses the reader with the idea of suddenness. God simply called the universe into existence from nothing and then quickly set about the rapid formation of certain features, interspersed with other direct creative acts. All of the events, whether creative or formative, seem to have happened over a brief period of time, such as the formation of the plants (Genesis 1:12), the animals (v. 20), and the sun and stars (v. 16).
 
Even aspects that were evidently formed by a process such as the continents and oceans (v. 10) and humankind (2:7, 22) seemingly took no great length of time.
 
This is especially true of the creation of light. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (1:3). No slow and sporadic arrival of light from distant stars is mentioned, nor a gradual heating up of the sun as interstellar gas collapsed and fused. Some evangelical advocates of the old-earth concept hold that God slowly cleared the atmosphere of leftover interstellar dust that allowed the light from the sun and stars to penetrate to the earth.
 
But, if Scripture alone is our authority, then it happened suddenly and spectacularly. As discussed in our text, it happened just as suddenly and just as supernaturally as a new creature is created out of a dead creature at the moment of salvation. Sanctification may be a lifelong matter, but “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17), literally creation. No more time is required for the transformation than for darkness to turn into light at the Creator’s command. JDM
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« Reply #5942 on: October 22, 2017, 09:25:40 AM »

The Unfailing Presence

“And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” (Genesis 28:15)
 
This is the first of many promises of God’s unfailing presence with those who trust Him. The words of our text were spoken to Jacob on his flight from the unwarranted wrath of Esau. Those expositors who unjustifiably accuse Jacob of fraud when he secured the birthright promised to him by God before his birth (Genesis 25:23) should note that God never rebuked Jacob but instead promised His perpetual protecting presence.
 
Note also God’s promise to Joshua: “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (Joshua 1:5).
 
There is also His promise to His chosen people, Israel: “For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people” (1 Samuel 12:22). There are many other such assurances in the Scriptures. One that especially reveals God’s heart is Isaiah 41:17: “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.”
 
The most precious of all, however, is the assurance to all New Testament believers that “I will never [literally ‘never, never, never’] leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). Paul teaches after an exhausting list of possibilities that nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). “Lo, I am with you alway,” Jesus said, “even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). HMM
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« Reply #5943 on: October 23, 2017, 08:54:46 AM »

Godly Boasting

“I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” (Psalm 34:1-3)
 
This is an open praise. David is “bragging” about God to anybody who will listen. The boast that his soul is making is broadcast so that everyone will know of his joy. The Hebrew word translated “boast” in this passage is halal, from which hallelujah is developed. Halal is most often used to convey the idea of excitement or delight.
 
Our boast is designed to magnify and exalt the Lord so that we can halal together. “Magnify” (Hebrew gadal) is an imperative verb that demands us to “make great” or elevate to “great importance” the memory of the Lord. “Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty” (Psalm 104:1). With similar emphasis, “exalt” (Hebrew ruwm) demands that we “raise up” the name of the Lord above everything else. “I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth” (Isaiah 25:1).
 
Our church environment often connects the idea of praise with musical episodes during our worship or moments of celebration (clapping, vocal response, etc.). Although these may contain elements of magnification or exaltation, they are not the focus of David’s request. The boasting that David is speaking of brings about body language that is unmistakable. “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; . . . as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10). HMM III
 
Adapted from Treasures in the Psalms, Henry M. Morris III, 347-348.
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« Reply #5944 on: October 24, 2017, 09:20:51 AM »

Godly Seeking

“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” (Psalm 34:4-6)
 
Seeking the Lord is a familiar theme throughout the prayers and songs of the Psalms, and the phrase “seek the LORD” appears 26 times in the Old Testament. Always, with no exceptions, both the term and the phrase imply an intense focus, a singular purpose to find the Lord. “But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29).
 
Please note the other action terms: the one who seeks also “looked” and “cried” while seeking. Both of the additional concepts imply a conscious awareness of the biblical reason for our prayer. “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Psalm 119:18). “The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).
 
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee; O let me not wander from thy commandments” (Psalm 119:9-10). “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7). If we are to find the Lord, we must seek him with the intensity and singularity of purpose represented in these passages. HMM III
 
Adapted from Treasures in the Psalms, Henry M. Morris III, 348-349.
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« Reply #5945 on: October 25, 2017, 10:59:03 AM »

Godly Provision

“The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.” (Psalm 34:7-9)
 
What marvelous promises! These are promises for today, not for the hereafter. We are protected. We are blessed. We are satisfied. Much of what God does for His precious saints is veiled in the Old Testament—often hinted at in poetic sections like the Psalms or wrapped up in the principles contained in mighty miracles displayed in God’s sovereign care for Israel.
 
But the New Testament is replete with direct promises and insights. The first three chapters of Ephesians reveal the inexhaustible resources that we have at our disposal as the children of the King. Jesus promises that we need not worry about tomorrow or about our needs; the heavenly Father already knows what we need and is anxious to give us “good gifts” (Matthew 7:7-11). Paul told the Philippian church that he knew that he could “do all things through Christ which stregtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). He also understood that God “shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
 
“The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing” (Psalm 34:10). HMM III
 
Adapted from Treasures in the Psalms, Henry M. Morris III, 349.
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« Reply #5946 on: October 26, 2017, 09:57:16 AM »

Godly Pursuit

“Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good: seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” (Psalm 34:11-15
 
This is a marvelous list of righteous behavior traits. David is known as a man who had a heart for God. It is passages like these words in song that reveal his love for his Creator.
 
If we want to enjoy the blessings of our Lord, if we desire His fellowship and His hand on our efforts, if we are to maintain confidence in our relationship with the One in whom is “no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5), then we must “walk in the light, as he is in the light” (1 John 1:7).
 
This is such a simple concept, yet it is at the root of much of the conflict in the Christian life. So many today appear to desire the approval of the world’s philosophy or its adherents, attempting to compromise the clear messages of the Word of God with the views and lifestyles of the wicked.
 
Note the action terms: “desire” life; “love” your time as a child of the King; “keep” your tongue from evil talk; “depart” from evil behavior; “do good: seek peace, and pursue it.” Simple enough to understand, far more difficult to execute consistently. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8). HMM III
 
Adapted from Treasures in the Psalms, Henry M. Morris III, 350.
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« Reply #5947 on: October 27, 2017, 08:12:33 AM »

Godly Resistance

“The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.” (Psalm 34:16)
 
This is another clear, basic, often-repeated message of Scripture. Why is it that many of God’s people try to get around this fact? God does not tolerate evil. He does not approve or overlook the deeds of wickedness. Although God demonstrated His incomprehensible and gracious love for us “while we were yet sinners” (Romans 5:8), He is “not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity” (Psalm 5:4-5).
 
We are never to think that God’s love for the world extends beyond His provision through Jesus Christ on the cross. Those who respond to His love are “created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Jesus said that those who do not accept His atonement and do not believe His Word “shall die in your sins” (John 8:24).
 
This is why the New Testament makes such a strong case for the change in the life of the believer. We are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15) and are now a “new man” (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10). We are set free from sin (Romans 6:6-7) and free from sin’s law in our body (Romans 8:2). Indeed, we are set at liberty not only from the control of sin in our lives, but set free to perform the righteous works that God has decreed that we should do (Galatians 5:1, 13; Ephesians 2:10). If we are God’s chosen, we will live like God’s chosen.
 
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). HMM III
 
Adapted from Treasures in the Psalms, Henry M. Morris III, 351.
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« Reply #5948 on: October 28, 2017, 08:44:19 AM »

Godly Deliverance

“The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.” (Psalm 34:17-22)
 
The ultimate contrast is comparison between the redemption of the righteous and the “slaying” and the “desolation” of the wicked. One day this world and all that is in it will be burned up (2 Peter 3:10). The Lord of the universe will build a “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13). The One who saved us will dwell with us and be with us, ruling from a new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2-3) in which no thing or being will enter that “defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie” (Revelation 21:27).
 
All that is evil and all who are evil will be purged from this new world, and all that hurts and destroys will be removed from the very memory of those who are part of the redeemed (Isaiah 11:9). We who own Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, as our Savior and Lord now will rest in the “peace [that] passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
 
In that “real world” of eternity prepared by our Lord Jesus, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4). Even so, come, Lord Jesus. HMM III
 
Adapted from Treasures in the Psalms, Henry M. Morris III, 352.
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« Reply #5949 on: October 29, 2017, 09:14:37 AM »

Fallow Ground

“For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.” (Jeremiah 4:3)
 
Fallow ground is ground that has been plowed and readied for sowing but then is withheld and allowed to lie useless and unproductive. God, through His prophet, had to rebuke His people not only because they had left their prepared ground unused, but because they were actually sowing their seed on thorn-choked ground. That is, they were turning to idols and forsaking God.
 
The word “fallow” occurs one other time in the Bible and to the same effect: “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12). It is poor stewardship and a bad testimony, at best, for the people of God to ignore His righteousness and fail to cultivate His grace in their lives, choosing instead the philosophies and pleasures of the ungodly world around them.
 
Now, if the ancient Israelites had much unfruitful fallow ground in their lives, many modern Christians are still more blameworthy, for we have far greater opportunities and privileges than the people of ancient Israel.
 
Most of all, we have the complete Word of God and the indwelling Holy Spirit, yet our lives are even more cluttered with the thorny ground of worldliness and paganism than theirs. We urgently need to break up our fallow ground, to sow righteousness and reap mercy.
 
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8). HMM
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« Reply #5950 on: October 30, 2017, 09:32:52 AM »

An Acceptable Sacrifice

“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)
 
Our text instructs us that we, as a corporate church and as individuals, are designed for the purpose of offering up acceptable sacrifices to God. These are not animal sacrifices as before but “spiritual” sacrifices made “acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” What kinds of spiritual sacrifices are acceptable?
 
Prayer: An amazing scene is recorded for us in heaven, for an angel is seen at the altar offering up to God incense mingled with “the prayers of the saints” (Revelation 8:4, see also 5:8). Our prayers are precious to Him.
 
Giving: The use of our financial resources for the furtherance of His Kingdom becomes “an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18).
 
Praise: In some way not fully comprehended by us, we can “offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15).
 
Good work and sharing: “But to do good and to communicate [share] forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:16). Remember, we are saved entirely by God’s grace but also created specifically unto good works (Ephesians 2:8-10).
 
Ourselves: We have a distinct privilege in that we may “present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is [our] reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
 
God is a magnificent God! He can be trusted with our prayers, our resources, our praise, our works, and our lives. His perfect sacrifice has made it possible for our sacrifices to be meaningful. JDM
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« Reply #5951 on: October 31, 2017, 09:02:37 AM »

Our Living Lord

“Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.” (John 14:19)
 
We who believe on Christ have the promise of everlasting life because He lives, and we see Him by faith. Christ Himself is “our life” (Colossians 3:4), in fact.
 
He is the very sustainer of our life. He is both the “living water” (John 4:10) that is “springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14) and “the living bread which came down from heaven,” such wonderful bread “that a man may eat thereof, and not die” (John 6:50-51).
 
Not only does Christ give us His living bread and living water, but also He provides Himself as the living way to God. “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh” (Hebrews 10:19-20).
 
He is also the solid foundation on which we build our lives, and that very foundation is vibrant with life. “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:4-5). Our spiritual lives are built on a living stone, nourished on living bread and living water while entering by a living way into the presence of the living God!
 
He “hath begotten us again unto a lively hope [same as ‘living hope’] by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4). “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). All this is ours through our loving, living Lord! HMM
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« Reply #5952 on: November 01, 2017, 08:19:51 AM »

Judgment in the New Testament

“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)
 
Many critics have decried what they contend is the Bible’s inconsistency. The Old Testament is a harsh indictment of human sin and warning of coming divine judgment, they say, whereas the New Testament stresses God’s grace and love.
 
The fact is, however, that the Old Testament contains numerous testimonies of the love and merciful lovingkindness of God (e.g., Psalm 103). Similarly, the most striking and fearsome warnings and prophecies of judgment to come are found in the New Testament. The above text for the day is an example, with its revelation of the coming eternal separation from God of all who reject Christ and His saving gospel. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself uttered more warnings of future hell than anyone else recorded in either testament. He said, for example, that those “on the left hand” will be commanded to “depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). Jude spoke of ungodly men “to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever” (Jude 1:13).
 
And, of course, the very last book of the New Testament, written by John, the disciple who stressed God’s love more than any other writer, focuses especially and in detail on the coming period of God’s judgment on a rebellious world. The climax of these warnings is Revelation 20:15: “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” God’s grace and full forgiveness are free to all who receive Christ, but certain judgment will come to all who refuse. HMM
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« Reply #5953 on: November 02, 2017, 09:47:20 AM »

Born of God

“If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” (1 John 2:29)
 
This is the first of seven occurrences of the phrase “born of God,” or “born of him,” in the little epistle of 1 John. If anyone wishes to know how to recognize one who has truly been “born again,” these seven descriptors are available for that purpose.
 
The first such test, in our text, is that such a person is one “that doeth righteousness.” The second and third are found in 1 John 3:9: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” That is, he will not practice sin because God’s own nature has been implanted in him.
 
Another evidence is genuine love. “Love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God” (1 John 4:7). Still another is genuine faith in Christ, which in turn produces genuine love. “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him” (1 John 5:1).
 
Those who are truly born again will not be permanently defeated by the world. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5).
 
Finally, “we know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not” (1 John 5:18).
 
The term “born again” is being used very loosely these days, and we need to realize that true regeneration is a permanent, life-transforming miracle accomplished by God Himself in a believer’s life. HMM
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« Reply #5954 on: November 03, 2017, 09:08:26 AM »

Think on These Things

“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)
 
It is nearly impossible these days to turn on the TV, go shopping, go out to eat, read a newspaper, go online, etc., without our minds being cluttered and our thinking infiltrated by all sorts of improper thoughts. In our text, Paul gives us guidelines for our thinking. Let us investigate them.
 
True—or genuine, honest, and sincere. We should concentrate on honesty in all our dealings, for “God is true” (John 3:33) and Christ said, “my record is true” (John 8:14).
 
Honest—or better, honorable toward all. Strive to “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:2).
 
Just—or equitable. “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal” (Colossians 4:1).
 
Pure—without spot or stain. “Neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22).
 
Lovely—literally, “towards love,” i.e., those things that demonstrate love or a response of love. This word only appears here in the New Testament.
 
Of good report—that which elicits praise.
 
Virtue—a standard of righteousness. He “hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3).
 
Praise—our speech should be to “the praise of them that do well” (1 Peter 2:14).
 
Surely our lifestyle and thought patterns need adjusting as noted above, particularly when the verb tense in the command “think on these things” implies a lifelong habit—a continuous way of doing things. JDM
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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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