Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Philippians 4:4-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
4 Rejoice[a] in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.[b] 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, beloved,[c] whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about[d] these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
What’s on your Mind? When you’re not thinking about anything in particular, what do you find yourself thinking about? When your imagination runs wild, where does it take you? That’s an important question.
When Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians, he was in prison. Perhaps that is why Paul is so focused on the interior life — the head and the heart. Paul challenged the Philippians of his day and challenges us in our day to pay attention to our thought life.
There are probably a lot of reasons why Paul advises this deep inner focus. For one thing, what we think about really that shapes who we are.
Gil Hodges was the manager of the so-called miracle Mets of 1969. After a horrible season in 1968 they made a great turnaround under Hodges and beat Baltimore in the World Series in five games. Hodge’s heart attack the year before had much to do with the turnaround because as he recovered, he determined to stress to his players the fundamentals of the game and the proper attitude toward defeat. This is the way he put it: “You tend to become what you think about.”
Gil Hodges words remind us that we need to pay attention to our thought life: what we think, what we dream, what we imagine.
Paul put it this way: whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster