October 9 – Good Thoughts = Good Habits

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8 (NASB)

The letter Paul the Apostle wrote to his Christian brothers and sisters in Philippi is so chock-full of promises and encouraging instruction. Today’s verse is a good one to memorize or post on a note card where we can see it daily. Our minds are under attack daily – even hourly by the devil who is seeking to destroy and rob us of our joy. We have read more than once that we are to rejoice always. Today we read how fill our minds with good things and think our way to rejoicing.

  • True is found in God, in Christ, in the Holy Spirit, and in God’s Word*. 
  • Honorable “worthy of respect.” We meditate on whatever is worthy of awe and adoration, as opposed to the profane. 
  • Right means is to think in harmony with God’s divine standard of holiness. 
  • Pure is that which is morally clean and undefiled. 
  • Lovely “pleasing” or “amiable.” Believers are to focus on whatever is kind or gracious. 
  • Of good repute, that which is highly regarded or thought well of and reputable in the world, such as kindness, courtesy, and respect for others.

We thus avoid the GIGO† in our manner of thoughts.


* 2 Timothy 2:25; Ephesians 4:20-21; John 16:13; John 17:17

† Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO), What goes into a process will be seen in what comes out. While the term is most frequently used in the context of software development, GIGO can also be used to refer to any decision-making systems or choices where failure to make the best decisions or choices results in unintended and unpleasant consequences.

April 4 – He Is His Name

“For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.” – Malachi 1:11 (ESV)

As we read the Bible we find that God’s name is to be taken (used) seriously and with much honor. So it is that one of the Ten Commandments instructs us to not take or use the name of the LORD God in vain. What God does for us and for all humans is all done for His name’s sake. It is for His great name’s sake that God will not forsake His people – that is us who believe. Even when we indulge in our owl pleasures and when we forsake the straight path He lays out for us. Even when we trust in our own understanding instead of God and turn from God’s commands in disobedience, He remains faithful to us because he has promised to and He does this for His name’s sake AND that He might make known to His mighty power. That was why God opened the Red Sea for the Children of Israel to cross on dry land as they exited Egypt (Psalm 106:8-9). It is difficult to break the habits we’ve had for years invoking God’s name uselessly but God’s name is who He is and He is worthy of honor and glory.