I have cradled him in my arms while covered in his vomit after he had three brain aneuryms and collapsed on a sidewalk in Daegu, South Korea. We embraced, once again, at the bus station in Gumi with diesel fumes wafting around us, and luggage in hand, upon my return from my father’s funeral in America. Earlier today, I was overwhelmed with joy in our kitchen as I hugged him and told him how much I loved him.
We have embraced during times of joy , sadness and grief.
An Embrace is to hold someone closely and savor their love…
An embrace is to hold someone closely in your arms, to savor their love- especially as a sign of affection.
The moments I’ve mentioned above are embraces that I cannot forget. They are moments of both joy and pain.
Relationships are the heart and soul of life. We love. We hurt. We forgive. And the cycle of life continues on with broken people journeying on the road with the final goal of seeing our Heavenly Father.
The Lord, speaking through Paul, gave them (and us) a recipe to apply to our lives to help us to cultivate a steadfast heart. Isn’t that your heart’s desire, to be steadfast in the Lord?
What should we embrace?
“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.” – Phillipians 4:8
Things that are Truth
Do we dwell on bold or subtle lies that don’t undergird the truth of God and His word? Love the truth- the Lord and His gospel- and embrace it!
Things that are Honest
The Greek word for the word honest is ‘semnos’ and means that which is honorable. It refers to words that are heavy, serious and solemn.
Things that are Just
Just, or ‘Dikaios’ in the Greek,means equitable and righteous. We get our word dichotomy from the same root word, and it means a division between two things that are totally opposite or different. The separation between the world and the things of God are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Do we dwell on Godly things?
Things that are Pure
Pure or ‘Hagnos’, in the Greek, refers to things that are pure, chaste and modest. As we learn and grow in grace, are we putting off carnality and putting on His purity?
Things that are Lovely
Those beautiful things that bring joy and that are acceptable and well pleasing to the Lord.
Things that are of a Good report
Good Report or ‘Euphemos’ in the Greek, means to speak in a kind manner with good will to others. When the devil tries to sow seeds of doubt against someone, do we see the good in other people instead of focusing on the bad? Do we withhold our negative speech about others and ask the Lord to change our hearts to that person?
Things that are Full of virtue
Virtue or ‘Arete’ in the Greek, means a virtuous course of thought, feeling and action. Also virtue and moral goodness. Do we dwell on things that are sacred and holy in the sight of the Lord as opposed to unholy and unrevered? Or do we dwell on things that are upright, righteous and virtuous? Would you rather dwell on a melodic piece of music by a virtuouso or a rap song filled with cursing and immorality that blasphemes the Lord? I hope the former!
Think on these things
Paul tells the Ephesians (and us!) in summary to think on these things.
To ‘think’ is the Greek word ‘logizmai’, meaning to reckon, count, compute, calculate, think on over, to take an inventory of.
Are you ready to stand fast in the Lord and embrace the truth of Philippians 4:8 in your heart and mind?Will you be steadfast to Him during times of great joy and intense pain and sorrow? Are you embracing the love of our Heavenly Father while journeying to meet Him face to face? Do you savor Him and hold on tightly to Him and His promises?
Creative friends, I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment telling me how you will apply Philippians 4:8 to your life! And why not journal that in your bible?
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