Think on These Things

In Philippians 4:8, the Apostle Paul says, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

As I introduce new worship songs, I have encouraged our congregation to express our feelings in worship. The Bible clearly speaks positively about experiencing pleasure in proclaiming Him, sorrow as we consider the cost of our sin, and joy in the hope of our salvation. However, worshiping with our minds gets a bad reputation by some. It is not just a sedentary inward reflection on God’s attributes and actions. Thinking is a part of anticipation, a partner to intention and a preface to action.

Verse 9 continues, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me— put it into practice.” Imagine a child, the night before her first trip to Disney, selecting and laying out her clothes so she can jump into them the next morning. Then, with very little sleep, awakening early, dressing quickly so she is ready to depart hours before the park even opens. All conversation traveling from hotel to park entrance will center upon what she might observe, eat, participate in, enjoy and then take home at the end of the day. She is thinking, planning, preparing and longing for it.

Approaching worship prepared not only to experience feelings, but to engage in thinking equips us to relate to God and one another with insight, reason, memory, and creativity. As we personally worship God this week, and as we prepare to gather this next weekend for corporate worship, let’s think about the words we pray, let’s read and listen to Scripture texts mindfully, and let’s sing our songs thoughtfully, with a view to action.