• Matt Beaney

#206 – WHATEVER IS TRUE (5/10/20)


As a child, did you have anything that you thought was true that you no longer hold?


If we are going to experience the presence of ‘the God of peace’, Paul tells us to think in a godly fashion. Last week we saw the importance of prayer with thanksgiving in our quest for peace. However, prayer must also be accompanied with right thinking and right living as our text makes clear. Paul writes,

‘Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.' (Philippians 4:8-9)

This list of ‘thinking traits’ begins with ‘whatever is true’. Truth is agreeing with God. For example, The bible is true and the foundation of truth; there is one God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit; We can only be saved through faith in Jesus; true marriage is between and man and a woman…


The Philippian church was facing opposition from without and division from within; take a moment to think about how truthful thinking would help in this?

Truth is costly. It can both divide and unite. Jesus, predicting the division caused between those who believe truth and those who don’t, said,

‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword…’ (Matthew 10:34)

Those who will think on and believe the truth will face many trials and temptations to compromise. However, God is pleased with those who will be true, and He blesses them with His presence.


RESPONSE

Are you thinking on the truth in God’s word? Take a moment to think and give thanks about 5 things that are true of God, of you and of the church.

COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - REPLACE “WHATEVER!” WITH “WHATEVER IS…”


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Have you ever had a moment when you have shouted, spoken out automatically, cried, laughed… because you were so amazed at something?


Introduction - please share in your group

If we are going to enjoy God’s peace - assurance of our peace with God, peace relationally, and the experience of the peace of the Spirit, it’s vital that we not only pray and give thanks over anxiety, as we saw last week, but that we also think about and then do what is good. Paul writes,

‘Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.' (Philippians 4:8-9)

Too often, we don’t take responsibility for what we think about and what we allow to inspire our thinking. We say ‘whatever’ rather than think about ‘whatever is…’. These eight thinking traits have a lot of overlap, but each term encourages us to focus on what will inspire good thinking, inspired by Jesus, that will lead to peace in the fullest sense.


Discuss in your group

(Choose which questions to cover based on the time you have)

1. Which of these thinking traits do you find hardest and why?


2. It’s good to practice this kind of thinking. Let’s do that together now; how would each of these traits help you to think about a relationship breakdown?


3. How would each of these traits help you, or someone you were cancelling, if one felt deserted by God?


4. I encourage you to memorise Philippians 4:8-9 and purposely practice applying this kind of thinking.


Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:

1. What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message or your bible reading this week)?

2. What will you do in response?

3. How can we pray for you?



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