These two verses are almost a benediction from Paul, a few words summing up his ministry and faith before he leaves permanently. In the house prison, chained to a Roman guard, Paul sums up the eloquence to say what he wants to say succinctly and memorably. Again, let's sum it up.. 1. Fix your thoughts, he admonishes, on what is TRUE. In these days of post-truth when many people have different views on what is truth and we have world leaders such as Putin and Trump declaring that their version of the truth is the real one, we turn to the Bible again and find Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life. Not only do we read the records of His ministry, but we can know Jesus Christ personally in our hearts, the One who promised to lead His followers into all truth. 2. Fix your hearts on what is HONOURABLE AND RIGHT AND PURE. We have choices as humans and we can so easily choose to see and becoming enveloped by that which will drag us down. Even watching the news can bring us to despair. I'm not recommending that you stop watching things which cause you anger, but balance it with reading the words of Jesus! 3. Fix your lives on doing what is LOVELY AND ADMIRABLE. Do the little things...smile at the person you pass in the street, engage in idle chatter, help a neighbour, phone, phone, phone! Those rather more mature in years amongst us are a great encouragement to me and one of the reasons is that they phone each other almost every day. 4. Again Paul reminds us that we are to exercise power over our minds. Are you feeling in despair today? Does what is happening around you cause you to fall on your knees in hopelessness? Paul urges us to think on what is EXCELLENT AND PRAISEWORTHY. Remind yourself of the good creative thing you have accomplished or what your children are doing artistically or listen to some great piece of music. Create a buffer between the chaos around you and the peace within. Don't allow the chaos to creep into your soul! 5. Do this Paul writes, and you will know the God of peace RESIDING within you...not a temporary, fleeting peace, but permanent peace...the peace of God, who has everything and everyone in His hands.
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