Things of Value

Andrew Isbell
February 7, 2021

Note: The transcript below is automatically generated and will contain errors.


Good morning. It’s good to be with everybody again, as always. I feel very encouraged by the brothers and sisters here this morning. What I would like to talk about is in this world. There’s a lot going on as a person moving through this world. There’s a lot to see there’s a lot to do. There’s a lot to think about. There’s a lot to put in front of us. I think each and every day that goes by there’s more and more things.

He’s out there to see and do I know we were talking about this the other day whenever I was growing up here in Huntsville. Not too far in the distant past. We were having this conversation with some guys. I was riding with the other day. There was whenever I was young my kids age there was probably I don’t know handful of restaurants in Huntsville. We had one Mexican food restaurant. We had the cafe Texan one Chinese food restaurant owners.

Whenever you were going to go decide what you want to eat. There may have been five six choices of place to go whenever you want to watch TV. You had maybe a dozen choices of what to watch on TV or what channel to watch and then the channel told you what you were going to watch and now everything’s everybody’s fingertips. And now there’s a million places to go eat and there’s a million places to go see travels easier than it was then everything seems like it’s opened up.

Or to us that we can put in front of us in front of our eyes in front of our ears. I mean now, you know, you used to be you had to think of a song. I remember back whenever they had a professor at school used to say used to make music.

And now you buy it, right and he used to say that all the time and and what I think is interesting now is whenever I was growing up you had to go to a store you want to listen to a song it go to a store you had to buy physical album from the store that had the song on it. You want to hear before you can listen to the song or just wait for it to show up on the radio.

Now you can pick any song you want any time play it as many times you want from every song that it basically exists in the in the in the universe of the songs all the way back to the 1800s. It’s all online now, so my point is that there’s a whole lot more that we can put in front of us. Now a lot easier for put things in front of us in there. Probably ever has been in the history of the world. So I’m going to solve start out reading from Psalms.

A reading from Psalms one. Oh one and three sons. What I want in 3 says this I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away and it shall not cling to me.

So this talks about not putting things before your eyes are worthless some of the other translations use some slightly different wording, but it’s all essentially saying is don’t put things that are not good for you in front of your eyes think the the the carry through on that is you don’t put those things in front of your ears. You don’t put those things in front of any part of you you don’t be part of those things. So then it opens up the question of well, what do I need to put in front of me then because one thing I learned

Is it grown older and older is that there’s no such thing as vacuums. There’s no such things is empty space. You never have empty space. You always fill it with something. So if you’re not feeling it was something good then something bad’s going to fill that space. There’s no that’s why one of the things I think the scriptures talk about how idleness is not a good thing right because there’s no true idleness when your idol you ended up filling that with something not good.

and so in Philippians 4:8, which is going to be the primary scripture that we look at this morning Philippians chapter 4 and verse 8

Philippians 4:8 says this finally Brothers. Whatever is true, whatever is Honorable, whatever is just whatever is pure whatever is lovely. Whatever is commendable if there is any Excellence if there is anything worthy of Praise think about these things.

Implication there is beyond the thinking the implication there is that these are the things that are good for us. These are the things that when he talks about our in Psalms things being worthless. These are the things that are not worthless. These are the things that are of value.

I think it’s why wraps up the way it wraps up and we’ll get to that in a second. But the first thing in here that it talks about is whatever is true and says whatever is true, so John 1 beginning in verse 6 John chapter 1 beginning of our six and we’re going to read through verse 9 reads as follows. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to Bear witness about the light that all might believe through him.

He was not the light but he came to her witness about the light the True Light which gives light to everyone was coming into the world.

First thing that I’ll say about this is that if there’s is the Bible talks about things being true and you can you can do this on your own. I’m definitely not going to do this this morning. We don’t have the time it would be three lessons of its own but just look through the scriptures do a word search and just look through the scriptures about when how that words used in the scriptures.

What context it’s given we’re going to read a few verses to this morning. But but the first one that we see is the True Light which gives light to everyone was coming into the world. Right? So this this idea that this the True Light which is the truth, right the truths coming in the world. Jesus Christ is coming into the world the truth coming the world. We’re going to know the truth and and it’s going to be delivered to us.

If anything is true, we know that that’s true. The light is true. So when we talk about things that we’re going to put before our eyes and things that we’re going to think about this the the light the word the truth from God should be Chief among those things John 4:22 John 4:22 reads as follows you worship what you do not know we worship what we know for salvation is from the Jews, but

Our is coming and is now here when the true worshipers will worship the father in spirit and Truth for the father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit. And those who worship Him must Worship in spirit and Truth the woman said to him. I know that the Messiah is coming.

When he comes he will tell us all things. Jesus said to her I who speak to you a.m. He okay. So one of the things that I think is very clear here in this John for is

The Messiah is the is supposed to be the deliverer of truth. Right Jesus then reveals to her that he is the messiah.

So again focusing on Christ what we know from Christ what we know from God as a source of Truth is a good thing.

More you one last verse here in a different context. So there are other things that are true that are described as true and I’m not going to be exhaustive this morning because I have several different topics. I want to hit one of the other things just to give you an example that that is referred to as being true is in Philippians 4 to 3, this is Paul and this is what he has to say. I entreat you odia.

And treats and Tai Chi to agree in the Lord. Yes. I ask you. Also True Companion help these women who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers. Whose names are in the Book of Life. He talks about this companion that he has being true right faithful. Right? Right. So there’s a lot of ways that we can talk about truth, but one of the things

Zai will say to you here is is that there’s really only one source for truth. Right? And this is a its own lesson and I’m not going to get into the depths of this but I’ll say this there’s really only one source for truth. Now we’ve been adapted to believe that there’s a lot of sources of Truth.

and a lot of that’s from wisdom of men, right and whenever I was in college, I did a lot of studying about philosophers and man men men that were philosophers and and I took a lot of classes and I did a lot of reading and you know, the the kids now are still required to take a certain least one generally philosophy class as part of their University education and one of the things

that that we taught that they taught me early on was that philosophy the word philosophy is this idea of the love of knowledge, right?

The love of it and really it’s all about searching for knowledge.

But it’s not necessarily about searching for truth.

And so one of the things you figure out, they didn’t name it the love of Truth and it is the love of knowledge philosophy is is knowledge from Men.

Not from God.

In the philosopher Kings will be very glad to tell you that we’re real quickly. The philosophy is not religion right philosophy is about figuring things out on your own. You don’t need God’s help. Most philosophers don’t even acknowledge that God exists. Right? So this idea that that there’s multiple sources for truth is not correct. The only thing we know is what God’s told us everything else is just somebody’s guess.

We may be right they may not be right. We have no way of knowing whether they’re right or not. Well, we know for a fact and what’s true is what God’s told us. What else is true is when when people are loyal to us, we’re going to talk a little bit about that, too.

In this next section, so the second thing that he talks about putting in front of us is whatever is Honorable.

So idea of a honorable has to do with respect and admiration and fairness and the winning of it. So when you consider someone honorable, it’s because in some way that person has gained your respect or your admiration for what something that they’ve done right for actions that they’ve taken.

In Romans 12 and 17 Romans, 12:17. It says repay. No one evil for evil but give thought to do what is Honorable in the sight of all

and in second Corinthians 8 20 second Corinthians 8 20 through 21.

And I want you to notice there’s some similarity between both of these verses and in the the term honorable is not a term that’s used widely throughout the scripture to in there. Just a few times we take this course so that no one should blame us about the generous gift that is being administered by us for we aim at what is Honorable not only in the Lord’s sight, but also in the sight of man this idea of winning respect and admiration.

Has to do with other people right? It’s not just about the Lord. Now, of course as in all things pleasing God is the primary goal. But the this idea that what people think doesn’t matter is not a complete L idea you people you see people say this like what other people think that is a matter, right? Well, there are things we can’t control if people believe a lie about us or about something

I can’t control that and we’re not expected to control that. We’re not expected to to not follow God in order. So people will like us or respect us right, but it’s not without consideration.

What others will think about our actions and so there may be cases where we have to take an action that’s above and beyond what we should have to take in order to make sure that those actions are honorable and thinking about these things right considering how we will act is an important part of what it is that we need to be thinking about and what it is that we need to be pondering so that when we take action we’re prepared.

To take honorable actions and if you notice the thing that both of these have together is one says Honorable in the sight of all and the other one says honor will not only in the Lord site, but also in the side of man.

So this thinking about what I can do, how is what I’m going to do beepers will how will it be perceived? Right? It’s a burden that you have to carry as a Christian and it’s not it’s not in the doctrine of fairness. So in some cases you may do the thing. That’s not the best for you, right? You may do above and beyond what you have to do what you should do. What’s fair? What if everybody knew the truth? They would consider fair in order so that your action can be considered honorable.

Right, and there’s a lot of thought that goes into that because one of the things that that that’s hard for a lot of people is trying to think about what they do and how it’s going to affect others and how it’s going to affect the other way others. See them next is this idea of just

whatever is just

Just has to do with being a fair dealing treating people fairly treating people rightly doing what is is right doing. What is the proper thing right not taking a side not on balancing the scales. So in Hebrews 2 1 through 3

Hebrews 2 1 through 3 reads as follows

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard lest. We drift away from it for a since the message declared By Angels proved to be reliable and every transgression or Disobedience received a just retribution how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation it was declared it first by the Lord and it was a tested To Us by those who heard also want to read Revelation 16.

Seven and I heard the altar saying yes, Lord God the almighty true and just are your judgments.

So in the context of these two scriptures we can see this idea of being just right being just is not just about reward right some cases. Just what is just is not pleasant right in some cases. What is just is a judgment on us.

It’s a judgment on something that we’ve done that’s not positive in some cases just this idea of being just and being fair met again mean that we don’t get what we could get in this world.

People in the world aren’t burdened with this this this problem, right? It’s one of the reasons why government worked so well when you’re dealing with Christians and why it’s hard to deal with when you’re not because if you don’t have a central to your philosophy, if you don’t have a central to the way you live your life this idea of just being just being important then what’s going to happen is that you see no reason.

If I’m not going to benefit from something to be unfair as long as I’m not going to go to jail for it right as Christians, we again have the greater burden when we consider. What is right and what is just we only really have one guy and that’s the Bible. It’s the truth. The truth is our guide to to what is just and what is not just what the Bible teaches how we should treat others how we should act amongst others the that is where we get our

Idea of Justice and Justice. So when it says yes, Lord God the almighty true and just are your judgments. The only place we can get with his judgments are is through the scriptures. We don’t have access to any other place. So you see the scriptures become critical for understanding what is just

Next item on the list that’s listed here is just is just whatever is pure.

I think we all have a general idea of what Purity means Purity is this idea that something is unspoiled. Right? They all analogy that used to be used all the time. When I was growing up is you got a bucket of white paint but a drop of black paint in it. It’s no longer Pure White you got to drop you got a bucket of black paint, you put a drop of white paint in it. It’s no longer pure black may be really dark gray, but it’s not the same color as it started out, right?

Another analogy used to be uses. You have a good meal, right everything in the meals nutritious. You put One Drop of Poison in there. It’s no longer what it used to be right? It’s tainted and it’s no longer pure Matthew 5 and 8 reads as follows blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

second Corinthians 11 and 1 through 3

Reads thusly. I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness do bare with me for I feel a Divine jealousy for you since I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a pure virgin to Christ, but I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning. Your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

This idea of pure Purity in our devotion, right Purity and who we are as an idea of the idea that’s being transferred there. Is that that wholeness right that that is what we’re all about right that are that our whole self is focused on Devotion to Christ. It’s pure devotion. It’s not tainted. We don’t have a Devotion to Christ this

Painted with devotions to other things right? So I don’t have I know a lot of people use to talk about well when I’m when I’m living my life what piece of it do I have to give to God for him to be satisfied? Right if I imagined My Life as a pie what how big of a slice do I have to give God so that I can go to heaven and then I can use the rest. However, I want we’re the rest is my freedom, right? The reality is is that it’s the answer is always the whole thing.

Right in this context Purity is that everything is devoted to Christ?

Sincere and pure devotion Titus 1 and 15 to the pure all things are pure but to the defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure.

But both our minds and their consciences are defiled they profess to know God but the denying by their Works, they are detestable disobedient unfit for any good work teach sound Doctrine. But as for you teach what Accords with sound Doctrine?

this section in Titus 1 is is is very telling about how we are to live our lives. If everything is pure to the pure and everything is to file to the unbelieving and nothing is pure then we see really clearly that it’s not the things that give us Purity, right it is it is

our love for God

In this context they’re talking about different activities that are occurring right and people have different opinions about the pureness of the activity.

Right, but in the end what they’re trying to get across is is that if you don’t love God with all your heart soul and mind the nothing that you do right? Nothing that you do.

Is going to be pure and if you do love God with all your heart soul mind and that’s that’s the difficult right? That’s that’s that’s something that’s Christians that we just with all as with all of that’s something that you have to put work into right because if you do love him with all your heart soul and mind then everything before you

is going to be pure right the things that you go to do the things that you participate in will be pure things out of love for God if my heart is twisted and if my heart is not where it should be then then everything I do is going to be Twisted by that and this is one of the reasons why two people may do the same thing, right and one of them who doesn’t do it to God, right even though the ACT

Everything looks the same is not a good act. Right? It looks like they’re doing the same thing. I’ll give you the Nez example sitting here this morning.

Right could be a good and pure thing right if you love God and that’s why you’re here. Right if you feel like you have to be here because somebody made you be here, right? You’re still sitting here this morning, but it’s not the same act. It’s not impurity that you sit here, right you sit here this morning in this in this other category of being defiled and unbelieving.

Next the next thing that we talked about is in this is a you know, I’ll be honest with you as I went through the list. This one seemed a little little strange on the rest of the list. But you know when I looked into it there’s a lot to be said here and this is whatever is lovely.

What was not a word that you used a whole lot in the scriptures?

Um, especially in the New Testament, but the general connotation of the term is that it’s pleasing acceptable to the senses to the mind, but of course of the courses with all the things that we’re going to talk about where God gives instruction. It’s also free from sin.

So the first scripture will look at his second Samuel chapter 1 second Samuel chapter 1 and verse 22

from the blood of the slain from the fat of the Mighty the bow of Jonathan turn not back in the sort of Saul returned not empty Saul and Jonathan beloved and lovely in life and in death. They were not divided. They were swifter than Eagles and there were stronger than lions.

Not the initial context that I think of when I hear the word lovely, right?

But they’re described here in the scriptures.

Right that Saul and Jonathan our beloved and lovely and the context in which they described of being beloved and lovely is in there the way that they fought for the Lord the blood that they spilled right and the end the Warriors that they were swifter than Eagles and stronger than Lions, right? So at the immediate context that you think of when you hear the word lovely I’ll be honest with you when I saw lovely and I started looking all the

There’s that described above the the term lovely. This one was not one that I was expecting to find.

most of not all of but a lot of a lot of the verses that talk about

that idea of being a lovely or pleasing.

A lot of them and I’m not going to go through all them describe the appearance and in almost every case. I can find with the exception of a few of these right here like where it talks about John Saul and Jonathan. It’s a women there’s a another one though here in numbers 24 that uses the term numbers 24 verse 5. It says how lovely are your tents o Jacob your encampment. So Israel like Palm Groves it stretches.

Or like Gardens beside a river like a Lowe’s at the Lord has planted like cedar trees beside the water describes the tents as being lovely. In other words. The the people God’s people right the spread out of God’s people.

The people the family the the home those are lovely things.

Genesis 8 and 20

the context of lovely is this idea of being pleasing, right? So in Genesis 18 20 will look at the the word pleasing use there. And this was something that you know, never having looked at these terms in context. I got a little surprise here then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of the every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offer burnt offerings on the Altar and when the Lord smelled the pleasing

Realm of the Lord said in his heart I will never again curse the ground because of man for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth neither. Will I ever against write down every living creature as I have done?

I thought as I read this, you know, I’ve read this a hundred times maybe a thousand times since I was little.

This is in the in the story of Noah.

I never really thought about the fact that it talks about the Lord smelling.

The pleasing Aroma of the offering right? Because I never really thought about God smelling anything to be honest with you.

But it talks about here the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma.

Strange to think about that I know but the idea is that when we put things that are lovely in front of us. They take a lot of forms. Some of them are lovely to the eyes some to the ears some even to the nose, right? These are not bad things God’s given us these things right as long as as long as Sin is not involved in those things. God has given us these things got knows that I can smell things right. He knows that I can see things. He knows that I can touch things. He knows all those things.

So this idea of focusing on things that are lovely but also pure right is an important thing that Christians need to understand and we shouldn’t not we this should be something that we actively pursue right is to put just like we’re trying to put those other things in front of us the things that are pure the things are true right beside the other things are lovely is an important thing to as a side note just because I’ve never seen this before I thought it worth mentioning.

The Bible speaks of God smelling pleasing Aroma is in the Old Testament dozens of times right? Not just once or twice but it’s all over the place like pretty much every time the term pleasing is used in the Old Testament always has to do with God liking the way something smells.


As a matter of fact in Leviticus 26 and 31 it says and I will lay your city’s waste and that will make your sanctuaries desolate and I will not smell your pleasing Aromas, right? So this idea that God can smell things. I just I just found it interesting as a side note on things that are lovely and things that are pleasing, you know, God has given us.

A lot of things that he does not expect us not to enjoy.

In the context of being free from sin, right? There are a lot of things that are lovely.

Psalms 45 and one your throne o God is forever my heart overflows with a pleasing theme. I address my verses to the king. My tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.

This idea of verse right and song being a pleasing thing something that is lovely something that’s worthy of our attention, right we use song in our worship.

Because God told us to use song in our worship. God knows how we can hear that song how we can make that song. These are lovely things job 42 job 42 and 15 and then all the land there were no women. So beautiful as Jobs daughter and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers.

So many cases in the Bible again in Song of Songs for 4410. How beautiful is your love my sister my bride. How much better is your love than Wine? It describes both the beauty of people and the beauty of love right of love between family between husbands and wives between fathers and mothers and children.

Those are lovely and beautiful things something worthy of our contemplation or the of our thoughts worthy of us to meditate on.

so then at the end of the of the original verse

back in Philippians

We see this if there is anything if there’s anything whatever is lovely whatever is commendable if there is any Excellence if there is anything worthy of praise.

So these last three are highly dovetailed right there all dovetailed to some degree with the last three commendable and worthy of Praise when something is commendable. That is something that’s worthy of praise. That’s what being commended is and she did something that was worthy of Praise. So you get commended right? So something that’s commendable if something is where they praise and this idea of excellent is just of the very best quality.

Right. So it’s whether it’s service or whether it’s a product it’s of the very best, right? So as Christians, it’s okay for us. We don’t need to worry about when you see things and you see whatever it is. It could be it could be athletes. It could be scholar. It could be any of these areas where somebody does something come in tubule. It could be in in there there evangelism. It could be in all these things, but but

But thinking about those excellent and commendable and praiseworthy things that are going on around us.

Seeing them being pleased by them thinking about them incorporating those things in our life is something that were directed to do as Christians.

Because all these things whatever is true honorable just pure lovely commendable excellent or worthy of Praise. These are the things that we as Christians should be thinking about these are the things that we should meditate on.

Right, of course, the truth is is the first amongst the list.

But he lists a whole bunch of other things that we as Christians should be thinking about should be putting time into should be meditating on.

We’re not a group Christians were called to be neither were the neither were the Jews called to be a group of people to be known about what they don’t do and don’t think about.

Are there things that we shouldn’t do and shouldn’t think about absolutely.

What we don’t do what we don’t think about is not Who We Are.

what we what we do and what we think about is Who We Are

and so I think here in Philippians what that’s what were called to do. We’re called here to think and meditate on these things so that they can fill us and that those things truth.

I’m honor Justice Purity loveliness Excellence. Those things can be who we are as Christians because these are the things as Christians we think about these are the things we meditate on these are the things that philosophical

and that’s the message for this morning. I appreciate everyone’s attention and we didn’t talk about becoming a Christian today. We didn’t talk about other than we did talk about the truth.

So if you’re here with us this morning and you’ve read the scriptures, you’ve heard the scriptures you understand the truth. You know that you have sinned you want to repent of that sin confess it be baptized for a mission that send be added to the Lord’s church and then live as a Christian we call you to come will help you any way. We can you need the prayers of the congregation. Please let us know.