Look at your life. Life is hard. Look at the news. In our fallen, sinful world, evil swirls about like a violent dust devil, clouding the air of absolute truth and muddying the waters of pure grace that flow to eternal life through Christ Jesus.
It seems the world has gone mad, and it has. Relativism rules as up is down, black is white and that which God calls evil is called good. All forms of sexual immorality are celebrated and deceptively tagged “human rights,” while God’s design for marriage, family and sexuality, along with true human rights, are systematically trampled to accommodate disorder and sin. Innocent children are slaughtered at will in the safety of their mothers’ wombs, while demonic political systems rooted in the pagan traditions of Islam and secular humanism stack the bodies of tens-of-millions like cordwood.
The enemy is enraged because his time is short.
Yet through it all, and in His infinite mercy and grace, God gives us a taste of things to come.
In biblical terms, the number 8 represents a new beginning with God. It signifies man’s covenantal relationship with his Creator through the physical act of circumcision, which, in the Jewish tradition, is performed on the male child’s eighth day. For the Christian, whether Jew or Gentile, we undergo a “circumcision of the heart” through belief upon, communion with and worship of Jesus, the God-man.
That’s why I believe the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, gave mankind eight specific things to “think about” so that “the God of peace will be with you.” There can be peace in the eye of storm – a “new beginning” each day – and that peace is Christ with us.
Said Paul: “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” (Philippians 4:8).
1) Whatever is true
The opposite of true is the lie. Truth is fixed. Truth is objective. Moral relativism fosters the absurd notion that truth is malleable and subjective. Therefore, relativism is a lie. But, as Pilate asked Christ, “What is truth?” God’s created order, His natural law, is truth. The Bible is God’s word. The Bible is truth. It is called “the word of truth. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Jesus Himself is truth. He says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Immerse yourself in the word of God and you cannot help but “think about” truth.
2) Whatever is noble
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).