My current devotional book is Simplify Your Spiritual Life by Donald S. Whitney. There is a short chapter on Philippians 4:8, and I thought I'd share it with you all:
"When Meditating On A Verse of Scripture, it's usually much easier to answer specific questions about it than to think about the text without any guidance or direction at all.
Recently, I was meditating on Philippians 4:8. It occurred to me that the directions given here for the kinds of things we should meditate on could serve as a list of things to look for in any verse I consider. As a result ... I developed a series of questions based upon these things.
But while much of our meditation begins with Scripture and then applies to life, it is also valid to begin by meditating on something in your life and then taking that to Scripture. You might reflect, for example, on the possible reasons God allowed something to happen to you, but then ultimately submit your thoughts to the sound foundation of Scripture, such as a text like Psalm 31:14-15.
In either case, that is, whether meditating on something in your life -- an event, an experience, an encounter with someone, even a part of creation -- or whether meditating on a verse or story in the Bible, the Philippians 4:8 questions can be a helpful guide. In fact, when thinking about anything, try asking:
- What is true about this, or what truth does it exemplify?
- What is honorable about this?
- What is right about this?
- What is pure about this, or how does it exemplify purity?
- What is lovely about this?
- What is admirable, commendable, or reputation strengthening about this?
- What is excellent about this (in other words, excels others of this kind)?
- What is praiseworthy about this?"