“Finally, brothers,” It’s a statement that carries so much significance. It signifies the finality of the statement following and it serves as a precedent setter. In many ways beginning a sentence in this way, let alone a command, establishes the importance of the statement. This is not to say everything which had been spoken prior to this statement was unimportant. It is simply informing the reader that of all which has been written, all which has been spoken, this is the culmination.
We know the prior verses. We know about our instruction to not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, presenting our requests to God. We’ve heard this verse preached frequently and rather exhaustively. It’s the verse shortly following that gathers our attention.
Finally brothers. At last. In conclusion. Finally. Make sure you get this.
Things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, that of excellence and that which deserves praise, think about these things. These are what we are to think about. Have you ever found the opposite true in your life? Have you thought about the untruth? Have you believed the lie of who YOU think you are instead of embracing who God has called you to be?
What of nobility? What of dignity and admiration that would accompany such nobility? Do we think of these things? Or do we think of the insignificant in light of eternity. The ordinary compared the the extraordinary. The right or the wrong? The pure or the filthy? The praiseworthy or the judgment?
I once preached on thought life. They evaluate our present and command our future. They are the inward motivation before the outward action. Our thoughts and prayers must be of the same Spirit. We must think of these things. We must think about the beauty and not the ashes.
It’s amazing how we can distort our “finally”. Our “finally” could be followed by exhortation or excommunication. Our finally could conclude a long list of dissensions or precede an even longer list of praises. We think of THESE things and the story of our life better resembles the Spirit of God moving through us – and what a wonderful life it becomes when our praises surpass our… other.