Below is the preface of Dr. John Skilton’s book, “Think On These Things” (Sowers, 1986). Stay tuned for additional posts as we use Dr. Skilton’s reflections to encourage us to think on what is true, pure, and lovely (Philippians 4:8).
I have taken the liberty to change the Scripture quotations to use the English Standard Version (ESV).
An attempt has been made in this little book to set forth very briefly one or two of the chief truths taught or suggested by certain texts of Scripture. In these meditations, purposely made short, there is no detailed interpretation or full treatment of the teaching of any Bible passage. It is hoped, however, that the central truths of the Bible, which are emphasized in these meditations, will influence and control the thoughts of the reader long after he has read the few words that introduce them.
The answers for the problems that confront us daily can be found only in the truths revealed by God in His written Word, the Bible. Limited, finite, and sinful men without God’s Word cannot speak with the knowledge, the wisdom, and the authority that is needed. Only the infinite Being who has created the universe and rules over it, whose knowledge is unlimited and whose sovereignty is universal, can answer the questions about life and death that men are constantly asking. The meditations in this book may encourage the reader to direct his thoughts to the revelation that God has given in the Scriptures, to “think on these things” day and night and year after year.
Constant reflection on the truths of the Word of God is needed today. We are constantly being exposed to things that are untrue and impure, some of them so depraved that it is shameful even to speak of them. If we are not vigilant, we will be led into thinking excessively about them. We must resist the overexposure of our minds to these befouling influences around us. But we must do more than merely fight a defensive battle, just waiting for the enemy to attack and then seeking to repel him. We must be positive and aggressive in our stance and strategy. We must with determination concentrate on the things that are true, pure, and virtuous. We must give our minds and our thoughts to these things. As Paul has said, “…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” (Philippians 4:8).
…The author’s prayer accompanying this book is that God, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, will fulfill the exceeding great and precious promises of His Word in the lives of all who think on these things.
Thanks are expressed to The Presbyterian Guardian, the Reformed Fellowship, Inc. (publisher of The Outlook, formerly Torch and Trumpet), and to the Zondervan Publishing House for permission to use in this book previously published articles and meditations by the author.