“Think About Such Things”

8 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. – Phil 4:8 NIV

Rejoice!


Some of the things that Paul wrote are hard for us to understand. “rejoice in the Lord always” and “pray without ceasing” come to mind. In our busy society how does one spend 15 minutes a day rejoicing and praying, much less continually, and still get everything accomplished. I believe that what seems impossible is the key to how we accomplish Paul’s admonitions. Happiness is caused by externals and is temporary. We sometimes confuse that with joy, which is internal and eternal because it is given to us by God. “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”  What God gives to us cannot be taken away from us. We can lose our focus on the joy but it is still there all the time. Praying is a gift from God as well as an attitude, not a body position. we can mentally pray while doing anything else. Verse 8 is the key to being prayerful and joyful all the time. We need to change our thought patterns so that they focus on the goodness and mercies of God instead of the sin in the world around us.  Then we can enjoy the joy and thank God for it.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Rejoice; Mourn”

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.–Romans 12:15 NIV

It appears that most of us do a decent job of mourning with others in times of the loss of life of a loved one.  We support them with cards, meals and our presence at the home or other places.  We even do a fair job of supporting those who lose their homes or jobs.  But, how do we score in rejoicing with others?  Are we as diligent in being available to celebrate the joyous times in their life? We get good scores on weddings and if it is close family, we do okay on birthdays. But, if you are like me, (and I hope that you aren’t), I can’t tell you a single date of a wedding anniversary of anyone in my family or any of my friends. In today’s society, maybe the divorce rate would be lower if we made a big deal of wedding anniversaries. When was the last time we sent a card or email congratulating someone on their new job or new home?
Or the most important time of all, when have we sent a note, card or email welcoming someone to the family of God?  Maybe we could make a huge deal out of celebrating our second birthday by giving gifts to others. If we don’t remember the date, we could just pick one and celebrate that date every year. I definitely need to work on rejoicing with others, maybe we all need to give it some thought. If we rejoiced more, perhaps. others would want what we have–the joy of the Lord.

10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”–Nehemiah 8:10 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Just Believe That I Am”

11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.​- John 14:11 NLT

John 14:7-11 NLT

Sometimes, even when you know what someone thinks of you, it hurts to hear them verbalize it. After three years of being with the disciples, I wonder how Jesus felt when he heard Philip say that he still needed to see the Father to believe that Jesus was who He said He was. You can almost hear the disappointment in His voice as He asks; “Do you still not know me, Philip?” If you can’t believe what I say, at least, believe because of what you have seen me do. When we have walked with Jesus for years and then we deny Him by our words or our actions, I imagine He feels the same hurt and disappointment that He felt then. I think if we could see His face at that very moment, it would bring tears to our eyes and us to our knees in repentance. Still, we are forgiven, just as Philip was that day. We can rejoice in the knowledge that His great love for us will never allow anyone or anything to take us out of His hand.

12 While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.–John 17:12 (NASB)

He is still holding onto each of us that God has given Him to keep.

24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees.—Romans 8:24 (NASB)

So, just believe!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 06-01-2020

“But NOW I Will Go”

11 Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.” John 11:11 NLT

John 11:7-16 NLT

The followers of Jesus asked a reasonable question, one that we would most likely ask had we have been there. Why would anyone want to return to a place where the people had tried to kill him? While the question shows their love for Jesus it also shows again their lack of faith in His ability to protect them and Himself. Had they not just walked away before? How quickly we forget the goodness and mercy of God when danger seems to lurk at our next step. Jesus uses the illustration of natural sunlight, but the followers had much more than that to watch over them. They had the Light of the world leading them. Jesus knew that Lazarus was dead and the purpose for which Lazarus had died. “And I am glad for your sakes”! Think of it, the followers are concerned, but Jesus is rejoicing! They will see the miracle of a friend being raised from the dead and their faith will be strengthened. Walking in the Light of Jesus, we are always safe from harm. If we live, He walks with us and if we die, we walk with Him. We should rejoice and be glad! Jesus does all things well and in His timing.

36 You must hold on, so you can do what God wants and receive what he has promised. 37 For in a very short time,​ “The One who is coming will come​ and will not be delayed.​ ​—Hebrews 10:36-3​7​ (NCV)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-09-2020

“Make Known His Praise”

5 Sing to the Lord, for he has done wonderful things.    Make known his praise around the world. — Isaiah 12:5 NLT

Isaiah 12:1-6 NLT

Each of us needs to pause each day and meditate on what an amazing God we serve. He has every right to be angry with us and punish us accordingly. Instead, He put all of our sins on His only Son and allowed Him to be crucified on a cross for our salvation.  Jesus was all man and all God, so God Himself hung on that cross and He has become our salvation. He is our strength and our song. We can trust Him to complete the work He started in each of us when we accepted Jesus as our Savior, No matter the situation, we can turn to Him and draw water from the springs of salvation and they will fill us with joy. Every moment of every day, we should “rejoice and be glad.”

1 Peter 1:6-9 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-30-2019

“Whatever Happens, Give Thanks”

 18 Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this. – 1 Thess. 5:18 GW

1 Thess. 5:12-21 NKJV

One of the reasons I love Paul’s letters is the fact that right in the middle of telling us how bad it is and how much worse it could be, he suddenly stops, (and I believe) he just shouts it out. REJOICE! If our laboring for the Lord does not bring us joy, we need to realign our priorities. One of the ways we quench the Spirit is to refuse to be joyful in our walk with God. We should test everything we hear, Does your pastor’s sermons always line up with the Word of God? You should check every comment I make and see if it really fits with the Scriptures. The more we study God’s Word, the more we will see why Paul was always content regardless of his situation. God will give us His peace, and we are blameless in God’s eyes because of the blood of Jesus Christ. Fear not, God is faithful, He will do what He says He will do. If we remain faithful, we will reap our crowns (rewards) in heaven.

Hebrews 10:19-23 NKJV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Poat 10-15-2019

Rejoice! For He Is Risen”

6 He is not here, but is risen! — Luke 24: 6a NKJV

Luke 24:1-9 NKJV

The swaddling cloths are gone! The burial cloths are laid aside! Now, we see the real gift, unwrapped and resurrected! Now, we can understand the reason for the celebration of His birth. A birth that would have gone unnoticed if not for His death and Resurrection. Unto us a Son is given, a Son who was obedient unto death on a cross that you and I might have eternal life. He was born in a lowly station of life, but now He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords with total authority over all creation. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord! 

Rejoice!  for He is risen!

9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.  — Matt 28:9 NKJV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 07-26-2019

“Openly Declaring Your Faith”

10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved — Romans 10:10 NLT

Romans 10:9-15 NLT

We, who have been chosen by God and saved by His gift of Jesus dying on the cross, have a great responsibility to carry the message forward. We have received the commission and we must go forth. Not everyone will be glad to hear the Good News and not everyone will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But that does not relieve us of our responsibility to tell it everywhere we go. We are told that the angels in heaven rejoice greatly when a lost soul comes home. So, let’s make it our goal to keep the angels rejoicing continuously by leading people to Jesus Christ. Then when Jesus welcomes us home, we can just join in the festivities.

Luke 15:8-10 MSG

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 07-16-2019

Pray! Praise! Rejoice!

1 Come, let us sing to the Lord!  Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation — Psalm 95:1 NLT 

Psalm 95:1-7 NLT

Have you ever been reading the Bible or praying or just spending some down time with Jesus and suddenly a song of joy and praise comes to your mind and without a thought, you just burst into song?  The purpose of the Scriptures, after salvation, is to teach us about the great mercy, love and care that God has for us.  I believe there are certain Scriptures that the Holy Spirit included for the sole purpose of bringing us great moments of joy.  Joy that overflows our hearts and bursts forth into praises for what God has done for us.  The next time satan has us on the run and we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders instead of having a pity party, let’s commit to finding some of these verses and let them come alive in our hearts and minds.  In fact, why don’t we memorize a few of them just so we can quote them to the old liar.  That’s what Jesus did.  God does not want us to be miserable one second of our lives.  He has given us freedom to choose to be joyous but we have to reach out and access the joy and peace that He offers.  For me, nothing can dispel darkness, gloom and doom as quickly and effectively as a few good verses and a couple of praise songs.  Put some in your memory arsenal and fire away

.“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-11-2019

Praise and Rejoice !

19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.— Ephesians 5:19 NLT

 Ephesians 5:15-20 NLT

If we take any time to read the testimonies of our brothers and sisters who are persecuted by being imprisoned, our hearts will break at the stories of their cruel treatment.  Sleeping in hot containers in the blazing sun or on cold ground in winter time.  Being allowed only one set of clothing with no laundering facilities for months. Being fed one meal a day (on good days) and that being nothing but gruel.  Being given the worst of the chores, such as shoveling out the latrine pools and carrying the waste away in buckets.  Being beaten for witnessing to the other prisoners.  When these brothers and sisters are interviewed (if they survive), they each have amazing stories of how God was gracious to them, providing supernatural spiritual, mental and physical strength.  But there is one common theme that runs through their stories.  When asked the question; “How do you survive such cruel treatment for such a long length of time?”   They tell stories of singing the spiritual songs they have learned while serving Jesus.  Some are old hymns, some are psalms and other Bible verses set to music, some are words that God has given them for just such a time.  Helen Berthane tells her story of imprisonment in the containers in Eritrea in her book,  “The Song of the Nightingale”.  In her book, she tells of many songs that Jesus gave to her.  In our own lives, though we certainly have never tasted such cruel punishment for our Christian beliefs, such songs can get us through the hardest times.  Take the time to commit some Spiritual songs to memory and the next time, satan shoots his fiery arrows at you, repel them with your favorite songs and verses.  He will flee.

Acts 16:25-30 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 01-14-2019