You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category.

God loves us and wants us to be happy. This is clear from many of the Psalms. Last week we saw it in Psalm 32, and it is even more prominent in Psalm 33. Psalm 33 is a liturgy in praise of the LORD.

God loved his chosen people Israel when this Psalm was written and sung at the temple, and he loves his chosen people, the Church, now:

The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love (5)

The eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love (18).

May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you (22).

Because of God’s unfailing love, his people are happy:

Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him (1).

Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy (3).

Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance (12).

In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name (21).

God’s love for us is steadfast and never fails. He loves the righteous; those who live in right relationship with him and with their neighbors. He delivers them from the Evil One, from their enemies, and from themselves. In this Psalm, the people are especially happy, it seems, because they have just been delivered from a large army knocking on their door. Verse 10 says that the LORD foils the plans of the nations (those unrighteous nations who do not want to live in right relationship with God or their neighbor Israel). Verse 16 says that no king is saved by the size of his army and that no warrior escapes by his great strength. Verse 19 refers to the LORD delivering his people from death.

Sometimes we have an evil army knocking on the door of our lives, our family or our community of faith. But when we trust in God’s unfailing love and “wait in hope for the LORD” (20), we will come out of the situation, in the end, victorious! We will sing joyfully to the LORD and our hearts will rejoice in his holy name.

*****************************************

Before you ever get a problem, God already has your deliverance planned. Joyce Meyer

Advertisement

God loves us and wants us to be happy. David writes in Psalm 32:1-2, “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, who sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.”

The NIV Study Bible defines blessed as the happy condition of those who revere the Lord and do his will and put their trust in him.

David starts off Psalm 32 talking about the general happy condition of all those who have had their sins forgiven or “covered”. I think he had in mind the sin offering or the blood sacrifice of an animal that was killed and burned on the alter in front of the tabernacle. The blood of the animal would be sprinkled and thus “cover” the sin of the one bringing the sacrifice. This offering in the Old Testament pointed to the blood of Jesus shed on the cross and is the true covering of sins and transgressions for all those who confess their sins and trust Jesus for forgiveness.

David goes on to say that he knows about sin and forgiveness in a personal way. When he had sinned and “kept silent” his bones wasted away, his strength was sapped and he groaned all day because the LORD’s hand was “heavy” on him. He finally acknowledged his sin to God and stopped covering up his iniquity so that his sins would be covered by the LORD.

God loves us. Verse 10 says the “LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts him.”

God wants us to be happy. Verse 11 says, “Rejoice in the LORD and be glad,

you righteous; sing all you upright in heart.”

When we confess our sins and are forgiven, we are made righteous; upright in heart, which is to say we are living in right relationship with God and with our fellow man.

We rejoice and are glad and sing unto the Lord because it doesn’t get any better than that.

*******************

When we stray from His presence, He longs for you to come back. He weeps that you are missing out on His love, protection and provision. He throws His arms open, runs toward you, gathers you up, and welcomes you home. Charles Stanley

God loves us and wants us to be happy. How do I know this? The Bible tells me so.  Its repeated many times in the Psalms. The LORD is good and his love endures forever. Give thanks to the LORD for he is good; his love endures forever.

One key to understanding that God loves us and wants us to be happy, is the word “good”. In the beginning, in Genesis 1, God makes light, land and sea and it is good.  He makes plants and trees and calls them good. He makes the sun, moon and stars, and guess what? They are good. He creates animals, birds and fish. He says, ” They are good.” They are all good in their own right, but who are they good for? Humans! I don’t think the creation so far made God particularly happy, but he knew it would make humans happy. Adam and Eve; you and me. Finally he makes humans in his image and likeness, and then stands back and takes a look at it all and declares, “It is very good!”

The second key to understanding that God loves us and wants us to be happy, is the word “love”.  All of us who have children love them and want them to be happy.  We are not perfect, and often make mistakes in showing our love for them. Those who are in Christ are God’s adopted children. Our heavenly Father never makes mistakes in loving us. I like what Jesus said in Matthew 7, ” If you being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good gifts to his children. ”  This goodness all starts with God’s love. Not with us. 1 John 4:10 tells us, “This is love, not that we have loved God, but that he has loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.”

If that thought, act, gift and love doesn’t make us happy, nothing will!

As we enter a new year, we can imagine it as a kind of new creation. A blank slate, an empty book, and we can look forward to seeing what good words that God is going to write on the slate of our hearts; on the pages of our lives. We can anticipate wonderful gifts that our Heavenly Father is going to give us. Let’s look forward to the new year with excitement, joy and anticipation, knowing that God loves us and wants us to be happy!

***********************

Praying that in 2023 you have –

12 months of success

52 weeks of laughter

365 days of fun

8760 hours of joy

525600 minutes of blessing

and 31536000 seconds of happiness

delight – take great pleasure in

I think that’s what we all want for Christmas – a heaping, helping of Delight! We don’t just want to experience Christmas; we want to take great pleasure in all the various aspects that this special season provides us with.

I think of children delighting in the Christmas tree, full of lights and ornaments, and of course, all the presents underneath. They delight in Santa at the mall, and the thought of Santa coming on Christmas eve.

As a child growing up on the Colorado prairie, I was always delighted if we had a snowstorm before Christmas, or better yet, a full on blizzard. When the snow stopped falling and the wind stopped blowing, it was always a blast to go play out in the snow drifts. It was delightful to break icicles off the eves and lick them and to throw snowballs at my sister.

Adults find delight at Christmas as well. Whether it be the annual church Christmas pageant or the performance of the Nutcracker. It could be standing up and singing the Hallelujah chorus, or singing Silent Night at a Christmas eve candle light service. A couple of different churches that my family attended over the years had “singing Christmas trees” which attracted big crowds and we all took pleasure in.

There is delight for everyone on Christmas day, gathered ’round the table full of good food, and more importantly, full of loved ones, some of whom we see so seldom.

There is great delight, especially at this time of year, in pondering the message of God in the manger; God with us; God made flesh and dwelling among us. Jesus who would save his people from their sins. Jesus who would redeem the world. Jesus who would bring light into darkness.

But we don’t have to wait until Christmas to find delight. In fact we can find it everyday in God’s Word. At least that is the idea I get from Psalm 119. The author of this Psalm finds it a wonderful delight to dig into and meditate on God’s decrees, statutes, commands and law:

16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

24 Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.

35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

47 I delight in your commands because I love them.

70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law.

77 Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.

92 If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.

103 Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight.

174 I long for your salvation, LORD, and your law gives me delight.

If we delight in God’s Word, it seems that we get counseling, compassion and salvation thrown in for free. Or we delight in the Word because we get counseling, compassion and salvation. And when we are afflicted, in trouble or in distress, we can go to God’s Word to not only find relief, but to enjoy delight. Let’s follow the Psalmists lead and begin to not just read the Scriptures, or just study the Scriptures, but take pleasure in the Word of God and remember the Word that was made flesh and dwelt among us.

*********************

Delighting in God’s Word leads us to delight in God, and delight in God drives away fear. David Jeremiah

I was recently reading John 14 and came across those comforting words of Jesus, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.”

As I read these words, three questions came to mind:

  1. What exactly is this peace that Jesus is going to leave that the world cannot give?
  2. Why is this peace important?
  3. How can I get it?

We are in the season of advent. That time in the church calendar that begins the new church year. Advent is the four weeks that lead up to Christmas. The word advent means coming. In this season the church looks forward to the second coming of Christ for the first three weeks, and then looks back in time at the first coming of Jesus. Each week has a different focus. For some traditions the first week is Hope. The second week is Peace. The third week is Joy and the last week is Love.

I go to a rehabilitation center in Tlacolula, Oaxaca, Mexico, on Monday afternoons. This last Monday I talked to the group of men about Advent and about peace, specifically the Prince of Peace that is coming back to earth one day. The Prince of Shalom.

Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace. Jewish people greet each other with this word; back in Jesus time and even today. Jesus used this word when he was speaking to his disciples. The word Shalom has a much deeper meaning than our English word “peace”. I have been reading an Advent devotional from the magazine Christianity Today and I shared part of an article about shalom with the rehabilitation center men and I would like to share part of it with you. It was written by Carolyn Arends.

“Shalom is a beautiful word that conveys wholeness, harmony, and health. Where we might settle for uneasy truces and Band-Aid fixes as proxies for peace, shalom represents something much more robust. Beyond the cessation of war, shalom is a transformation of the conditions that lead to war in the first place. When there is shalom, everything gets to function the way it was created to. Shalom rejects the idea of life a a zero-sum game and dares to imagine the comprehensive flourishing of every person and everything, all at the same time.”

This concept of Shalom goes a long way toward answering my first question which was “What exactly is this peace that Jesus is giving that the world cannot give?”

That leads me to my second question, “Why is this peace important?”

Jesus tells his disciples in verse 27, “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” This peace is so important because often our hearts are troubled and we are afraid.”

Jesus also told his disciples the same thing in verse 1. “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” Their hearts were troubled because in 13:33 Jesus told his disciples he would only be with them a little while longer and that where he was going they could not go. They received some news that they didn’t like and didn’t understand and their hearts were troubled. Some were afraid.

I think we all receive news sometime in our lives that we don’t like or we don’t understand, or we go through situations that are difficult and we ask God, “Why?”

And our hearts are troubled and sometimes we are afraid. It is at times like this that we need that Shalom peace that surpasses understanding.

Our family went through a difficult time that caused our hearts to be troubled and caused some fear. My wife’s mother was diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer. She had a huge tumor growing in her stomach. When we found out we all cried. The prognosis was not good. We couldn’t understand how God could let this happen to such a godly woman. She endured a lot of pain and suffering and then died. She was 57. But we thank God that as she went through this hard time, she had that Shalom peace and so did our family.

That brings me to the third question, “How can we get it?” How can we have that peace that causes us to overcome our doubts and fears? How can we go through life with that Shalom that brings wholeness, fullness, and completeness to our lives; that causes us to flourish and thrive rather than to despair and fear?

Jesus mentions three vital things that need to happen for us to have this peace. He says in verse 23, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” Right there are two of the things we need to do to get his peace. We need to love him and obey his teaching. That is easy to understand, but often times hard to do. Our main motivation for loving him and obeying him is that He loves us. The Father loves us. The Holy Spirit loves us. The three persons of the Trinity are present in chapter 14. To have that peace that Jesus was talking about we have to get to know the Trinity, and know that they love us and are working on our behalf.

I especially love the last part of verse 23 where Jesus says, “we will come to them and make our home with them.” He doesn’t say that we will occasionally visit them or sometimes check in with them to see how they are doing. He says that he and the Father, and later on the Holy Spirit, will all come to the followers of Jesus Christ and live with them. Make their home with them. Day in and day out. All the time. 24/7.

With that kind of motivation we can live lives of love and obedience to the Prince of Peace, and enjoy the shalom that only he can give. I hope that this advent we will live in shalom-peace; that we will embrace the love of the Trinity and share shalom with all those around us. I pray that we will experience that peace that surpasses all understanding and be God’s hands and feet in bringing peace on earth and goodwill to all humanity

********************************************.

He who best knoweth how to suffer shall possess the most peace; that man is conqueror of himself and lord of the world, the friend of Christ, and the inheritor of heaven. Thomas a Kempis – The Imitation of Christ

There are many verses in the Bible that are about being thankful, being full of gratitude, why that is important and what that looks like. Many of these verses people know by heart. Here’s a few of my favorites:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  Philippians 4:6

Oh give thanks to the LORD for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.  Psalm 118:1

Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:17

I memorized these verses when I was young and have taught and preached on them over the years. I came across a verse about being thankful that is not on most peoples spiritual radar, last week. At least I did not remember reading it before.

The kids and adults at the home for needy children in Oaxaca, Mexico, meet for worship and Bible study every Wednesday night. The study theme for the last couple of months has been Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible. Every verse has some comment about the Word of God. The portion that I taught on was verses 57-64.

In verse 62 the Psalmist proclaims, “At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.”

Now honestly, I have never intentionally risen at midnight to give thanks to God for his righteous laws. Nor do I know any0ne that does. I think what the writer may have in mind is that he is so full of love for God’s righteous laws that he is always giving thanks for them, and that, if for some reason he needs to get up at midnight, the first thing on his mind is giving thanks.

If that is what this verse is all about then I can identity with him. I don’t sleep all that great at night. I normally wake up a few times during the night. I don’t know if that is because I am getting older or what. Whatever the reason, generally the first thing I do is give God thanks. I have generally lived a very blessed life that I totally don’t deserve, due entirely to the grace of God. So I’m inclined to be thankful to my Savior and Lord throughout the day, and yes, even in the middle of the night when I unfortunately wake to use the bathroom or just can’t sleep.

I am especially thankful to God for my relationships. Relationship with God. Relationships with my wife and children. Relationships with people in my community of faith.

I mention this because I think this is also what the Psalmist had in mind. Specifically he mentions God’s righteous laws. What are God’s righteous laws all about?

I like to listen to the Bible Project podcast with Tim Mackie and John Collins. Lately they have been discussing the laws of the Torah. On thing they said about the word righteous is that it means living in right relationships. God gave all his righteous laws so that we can live in happy relationship with God, our families and our communities.

So the Psalmist writing about thanking God for his righteous laws is not the holier than thou Pharisees thanking God that they are not like those common sinners over there, but is thanking God that he is so happy experiencing and living in great relationships with those around him and most importantly with the God that gives the guidelines and principles, and yes, laws, that make it possible for those happy relationships to exist in the first place.

So this Thanksgiving, we may not rise up at midnight to thank God, but as we sit around the table filled with good food, we can look around at those we love and thank God for his righteous laws.

I have been living in Mexico for 17 years, working at a home for needy children. I am not a Mexican citizen. I am foreigner, or an alien in this country. I was born in the United States; Denver, Colorado to be exact. I am not really a citizen of the United States either, if one happens to be thinking biblically about the topic of citizenship. There are quite a few scripture verses that express the idea that all Christians are strangers, pilgrims and aliens to this planet. This world is not our home.

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and aliens, to abstain from sinful desires which wage war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own…They were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:20-21

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. John 17:16

Through these verses God lets us know that we, as Christians, adopted children of God, are strangers, aliens, exiles, foreigners and pilgrims as we exist in this present world. Our citizenship is in heaven. We are longing for a better country, a heavenly one.

I used to read Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith, as inspiring, but also somewhat confusing. Twice, the author of Hebrews say that these great people of faith, did not receive what they were promised. What was I to make of that? God made a promise to people, and then they never received what was promised! What kind of God is that? But, after awhile, I came to the conclusion, that as they grew in their relationship with God, they realized that no earthly promise, no matter how grand, could ever compare to the heavenly reality of being in the immediate presence of God and living in eternal bliss with the Creator and Savior. The earthly promises faded in importance as the heavenly reality became more apparent.

So, if we are living on this earth as exiles, how should we live. Perhaps like the exiled Jews in Babylon. Jeremiah tells them, “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:4-7

I think this is a good word for us as we live as strangers and exiles in this world, awaiting and longing for the time when we will finally be home.

*********************************

If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world. C.S. Lewis

When you think of the Gospels, what do you think of? What first comes to mind. Many people think of the good news of Jesus, the message of the kingdom or parables like the good Samaritan or the prodigal son. Some remember miracles like turning water into wine, walking on water, feeding the five thousand. Most of us tune in to the feel good parts of the Gospels. Our first thought is not usually sin. Maybe that is a mistake.

I have been delving into the Gospel of Luke lately, and I can’t help but notice that “sin”, at least in the first five chapters, keeps popping up its ugly head. Quite a few times it seems to me:

“And you, my child (John), will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins…” (1:76-77)

John went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (3:3)

When Simon Peter saw this (great catch of fish), he fell at Jesus knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (5:8)

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” (5:20)

“Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” (5:23-24)

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (5:30-32)

I think what Luke and Jesus are trying to get across is that sin is a serious matter that needs to be dealt with in a serious way. John the Baptist was all about preaching that people needed to repent from their sins. They needed to drastically change the way they thought about sin so that their behavior would be altered. John told the crowd to be generous, not selfish. He told tax collectors not to collect more than required of them. He told soldiers to not extort money.

And then Jesus comes along, and his message and miracles showed Peter what a sinful man he was. But Jesus does not reject the sinners, he welcomes them and forgives them and invites them to follow him into a better, happier, more fulfilling life.

The paralyzed man that was let down through the roof thought his biggest problem was that he couldn’t walk. Jesus lets him know that his real problem in life was his sins, and Jesus readily forgives him, along with healing him, much to the chagrin of the religious leaders.

These same religious leaders looked down their noses at Jesus because he was partying with tax collectors and sinners. Jesus gave them, and us, his reason for being in the world with his response, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

We can all rejoice that Jesus was not a Pharisee, but the Son of Man who does not reject sinners, but has compassion on them and seeks to move them to a place of realization about how destructive sin is, to be forgiven of their sin and live a joyous, productive, fulfilling life glorifying God and enjoying him forever. Now that is Good News!

I have been thinking about the importance of forgiveness lately. I have been teaching a series on the Lord’s Prayer at New Creation, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Tlacolula, Oaxaca, Mexico, every Monday afternoon. This last Monday we focused on the phrase, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” Perhaps the most important part of the prayer since Jesus repeats the admonition, or petition, after he gives the prayer in Matthew 6:14.

There are many verses in the New Testament that are about God forgiving sins. If we confess our sins, God forgives us (1 John 1:9). We are forgiven through Jesus’ blood and the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians1:7). Repent of your wickedness that you may be forgiven (Acts 8:22). Jesus said, “This is my blood which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28). But Jesus doesn’t focus on any of these aspects of forgiveness.

The thing most important to Jesus when it comes to being forgiven of our sins, debts, offenses and transgressions, is that we forgive others who have sinned against us or offended us (Mt.6:12).

Jesus tells a parable about this concept in Matthew 18:21-35. The parable of the unmerciful servant.

-Jesus tells us to forgive 77 times; never stop forgiving!

-In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus said that we should pray that God’s kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus says this parable is one aspect of the kingdom that we should practice.

-Jesus said a man owed ten thousand bags of gold, which is like a billion dollars.

-The master in this parable took pity on the servant and canceled the debt (27)

-The man who was forgiven the debt went to a fellow servant and demanded that he pay him a 100 silver coins, which is like is like $500. He couldn’t pay and was thrown into debtors prison. (28)

-The master found out and said to the servant, “You are a wicked servant. I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on fellow servant just as I had on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to jailers to be tortured until he should pay back all he owed.

-In conclusion, Jesus tells his disciples that is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.

That seems pretty strict and severe, but Jesus makes it plain in the Lord’s prayer that we will not be forgiven unless we forgive, and in the parable of the unmerciful servant that we will be handed over to be tortured unless we forgive.

I have an idea – Let’s forgive!

The Bible talks a lot about the importance of being blameless. Especially Psalms and Proverbs:

LORD, who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless. (Psalm 15:1-2)

The blameless spend their days under the LORD’s, care, and their inheritance will endure forever. (Psalm 37:18)

Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation. (Psalm 50:23)

No good thing does the LORD withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Psalm 84:11)

The LORD holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless. (Proverbs 2:7)

The way of the LORD is a refuge for the blameless, but is the ruin of those who do evil. (Proverbs 10:29)

The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness. (Proverbs 11:5)

Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse. (Proverbs 28:6)

The one whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but the one whose ways are perverse will fall into the pit. (Proverbs 28:18)

It seems there are a lot of benefits to living a blameless life. Good things like living on God’s holy mountain, being under the LORD’s care, salvation, protection and straight paths.

Two questions. What does it mean to be blameless and How can we be blameless?

One dictionary defines blameless as innocent of wrongdoing. Evidently, to be blameless we must never do anything wrong. It seems like an impossible dream. Never offend anyone. Never hurt anyone. Never take revenge. The list could be a long one.

How can we ever hope to accomplish blamelessness?

According to Paul in Philippians 2:14-15, the answer is to stop grumbling or arguing. He writes, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”

That doesn’t sound so hard. I thought there would be a list of do’s and don’ts a mile long that I would have to obey to be blameless. But it is just two things that seem to be everything – Do Everything Without Grumbling or Arguing. And not only will we be blameless, but we get purity thrown in as well.

It is probably a little more difficult than it sounds. As fallen, broken humans, bent toward sin, I think that our default mode in life is to start off being negative about most things, especially when things do not go our way, or we are not treated the way we think we deserve to be treated. That negativity leads to grumbling, which is generally a kind of low key, inner discomfort that, if not nipped in the bud, grows into complaining, and then bitterness and anger.

So how do we nip the negativity and grumbling in the bud and stop it before it gets out of control?

I read some positive thinking books about 35 years ago, and two phrases come to mind – Stop your stinking thinking and turn that frown upside down. At first blush those two ideas seem really simplistic when we are dealing with major downers in our life. But I think that is what Paul would have us do, in a manner of speaking. In chapter four of Philippians, Paul writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (vs. 4) We must make the choice to rejoice.

What a contrast. In chapter two he is basically saying NEVER grumble or argue. In chapter four he says ALWAYS rejoice. So when we feel the negativity bug begin to bite into our thought process, we should get out the pesticide of Rejoicing in the Lord and find something to be thankful for. And if we can somehow manage to do that, we end up blameless and pure. And we get all the benefits from God that go with it.

I think, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can do it. God loves us and wants us to be happy; full of joy. By replacing grumbling and arguing with praising and adoring, we can become blameless and pure. And happy.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.