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About-Him.Com Devotional 10-18-2014

Rejoice in the Lord Always

Text: Philippians 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.  

It’s easy to rejoice when everything is going our way, eh?  However things don’t always go our way. I lived in the town where several GM plants were shut down and demolished. The high wages became a thing of the past for many people. Some sunk to the depths of despair and others thanked God for His past provision and took Him at His word that if they put the kingdom of God first, He would take care of their basic needs.  

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.   The context for the above verse tells us that Jesus was talking about our basic needs such as food clothing and shelter, not for our extravagances.    

Matthew 6:25 ¶ Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  

John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.  

1 Timothy 6:8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  

Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation (manner of living) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Many  have rejoiced in the Lord while bearing unspeakable pain and/crippling disabilities. I think of the blind songwriter, Fanny Crosby, who wrote a great number of hymns that we still sing today. Or Thomas A. Dorsey who wrote Take My Hand Precious Lord, just after his wife and child died on the same day.  

The early apostles and disciples showed us that it was possible to rejoice in the face of persecution and even death. Polycarp, was a first century bishop who rejoiced even as the flames licked at his feet. He is quoted as saying that the Lord hadn’t failed him for the long years that he had served Him, and that he couldn’t deny the Lord now. In that regard, I think of the Christians in Syria and Iraq who are being driven from their homes and businesses rather that deny the Lord and convert to Islam. Yes, some of them are Christian in name only, but they are still paying a high price for not denying Him. They need our prayers. We could be in the same situation, a whole lot sooner than we think.  

Acts 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.  

Acts 16:25 ¶ And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.  

Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  

Psalms 146:2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

Text: Philippians 4:5  Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.  

We show our moderation to others when we exercise self control of our emotions when faced with difficulty.  When we possess the peace of the Spirit, people can see Jesus in us. However, when we lose our cool, their vision of the Lord is clouded and we bring shame to His name. Notice, I said, “We.”  

The best way to check our moderation, or lack thereof, is to look at the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew Chapters 5 through 7.  

Matthew 5:39  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
41  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Text: Philippians 4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  

Anxiety causes many of the afflictions in our bodies and has caused many to go to an early grave (Ro. 8:6). A phrase from the old hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus comes to mind, “Oh what peace we often forfeit. Oh, what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.”  

Matthew  6:25 ¶  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  

Matthew 6:34  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Text: Philippians 4:7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  

The peace of God is a fruit of the Spirit (Ga 5:22) and was purchased for us on the cross of Calvary (Ro. 5:1, 15:13). It does indeed pass all earthly understanding. Jesus said He was leaving us His peace, so we need not be troubled or afraid (Jn. 14:27).  

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  

Note the little word let in the verse above. It’s up to us whether we want to commit our lives to the will of God and live in the peace of the Spirit or suffer constantly from our anxieties. Just as Jesus slept in the boat while a violent storm raged on the Sea of Galilee, we can have perfect peace when going through the various storms of this life.  

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  

Isaiah 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands.

Text: Philippians 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

The poetic verses above stand as a road sign on our journey of faith. We are as we think. We can live a negative life of doubt and despair, or we can feast on the positive things of God, that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report and enjoy the peace of God that flows like a river in our hearts (Is. 48:18).  

Song: All Because

Somebody Has Said
 Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. - Albert Einstein

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Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries

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