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October 3

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“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8 NKJV).

From: October 3, 2020

WHAT KINDS OF THOUGHTS FILL YOUR THINKING?

As the apostle Paul closed his letter to the Philippians, he urged them to always rejoice in the Lord. He gave them a couple of spiritual strategies for joyful living. One, was that they should turn their worries into prayers, not being anxious about anything, but praying about everything. The other, was to be careful about their thought-life, what their minds meditated on. He gave them a list of topics for their mental meditations: “Whatever things are true… noble… just… pure… lovely… of good report… virtuous… and praiseworthy.”
 
Paul’s instructions about joyful living clearly involve taking care about our state of mind. Consider the effect of having the opposite kinds of thoughts than Paul encourages. When we are anxious, meditating on things that are false, ignoble, unjust, impure, ugly, of bad report, without virtue, and not praiseworthy, we risk losing the joy of the Lord.
 
Looking through the list of joy-killing thoughts, which ones plague you the most? And what triggers such thoughts? Is it the news, social media, some television show or movie? What are you putting in your mind? Remember the mantra of computer programmers: GIGO–– Garbage In, Garbage Out. What kinds of thoughts fill your thinking?
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, we begin our days talking to You. For meditating on Your Word and hearing Your voice is the source of our joy. We are often self-defeated and anxious because we have filled our minds with bad things. Forgive us. Help us to think with the mind of Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6 NLT).

From: October 3, 2019

TURN YOUR WORRIES INTO PRAYERS

What is worry? Isn’t it anxious self-talk? It’s an internal conversation between you and you. Worry circles around your head like a cloud of gnats that you can’t swat away. What is prayer? It’s talking to God. Why not take the same amount of effort that you’re putting into worry and turn them into prayer? Paul taught us to stop worrying and to start praying. Worry at its heart is an expression of doubt. It is the opposite of faith. Didn’t Jesus say, “Do not worry” (Matt. 6:25)?
 
Worry is sin, but prayer is an expression of faith. Prayer causes us to lift our eyes from self to our Savior. Prayer pleases God. Even more, when we lift our worries to God, we experience “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). So, turn your worries into prayers!
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You that we can lift all our concerns up to You. For You love us and are always ready to hear us. As we begin this day, we name each day’s concern to You, asking for the peace of God to replace any anxiety we have. Now strengthen and empower us to live for You today by the indwelling presence of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 NLT).

From: October 3, 2018

JOY OR HAPPINESS?
While imprisoned in Rome, the apostle Paul writes this command, “Rejoice in the Lord always!” He then repeats it for emphasis. What state of mind is this that even chains can’t remove its smile, nor imprisonment stop its song? It is the joy that comes from the Lord as a “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22). It is the gladness that always fills those who abide in the Lord (See John 15:11).
 
Everyone wants to be happy. But happiness is fleeting for it depends on favorable happenings. When circumstances are good, happiness is possible. External conditions affect happiness. But joy comes from within, where the Spirit of Christ dwells in those who believe. It is not affected by changing circumstance, but rests in the unchanging presence and promises of the Lord.
 
So, those who are in Christ can choose where to set their minds— on the temporal things of this world, or on the eternal things we have in Christ. What will you choose today? God’s Word teaches us to always choose joy!

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV).

From: October 3, 2017

The Lord revealed to Jeremiah three spiritual realities concerning his prophetic calling that show us something about our relationship to God too.
 
1) He was known by God before his conception. If Jeremiah was known by God, then so are we. He knows us, even before we are formed, which speaks of God’s eternality and foreknowledge. It speaks of God’s relational intimacy with humanity. It also speaks to the sanctity of human life in the womb.
 
2) He was “sanctified,” set apart for special work, before he was born. God had a specific purpose in mind for Jeremiah. He wasn’t an accident of chance, but one born for a divine purpose. This has implications for all of us. If we are born with a purpose, shouldn’t we want to know it?
 
3) He was “ordained,” anointed by God with specific gifting to be God’s international representative. God had not only called Jeremiah with a specific purpose, He had anointed him with appropriate gifts. To whom God calls, He also provides. If we have a sense of God’s calling, let us not worry that He will not also give us what we need to answer it.
 
Let us meditate on the intimate knowledge, purpose and gifting that God has for us.

“Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, ‘Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.'” (Jeremiah 1:9 ESV)

From: October 3, 2016

What God did for Jeremiah, I pray He does for me whenever I open my mouth to preach. Like Jeremiah, I do not feel worthy to be His messenger, yet I know it is His Word alone, not mine, that is worthy of being heard. It is not just in preaching that I pray for God’s Word to shape my speech, but in every word of counsel offered. For human wisdom has no power to save. Be careful of giving out advice without prayer. Ask God to “touch your mouth” before using it to guide others.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)

From: October 3, 2015

The apostle Paul described the secret to a life of contentment to the believers at Philippi, namely, Christ. This verse, although a favorite on posters with captions of athletic prowess depicted, was descriptive not of success against overwhelming odds, but contentment under all circumstances. Paul taught that the secret to true joy and contentment is not based on the ever-changing circumstances of life, but in our dependence on the unchanging presence of Christ in us.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6 NLT)

From: October 3, 2014

What is worry? Isn’t it anxious self-talk? It’s an internal conversation between you and you. Worry circles around your head like a cloud of gnats that you can’t swat away. What is prayer? It’s talking to God. Why not take the same amount of effort that you’re putting into worry and turn them into prayer? Paul taught us to stop worrying and to start praying. Worry at its heart is an expression of doubt. It is the opposite of faith. It is sin. Prayer is an expression of faith. Prayer causes us to lift our eyes from self to our Savior. Prayer pleases God. Turn your worries into prayers!

“Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out” (Proverbs 24:19-20)

From: October 3, 2013

Are you worried about increasing wickedness in the world? Do you envy the prosperity of the godless? Worry and envy won’t help! Entrust these things to God who holds the future. Then, live in such a way that the light of Christ within you shines in this darkness.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

From: October 3, 2012

Worry is self-talk. Prayer is talking to God. Stop talking to your self and start talking to God. Worry is not only wasted effort, it is self destructive. Worry is sin, the opposite of faith. But praying we experience a peace of mind that only comes through trusting Christ with every circumstance. Stop worrying. Pray.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5)

From: October 3, 2011

Do you have a sense of calling? An awareness of destiny? You should. God had you in mind before you existed. You are not as some suppose, a mere roll of the evolutionary dice. You are created for a purpose.