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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, August 8, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
Paul’s attitude teaches us an important lesson: Our inner attitudes do not have to reflect our outward circumstances. Paul was full of joy because he knew that no matter what happened to him, Jesus Christ was with him. Several times in this letter Paul urged the Philippians to be joyful, probably because they needed to hear this. It’s easy to get discouraged about unpleasant circumstances or to take unimportant events too seriously. If you haven’t been joyful lately, you may not be looking at life from the right perspective.
We are to be considerate (reasonable, fair minded, and charitable) to those outside the church, and not just to fellow believers. This means we are not seek revenge against those who treat us unfairly, nor are we to be overly vocal about our personal rights.
What we put into our mind determines what comes out in our words and actions. Paul tells us to program our mind with thoughts that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and worthy of praise. Do you have problems with impure thoughts and daydreams? Examine what you are putting into your mind through television, books, conversations, movies, and magazines. Replace harmful input with wholesome material. Above all, read God’s Word and pray. Ask God to help you focus your mind on what is good and pure. It takes practice, but it can be done.
It’s not enough to hear or read the Word of God or even to know it well. We must also put it into practice. How easy it is to listen to a sermon and forget what the preacher said. How easy it is to read the Bible and not think about how to live differently. How easy it is to debate what a passage means and not live out that meaning. Exposure to God’s Word is not enough it must lead to obedience. (NLT)
Philippians 4:4-9 – Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.
Be still, and know that I am God. –Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
Gavin Leverton (Cape Town, South Africa) titled his story “REFLECTIONS;” here is a portion of Gavin’s story:
“Before winter arrived, my wife and I embarked on a road trip. . . . The reflections of the trees and hills in the areas of still waters were breathtaking.
“The scriptures have much to say about how we need to reflect Christ to the world, to show Christ to the world by the lives we live. Over the years, I have often heard Christian friends express how difficult it is to do this in our busy world. Perhaps we can look again at the reflections on the water and understand that perfect reflections only occur in perfect stillness. If we want to know Christ better and reflect Christ to the world, we can start by being still and seeking the peace that passes all understanding in our hearts. In this way we will be better able to share that peace with the world.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How can I reflect Christ to the world each day?
Prayer: Dear Lord, calm us so that we can find your peace for ourselves and then share it with others around us. Amen.
Prayer Focus: TO SEEK CHRIST’S PEACE
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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