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Posts Tagged ‘Philippians 4:7’

If I asked a million people from across the world this question, 

“What do you want the most in your life?” 

I am certain these would be the four top responses:

Joy, peace, abundant life, and contentment

 

Whether rich or poor, well or ill, single or married, able or disabled, all people seek these four things.  

 

Perhaps this is why our forefathers wrote into the US Declaration of Independence, these words:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all … are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

 

Through out much of our lives we remain anxious for the things of the earth that we need for survival, security, and comfort.  We routinely ask ourselves these questions:

Can we afford to get married?

Can we afford to have kids?

Can I pay this week’s bills?

Do I have enough saved for retirement?

Even the rich worry about hanging onto their worldly wealth.

 

Eventually we learn that the things of the earth will not provide us with joy, peace, abundant life, or contentment.

 

The Bible promises that if we seek God first we will have these things added to our life:

Your joy will be complete.  (John 15:11)

You will have peace which passes all understanding.  (Philippians 4:7)

You will have an abundant life.  (John 10:10)

You will find contentment in all things.  (Phil 4:11)

 

This is why Thomas Kempis tells us:

“He who finds Jesus finds a rare treasure. 

The man who lives without Jesus is the poorest of the poor.” (1)

 

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(1) Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1996), 75.

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Fellowship with Jesus does not guarantee loyalty to Him. 

It takes more than that. (1)

 

My Dad raised me to be loyal.  It is one of those values which he holds to tightly.  I am not sure why loyalty is so important to him, but it is.  Perhaps he was once stung by the kiss of betrayal. 

 

Jesus had 12 close friends into which he had poured out His heart and soul.  They were together 24/7 for three years.  Who could ask for a more loyal group of friends?  Jesus could!

 

In the moment of His greatest need, after unveiling the disloyalty of one of His friends, Jesus asked His remaining friends to stay awake and pray for Him while He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.  The friends slept.  This was only the beginning.

 

For three years they had been with Jesus, worshipped with Him, prayed with Him, and grew in faith as He discipled them.  Jesus had fed them, protected them, saved them, inspired them, and strengthened them.

 

Then one dark night, it was all for nought.

 

I see many Christians do the same thing.

 

They worship, sing, pray, listen, and use His name frequently.  They have tight fellowship with Jesus, until the world offers them a better deal.

 

The world’s offerings are varied.  You may be offered 30 silver coins from men in power or you may be desperate for popularity when a little girl asks you a question among campfire friends.  

 

Quietly we slip away from Jesus enjoying the jingle in our pocket and hoping the rooster does not crow.

 

Regret always comes before sun rise when you are disloyal to Jesus.

 

Being tight with Jesus today does not guarantee you will be tight with Him tonight.

 

What are you doing to protect yourself from being disloyal to Him?

 

I pray:

“Lord, lead me not into temptation. Protect me from the Evil One, the great tempter.  Guard my heart and mind, keep me close to You.” (2)

 

Will Jesus find you worshipping Him tomorrow?  It’s going to be a beautiful day!

 

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  1. Jim L. Wilson, Fresh Start Devotionals (Fresno, CA: Willow City Press, 2009).
  2. Matthew 6:13 and Philippians 4:7

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Inner peace through an implicit trust in the love of God 

is the real evidence of a mature Christian faith. (1)

Inner peace eludes us because we pursue it in venues in which it cannot be found.  It will never be found at the store, in the office, or under a trophy.  It can not be purchased, achieved, or won.  It can only be received.

Inner peace can only be found in the company of faith.  Thus, it is accessible to all.  You do not need privilege, wealth, or luck to have it.  In fact, these things have prevented many people from finding inner peace. 

My friend Earl had inner peace.  

In the eight years I knew him, I never saw him out of bed.  He spoke between shots of air delivered to his lungs by a ventilator.  He could not tend to any of his personal needs.  

While Earl was was totally dependent upon others to provide all of his physical and worldly needs, his mind and heart had been spared the disease which ravaged his body.

Earl could have given up, but he did not.

He could have instructed his doctors to pull-the-plug, but he did not.

He could have spewed anger, despair, and resentment on anyone who entered his room, but he did not.

Instead Earl was the happiest man I ever met.  

In contrast to Job who moped, whined, and raged when his worldly possessions and loves were stolen by an evil twist of fate, Earl smiled, praised God, and rejoiced after disease robbed him of anything which looked like quality of life.

Earl had a peace which surpassed all understanding because he had faith in God.  This peace, his companion in faith, guarded his heart and his mind. (2)

Earl’s faith grew while his body decayed.  

Earl knew that his body would not last forever, it does not for any of us.  Thus, he placed his whole life into the hands of Jesus.  When troubles came and health declined, Earl found peace not in little things, but in the great and wondrous grace of God.

When Earl died, we sang Horatio Spafford’s great hymn, “It Is Well with My Soul” (Click the title to hear this great hymn.)

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, 

when sorrows like sea billows roll,

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, 

It is well with my soul. (3)

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  1. Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996), 202.
  2. Philippians 4:7.
  3. Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996), 202.

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