Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rejoice. . .

Our first memory verses for this school year
were Philippians 4:4-7. Although verse 7
is frequently quoted, I really enjoyed having
Jake memorize the verses prior. I memorized
them as well and Drew just had to memorize
verse 4.

Here is what we memorized:

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it
again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be
evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not
be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God, and the peace
of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in
Christ Jesus." Phil 4:4-7

As I was memorizing these verses, it stood
out to me that Paul is telling them to
first and foremost: Rejoice in the Lord.
You see, in order for us not to be anxious,
we must 1st set our eyes on Jesus. We need
to draw near to God because when we do that
weare reminded that He is in ultimate control.
He also says to let your gentleness be evident
to all. I don't know about you, but unless
I am walking in the Spirit (God is helping me),
I am not going to be real gentle when things
aren't going well. His next statement is:
"The Lord is near". What a great reminder
that whatever is happening in our lives is
not a surprise to God and He's not watching
from a distance and saying, "I wonder what
Leah is goingto do this time."
No, instead, God is near and once we realize
that, He comforts us by putting His promises
and truths in our hearts and minds. After
"rejoicing", and remembering that God is
"near", then we will be able to "not be anxious"
and we truly will understand that "God's peace"
really does "transcend all understanding."

When God brings comfort in the middle of hard
times, we truly grasp "how wide and deep His
love is for us". I hope you are encouraged
by this. I was encouraged by memorizing all
these verses and in the future, instead of
just trying to quote verse 7 like I have in
the past, I will have a much better starting
place by beginning with "rejoicing in the Lord"!

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