Gaining Understanding

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (Philippians 4:6-7 MSG)

I love how this translation from The Message states this passage. There is a lot I like about more traditional translations but sometimes seeing something in common language is a great help.

I read a lot of different translations of scripture. Each state the core message in slightly different ways and as long as the core message is not changed there is value in reading it in different ways.

Gaining understanding is the goal. We were given the Spirit to help us interpret God’s Word and to intercede for us with God when we are struggling to understand.  Through the Spirit’s teaching and studying scripture we gain wisdom, and that growth helps us to face everything in this life.

 

Finish Well

9 For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,[a] 10 so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God, (Colossians 1:9-10 CSB)

We may not always know what to pray for others. I often pray for people who might read these devotionals a prayer like Paul prayed in this scripture. That each my be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, wisdom and spiritual understanding.

If these things are granted then I know that others are walking in a way worthy of the Lord. I too would wish others to pray this prayer for me so that I too may walk in a way worthy and fully pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.

I think we all need all the help we can get and prayer is a great start that leads to a right finish.

The key is to work always to finish well in life.

Faithful & True

4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things[a] have passed away.

5 Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words[b] are faithful and true.” (Revelation 21:4-5 CSB)

A time is coming when all things will be made new.

A time when there will be no more grief, crying or pain.

Some believe this to idyllic to believe. Too wonderful to imagine.

But the time is coming, and no one knows the day or hour, as it will come in a flash.

If you have been reading these devotions each of them point to the one who orchestrates all of life and the life beyond. Some may see that as a crutch. Others as simple fairy tail. But there is ample evidence to the existence of God all around us every day. If I were to stay silent even the stones would cry out.

I write these words because they are faithful and true.

Organic Growth

46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, then the spiritual. (1 Corinthians 15:46 CSB)

We speak of things happening organically typically being the best things. When our lives grow in an organic manner there is typically time to adapt to the circumstance.

We often view something that changes suddenly as not necessarily as good as an organic change. Even when it is positive there may be sudden repercussion.

Around us the world and life abound with evidence of God. There is just too much that since wants to write off as organic or concidence that is simply evidence of God’s hand.

Thus, we should all know that God exist. But the Spirit may come upon us suddenly after a conversion experience, changing who and what we are in a flash.

This is good sudden change that then begins an organic growth in who we are.

 

Elected and Called

10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. (2 Peter 1:10 CSB)

We have been given an opportunity, an election and a calling.

The question is are we answering?

It may be as simple as being the one people turn to at work when they are having problems. It may be to reach out to others, providing support or a meal when we find them hurting and on the street. It could be writing a morning devotional.

But make no mistake; you are called to confirm your election.

This is to show up with the writing intent and being ready to be lead and live your purpose.

There is much written about following our passions to make a better life. But if we follow Gods election we can make a perfect life.

Mental Battleground

5 and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 CSB)

The mind can be the greatest battleground. We can become a slave to a mind out of control. Fear, anxiety, worry, depression; all of these are battlegrounds of the mind.

And consider the physical implications. When our mind is in turmoil there is usually a physical manifestation; weariness, stomach upset, breathing changes….the list goes on and on.

Many chronic physical issues have been linked to mental distress.

Thus we must actively work daily, at times moment by moment, to take every thought captive. If we let the lion run free in the mind it will devour who we are.

When we lift each thought up to Christ we can filter them through scripture and how the Spirit is leading. Prayer is the weapon of choice against thoughts running rampant.

A Much Needed Silence

12 After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper. (1 Kings 19:12 CSB)

The world screams at us constantly. The tumult constantantly assails our senses and seeks to keep us constantly distracted. We are busy for busy’s sake.

How then can we hope to hear ourselves much less God’s still soft whisper?

We have accepted living in a world where we have almost continual input. There is no silence, no stillness there is only motion and sound.

This is not sharpening our senses it is dulling them.

How then are we supposed to allow our mind or our spirit to rest. Collapsing in bed each night is the body’s response to this continual input. But it is not true rest, because we know we will do it all over again tomorrow.

We must take stock and begin to realize what we have lost is a much needed silence.