"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice." Philippians 4:4
Begin your time with God in prayer:
Praise God for who He is. Confess any sin so that nothing blocks your fellowship with Him. Ask God to use the Spirit and the Word to transform your life. Yield your will to God’s will.
Let God’s Word penetrate your head and your heart:
Joy comes from being rightly related to God and people. In Philippians 1:3-8, Paul used the phrases, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you”, ”I have you in my heart” and “how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.” These illustrate the heartfelt relationships in the body of Christ where there is no need for pretense or perfection because we are all sinners in need of a Savior; where there is no distinction because of wealth, status, knowledge, age or ethnicity because all are equally valued in God’s eyes; and where love and forgiveness are extended in loving humility.
1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 - 7But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. 8Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.
How did Paul and his friends describe their relationship with the Thessalonians (vs. 7)?
They were not just interested in giving the Thessalonians the Gospel, what else did they give them (vs. 8)?
Why (vs. 8; keyword – because)?
Apply God’s Word to your life:
Thank God for the godly friends you have in your life.
Ask God for the courage to join a Life Group or Discovery Class so that you can begin to build godly friendships.
Is there anyone you need to forgive today so that as far as it depends on you, you are at peace with everyone?
Father, I praise You that you are a God of love. Forgive me for all the times I have been hurtful and unforgiving. Help me to develop godly friendships and reach out to those who may not be connected to other believers. I want my relationships to show the joy of the Lord. Amen.
Related verses to meditate on:
Acts 2:46-47 - Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
John 17:20-21 - I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Ephesians 4:1-4 - Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:31-32 - Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Posted on Mon, January 16, 2017
by Sam Petitfils