2" dir="ltr"> MacArthur Blvd. Christian Church: March 2015

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Excellent and Praise Worthy

Last week, I wrote about the first part of Philippians 4: 6-9.

 "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. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

This week I want to tackle the last part that begins with ‘Finally brothers…’ We are given a list of items to focus on; noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.’ You’ll notice each word is something we consider to be positive. When we focus on these traits, it is hard to be anxious, fearful, or worried. They allow us to look at the world through God’s eyes and what He wants for us; peace in Him.

It doesn’t mean that life is always going to rosy and nothing bad will ever happen; because that’s not true. We live in a fallen world where very bad things do happen every day, every hour, every minute. It just means that when we are focused on God, He will lead us through each situation.
Peter is a good illustration of this. When the storm came up on the lake. Peter heard Jesus calling to him. Peter climbed out of the boat and began to walk towards Jesus and while he kept His eyes on Jesus, Peter was okay. But the moment he looked down and realized he was on the water, he began to sink.

The story illustrates what happens when we take our eyes off of Jesus. We will sink. Every time.

The final instruction begins with the word, “Whatever…”We must put into practice what we learn in this set of scriptures. Not just for one day, but for the rest of our lives. There will be times when we keep our eyes on Jesus, but other times when we’ll forget like Peter and begin to sink.

Did Jesus let Peter drown? No. He pulled him to safety. Jesus will always protect us and pull us to safety, if only we acknowledge Him and turn our eyes to Him.



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Whose Voice are You Listening to?




"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everthing, 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. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:6-9.

This is one of my favorite set of verses. It is multi-faceted like a diamond. You look at it one way and see beautiful luster and then you look at it another way and are stunned by the beauty found in, and from, that angle. No matter which way you look at it, you find another dimension of beauty. I will share a bit of the beauty I see in these verses today and then add more thoughts next week.

Anxiousness is a cancer that eats away at our very core. We worry. We plan. We scheme to make sure everything is secure in our lives. We fret about the amount of money we make. We worry about our children and the decisions they make. We wring our hands in fretfulness about the world and all the chaos in it. Did you see any words that made you sqirm? Anxious, worry, scheme, fret.

These words conjure up pictures of constant uneasiness both physically and mentally. Have you ever watched a dog with a bone or towel? Our dog has an old towel and she will lay with it for a fairly long time and just chew on it. Her total focus is on that object. I envision a person walking back and forth wringing their hands together. Nothing can enter that person's mind except the issue causing the concern.

The second half of this first statement tells us to take everything to God. We must give Him our concerns. We mustn't hide from God what is bothering us. He desires for us to tell Him, but we must turn to Him, give Him our focus, knowing he understands and will care for us and the situation. And what will happen if we do that? The peace of God will envelop us and give us comfort and strength.

I saw the following on the web. I don't know who to attribute it to but it goes like this:

God's voice stills you.                    Satan's voice rushes you.
God's voice leads you.                   Satan's voice pushes you
God's voice reassures you.             Satan's voice frightens you.
God's voice enlightens you.           Satan's voice confuses you.
God's voice encourages you.         Satan's voice discourages you.
God's voice comforts you.             Satan's voice worries you.
God's voice calms you.                  Satan's voice obsses you.
God's voice convicts you.              Satan's voice condemns you.

Which voice do you listen to?