Think on These Things

Jesus is the reason for every season of my life. There is no distinguishable difference in the days that I need Him. I daily desire to be aware of all the gifts that come from God. There is no more or less thought about Jesus in November. And there is no more or less thought about thanksgiving when December rolls around.
The thankfulness that fills my thoughts and prayers flows from the peace that resides in my heart. Knowing God through Jesus, the Author & Perfecter of my faith, is what sustains my joy. The reason for my thankful heart is the reality of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection.

Paul’s exhortation to the Philippian church, and to us, is to THINK about the good things that accompany our salvation. To fill our hearts and minds and sight with God’s nearness. In this year of 2020, our vision seems to be anything but. The clouds and fog have moved in low and close. They surround our souls with worry and fear and anger, keeping our view of God’s goodness distorted. Our words and attitudes too often reflect what we’re thinking and where we are focused. I don’t want this year to end with me being out of tune in singing God’s grace.

Oh my soul, are you weary and troubled? Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Jesus, our Emmanuel. God WITH us.
There’s life abundant and free in His grace.
Be my vision, Lord! Nothing else but You – day and night.
I’m a debtor to Your amazing grace. The streams of mercy that follow me all the days of my life call for songs of loudest praise.

May this encouragement from Paul ring through my soul and yours in these last days of the year 2020 … and if the Lord allows me to live, may his words stir me to right thinking, loving and doing in the years to come.

“Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people.
THE LORD IS NEAR.
Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

Finally, believers, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable and worthy of respect,
whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word,
whatever is pure and wholesome,
whatever is lovely and brings peace,
whatever is admirable and of good repute;
if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise,

THINK CONTINUALLY on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you.

Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances. I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4 (AMP)

So I take loving God in the Great Commandment to mean most essentially treasuring God—valuing Him, cherishing Him, admiring Him, desiring Him. Therefore, loving Him with all our mind means that our mind—our thinking—is not what does the loving but what fuels the loving. Loving God with the mind means our mind does all it can to awaken and express our treasuring God above all things. If we equate loving God with thinking rightly about God, we jeopardize the very reality of love. If you say that fire and fuel are the same, you may not order the wood. Then the fire goes out. The fire is not the wood. But for the sake of the fire, you exert yourself to provide the wood. And for the sake of love, you exert your mind and provide knowledge. We cannot love God without knowing God; and the way we know God is by the Spirit-enabled use of our minds. So to “love God with all your mind” means engaging all your powers of thought to know God as fully as possible in order to treasure him for all he is worth.

(Thinking, Loving, Doing)

Noel, Noel!
Come and see what God has done.
Noel, Noel!
The story of amazing love!
The light of the world, given for us –
Noel!

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