Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

Pastor Ron Lewis: Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


Pastor Ron continues his series, “Spiritual Warfare,” this week as we look at Ephesians 6:18e, which tells us to pray “for all the saints.”  We are in a Spiritual war with flaming arrows being thrown at us from all sides.  We are commanded to pray for each other. God has given us this high privilege to be apart of His work.

Notes:

5.  The Objects of Warfare Praying…V18e-20                    

a.  Pray for all the saints V18e

1.  What does it mean to intercede for all the saints…?

2.  Why is it important to intercede for all the saints…?

3.  What should be the content of your warfare intercession for all the saints…?

Please click on the link below to listen to this sermon.

Intercede for all the Saints!

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Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa., Pastor Ron Lewis

Ephesians 5:19  We’ve been studying what it means to be filled with the Spirit, and this week we see what some of the results are.  Do you sing to the Lord?

C.  THE RESULTS (V19-21)

1. Singing V19

a.  Among whom do Spirit-filled believers sing?            ephesians5_19-20

b.  From where do Spirit-filled believers sing?

c.  To whom do Spirit-filled believers sing?

d.  How do Spirit-filled believers sin?

1) Speaking

a.  Psalms
b.  Hymns
c.  Spiritual songs

2)  Singing

3)  Making melody

Please click on the link below to listen to this wonderful message.

Sing to the Lord!

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romans12_1

Ephesians 5:17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Today’s sermon concludes the series, “Walk in Wisdom,” that Pastor Ron Lewis is preaching. Many people struggle with how they can know God’s will but the good news is the Bible gives us the answer.

Notes:

3. Do not be Foolish…V17a

4. Understand what the Will of the Lord is…V17b

a. What are we to do…?

b. Where and How do we get this understanding of the Lord’s will?

The____________________of the Word
The ___________________in your heart
The Holy Spirit’s___________________
God’s sovereign arrangement of your __________________
The ____________of fellow believers
A predetermined ______________to God’s will
___________________with the Lord in prayer
Please click on the link below to listen to this very helpful sermon.

 

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Dread

Does the word dread ever enter your mind or conversation?  It does mine. Sometimes when I’m tired I dread having to go to the store for groceries, or I dread the housework facing me that day, or I dread an appointment; especially the dentist or doctor.  Sometimes I even dread having to get up and start my day. I thought to myself, “Why do I dread things?”  “What is dread anyway?”  So, I looked it up in the dictionary and here is what I found: Dread: “To be in terror of; fear greatly.  Fearful anticipation.”

Wait a minute!  Fearful anticipation!  What?  I thought fear was out of my life.  I didn’t know that dreading something was being fearful.  So, is it sinful to dread things?  I don’t want to sin against God!

I looked up “fear.”  Here are some synonyms for fear:  anxiety, dread, panic, trepidation, worry, stress.  Oh no!  I’m not liking what I’m reading! What does the Bible say about anxiety?

matthew6_27

Mat 6:25-34 MKJV Therefore I say to you, Do not be anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (26) Behold the birds of the air; for they sow not, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them; are you not much better than they are? (27) Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his stature? (28) And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They do not toil, nor do they spin, (29) but I say to you that even Solomon in his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (30) Therefore if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much rather clothe you, little-faiths? (31) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed? (32) For the nations seek after all these things. For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. (33) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. (34) Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow shall be anxious for its own things. Sufficient to the day is the evil of it. (Emphasis mine)

In these verses I count the phrase “do not be anxious,” three times.  Just think about it, these words came out of the lips of Jesus himself!  Amazing!  And, when He says something we can take it to the bank.  This is a command!  Do not be anxious!  There is no other way to look at this than anxiety (and all those other terms we use, like dread, and fear) is  sin.  In these verses Jesus Christ has told us not to be anxious about anything:  our life, our immediate needs, and our future.  If I dread things then I am also being anxious, and anxiety is definitely sin.  I need to confess to God that I have sinned and repent of it.  Repent means to turn away from.  I need to turn away from any dreadful thoughts and turn them over to God.

Doubt

Doubt and dread are first cousins. What is doubt?  Doubt is to be unsure, or distrust, or something uncertainexodus6_30 or unsettled.  Yes, when we are uncertain and unsettled in our minds about something than that thing becomes bigger than us and we begin to dread it.  Our minds go over the situation time and again, and sometimes we blow it out of proportion. We doubt that we can do the thing that lies before us, or we feel it will make us feel uncomfortable, and we dread it more and more until we are paralyzed.

Jas 1:6 MKJV But let him ask in faith, doubting nothing. For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. (Emphasis mine)

Picture the waves of the sea crashing upon the seashore.  The wind drives the waves against the shore and then back out to sea again to be driven in again.  We are like a tiny boat on that sea and when doubt enters our minds we are tossed all about not being able to make decisions or function.  We need an anchor.  The Bible is our anchor and we can find our answers there.  Don’t be tossed about by everything you hear or think.  The mind is the devil’s playground, and dread and doubt can keep us from doing the work God has called us to. Satan is happy when we are full of worry and stress.  Are you experiencing this?  Is there something you know God wants you to do but you are full of dread when you think of doing it?  Cheer up!  There is an answer.2 Timothy 1;7

Discipline

So, what is the antidote for dread and doubt?  It is another word that starts with “d.”  It’s discipline. According to the dictionary discipline is, “training that develops self-control.”  That’s it!  We need to discipline or train our minds in order to be in control of our thoughts.  “How do we do that?” you may ask. Let’s look to our anchor the Bible for the way out of the storm. Do you know that God loves us so much that He told us what to even think about? It’s true!

Php 4:8 NASB Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Emphasis mine)

It’s right there in the Bible.  We have to discipline our thought life.  Think about what you think about! Examine your thoughts according to Philippians 4:8.  Are you thinking rightly? Or, are your thoughts anxious?  If you catch yourself thinking about something you truly dread, or perhaps a doctor’s report you are about to receive, then check out your thoughts.  Are you blowing them out of proportion? Are they true?  Or, are you jumping ahead to the “what ifs,” or “what might be.” These words are also a picture of Jesus.  He is all of these things.  Set you mind on things above.

Col 3:2 NASB Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

Our minds can be renewed.  As we study, read the Word and pray God will renew our minds and it will change us.  We don’t have to be the way we used to be.  We don’t have to think all those awful thoughts that drag us down.

Rom 12:2 MKJV And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

Deliverance

Deliverance is to “set free.”  I like those words.  If I can just get my mind to be rid of any fearful, dreadful, anxious thoughts, than I would not feel stressed and I’d be free!psalm3_8

2Co 10:5 MKJV pulling down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ; (Emphasis mine)

Let’s not be captives of our thoughts!  Let’s be free! Who is in charge?  You or your mind? Take control and set yourself free.  God says in the above verse that we can take captive every thought.  If He says we can than we can!  With God’s help, prayer and keeping in the Word we can be disciplined and overcome dread and doubt.

How do we do this?  Here’s how.

Php 4:6 MKJV Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Emphasis mine)

Checking your thoughts and then prayer.  Ask God for help, and be thankful.  Tell Him things that you are thankful for.  He is waiting.  He is right there all the time ready to help us if we will only call on Him.

psalm34_4

If you change what you think about do you know what will happen?

Php 4:7 MKJV And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Isn’t that wonderful?  We can have a peace which we cannot even describe.  I know this is possible because I’ve had this peace.  I still have to be careful every day and monitor my thoughts according to Philippians 4:8.  I can’t let them get away from me.  It is very easy to fall back into the bad thought habits that were once an everyday part of me.  I must be on guard.

In summary we see:

Dread: It keeps us from doing God’s will in our lives.

Doubt: When we doubt we are not trusting.  It is Satan’s tool to trip us up.

Discipline: Be aware. We need to break old bad thinking habits and acquire new ones according to the Word.

Deliverance: Depend on God to set us free.

If you have trouble in this area I would suggest you take a 3×5 card and write out Philippians 4:8. Put it where it is easy for you to see or get too.  You could place it on your desk, in your purse, on your visor in the car; wherever it is handy for you. It would also be a great scripture verse to memorize so you wouldn’t have to depend on finding your card.  Also memorize Philippians 4:6-7

philippians4_6-7

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Some time ago I wrote a post called “Should Christian’s do Tai Chi?”  In that post I gave several links to  sites that I researched.   They are informative and will tell you a lot about what Tai Chi is and it’s dangers.

What is Chi?

“Chi is believed to be the binding life force in the universe, existing both externally and internally, MB900324192moving through invisible channels in the body called meridians. Taoism teaches that strengthening and reinforcing one’s inner chi will bring good health and long life as well as spiritual benefits. Certain breathing techniques, meditations, and bodily movements are taught to cultivate and enhance the chi. This belief is the basis of Tai Chi. There is no supreme God or Creator in Taoism; all originated from the Tao, which is an impersonal principle or source of creation.” – source Gotquestions.org

So, they don’t believe in One God as Christians do.  We believe that God created the universe and everything in it.  We do not believe we can manipulate God or his creation.  I don’t believe in the chi energy force and that it needs to be balanced in your body in order for us to be healthy.  You see, I am a born-again believer and I have the Holy Spirit living in me. He is my power.

Today there are many groups especially for the older population that are teaching Tai Chi for better balance.  As we get older many people do have problems with balance and walking, and some have found that this helps.  But, if this is a religion should we actually participate in it if we are Christians?  I have an idea. Why not just do your own exercise program?  There are many really good stretching and movement exercises that one can do without practicing Eastern Religions.  Yes, Tai Chi is a belief system or religion.

Participation in a False Religion

If you were to go to a church and you were not a Christian and you participated in the Lord’s Supper, or  as some call it Communion, then you are practicing that religion whether you know it or not.  If you were not Catholic, but were to attend their church and you bow down to the statue of Mary, you are practicing that religion.  You are actively joining in with the others.  So, if you were to join a Tai Chi class where they are doing their movements according to that religion you are actually unknowingly practicing that religion.  God does not want us to do that!

tai chiRemember, according to the Bible when the people came out of Egypt and settled into other lands God told them not to practice those pagan religions?  But, guess what?  They rebelled against God and did it anyway. They thought it was harmless.  God judged them eventually for that.

Jdg 2:19 But it came about when the judge died, that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them and bow down to them; they did not abandon their practices or their stubborn ways.

2Ch 24:18 They abandoned the house of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols; so wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their guilt.

Do you realize that God disciplines His children? When we step out of line if we do not repent He may allow something to come into our lives to wake us up.   Just as a parent punishes their child for disobedience; God loves us so much that he does the same.

Heb 12:7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

Rev 3:19 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

Hidden Dangers

There are hidden danger in participating in Tai Chi classes.  The possibility that one would open themselves up to demon influence is real.  When a person empties their mind and meditates in that way they are open to the evil spiritual world.  Doing Tai Chi could be an avenue into the occult for some people especially if they are not Christians.  There is a dark side.  God doesn’t want us to have anything to do with the evil spirit world.

“When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. “For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you.
(Deu 18:9-12)

An Example to Unbelievers and New Christians

More importantly, what about the example I am setting for others?  That is the question that comes to my mind.  I am an ambassador for Jesus Christ.  I try to represent Him in all that I do.  There may be an unbeliever or new Christian who doesn’t understand these things, and if they see me doing Tai Chi they might say, “Hey, Bonnie is doing Tai Chi and she is a Christian, so it must be okay if I do it.” That person may end up in big trouble because of my actions.  I take that seriously!  In fact, they might not take the class I’m taking, but another one where the leader goes deeper into the practice, and they might be lead down the wrong road.

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.
(1Co 10:23-24)

We need to be careful what we do in public that might cause a weaker brother to fall.

But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.
(1Co 8:9-13) (Emphasis mine)

Those are serious words and I do take them to heart that is why I will not participate in Tai Chi in any form.

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Almost every week I get a shiny colorful flier in the mail. I scratch off the gold circles to see if I am a winner.  I’m always a winner, and so is everyone else. The catch is that you have to go to the car dealer’s showroom and show them your winning card and number.  Most likely it will NOT match theirs.  One time I did this and I won a $5.00 gift certificate to Wal-mart.  I accepted it but the salesman pressured me so much to buy a car that it really wasn’t worth it.

There is also a real key attached to the flier.  If the key will start the car they are giving away then you win the car.  Well, that never seems to work.  I’ve never heard of anyone who has won one of these free cars.  Have you?  I suppose they do have to give one away but your chances of winning are astronomical.

Heavens Gate Pictures, Images and Photos

One of these days each and every one of us will stand before the gates of heaven.  Will we be able to enter in?  Yes, but only if we have the correct key. That key will not come in the mail on a colorful flier.  I find there are many “keys” to heaven.  So, where can we find the authentic key to heaven’s gate?

Imagine arriving at the gate of heaven and the gate-keeper says,”Do you have your key?”

“Yes,” you say.

“Go ahead and let yourself in!”  You slip the key into the lock and it doesn’t work, just like at the car place.  What then?

You say to the gate-keeper, “Please sir, let me in.  You can open the gate for me. You are on the inside!”

He answers, “Why should I let you in?”  “You have the wrong key!”

“But, Sir,” you plead, “I’ve been a good person.  If you get out the scales of justice and put all my good deeds on one side and all my bad deeds on the other, you will see that the good outweigh the bad. I’m really not a bad person.  I’ve worked hard to be good and decent.  I’ve gone to church most of my life and supported it with my money. I’ve been baptized, and I’ve given to the poor and needy, so please let me in.”

The gate-keeper replied, “You think being a good person is the key to heaven?  I’m sorry, but you are wrong!  The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  (9) not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

“You cannot come in!”  He turned, “Next!”

Do you know that approximately 250,000 people die each and every day in the world.(source: www.wiki.answers.com)

Just imagine what the line outside of heaven’s gate must look like.  In order to filter through all those people the gate-keeper might make this announcement.

“All those who belong to any of the religions of the world, other than Christianity, please follow the path over there marked “to hell,”‘  That would clear out the line pretty fast wouldn’t it?  He continues, “All other religions including Mormonism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism ,(source: www.evangelical.us) plus Catholics depend on works to save them from hell.  So does Christian Science, Spiritualism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Eastern Mysticism, plus many other religions throughout the world. But, works are not the key to heaven! Now depart from me!”

I’m curious as to how many people would be left in the line to heaven’s gate? You will notice what Jesus said in Matthew, that wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction and there are many who enter it.  Then he said the gate is small and the way narrow that leads to life and few find it.  So, maybe that large number of people has been cut down to just a small number. How sad!

Matthew 7:13-14 NASB says “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. (14) “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

So, what is the key to heaven’s gate? Simply put it is the gospel message.

I Cornithians 15:3-4 says:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

There is no other key to heaven.  It is only through Jesus Christ that we can be saved.  He says he is the way. The only way. He is the truth.  His Word is true. He is the life. Eternal life is found in none other than Jesus Christ

John 14:6 NASB
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Acts 4:12 NASB
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Romans 10:9-10 NASB  that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  (10)  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

Do you have the key that will open heaven’s gate? I sure hope so!

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I’ll have to admit that I have been confused between the difference of joy and happiness.  I thought I knew what it meant to be happy, but was confused about joy.  I wondered if they were the same thing.  I often heard Christians say they had the “joy of the Lord,” and I wasn’t sure if I had that or not.  So, I decided to study it out and see if I could make it clear to myself what the difference between joy and happiness is.

I realize that happiness depends on our circumstances.  It is a feeling or emotion.  We can be extremely happy and then the phone rings and we get a call that can dash all the happiness away and fill us with the utmost sadness.  Perhaps it was a call from a loved one to let us know that one of our dear relatives had passed away, or been in an accident, or developed a terminal illness.  Then all our happy feelings are washed right down the drain.  Happiness is fleeting.

Also being happy is something that all people can enjoy.  It isn’t dependent on being a Christian.  I know lots of people who are unbelievers who are very happy.  Their circumstances are good at the present time and all is right with the world.  So, happiness isn’t something that is for a Christian only.  Happiness is natural (fleshly) and can be felt by the natural man.

Joy on the other hand is not natural to us.  It is in fact supernatural (spiritual), and it is a gift of the Holy Spirit.  It is something only Christians can experience.

I listened to a sermon by Dr. Alan Cairns that he preached way back in 2000, and he explained joy something like this: (not an exact quote.) “Joy is the response of a believer to the understanding of God’s love for him in Christ.”  And, he said that we only know that God loves us by the Holy Spirit.

Isn’t that awesome?  When we realize the depth of the love God has for us in Christ then we can respond with utter joy.  I like that!  Now, I’m beginning to see what joy is.  It is my response back to God for ALL He has done for me.  He saved me from my sinful self; He adopted me into His family, and He gives me the hope of heaven.  There is so much more.

I learned that our creator God is even joyful over us.  Can you imagine that?  God who created everything has joy over little ole us?  That boggles my mind, but the Word says it’s true.

(Zephaniah 3:17 NASB) “The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.

Wow! That is truly amazing!

(Isaiah 62:5b NASB) …And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you.

The reason we can be joyful is because God created us in His image and He is joyful.  It is our birthright to be full of joy.  When we are in Christ we are like Him.

Now here is something I found that’s really a treasure.  Listen to this:

Cover of "The Joy of the Lord"

(Nehemiah 8:10b NASB) …Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

When we see LORD written in all caps like that it means, “the self-existent one.”We need to meditate on that promise:  “…for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”  Where does our strength come from?  It comes from our joy in the self-existant one!  Isn’t that amazing?  Do you need strength?  Dwell on the LORD!

We need to realize that only Christians can have this kind of joy.  That’s because it is given to us by the Holy Spirit.  It is the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 NASB But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  (23)  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

The joy that the Lord gives us enables us to cope with life’s trials.  It gives us hope, and enables us to become overcomers instead of victims.  It is true! This joy of the Lord is very powerful indeed.  It is our strength!

How to we apply this joy in our lives? 

First lets take a look back in Galatians.  We will see a contrast between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit.

Galatians 5:19-21 NASB Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,  (20)  idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,  (21)  envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Anyone who fits in the list above is not a true believer and will not experience this wonderful joy of the Lord.  If you find yourself here, then please consider it a warning to repent and get right with God.  See: https://hatchcreek.com/the-true-gospel-message-2/ The True Gospel Message.

The Bible tells us that believers have the fruit of joy given by the Holy Spirit and with that they have strength.  But, we can’t just let it lie there dormant, we must cultivate it and make it grow and become second nature to us.  We do this by engaging our mind.  God tells us to rejoice in the Lord always.  It doesn’t say sometimes when things are going good, but always.  Yes, even when things are bad.  Remember, our strength is in the joy of the Lord.

Philippians 4:4 NASB Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

Look at what James says:

James 1:2 NASB Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

Personally, I never liked this verse.  What does he mean by consider it all joy when I come into various trials?  Why would that be joyful?  That just didn’t make sense to me until now.  Because now I see that the joy of the Lord is our strength.  And, with that strength I can overcome trials.  Praise the Lord!  I like that!

We can cultivate the fruit of joy in our lives by taking control of our thoughts.  This is so very important.  We find the mind to be a very powerful thing and it can be used to lift us up or to tear us down, and the enemy would certainly like it to be used for his purposes.  But, Christians don’t have to go there.  We don’t have to worry.  We don’t have to fret.  We don’t have to be weighed down by all our troubles.  Yes, we will have trials and tribulations, but they don’t have to destroy us.  We don’t have to have extreme anxiety, stress, fear, or helplessness.  Those things don’t come from God.  We can live above our circumstances!

As you walk close to God and enjoy Him, He will help you train your mind to think on things that build you up instead of tearing you down.  Here is a great scripture that you ought to write on a card and put it where you can meditate on it and memorize it.

Philippians 4:8 NASB Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Whenever, you notice that you are worrying, ask the Lord to change your thoughts into ones that honor Him.  Then turn to the list above and think on those things.  You can analyze your thoughts and see if they line up with them.  Is what I’m thinking about true?  Is it honorable?  Is it right for me to think about this?  Is it pure?  Is it lovely?  Is it of a good report?  Is it excellent or praise worthy?  If so, these are the things I should dwell on and not worry about my problems. God will take care of them.

We need to think about Christ, who I believe is pictured above, and all of what He has done for us.  We ought to think about how and why we got saved, and how Jesus suffered and died for our sins.  We should look to heaven and set our minds on things above.  We can dwell on Christ  coming again.  All those things and more are what we need to think about.  Our joy comes from all that Christ has done for us.  Our joy comes because we know what lies ahead in heaven. Our joy comes as we dwell on the things of the Lord.  Just look at His creation and the beautiul nature around us.  Look at all He has made.  Look in the face of a little baby and rejoice.

I think I’ve discovered what joy is and now that I have, I am going to cultivate it in my life.  How about you?

                                                                                                                                                                      

Is there a difference between joy and happiness?  Here is what Andran Rogers has to say:

The Difference Between Happiness and Joy August 14, 2008

Sin promises joy, but it never delivers it. Why? Because true joy is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ. You can be a lost person and be happy for a while. But what I’m talking about here is not happiness because happiness depends upon what happens. Joy depends upon the Lord.
Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” If you live for happiness, you are a prisoner of circumstances because if the circumstances change, then you are not happy anymore.

Jesus never changes. Happiness is a cosmetic; it is on the outside. Joy is character; it is on the inside. Happiness only meets your surface needs, but joy meets your deepest needs. Therefore, happiness is like a thermometer, it just registers conditions. Joy is the thermostat that controls the conditions. Happiness evaporates in a crisis. Joy many times intensifies in a crisis. Happiness is wonder but let me tell you something, friend. Happiness is at its fullest when it is mingled with joy, when you know the joy of the Lord. Adrian Rogers from Love Worth Finding : 8/14/08

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