Scripture for Today
4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!
5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do.
Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
7 Then you will experience God’s peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds
as you live in Christ Jesus.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right,
and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that
are excellent and worthy of praise.
God’s Word is timeless and relevant to everyday living. Knowing that He understands me and speaks to my needs puts a smile on my face. We don’t know the first century audience, but we know what we need.
In the midst of great waiting, confusion, stress, fear, and anxiety, be full of joy!
Jesus wants us to experience joy that supersedes our circumstances. Joy that shines like a sunrise at dawn. Joy that invigorates our hearts like a cool breeze arouses our lungs.
We will not find that joy in our little world. I am sure you have figured that out in the time we have had social distancing. How can Jesus call us to it?
v. 4, Command: Be full of joy
v. 5, Reminder: Be considerate (think of others)
v. 6, Instruction: Tell God what you need, all the time
v. 7, Result: Experience His peace which exceeds all we know
v. 8, Aid: Fix your thoughts on that which is bold and beautiful
There is no One more bold and beautiful than Jesus Christ. If you would fix your thoughts on Him, you must take your thoughts off all the discouraging things in life. Do not obsess on rumors and gossip. Do not add layers of fear to that which has not happened.
Choose to focus on Jesus Christ in Scripture. You have time to pick up your Bible and discover the boldness of His love for you. Relax and enjoy His presence.
May you experience the fullness of His joy today.
Prayer for Today
You are near. You are present with the broken-hearted. You walk hand-in-hand with the ragamuffin. You leap for joy with those celebrating life. You are bold in your love for each one of us. You are beautiful in your majesty.
We confess that we would rather sit, soak, and sour than select joy. We repent of the way we leave no margin for giving attention to Your presence. We recognize that we miss out on the joy You have for us. We ask forgiveness for striving with our circumstances instead of talking to You about them. We have been wrong to fill our minds with that which is not bold and beautiful.
Thank You for the bold exhortation of Your Word. Thank You for calling us to rejoice in the midst of anxious times. Thank You for giving us a recipe to experience joy. Thank You for calling our hearts home to You. Thank You for guarding our imaginations.
We need Your grace to choose joy in the anxious times. We ask for still hearts to be able to hear You amidst all the noise. We ask You to draw us to You in a way that makes us turn to You with each thought and concern. We seek Your peace through the power of Your presence.
In Your beautiful name, Amen.
Song for Today
Be Thou My Vision
Author: Eleanor H. Hull & Mary E. Byrne
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light
Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one
Riches I heed not or man’s empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art
High King of heaven, my victory won
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s sun
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all