Joyful Prayer in All Circumstances

1 Thessalonians 5:16Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – If we continue in prayer, through the good times and the bad, if we thank God for the good and thank Him for being with us in the bad, we can learn the secret of being joyful always.

My Advice – Don’t let the pursuit of happiness be your primary motivation. It will disappoint you because happiness depends upon circumstances. Rather let the pursuit of joy be your motivation. You can have joy despite the circumstances.

Dancing & Crying

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Luke 7:31-36“To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:

“ ‘We played the flute for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not cry.’

For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ’ But wisdom is proved right by all her children.” (NIV 1984)

My Musings – Sometimes my Sunday text, leads me to a comic to help illustrate it.  Other times, like the comic above, I find a comic that amuses me and I search out a text to go along with it.  I liked this week’s comic, but finding a text was challenging.

I wonder if sometimes my readers find my Sunday diversions into the “comic section” amusing or offensive?  Maybe some think I should stick with the “editorial page.”  I like to think we can find a word from God in both sections.  I, for one, am thankful that God blessed us with the ability to laugh now and then.

My Advice – Life has plenty of moments when we have to sing the dirge and cry.  Let’s take the opportunity when it comes to play the flute and dance.

Thanks(and)giving

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Deuteronomy 8:10When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God.  (NIV 1984)

My Musings – We are celebrating Thanksgiving in the U.S. (I have readers and followers from other countries).  It originated with the Pilgrims as a harvest festival, and has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, following a proclamation by the country’s first President George Washington (after a request by Congress no less).  Its celebration was intermittent until the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, when Thanksgiving became a federal holiday in 1863, during the American Civil War. Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” (Wikipedia)

As a nation, we have so much to be thankful for since that first Thanksgiving when the future might not have look so bright.  To a large extent, we (but not all) eat and are satisfied.  We’ve (but not all) built homes and settled down.  Our (but not all) bounty has increased and multiplied.  But perhaps also to a large degree, we (but also not all) have become proud.  Perhaps we’ve (but not all) forgotten Who is responsible for our blessings.  I think maybe (maybe not all) Congress has.

My Advice –  Give thanks to God, not just on the fourth Thursday of November, but every day.  Not just when we eat and are satisfied, but when we are in want.  Not just when we are settled in nice homes, but when we are left “out in the cold.”  Not just when our bounty is increasing and multiplying, but it is dwindling away.

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13, NIV 1984)

And when we are satisfied, when we are settled, when things are bountiful, let’s not forget that after the thanks comes giving.  For there are many, in our country and many more abroad, that have little to nothing to eat.  They have no shelter over their heads.  They have nothing to multiply (zero times infinity is still zero).

If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident. (Leviticus 25:35, NIV 1984, emphasis added).

God’s blessings to all my readers.

Though

Habakkuk 3:17, 18Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vine, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Even if we have nothing, we have everything. Nothing we gain in this life can add value to what we have in Christ. Nothing we lose in this life can take away from our inheritance to come.

My Advice –  Thus far, you have lived a fairly privileged life. Good health, never in real want and the best education money could buy. Nevertheless, hard times may come to you at some time in your life. They are, in fact, quite common in the early years of being on your own. You are not alone in these times, God is with you. You can always rejoice in that and be joyful despite being in ne

Total Recall

Dad Devotion

1 Chronicles 16:11, 12Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, the miracles, and the judgments He pronounced. (NIV 1978)

My Musing – When we are seeking a thing of wonder in our lives, we should try recalling all the wonders He has done for us in the past. This will help our faith in the present and give us hope for the future.

My Advice – Make it a regular habit of yours to remember all the things that God has done for you and blessed you with. Do not forget to give Him thanks.

Considering Great Things

Considering Great Things

1 Samuel 12:24 – “But be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart: consider what great things He has done for you.” (NIV 1978)

My Musing – When we sincerely consider all the things that God has done for us how can we not fear Him and be in awe of Him? How else can we show our gratitude to Him other than by serving Him faithfully?

My Advice – Periodically take time to count your blessings. For each blessing consider how things might have been without the blessing. For each blessing consider how many more there probably are that you do not even know about. Then do not forget to thank God. Then show Him how earnest your thankfulness is by serving Him faithfully.

Let’s Talk Turkey

Amusing TG 2017

1Thessalonians 5:18Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  (NIV 1978)

My Musing – Once a year, American’s pause to give thanks for the good things in life and the blessings they have received.  Some even reflect during Thanksgiving to wonder why they are not more thankful throughout the year for such things.  But few would even dare to think that giving “thanks in all circumstances” might also involve Continue reading “Let’s Talk Turkey”