"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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." Philippians 4: 4-9
I'm enjoying this passage today. It is chock full words that encourage, convict and challenge me. I am definitely not a Bible scholar, but here is what my simple brain is grabbing hold of today.
* Our thoughts and minds are really powerful. They can build us up or tear us down. They either point us to God or tempt us to believe the father of lies (Satan).
* Our minds and our hearts are connected.
* In order to guard our hearts, we need to be aware of what we let our thought life linger on. God desires for us to think about true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy things.
* God wants us to be in constant communication with Him (praising Him, thanking Him, making requests of Him). He promises that as we are in communion with Him he will give us peace. He will enable us to not be anxious.
* There is a battle going on! The evil one is trying to get us to listen to him, which is why we need to guard our hearts and our minds by studying the truth in God's word.
I've mentioned many times that I'm a glass half-empty kind of girl. Sounds kind of ridiculous if I am truly a believer in Jesus. However, I need to fight against believing the lies I hear running through my head. I am very tempted to hear one negative comment made about me and play that tape again and again until I believe the lie as truth. I am tempted to make up lies to tell myself when I perceive my own failure. I think that's why this scripture has been so good for me today. It's a great reminder of my need to fill my mind with the awesome truths about who I am in Christ and the love of Jesus who bled for me.
This advent and Christmas, my eyes are open to understand better why He had to come as a baby. I'm thankful for His GRACE!