During the Trials

Encouragement and prayer to us from the Apostle Paul:

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11)

Paul wrote this to the church while in prison. Wow … he wasn’t moaning and groaning about his fate, but rather wanted to encourage the body of Christ. Father, may I learn this lesson from Paul … that even during my trials, I can be a blessing to others. I do not have to walk in my circumstances, but rather in your promises!

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Too Close To The Edge

The other night I was sitting at the table working on my computer and I heard a huge thud. I looked over and our little Jack Jack had fallen off the top of the couch. Ouch. He wasn’t hurt, but it knocked the wind out of him and I think it hurt his pride a bit. Jack Jack is a very distinguished little dog.

Now, no one pushed Jack off the couch. No one was even near Jack when he fell. Jack didn’t intend to fall off the couch. Usually Jack is very agile. But Jack likes to sleep on the top of the couch, he got a little too close to the edge, his guard was down, and boom, down he fell.

I think this happens to people all the time. We get a little too close to the edge … we let our guard down. And we slip and fall. And the fall hurts.

Now, most of us don’t fall off the couch. The ledge is entirely too small for us to fit on. But if you are falling off the couch, I think you have deeper problems.

But the edge we do get too close to could look like this; flirting with our co-worker. Hey a little flirting never hurt anyone, did it? And then you go have a drink with them after work. And the next thing you know, you have fallen off the edge, because you got too comfortable, and you are in the middle of a full blown affair.

Or, maybe you happened upon that porn website once and it was by accident, but you spent some time there, looking. It’s just looking. There is nothing wrong with a little look, is there? And then the next day you went back. And then you started spending all your free time on that website. And now, you are hooked. For whatever reason, you just can’t stop.

Or … you were in the middle of an innocent conversation with a friend and you said something about someone else that you know you shouldn’t have, but hey, you’re both friends, right? It’s okay to talk about someone else. And then the next conversation you have it’s easier to start pointing fingers and judging and before you know it, everything out of your mouth seems to be negative and judgmental.

The scenarios are endless …

The answer, stay away from the edge. Don’t even go there. I love this message to us from Paul on how to actually accomplish this:

Finally, brothers and sisters, 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 4:8,9)

If we are thinking pure, noble, true, right, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy thoughts, we aren’t going to be slipping too close to the edge. If we practice what we know to be true and right and God’s peace is on us, we aren’t going to be heading towards that slippery slope of destruction.

And John tells us, Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13:17)

I want my life to be blessed. Not lying in a heap at the bottom of the pit. Today, I will choose to follow God’s direction. Today, I will stay clear of the edge.

Thank you Jesus for showing me this lesson. Convict me Father when I get too close to the edge of destruction, in fact, I don’t want to even come near the edge Lord. I want to stay firmly by your side, not veering to the right or the left, but by your side, always.

I love you Jesus!
In your name I pray,
Amen

God’s Blessings To You!

Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today
Will Affect Your Tomorrow
http://www.alifedecision.org

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