Convergence of Themes

While preparing my notes to teach Philippians 4 these ideas merged from reading novels, etc. Am always amazed how the Holy Spirit does this!

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Philippians 4:4 NRSV

Why is this necessary? When I rejoice in the Lord I take the focus off me, myself and I. I put my attention on God who is greater, higher, more wise than I will ever be. We are told this twice to emphasize the critical importance of doing this.

LET your gentleness be known to everyone.

Philippians 4:5 NRSV

Some translations read ‘let your forbearance be known to all’. Forbearance means patient self-control; restraint and tolerance.”  

For years a favorite of mine has been

Your right hand, O Lord, supports me; your gentleness has made me great.

Psalm 18:35b AMP

God’s gentleness towards me. His forbearance.

The funny thing was Franny, like most people, thought life would get easier as she got older. It didn’t. She just got better at handling the crises.

The Big Cat Nap by Rita Mae Brown

Who among us has never had to handle crises? Well, duh! We all have if we have lived with our eyes open and our heads above the sand! So how do you handle a crisis? One method is realizing when others have a crisis, it is not necessarily my business. The Bible tells us to mind your own business, pay attention to your own personal life. As our Pastor’s mother taught him, “paddle your own canoe.” When codependency rears its ugly head, I must remind myself to paddle my own canoe.

In Britain many pubs have a floor below street level. When you enter there is often a sign that reads, “Mind Your Head!” Oh what wisdom! Not just so you do not get a knot on your head, but my head is where the battle ground lies. Wandering, irritating thoughts bring discomfort.

Taking captive every thought unto Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 10:5

Your mind is your job! That is a job in itself.

“Useless thoughts spoil everything and much mischief begins there.”

Brother Lawrence

So how are you doing with your head? Can you rejoice always? Do you know forbearance and gentleness? Have you made those qualities known to all? Are you working to paddle your own canoe by taking EVERY thought captive to Christ Jesus? Can those idle thoughts stand in the light of His presence and wisdom?

Are you truly aware that when others have a crisis it is not necessarily your business?

Whew! I have my work cut out for me. No idle time to criticize others! If we truly follow the things we are told to DO in the New Testament, there is no time to worry about the “do nots.: God is able to keep me as I follow Him. Every thought captive unto Him.

I rejoice in You, Lord. I bring every thought captive to You. Help me to glorify You in my every word and deed. Give me Your patient self-control, restraint and tolerance. May You receive all the glory and honor, power, praise and thanksgiving forever! Amen.

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