Paul wrote this in a letter after he left Philippi where he had gone through some very difficult times, yet he chose not to focus on the things that had caused him pain. The holidays can be a difficult time for people who have lost loved ones but as Christians we have the hope that we will see them again someday. We should try to be like the Apostle Paul and stay focused on the positive things in our lives and appreciate the great memories we have. Thank God for giving you the strength to get through difficult times and for the great memories of the wonderful people God placed in your life. Don’t forget to pray for the people who have helped you along life’s journey while you celebrate each day.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
It’s not always easy being a Christian in the current condition and culture of this world. Sin is running rampant and people are trying to take God out of everything. But we who believe need to stand firm and hold on to the Word of God. Even when it seems hard to be strong in our faith and it feels like we are constantly fighting to survive we need to continue to be faithful because our sufferings are only for a moment but our glory and reward will be eternal. Nothing we go through here in this lifetime can compare in the least to how wonderful heaven will be. We know that in heaven there will no more death, mourning, crying or pain and it will all be worth it when we are in the presence of God all mighty.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus was not only concerned for the souls of the multitudes who followed Him, but also for their physical needs. We are called to be Christlike – gentle, caring and compassionate. There is a homeless epidemic in this country, many people are living in poverty and people are going hungry every day. The Coronavirus pandemic is making a complex problem even worse with many people losing their jobs, their homes and ultimately their lives. Everywhere you look there are people who desperately need help and more importantly, they need Jesus. People are hurting and it’s up to us as Christians to find a way to do what we can to help them by sharing the love and compassion of God and to bring souls to the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. If not us, then who?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The fruit of the Spirit starts to develop in you as you leave sin behind and begin to seek the Lord with all your heart. As your maturity and knowledge in Christ grows, so too will love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Although will power helps, it has its limits and you must truly come to depend on God’s power to change you. It doesn’t just happen overnight. God is constantly working on you to become more Christlike. It takes a lifetime of dedication and obedience to God and His Word as you are led by the Holy Spirit. Fruit grows where roots are deep. Be rooted in Christ and let Him be the foundation of your life and you will see more abundantly good fruit to the praise and glory of God.
Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. (GNT)
If you think your thoughts don’t matter you are very wrong. When you think about things or believe something, whether it’s good or bad, it turns into the things you do. If you do these things enough times they turn into a habit. Your habits determine your character and your character determines your spiritual life. Ultimately, your spiritual life determines where you will spend eternity. So you see, your thoughts really do matter.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
It’s easy to see that the devil is busy stirring up evil all over the world. As a Christian, you need to resist him and he will flee from you. (James 4:7) Keep vigilant and put on the whole armor of God. Don’t repay evil for evil, instead love your enemies and pray for them. Keep doing good deeds and don’t let evil weaken you. Be strong and courageous in your faith, be an overcomer.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
When we choose God to be our shelter from the storms of life we find rest, peace and all that we will ever need. By faith we find comfort in the loving arms of God Almighty. When we trust in God’s plan for our lives and stay in His will we have nothing to fear. This is not just a Sunday event, this is a life-long journey and an intimate relationship. Seek Him with all your heart, invite Him in to every part of your life and stay in His gracious presence every day.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.
You may be determined to demand your rights as a citizen of this country but it’s not always what’s best for you as a Christian. Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you. Though it may be lawful, it may not be beneficial to you as a Bible-believing follower of Christ. Do not let your rights become a stumbling block to others. Believers should waive what they have a right to when the peace and welfare of their fellow Christians require it (John Gill). Knowing the difference between your rights and what is right for you as a child of God comes with spiritual maturity and will help you to live according to God’s laws.
I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
God has given you the precious gift of life and He wants you to be happy and enjoy it. Enjoy all of God’s blessings with a thankful heart. Enjoy yourself in the things of the Lord. Spend time doing things that make you happy with the people you love. Whenever have the opportunity to do good for others, do it. Life is short and God doesn’t want you to go through it sad or discouraged. Be happy, keep life simple, love God and love people.
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
We are living in troubled times and it’s so easy to go astray from God’s ways. We need to live our lives conscientiously and with purpose. Jesus is your example of how to live a righteous and honorable life. Be diligent and wise in your decisions, making the most of every opportunity, always keeping your eyes focused on the Lord. Ask God to give you the wisdom you need to make the right decisions in your daily life and He will gladly give it to you.