God Thought 3/15/23

'My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don’t waver. Stay on track, steady in God. I urge Euodia and Syntyche to iron out their differences and make up. God doesn’t want his children holding grudges. And, oh, yes, Syzygus, since you’re right there to help them work things out, do your best with them. These women worked for the Message hand in hand with Clement and me, and with the other veterans—worked as hard as any of us. Remember, their names are also in the Book of Life. Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute! Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Philippians 4:1-9 Message

By Sean Fryer

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”—Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

We live in a world full of distractions. Everything is vying for our attention—social media, advertisements, friends, TV, video games, sporting events, bus benches . . . literally everything. Despite all these distractions, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. It’s so easy to let our minds wander from the truth. It’s a tactic Satan uses. Even if he doesn’t bring us to himself, he can try to distract us from Jesus.

That’s why Paul encourages us to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let [our] requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6 NKJV). Anxiety is one of those things that can so easily turn us from God. So, what do we do in those moments? We turn to Him, pray to Him, ask Him for things (supplication), and thank Him (thanksgiving). And when we do these things, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard [our] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NKJV). We take our distractions and use them to focus on Him.

Paul continues his point in the next few verses. He makes a list of good things—you may even say God things—we should meditate on. Meditation is to really focus on something. It’s when we remove all distractions and let our minds rest on those things. I can’t tell you the number of times I try to spend time with God, and a distraction comes my way. When that happens, what should I do? Should I let it distract me, or should I sharpen my focus on Him?

When we begin to block out the noise, we’ll find it becomes easier and easier over time. The more we focus on the good things God wants us to focus on, the easier it will be to stay away from the negative things. The more time we spend with Him, the more we’ll become like Him.

Pause: Clear your mind and room of all distractions and spend just two minutes meditating on God.

Practice: Create a place where you can do this daily. Maybe it’s in your bedroom, or maybe it’s outside in your backyard. Wherever it might be, have a place where you spend time alone with God.

Pray: God, help me to clear my mind of the negative thoughts and distractions that try and turn me from You so I can focus solely on You. Amen.
Day 7 of Philippians: A Study for Teens
Youversion bible study

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