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February 29,2024

LET’S TALK ABOUT JOY!


TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

Philippians 3:20-21 NLT

 

TODAY’S THOUGHT

The uncertainty of our present circumstances can be frightening and overwhelming. As I write this devotion, we have war in the Middle East and Ukraine. At home we are entering a political season that appears to be dividing our country even more. The violence and anger in our country seems unprecedented.  

 

If we focus too long on the problems, we can become victims to fear, anxiety and depression. I do not believe we can stick our head in the sand and ignore the obvious problems. But I do believe we can look past the problems to a higher reality. 

 

Paul took this approach in his letter to the Philippians. He was chained to a prison guard in a hole in the ground with little light. His health was shot from the many beatings, imprisonments, shipwrecks, and even being stoned. The reports from the believers in Philippi let him know they were suffering as well. 

 

Paul chooses not to discuss his or their present problems. He instead chose to talk about joy. A joy not based on present circumstances, but a joy based on the knowledge of a preferred future. 

 

Paul reminded the followers of Christ that they were citizens of heaven. He reminded them that one day Christ would return, and they would be transformed. They would trade in their “weak mortal bodies” for a “glorious” body. In the process Jesus would bring everything under His control.

 

I grew up in church where we sang a lot about heaven, the rapture, streets of gold, and being forever with Jesus. I remember songs like, “What a day that will be, when my Jesus I saw see.”

 

There is the great hymn “Mansion over the Hilltop” by Ira Stanphill:

 

“I've got a mansion just over the hilltop

In that bright land where we'll never grow old

And someday yonder, we'll never more wander

But walk on streets that are purest gold

 

“Don't think me poor Lord, deserted or lonely

I'm not discouraged, 'cause I'm heaven bound

I'm just a pilgrim in search of a city

I want a mansion, a harp, and a crown”

 

Perhaps it is time to focus again on what we do know. We are citizens of heaven. We have a home in heaven. We are going to spend eternity with the King of kings and Lord of lords. There will be no suffering or sorrow in heaven. We will have a glorified body without pain, sickness, or Covid.

 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Holy Spirit please help me today to focus on You. Show me a fresh glimpse of heaven. Help my focus be on the eternal not just the temporary.

“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”

 

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Lord , my anxiety is at an all time high today . I ask That you help it subside.

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I am eternal. All my problems are temporary.

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