Choose Joy

‘Do everything without complaining.’ Philippians 2:14 NLT

Constant complainers are almost impossible to help. You can never satisfy them no matter how hard you try. So you end up feeling trapped. Once you get a reputation as a constant complainer, people avoid you like the plague, and you end up feeling lonely and unappreciated. And chances are you’ll never really understand why!

Attitudes don’t just happen—you choose them. Paul writes, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always.’ (Philippians 4:4 NKJV) Joylessness is something many church people are prone to, but it’s not usually the kind of problem that gets you thrown out of the worship ministry or kicked out of the choir. The psalmist writes, ‘This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Psalm 118:24 NKJV)

Notice that he doesn’t say, ‘Yesterday was God’s day, how happy I was then,’ or, ‘Tomorrow will be God’s day, I’ll endure until then.’

No, this day is a gift from God! Complaining is often self-centred; it’s about what you like and don’t like. It is self-focused. Real joy is a choice. It comes to those who devote themselves to something greater than their own happiness. There are decisions you get to make every day, like what you eat, the clothes you wear—and the attitude you project. Paul was in prison with no hope of release when he wrote, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always.’

His circumstances didn’t dictate his joy, his focus did! And the same is true for you. ‘Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 NLT) So today choose joy!

SoulFood: 2 Pet 1–3, John 5:31–47, Ps 126, Pro 24:10

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2020

Today’s Readings

2 Peter 1–2:9 ()

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1:1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,

John 5:31–47 ()

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31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

Psalm 126 ()

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A Song of Ascents.

126:1   When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dream.
  Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with shouts of joy;
  then they said among the nations,
    “The LORD has done great things for them.”
  The LORD has done great things for us;
    we are glad.
  Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
    like streams in the Negeb!
  Those who sow in tears
    shall reap with shouts of joy!
  He who goes out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
  shall come home with shouts of joy,
    bringing his sheaves with him.

Proverbs 24:10 ()

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10   If you faint in the day of adversity,
    your strength is small.

Thu 22 October, 2020


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