A New Outfit, Part 2
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
As God calls you into the darkness by yourself or with a friend, you need a road map. The only reliable one I know is His Word.
In Today’s Treasure, we find a road to experiencing supernatural peace as we reach out to others with the message of Jesus. The Apostle Paul exhorts us to wrap ourselves in the beautiful clothing of Christ’s character, to love one another and to forgive one another. He tells us to let the message of Jesus take up residence in our hearts and when we do, we will experience His peace. I think this is a key to life-giving encouragement: soaking in the beauty of God’s Word in such a way that we are led to repentance for our own sin, that leads to gratitude for grace, that releases us to trust the Lord with the one who desperately needs His love. Obedience to Paul’s exhortation will lead to freedom in the way we offer help and hope to others, knowing that we are not the fixers. We are simply setting a table that invites others to taste and see that the Lord is good.
Apply the counsel from Francois Fenelon to the busy duchess. Make use of “moments”. Be on the alert for opportunities to reflect redemption. Take advantage of “down time” to turn your heart to the Lord, through music, and His Word. Write in your Journal:
Biblical solutions to devastating life circumstances exists, consider:
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:7.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. Psalm 19:8.
As you commit to obeying the encouragement command, start your mornings with this prayer: In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the the MARKINC website and listen to the audio resource titled “Terminal Illness: An Interview with Vicki Saadeh Mullen”so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
“You have six months, maybe a year;” explosive words that shatter families’ lives and dreams. . .Such a statement rarely destroys just one person’s future. Loved ones are also broken. How do you face the next minute, let alone the coming months, knowing that each day might be your last with your husband, wife or child? How do you handle daily responsibilities? What about your children? Do you tell them? Do you try to make life normal? Do you tell the sick person how little time they have? How long do you look for a miracle cure? And what about faith, does it help? We asked Vicky Saadeh Mullen these questions and more in this honest dialogue about facing the terminal illness of a loved one. Her husband, David, was only 37 years old when he was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. They quickly realized that they had choices to make as their well-laid plans shattered into a million pieces. This is the story of how a young woman fiercely protected her husband in the darkest places of life and tenderly loved him into Heaven.
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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.