Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Be Thankful; Christ Rules!

- Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts! That peace He talks about in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." Our hearts are the center of conflict in our desires and feelings. We must surrender all to Christ and let His peace that surpasses all understanding take control over our hearts.
- We must diligently study God's Word. The indwelling Word (message) of Christ has a transforming influence on believers' lives. Teach and admonish one another with God's Word. It's the source of all wisdom.
- Although the early Christians had access to the Old Testament, they did not yet have the New Testament. Their stories and teachings about Christ were memorized and passed on from person to person. Sometimes the teachings were set to music ("through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit"); therefore, music was an important part of Christian worship and education.
- Doing "all in the name of the Lord Jesus" means bringing honor to our Lord Jesus Christ in every aspect and activity of our daily living. As Christ's followers, we represent Christ at all times--whatever we say and whatever we do.
- In essence, to live in the name of the Lord Jesus is to surrender all to Him/to His Lordship and to live as Jesus Christ's representatives (His ambassadors: 2 Cor. 5:20). Christ's Lordship of our lives changes not only our behaviors but also our attitudes and motives. Our attitudes become conscious reflections upon the will of Christ and our actions become acts of thanksgiving to Christ. We desire to do it all for the glory of Christ. External rules, even when good, are not adequate for every situation; the "rule" (Lordship) of the indwelling Christ is the only sufficient guide. "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh...if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law." Galatians 5:16, 18
- This passage mentions about thankfulness three times! "And be thankful." "Singing to God with gratitude in your hearts." "Giving thanks to God the Father through Him." What a wonderful reminder for us to be thankful to God always...to give thanks in everything...to have gratitude (grateful attitude) in our hearts at all times!
To ponder: What impression do people have of Christ when they talk or interact with us? What changes would you and I make in our lives in order to honor Christ? Do we remember to give thanks to God in everything/in all circumstances?

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