Philippians 3New Living Translation
1Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters,a rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you, watch Him Work these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.
2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those who want circumcision; who say you must be circumcised to be saved.
3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, 4 though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! 5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.c For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection.
But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing:
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. 15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things.
If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. 17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.
20 But we are citizens of heaven,
where the Lord Jesus Christ lives.
And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.
21 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.
And who would be some of the most likely to have danced in Heaven?
Jesus. He went to the Wedding at Cana and was know to imbibe, eat and enjoy fellowship. A time spent, several days with Mary, His Brothers and Sisters.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
We are in Lent. Perhaps an unusual choice for Lent.
And then again, at the Last Supper, where Jesus was about to fulfill all of the Millenniums of Word of God, pointing to Jesus - Jesus spoke in Chapters 14,15, 16 and 17 - Jesus told more in this one talk to His Disciples, than all the Books of the Gospel. And Jesus repeated again and again - Jesus had - Joy - in this Life. Abide, live in His Word. Joy. This is what Jesus wanted His beloved Disciples who spent time in confusion, fear, healing, rejoicing, rebuking children, calling down fire, arguing political places in the Eternal Kingdom. Jesus Knew - Jesus knew was about to occur - The Shepherd fallen - the sheep scattering.
Jesus tells us, tells Peter, tells John, tells the Disciples, tells about-face Thomas, - - - what Jesus wants us to do is remember - - - Jesus' Joy in Life. The Author of Life. The Light of the world.
Jesus is saying
These things - no law prevents.
We are the Temple of God.And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
Jesus has Joy.
Abba, Father God,
Recently I realized a difficult year in 2006, brought what I can see now as blessings. Believe the difficult things in life have a purpose the beloved of God's Salvation cannot see. Believe God sees further and His Plans are Good.
During the most Spirit filled time, as the Word of God was not held in the fetters of Latin and foreign language, the printed Word increased understanding and literacy. And during this time, The Renaissance, people truly believed "Father God is for me, talks to me, hears me, answers me." Their prayer life and waking conversations with God from 1000 A.D. and on, they believed they could rely upon God for signs. And the more they believed, the more they sought, the more God answered their expectations of His Love, Mercy and Goodness. This is the communion of saints, the History of the people of the World. His Story. His Word to you, His beloved Child.
The Children of Israel had to believe God to walk the miles. Step into the Journey with Faith. You might not see the exit, but walk with God.
Watch out for the first ... thousand steps, they are a doozie. You won't be back tracking. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Walking with Jesus, every day - with faith.
May our Father God of hope,
fill you with all joy
and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit,
you may abound in hope.
And in this, our Living God and His Living Word, we will put our most dearly beloved People, our cares and concerns, the People God has given us, our Nation, our hopes for the Christians and future believers around the earth and the fullness thereof belong to our Father God.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day."
Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!
I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security.
Our God is King. King of Kings. God of God. True God of True God. Jesus Christ Redeemer and Joyous Savior.
And here we will Stand with Him.
Our Redeemer Lives and is King of Kings.
Jesus of Nazareth. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †