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Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Have a New Outlook in 2014!
New information can change your whole perspective and give you a new outlook. The theme of the book of Philippians in the Bible is "joy." Paul had no reason to be joyful when he wrote this book. He was in a dungeon, chained to a guard, waiting to be executed. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:2-6 NIV) Much of our life is wishing things were different. We want to live somewhere else, we want a different vocation, we want to be married, we want a different marriage, we want to be older when we are younger, and we want to be younger when we are older. 1. We all have a "what" and we don't understand the "why." 2. God has a "why" behind our "what." God always has a plan. 3. You don't have to understand the "why" to be at peace with the "what." Instead of asking "why" we should be asking "now what?" Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5, 6 NIV) When we are in a trial or difficulty or simply lacking joy and contentment, we must ask God, "now what do You want me to do?" What has happened to you that you did not plan for? Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. (Philippians 1:12-14 NIV) If you are going to change your outlook in 2014, you are going to have to also ask "so what?" It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, (Philippians 1:15-18 NIV) We can get all uptight about what people are saying about us, FaceBooking about us, Tweeting about us, blogging about us, but what does it matter? If we can identify what does not matter and let that go, we can begin to focus on what does matter! What matters? Telling others about Christ, loving our family, using our gifts and talents to glorify God: For I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:19-21 NIV) To live is Christ, to die is gain. If we can develop a whole new outlook, we will develop a whole new level of joy, just like Paul. Do you need a whole new outlook in 2014? Truth@Life can help. Call 248-396-6255 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE consultation. For more info on help I can provide check out http://truthatlife.com/