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Anything Worthy of Praise

May 3, 2018

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Anything Worthy of Praise

Have you ever heard someone say,  “Just wait.    God’s not finished with me  yet.”     We are all  a work of progress — in one direction  or another.     We do need  to be fully aware  of what we are allowing ourselves  to be made into.

I like to make whole wheat bread  from scratch — and even grind the wheat needed.     If I get the notion  that I want my bread  to raise nice and fluffy,  I absolutely do not add  more yeast.     The outcome would be bitter,  full of big holes,  and flop down  into an awful mess.     The message is  that bread making  is very particular  about needing to follow the recipe  because a flop will occur  by adding too much  or too little  of any  of the ingredients.

The same is true  in our lives.     We need to be particular  about following God’s recipe  for salvation.     God’s main ingredient is faith  in the Lord Jesus Christ.     That faith trusts  in the grace and forgiveness  of sins  that Jesus freely gives us.     To our faith  we add the hope  of being with God eternally  in heaven.     And we lavishly smother  our faith and hope  with love — love for God  above all  and love for our neighbor.

Sometimes people get a bit careless  about what they throw  into their bread making.     Maybe their wheat  is really dirty  with a lot of gravel  and weed seed  in it.     Maybe they hope  to reach their heavenly home,  but think they don’t have to partner up  with any sort  of obedience.     Maybe their love  is really a love  for the things in this world,  instead of a love  for God and neighbor.     There are all sorts of things  in this world  that can contaminate our living.

Paul had to talk  about things like that  to the Philippians.     In order  to help the Philippians stay  on the right track,  without getting bogged down  in the troubles and temptations  of this world,  Paul says  in Philippians 4:8,

Finally, brethren,  whatever is true,  whatever is honorable,  whatever is right,  whatever is pure,  whatever is lovely,  whatever is of good repute,  if there is any excellence  and if anything worthy  of praise,  let your mind dwell  on these things.

The things you have learned  and received  and heard  and seen  in me,  practice these things;  and the God of peace  shall be with you.

We have a very good recipe  for eternal life  in all that Paul teaches here.     Everything that Paul wants us  to dwell on — what is true,  honorable,  right,  pure,  lovely,  of good repute,  of excellence — these are all things  that describe God  and His wondrous work  of salvation  in Jesus Christ.

Whatever it is that we need to face  in life,  when we dwell  on all that God is  and the wonders He has performed  down through the ages,  then and only then,  will the God of peace be  with us.     As we dwell  on all God’s goodness,  we will be strengthened  and encouraged to practice imitating  our heavenly Father’s goodness.

But,  if we only dwell  on how we will solve  our own problems  all by our own wee some,  and how we will become  a success  all by our own power — feeling bitter and grumbly  all the while — then we are pushing God out  of the equation.     Without God,  our lives are  a total failure — our recipe  for eternal life  will flop  because it is what we want  to put into life — not what God’s recipe  calls for.

Let us be  aware  of  what we are allowing ourselves  to be made into.     If we let all the goodness and truth  of God’s love  and salvation  permeate our lives,  we will be able  to rejoice  over what God can make  with us.     But,  if we allow the ugly filthiness  of sin and false doctrines  to fill our lives,  we will become miserable  in failure.

Paul noted,  “Practice these things;  and the God of peace  shall be with you.”     We must practice  what God wants  in our lives  in order to turn out good  in His sight.     That is not work righteousness,  but an honest love  for God  and everything He is.

Then,  in all our practicing,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  everything You want  for me  and in me  is so good and worthy  of praise.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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