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Loyal
Sunday, June 18, 2017, 3:54 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “God Be with You till We Meet Again.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Philippians 4 (Select vv. NASB).

Don’t Be Anxious (vv. 4-7)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

To rejoice means to be “glad for grace” or “to experience God's grace (favor), be conscious (glad) for His grace” (source: biblehub.com). And, his grace to us is his favor, kindness, and goodness towards us in providing for us the way of salvation (deliverance) from bondage to sin, and for giving us new lives in Christ Jesus, free to now walk in his righteousness and holiness. And, if we are truly glad for his grace, I believe it would mean that we would walk in that grace and not live to gratify the desires of our sinful flesh.

A gentle spirit is forbearing, longsuffering, forgiving, and patient. It patiently endures lasting offense or hardship (M-W). It is also fair, equitable, and reasonable, and it follows the spirit of the law over the letter of the law. The spirit of the law is the true purpose or intent of the law (rule), i.e. what is really at stake (source: biblehub.com). For example, the letter of the law says to not commit adultery, but the spirit of the law says not to even lust after another in our minds and hearts. The letter of the law can be routine, ritual, ceremonial or habitual, and tends to be external only with no real change of heart, mind and attitude. So, if we are to let our gentle spirit be known to all people, it must engage our hearts, it must transform our minds and our actions, and it must be forbearing, forgiving, fair and reasonable.

We are not to be anxious (worried, fearful) about anything. If something is upsetting or disturbing us, we are to take the matter to God in prayer, seek his counsel, pray for wisdom, and rest in his love and in his sovereignty over our lives. And, we are to follow his leading, do what he says, and trust him with the results. Worry never changes anything, except to make matters worse. It is the opposite of faith. When we trust the Lord with our circumstances, and we lean on him in times of need, for him to supply all we need, then his peace will guard our hearts and minds against worry.

Practice These Things (vv. 8-9)

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, 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 will be with you.

I think that one of Satan’s fiercest ploys against us is to get our minds distracted from God, and thinking about (dwelling on) what has no eternal value, what is against God and his Word, what is fleshly, and what is worrisome. He also wants us thinking thoughts that are evil, wicked, sensual, hypocritical, hateful, revengeful, bitter and unforgiving, etc. So, we have to rein in our minds by managing, first off, what we willfully allow into our minds. For instance, in 2008 my husband and I took all our movies we had purchased over the years and we compared the content in them to this passage in Philippians 4, no matter how innocent they may have seemed on the surface. And, we were surprised that the vast majority of them did not stand against this test, and thus we trashed them.

But, this isn’t just about the things we choose to watch, read, listen to, etc. This is also about Satan’s tactics against us in introducing thoughts into our minds to try to get us distracted, off track, worried, troubled over minor things, and to get us to be worldly in our thinking, i.e. focused on what has no eternal value, or on what is clearly sinful. So, we need to pray, and we need to guard our hearts and minds against these things by putting them off and by putting on the spiritual armor God has given us to fight off these evil attacks against us (See: Eph. 6:10-20). And, then we need to put on, in our minds, hearts and attitudes, what is pure, right, honest, honorable and worthy of praise. We need to train our minds to be godly – all in the power, wisdom and strength of God’s Spirit now living within us. Amen!

And, not only do we need to change the way we think and believe, and the attitudes of our hearts, but we need to change how we behave, i.e. we need to submit to our Lord, obey his Word, humble ourselves before him, and do what we know is right. Again, this is all in the power, strength and wisdom of the Lord that we are able to do this. Instead of making a practice of doing what is sinful, we need to practice what the Word of God teaches us we must do. And, practice involves repetition, training, habit, obedience, and regularly and consistently living what we believe and what we know is right. And, we have to be intentional about this, and work at it, by the Spirit of God, or we may easily slip back into some of our former ways.

Be Content (vv. 10-13)

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

God has all of us where we are for a reason, if we are walking in his ways and in his truth. He is completely sovereign over all our circumstances. None of what we are going through has escaped his notice or his concern. So, we need to pray and ask him to show us what he wants to teach us through our trials and difficulties, and then allow him to mature us through them. He is teaching me much through this lesson today. I needed this.

Being content in our circumstances, though, does not mean to be lazy, complacent or unconcerned over things which God would want us to learn, change, and put into practice in our lives, or remove from our lives. We should never be content with living sinful lifestyles or in spiritual mediocrity, in other words. That is not what this means! What this is speaking about is being content with having little materially or with having much. But, it can branch out into other areas, too, yet never to the point of being ok with living however we want, giving into sinful pleasure, and indulging in all kinds of lustful passions and desires, and then claiming God’s grace covers it all.

Being content in our circumstances also does not mean complacency or showing unconcern over those who are lost in their sins, or over professing Christians who are living not much different from the world. Gentleness, as well, does not necessarily equate silence and noninvolvement when we see injustices or abuse or when we see Christians practicing sin. We need to remember this: “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (Jas. 5:19-20). And, to cover a multitude of sins does not mean to excuse them away or to ignore sinful practices. It means to forgive the sins once committed but now repented of (turned from), and to not punish the offender, but to show him (or her) God’s grace.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. I can, with the strength of the Lord, live righteously, walk in holiness, speak boldly, when needed, yet be gentle, too, and I can live with little or with much, by his grace.

God Be with You till We Meet Again
Jeremiah E. Rankin, William G. Tomer

God be with you till we meet again;
by his counsels guide, uphold you,
with his sheep securely fold you;
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;
neath his wings securely hide you,
daily manna still provide you;
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;
when life's perils thick confound you,
put his arms unfailing round you;
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;
keep love's banner floating o'er you,
smite death's threatening wave before you;
God be with you till we meet again.

Till we meet, till we meet,
till we meet at Jesus' feet;
till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.
 
Active
Sue what would you say to someone who you know to be christian but says they want to go out for a drink implying they want to drink alcohol and have a good time. And you dont drink but you know her family are drinkers? Except they want to be around christians yet still have a drink.

I was thinking say no and dont give them the opportunity to set foot in a bar and end up being the put upon sober driver?! Invite them to hang somewhere else...? They have nowhere to go and its a habit for drinkers to go out and get drunk at night.

I have this friend that ive been getting to know and shes been saying this twice to me so far but I tell her I dont drink. I dont even want to go out anywhere theres lots of drinkers it has zero appeal to me.
So I think she tried asking another friend who is also a christian to hang out and go somewhere to have a drink. We just go out to a restarant and maybe have a dessert and hot drink but I notice she looks at the alcoholic drinks on the menu wishing she could have one and tries to suggest it to me. She hasnt drunken when shes out with me as shes usually the one driving anyway and knows you cant drink and drive a car.

So what would you say to this friend. I think she just wants to go out but her old lifestyle was that of a drinker and shes very social and wants to be around people so I suggested we have our own bible trivia nights. But it does take some organising. I just think it would be awful to be around her if she gets drunk it wouldnt be funny, ive had to say no to people who i notice want to indulge in addiction, which at first seems harmleas to them but they get caught up in it, like this one person who always wanted to go shopping, i just told her i dont have any money. Which is true to a certain Extent i just dont want to go to a mall and Aimlessly walk around while she pressures me to buy stuff i dont need,

But sometimes its hard to come up with other things to do that dont involve those worldly things, so if theres a list of things for people to do can you please post them?? Or healthy hobbies to try.
 
Loyal
Sue what would you say to someone who you know to be christian but says they want to go out for a drink implying they want to drink alcohol and have a good time. And you dont drink but you know her family are drinkers? Except they want to be around christians yet still have a drink.

I was thinking say no and dont give them the opportunity to set foot in a bar and end up being the put upon sober driver?! Invite them to hang somewhere else...? They have nowhere to go and its a habit for drinkers to go out and get drunk at night.

I have this friend that ive been getting to know and shes been saying this twice to me so far but I tell her I dont drink. I dont even want to go out anywhere theres lots of drinkers it has zero appeal to me.
So I think she tried asking another friend who is also a christian to hang out and go somewhere to have a drink. We just go out to a restarant and maybe have a dessert and hot drink but I notice she looks at the alcoholic drinks on the menu wishing she could have one and tries to suggest it to me. She hasnt drunken when shes out with me as shes usually the one driving anyway and knows you cant drink and drive a car.

So what would you say to this friend. I think she just wants to go out but her old lifestyle was that of a drinker and shes very social and wants to be around people so I suggested we have our own bible trivia nights. But it does take some organising. I just think it would be awful to be around her if she gets drunk it wouldnt be funny, ive had to say no to people who i notice want to indulge in addiction, which at first seems harmleas to them but they get caught up in it, like this one person who always wanted to go shopping, i just told her i dont have any money. Which is true to a certain Extent i just dont want to go to a mall and Aimlessly walk around while she pressures me to buy stuff i dont need,

But sometimes its hard to come up with other things to do that dont involve those worldly things, so if theres a list of things for people to do can you please post them?? Or healthy hobbies to try.
@Lanolin - Thanks for asking my opinion on this subject. As far as drinking alcohol is concerned, the Bible does not forbid alcoholic beverages. It does forbid getting drunk. Personally, I think it best that Christians not drink alcoholic beverages, because the alcohol does break down inhibitions and can lead to behavior which would not be appropriate for a believer in Jesus. One of the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control, and alcohol can break that down, plus it can do harm to our bodies, minds, etc. In other words, there is a danger of being led astray by strong drink and getting entrapped by it. But, the Bible does not forbid it, but teaches against excess and drunkenness. Instead, we should be filled with the Spirit.

If you are not comfortable going out with a friend who wants to drink, then just say so, and the friend has the choice to go with you and not drink or not go with you. And, you have the choice to find friends who don't want to drink alcohol and to hang out with them, but there are other vices which can be even more harmful, so you just need godly wisdom and to follow what the Bible teaches with regard to close associations and the types of activities you should or should not involve yourself.

As far as a list of things to do, I think the best thing is to inquire of the Lord as to how he wants you to be spending your time with people, or how he wants you to spend your time period. I am not a hobby person. I don't have time for hobbies, so I am not the one to ask about that. My days are pretty much taken up with writing (on here), spending time with my husband, my in-laws, with neighbors and other family, and taking care of home, chores, shopping for food, preparing food, and talking with my kids. My husband and I love to walk. That doesn't cost anything, and it gives us the opportunity to talk with people.
 
Active
I have no idea how much a person is supposed to handle, how much is too much. Is one drink ok or two or three? How many cups, bottles or glasses is too much?

Well she hasnt dunk any in my presence so far but I wouldnt go out with her if thats all she wanted to do, like sit in a bar, even if it was a 'nicer' bar. Isnt a rich person who is drunk in classy surroundings just the same as a poor person getting drunk at a pub. Smells kinda the same to me.
 
Active
at what point does a person get drunk exactly. And how do you know. I mean the police use breath testers but if you dont have one how can you tell a person is drunk...what is the first sign?
 
Active
None of my friends who like to go out have husbands..you are blessed your husband is a believer..so many I know have none. I imagine if they all had husbands who were believers they wouldnt want to go out or would just go with their husbands.

If you live with unbelievers sometimes staying at home all the time isnt an option.

Mostly I just go out for a walk. I dont want to be hanging out at a mall or bar. But when its wet rainy and dark i would prefer to stay at home unless its unsafe for me to be at home. There has to be safe places to go if its unsafe at home due to family members being abusive or just getting on your nerves.

My friend said she is thinking of joining a gym. Im not a gym person now but I suppose its better she goes out And spends time there then be abused at home.
 
Active
Btw my friend is job hunting as shes just graduated. Being out of work for any length of time is stressful if you dont have a husband.

I remember when I couldnt find a job on graduation for months...the stress! You cant work and earn any money to pay the bills so whatever you do isnt going to pay them! Then you have to go collect unemployment which is the most humiliating experience, some of those work and income ppl are just horrible, and then your parents start being on your case, ack!

I suppose as christians we count it all joy, as a trial. But is the hardest thing to do without going crazy.

I find older people just have no clue how hard it is for younger people these days. They think we the spoiled ones...but i would say the older generation in the baby boomer group had it the easiest. Most everyone I know has a huge debt to pay before they even start work.

They had dances every saturday night in the old days and it was safe...if we try and go out to a dance its more likely we get groped And raped by drunk guys.
 
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