by Max Lucado

Reason for Joy

As a believer in Christ, don’t focus on yourself. Focus on all that you have in Christ! “How’s life?” someone asks. And we who’ve been resurrected from the dead say, “Well, things could be better.” Or, “Couldn’t get a parking place.” Or, “My parents won’t let me move to Hawaii.”

Are you so focused on what you don’t have that you’re blind to what you do?  Paul asks in Philippians 2:1, “Have you received any encouragement? Any fellowship? Any consolation? Then don’t you have reason for joy?” You’re blood-bought and heaven-made. A child of God! So be grateful, joyful. For isn’t it true – what you don’t have is much less than what you do? Don’t focus on yourself; focus on all that you have in Christ!

Guard Your Thoughts

Life has a way of unloading its rubbish on us. Your boss expects too much. Your kids whine too much. Trash. Load after load of anger, guilt, pessimism, bitterness, anxiety. It all piles up. As a result, we must guard our thoughts. Today’s thoughts are tomorrow’s actions. Today’s jealousy is tomorrow’s hate crime.

Could that be why Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV), “Love keeps no record of wrongs”? Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NCV) that we have a choice: “We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.” Selfishness, step back! Envy, get lost! Rather than store up the sour thoughts, store up the sweet ones. Make a list of God’s mercies—the many times that he’s blessed you, the many times that he’s forgiven you—and you will find your thoughts resulting in happy days.

Read more A Love Worth Giving: Living in the Overflow of God’s Love