“May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.  Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. “ Romans 15.5

In music harmony adds dimension and fullness to the melody.  The beauty of harmony is its different parts working together to enhance the song; adding flavor and depth.

The same is true of the family of God.  It is not all the individuals doing and saying the same thing but all of them working together, each using their unique gifts and abilities to bring depth and dimension to the ONE purpose.

And there’s the rub.

Working together brings friction, conflict and tension.

We all are familiar with this chafing but often we fail to see the beauty that comes from this abrasiveness.  It is in the friction where beauty is born. 

Working together with other people who are broken and imperfect like us, is God’s beautiful design.  We are like rocks in a stream; bouncing, rubbing and polishing off each other’s rough edges.

So we welcome the tension, open the door to conflict allowing it to refine and perfect us.

If you find yourself in conflict with another follower of Jesus, don’t be surprised.  Remember, we’re ALL still in the process of being perfected.  Peter tells us, And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple . . . “ 1 Peter 2.5 (NLT)

Know this; God wants to use this friction in your life to polish you into a beautiful living stone for all the world to see!

Heavenly Father, I know you designed family.  It’s part of your plan but I confess there are times when I don’t like the pain that comes with it!  I want to run and hide.  I want to escape the hurt, throw it to the winds and be done with it.  But teach me to STAY.  To embrace the pain and see the beauty.  Amen

The world financial situation bounces like a rubber ball. It’s fragile and unpredictable.  The morning news tells us the financial markets continue to tumble. Financial leaders are meeting to try to figure out how to avert panic.

I clicked from the news to my devotional email and read the Bible verse Mike Woodard highlighted for today.

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.”

Perfect verse to counter the unease of the morning news.  I thought on it for a few moments ……

above all else” .

I sometimes ask the Lord for my “marching orders for the day” and here it was ….. my priority today was to keep a guard at my heart and to do that I needed to faithfully guard what I allowed to come into my thoughts and settle into my heart.

it is the wellspring of life”

Humm…… what I allowed to settle into my heart would overflow into my day … into my relationships … my actions … my reactions.

Tall order when anxiety of any kind surfaces threatening to consume and devour us.

Just as I pondered the “how” of this wise verse another verse filtered through my thoughts and I quickly googled it to find the reference. Listen to the amazing flow of God’s wisdom to us…

Philippians 4:4-7
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again. Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which passes all understand, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Wow! Here was the answer to the “how” of guarding my wellspring of life, my heart. God will actually send His peace to do it for me if I simply choose my responses today.

  1. Choose to Rejoice in the Lord always. Focus on all the Lord is and offers to us through Himself.  Take one point and make it the meditation of your day.
  2. Choose to Remember He is near. When anxiety threatens ask God to remind you that He is right there and He will steady you and give you the wisdom you need.
  3. Choose to Respond in prayer. Worry is a call to prayer. Choose to lay your request before God and ask for His guidance.
  4. Choose to Retain thanksgiving. Leave your concern with the Lord and focus instead on who He is and His ability to hold you through any challenge. Maintain a grateful heart for even the smallest of His blessings. Watch for them.

ResultHis peace, which is beyond understanding, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.

Pretty amazing really when you pause to ponder it.

  • All our spillover today in our actions, relationships, words, attitudes, will pour from what is in our hearts.
  • We are told by God to guard our hearts.
  • When we choose to focus on Him (Rejoice) / to Remember He is right there with us/to pray (Respond) even when we don’t feel like it/ and to Retain gratitude in our hearts …… then an amazing thing happens….

God’s peace itself guards our hearts AND our minds…. thorough Jesus Christ and we REST even in the midst of unsettling times!

Lord God, Please help me today to choose to guard my heart through these four steps and to experience Your amazing and
un-explainable peace settling over my heart and mind by the power of Jesus. Thank you for Your wonderful provision when I turn my eyes to You. In the strong name of Jesus I pray, amen.