Monday, July 29, 2013

Get a hold on God's rest!

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That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth." (Deut 11:21) 

                        Happiness in life! Who doesn't want it? Well, friends, I have good news----God wants you to be happy and enjoy good things. We have a religion of gloom and doom. It is a sad state of affairs when we hear that we have to have it tough and be unhappy until we get to heaven. Nothing could be further than the truth! Please do not misunderstand me--We are going to go through tough times and tribulations in our lives. On that same token, we need to bear in mind that there will be moments in which God will give us a piece of heaven and have us enjoy life here on earth!
                   The apostle Paul was a happy man even though he was in jail. (Acts 26:2) Why? Because he considered himself a prisoner of the Lord. His mind was not focused on his circumstances. The word of God tells us that we have the MIND OF CHRIST. In other words, when we allow our thoughts to be captured and conformed to the word of God, that is when we will see results. Circumstances should not dictate our level of joy. 
                     Yes, Paul suffered. He was, no doubt, whipped and put in a dungeon. He was, also, chained to two soldiers and probably had rats as his companions. Paul did not allow this to deter him from the joy of the Lord. As he focused his mind on Christ, his circumstances changed. Soon, he was given favor with the soldiers as he won them to Christ. 
                       Afterwards, he gained some freedom to fellowship and even went to church. Eventually, he was put under house arrest and enjoyed life to the fullest. God can make your prison "Heaven", if you let him. Lately, we are hearing news that we may be thrown in jail for our beliefs in America. Fret not. If such a thing happens, be happy as Paul was. As we follow Paul's example and win our captors for Christ, our prison can become heaven. 
                 Another funny example is a Christian preacher who had the nickname Pinguin. He was mean as a rattle snake and was a menace to society. Soon, his ways caught up with him and was arrested. The judge threw the book at him and he was to spend many years in jail.
             To make a long story short, somehow he got saved. Soon, he started a ministry in prison and won souls, but something strange happened. His superiors and parole board noticed that he had changed and gave him an early release. But, it gets funnier! He refused to get out of jail. 
                  He was so involved in saving souls and ministry that he wanted to stay. The authorities had to "arrest" him. In doing so, they got him out of jail and into the civilian world. Maybe you are in a prison. Maybe you are in torment and see no way out. I've come to tell you that your misery can be your ministry! Take Paul's example and be a happy person. Refuse to let life's circumstances dictate your joy! 

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