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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Using Your Imagination the Right Way, continued
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4—NIV)
Paul could have become furious because of those who were preaching Christ from an improper motive. He could have become consumed with self-pity as he thought of what it would have been like to be in Tarsus in a warm, clean room, his wife attending to him, his grandchildren bringing his slippers and listening to Torah as only Paul could expound it.
He could have been fearful and anxious at the thought of being brought before the worldly court of Caesar. What would be his fate? His imagination could have worked overtime in that area.
Instead Paul, by a deliberate choice of his will, decided to be content in his new surroundings. He set his mind and heart on things above where Christ is seated on the right hand of God. Death to Paul was release from chains and entrance into Paradise, especially into the Presence of Jesus Christ His Lord and Master.
When Paul died he would be able to hear the remainder of those "inexpressible" words that had been spoken when he had been caught up to the third heaven.
Paul deliberately used his imagination, his hope, his faith, to envision the joy that soon was to be his. Then he could write, "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice!"
Because of his grasp on the invisible Paul knew that for him to die was gain. He wanted to be at home with the Lord but was willing to remain in physical discomfort for our sake.
Although all that is negative, depressing, perverse, filthy, uncomfortable, bleak surrounded Paul he was able to command us to think only about things that are lovely, of good report, uplifting.
This was a choice Paul made. He could as easily have bemoaned his fate, calling on all of us, including God, for sympathy. Paul chose to overcome Satan by the word of his testimony that God is faithful. Paul was pressing toward the mark, always forgetting what was behind him. He had a better resurrection in mind.
We now in the United States of America are entering an era of moral horrors, unless the believers quickly turn from their wicked ways and seek the Lord. We will be sorely tempted to curse the darkness when we see the behavior of perverse men and women in government and other places of leadership.
To spend our time cursing the wicked is to sin. To fret ourselves over the darkness that surrounds us is sin and will lead to more sinful behavior.
Evil can be conquered only by good—Divine good.
We are going to have to obey Paul if we are to survive the things that even now are taking place.
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. (Philippians 4:8 NASB)
Imagine that which is true. Imagine that which is honorable. Imagine that which is right. Imagine that which is pure. Imagine that which is lovely. Imagine that which is of good repute, excellent, worthy of praise.
To be continued.