Daily Devotional Thoughts This Week’s Study: 3 John 1:12-3 John 1:14 Monday - Imitate the good. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God (3 John 1:11). The old adage “Garbage in, garbage out” certainly applies here.  If we behold and meditate on evil we will imitate evil.  If we behold and meditate on the things of God, we will imitate godliness.  We do become what we focus upon. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things (Philippians 4:8). God gives us the choice every day.  We can either dwell on the things found in the cesspool of this world, or we can dwell on the good things of God.  What is your choice today? Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God (3 John 1:11). Tuesday - Peace to you. I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name (3 John 1:13-14). Today we conclude our study of the epistles of First, Second and Third John.  John ends his thoughts much as he began, with thoughts of peace and good will toward his friends. “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2). What a tremendous greeting and what a tremendous prayer! “I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”  As I mentioned when we studied this verse the other day, we need to be praying this prayer for each other. Now John concludes this short letter by saying: “I had many things to write,” he said, but I don’t want to fool with pen and ink, “I hope to see you shortly and we shall speak face to face.” “Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.”  “Peace to you.”  And my prayer for you on this Tuesday is very simple.  May God’s peace be yours today. Wednesday  - Living fully today! Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4). For the rest of this week I’m sharing some quotations from Joni Eareckson Tada’s radio program and website.  I heard today’s thought on her program, “Joni and Friends.” “People who live for tomorrow die wishing. People who live for yesterday die discouraged. People who live for today have no regrets for they are living the very moment”  (Care Tuk quoted by Joni Eareckson Tada in “Joni & Friends”). When I heard Joni quote that the other day on her radio program I thought I must copy that for my quote file.  It is really profound.  So much of my life has been spent looking forward to something yet in the future, or looking back with regret on things now in the past.  Truly we can learn from the things of the past but we can’t rewrite history.  And, just as truly if we waste our days, filling them with longing for what is yet to come on this earth, we will die disillusioned and discouraged.  Live in today!  Certainly we do have a bright future promised us, and certainly we do need to look forward with intense yearning for that future eternal home God has prepared for each one us. We must not lose sight of this very simple fact:  The best way to enjoy the future is to fully live in today.  “People who live for tomorrow die wishing. People who live for yesterday die discouraged. People who live for today have no regrets for they are living the very moment.”  Thank you Care Tuk and Joni Tada for sharing. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4). Thursday  - Others have borne  witness of your love. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:16-17). Have you, like me, ever wondered where is God and why doesn’t he do something to help me with this trial?  Today I am sharing another quotation found on Joni’s “Joni and Friends” website. "All of us have wondered at times why God doesn't do more to fix our problems. But our human eyes often fail to see that God isn't rushing to change our circumstances because he is concerned with a much more serious problem -- our character. While you struggle with the woes of this world, God's main occupation is preparing you for the world to come. The focus of what God is doing in your life takes place in you, not around you" (Andy Stanley quoted on Joni’s website Joni and Friends). That is awesome insight!  “The focus of what God is doing in your life takes place in you, not around you.”  Oh, I know, when life is pressing you on every side, when tragedy and trial threaten you and overwhelm you, you need help now, not by and by, sometime later in the sky!  Yet, trouble is a signal to be still and let God do His work in your life.  It is a signal to remember, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” As Andy Stanley wrote: “While you struggle with the woes of this world, God's main occupation is preparing you for the world to come. The focus of what God is doing in your life takes place in you, not around you.” Friday/Weekend - Providing for needs of ministers & missionaries. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, because they went forth for His name's sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth (3 John 1:6b-8). "Any man can sing in the day. When the cup is full, man draws inspiration from it. When wealth rolls in abundance around him, any man can praise the God who gives a plenteous harvest… The difficulty is for music to swell forth when no wind is stirring. It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is skillful who sings when there is not a ray of light to read by -- who sings from the heart… Lay me upon the bed of languishing, and how shall I then chant God's high praises, unless He Himself give me the song? No, it is not in man's power to sing when all is adverse, unless an altar-coal shall touch his lip… Then, since our Maker gives 'songs in the night,' let us wait upon Him for the music" (Charles Spurgeon quoted on Joni’s website Joni and Friends). If you’ve listened to our All Southern Gospel Devotionals this week, ou may have noticed that I’ve used several quotations from Joni Eareckson Tada’s radio program and website.  I have great respect for Joni.  When she was a teenager, she hit a rock upon diving head first into the water and was instantly paralysed.  She struggled through the normal feelings of despair and depression.  And finally, rather than give up, she has invested her life in advocating for the needs of handicaped individuals.  Her organization provides thousands of wheelchairs for handicapped individuals in third-world countries, summer camps for those with all manner of disabilities, camps where wounded soldiers can regain their equilibrium.  And the list goes on and on, to say nothing of the encouragement her books and daily radio programs provide to us all. I salute Joni and her team and I salute her willingness to allow God to give her a song to sing in the night!  Let’s make our goal to also allow God to give us a song in the night and encourage others who are struggling in the darkness of despair.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Press <Control>+D to bookmark this page 2010-2012 Marvin Glass, Inc. And now back to more great Southern Gospel Music!