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  • Melissa Barker

The Keeping..... January 24, 2021

How many of you keep things that have value to you in your life? I have a pocket watch that my dad carried for 20 + years while working on the railroad. When my father went to his home in heaven, I took the watch my dad carried all those years. To me, it is priceless. My dad wore bib overalls, and I can still see him taking hold of the chain, pulling it from the watch pocket, and checking the time. I remember him opening up the back and showing me the working parts of the watch. One time when he opened the watch, he showed me the ever-so-tiny initials of all the jewelers that had worked on it.... it was quite a list and you could barely see them. The watch had to be kept in perfect working order because the going and coming trains depended upon an accurate watch for safety. One day that watch will be passed to my son who has already made claim to it. I hope it will be as priceless to him as it is to me. Why is it priceless? Because the one I loved owned it, and it was of great value to him. This takes me to the thought for today... Do you keep and treat the word of God as priceless? It is a priceless love story that shares his constant love for us. It reminds us every day of that love. There are many promises in the word of God for his keeping of us and the call for us to keep his word. I would like to share with you just a few verses concerning..... the keeping

The Keeping Of Your Mind: You KEEP him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 ESV

This is a verse concerning staying focused on who and what is important. Remember what I have taught.....that every battle begins in the mind? The who is Jesus, and the what are his ways which should be the desire of every true disciple. When your mind is fixed upon him, you will, by faith, trust that he is with you through every storm or situation life brings your way. The peace experienced is described as follows: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 ESV Paul continues to teach in verse eight how we train the mind to live in this peace. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS. Philippians 4:8 ESV. Keeping your mind on Christ will accomplish much in your walk as a follower of Jesus. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. SET YOUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE, NOT ON THINGS THAT ARE ON EARTH. Colossians 3:1-2 ESV

The Keeping Of His Commandments: The Bible is not a book of rules as some might interpret it. Rather, it is a written plan of protection to lead us in life, and explains to us how we might show our love for God. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3 ESV Yes, you could interpret it to be a set of rules, but this may discourage you, for it is impossible to live it perfectly. The only reason a person will desire to live as God commands is because they love him... If you don’t love him, the desire to live for him will not be constantly in your thoughts. The following verses are words spoken by Jesus, giving instruction and describing the evidence of your faith, walk, and love for God. If you love me, you will KEEP my commandments. John13:15 ESV

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will KEEP my word, and my Father will love him, and will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not KEEP my words.” John 14:23-24 ESV

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you KEEP my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have KEPT my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. John 15:10 ESV

His Keeping Of Us: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, AND NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND. John 10:28 ESV

We often talk about holding on to Jesus, but more importantly..... He is holding on to us. The older I have become, the more I’ve noticed my physical strength is not what it use to be. My hands sometimes hurt and my grip is not what it use to be. This is true of all or most of us but not of Jesus. His holding and keeping of us as his followers is as strong today as it was the day we first chose to follow. What I have learned over the years is that it is He holding on to me more than me holding on to him. You know what..... this understanding has caused me to love him more and has given me a greater understanding of his mercy and grace. (Read Luke 7:47 if you will; the whole story of this event is in the verses before). You will love him much when you come to know him more each day and realize the many sins for which he has forgiven you. You are valuable to him, and he gave his life to prove it. You are priceless in his eyes and, as a disciple, Satan may attack you and try to steal you away. But he can’t have you, for Jesus will not allow him to pluck you from his hand.

Application: As I have challenged all of us... Live on purpose as a follower of Jesus. Love is a choice. What you choose to control your mind will become your god of choice. Stay focused upon God and what you are able to understand. Thank him, and for what you might not understand, ask him to show you or give you understanding. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 ESV

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

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