Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rejoice

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

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Philippians 4:4 Amp “Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; 
again I say, Rejoice!” 

Its early and I am sitting in my favorite chair. Its quiet, everyone else is still asleep. I'm waiting for the coffee to finish brewing.  When I sat down I thought it might be nice to go see what the verse of the day is at Bible Gateway.  It is a great site with many online versions of the Bible. Today I found the verse the verse above from Philippians 4:4. Rejoice in the Lord. My rejoicing in the morning while the family is sleeping are kind of quiet. More of a heart of thankfulness. While I'm thinking thankful thoughts I remember some bible things that I have learned and discovered through the years. I thought I would share some of them with you in this post. I hope you will find them helpful.

I was asked by a friend a while back how I was able to find the verses I was looking for so quickly. I am not a good memorizer - unless it is song words and I can pull up complete song words from my childhood. My brain however, does not remember numbers and so finding verses is not by remembering the verse numbers. I struggle to learn things like my phone number. So it is only the actual Bible verse words that stick in my brain. I've hidden them in my heart through the years by spending time reading and thinking about the passages I am reading,  I write them on index cards and post them in places around my house. I make up little melodies and sing them. Some how they have managed to get planted in my brain. After 30 years of walking with the Lord there are a lot of them tucked away in my mind and heart. I think it is the work of the Holy Spirit to bring them to mind when I need them.  I may not remember the whole verse, but I take the words that come to mind and search for them using the keyword search option at Bible Gateway. My most used bible version has been The New International Version so I generally start there. Then I try some of the others that I might have been reading. For a while I changed out Bible versions each year and tried to read through the Bible in a year. Its a great goal and Bible Gateway has some wonderful Reading Plans that I have enjoyed using. Its is a site that I have in my bookmark buttons.  Today I have a window open to write this post and another window with Bible Gateway. It's not always how I write, I use a note book a lot of the time too. I am rejoicing over God's wonderful provision of a new mac pro lap top. He provided new computers for my family, through the coke bottle caps that my husband saves. He finally won after six years of saving and turning them in at the coke rewards site. 
I am always amazed at the many ways through which God is able to supply my needs. 
My new computer is allowing me to sit here in my favorite chair and have my quiet time with the Lord using my new computer,  rather than a Bible, a notebook and a concordance. 

My other little trick is to type the words into my browser search bar and see if anyone else learned the verse with that wording. It works a lot of the time.  The other way I use is to have a Bible with a concordance. My favorite is my Thompson Chain reference Bible. Someone took the time when I was a baby Christian to help me pick out a bible with a great working concordance. While I have lots of Bibles that I enjoy reading,  my Thompson Chain Bible it is my favorite for when I am trying to study and don't have access to a computer. 

These are some things that gladden my heart. 
I rejoice in the Lord's presence in quiet of the morning. Not that He is not present in the rest of my day but in the quiet of the morning there are fewer distractions and its just a little easier for me to focus my thoughts on what the Lord is saying to me today.

Rejoicing is a great place to start in relating to the Lord.  Here are few other verses that come to mind. I am thankful also for the reminder to rejoice that came to me today from the Bible Gateway Verse of the day. I like to kind of mix up my times with the Lord.  I like the to change things up, in how I spend my quiet morning times. I rejoice that it does not need to be stuffy or religious. The Lord knows how He wired me and He knows how He wired you. I am reminded of the old old song called In the Garden. I remember the lines "I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses... The chorus says : And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am his own..." I hope you will rejoice in your time with the Lord today.

1 Chronicles 16:10
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.

Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.


Dear Lord, Today I chose to rejoice in you. I rejoice in the little reminders of your grace and mercy. I thank you for meeting me in the quiet of the morning and for leading me through out the rest of this day. I pray that you will meet with those who are reading this devotional today and draw all of us to fall deeper in love with you. Help us to want to know you more and more and to make time to spend with you.

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