Have you ever admired a really beautiful work of art, or intricate woodworking, maybe a wonderful scenic overlook? These experiences are called aesthetic experiences. These take us to a place where we can admire the designer or craftsman, or even God. I love going to the Museum of Fine Art in Boston (or anywhere in the world) to enjoy these moments. I think this is what the Apostle Paul was leading to in his letter to the Philippians.
In Pastor Steve's message this week, he challenged us to take an inventory of our personal conditions as they relate to our experiencing Joy. First are the people who we surround ourselves with. The second is the influences of media in our lives. And the third is the "tape reel" or messages others have spoken to us that we allow to influence our self-worth. I know that joy is a decision I make but I need God's help to keep the influences of my environment from taking that away. I've heard our brains are like coffee filters, once stained it takes a lot of water to purify it. God's word has that purifying capacity. If we let the scriptures wash over our minds over and over again, it will purify us just by hearing God's promises, intentions for us, and instruction.
I hope you have a very blessed week and your inventory proves fruitful.