A few days ago I received a review copy of a side-by-side Bible comparing the NIV, NKJV, NLT, and The Message. These happen to be the four translations* that I usually use to pull Scripture for the Jesus Boat Facebook page. It's good to be a reviewer!
I've been thinking about my effort to really focus on the positive and on joy during this Lenten season. So I was delighted to see that this week's daily scripture readings for Lent 2012 included Philippians 4:1-9 (Friday) and 4:10-20 (Saturday). Having a comparative Bible has slowed down my reading, but enabled the Spirit to speak to me in fresh new ways.
I love this paraphrase of Philippians 4:4-7 from The Message:
"Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."
*technically a paraphrase