Posts Tagged ‘peace’

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Filters

February 26, 2017

CThe Lord has given us many “filters” in His Word.

As we move through our daily lives, we are bombarded with all kinds of distractions. Jesus told us to have peace and, not only that, He gave us peace that surpasses understanding. He gave us His peace! Wow, that is good news! But, wait a minute…then why don’t I “feel” it? What’s missing?

I know, some of you will say, its sin! I am in a state of sin, so I can’t have that supernatural peace. I have to repent, I have to have the Holy Spirit shine the light inside and show me where I have missed the mark! I have to DO SOMETHING! Well, part of that is true…except for the sin part.

Paul wrote in Colossians 3:15-17:

15 Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

So, there is something we need to do. We need to “let” peace rule. So, the question we might ask ourselves is: how are we blocking it? What are we saying “no” to God about? Again, I am not talking about sin.

Paul gives us some filters here:

  • Does the Word of God dwell in me? Am I familiar enough with the Bible to find a scripture that might apply to whatever I am stressed about? Is it part of me? Can the Holy Spirit bring to my remembrance what God has said?
  • Am I teaching or encouraging another person, or am I angry, judgmental or resentful of the other person. Am I using “wisdom” found in the Word of God about that person or situation? Is that my problem?
  • What’s in my heart? Am I singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God? What am I listening to? I cannot concentrate on singing about my Lord and keep peace at bay. What is in my heart and mind?
  • Grace! Am I operating in grace? Grace is both a person, Jesus, and a gift from God. It’s the freedom to both be “free” and to allow others to be “free” also. It’s unconditional love!
  • Who am I serving? Myself, or my Lord? Am I doing all things in His name? Am I His ambassador? Do people see Him when they see me? If I’m serving me, I’m saying “no” to Him.
  • Am I thankful?

 

The Bible has many “filters”. There is always an answer for us. Again, this is not about sin; it’s about living the abundant life that Jesus gave to us.

We are predestined to be conformed to His image (Romans 8:29) and as we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) why not use the tools given to us to make our journey peace filled?

Use the Armor of the Lord (Eph. 6:6-18) as another filter:

  • The loin-belt of TRUTH. All the other armor is attached to this belt (except for the helmet). We have to know the truth. His Word is truth. As we use “truth” as a filter: we can check our motives, we can compare our thoughts with His word and find out what is really going on. We can ask the “Spirit or Truth” or the Holy Spirit to show us. (John 16:13).
  • Shoes of PEACE. We already went over peace. This says “shoes of peace”. We need to walk in it.
  • Breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS. This protects our heart! We are the righteousness of God! (2 Cor. 5:21) because Jesus became sin for us and we are righteous because of Him. Sin has no power over us. We need to always remember that! We are new creations. (2 Cor. 5:17). Old things are passed away. God isn’t judging us any more. “It is finished!” Guilt, shame and remorse have no place in us. Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 2:10). There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. (Ro. 8:1)
  • Shield of FAITH. Our faith in what Jesus has done shields us from every dart the enemy can hurl at us. (Eph. 6:16). We can safely stand behind it.
  • Helmet of SALVATION. This protects our minds. No thought can penetrate our minds unless we let it. We can cast down “vain imaginations” (2 Cor. 10:5). We don’t have to listen to negative thoughts or impulses…we can throw them away.
  • Sword of the Spirit—THE WORD OF GOD. The best weapon ever! Learn it, live it…enjoy the peace and joy that God has given us!

 

Be filled with the Spirit! Choose life today!

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Stop, Look and Listen

August 22, 2015

Exodus 3

  1. Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.  So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” 

In Exodus 3:1-2 Moses was doing what he always did. He was doing his own thing, minding his own business, just moving along in his life. He’d been living in Midian, had a wife and family and had been there for about 40 years.

So, here he was on the far side of the desert at Mount Horeb. He led his sheep up the mountain.

There was a flame of fire that caught his notice because the bush that was “burning” wasn’t burning! He noticed the fire, but not the Angel of the Lord. The flame drew him to the Angel of the Lord.

At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit fell as tongues of fire.

(Acts 2:3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.)

Most Bible scholars agree that “The angel of the Lord” always refers to a visitation of the pre-incarnate Jesus.  So, the Holy Spirit drew Moses out of his normal, everyday life and introduced him to Jesus.

            When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” Moses answered, “Here I am.”

 When Jesus (The Lord) saw that Moses noticed and came to look, God the Father called to Moses by name. Jesus told us that no one comes to the Father except by Him/Jesus and that no one comes unless the Father draws him. Jesus tells us that He, Jesus, calls us by name.

(John 14:6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

John 6:44  No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.)

Moses couldn’t even hear God until he responded to the Spirit and the Son. Once he did, he heard God call his name.

God doesn’t change. Even back in the Old Covenant times, He was preparing mankind for the New Covenant.  The trinity works in the same way.

Moses was not seeking God when the Holy Spirit (or the flame) got his attention. Moses couldn’t yield to the Lord until he saw Him in the flame, the Father couldn’t call him to his ministry until Moses went through Jesus first.

It is still the same today. We all yielded to Christ when the Holy Spirit prepared our hearts to see Him. We responded when we heard our own name, when we knew that He was calling us personally. What a wonderful God we serve!

We’ve been told that we have to decide to accept Christ in order to be saved.  Just like Moses, all we did was notice Him and He did the rest. We entered into His kingdom the moment we saw Him. Also, like Moses, we cannot miss our “burning bush” experience. God Almighty, Elohim, gets our attention Himself in whatever way will best capture us, then He completes it in us.

The next thing that happened was that God told Moses to remove his shoes because he was standing on holy ground.  He was already in the Kingdom. Again, Moses did nothing but listen.  “Holy” means “set apart for God. ” Moses was standing in a piece of heaven on earth. The “dirt” of this world (his sandals) doesn’t belong there. When we acknowledge Jesus’ call, our “shoes” are removed also and we now stand in God’s kingdom on earth. The great thing about the New Covenant is that Jesus removed our shoes for us. Moses, being Old Covenant, had to remove his own.

                        5 Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Moses, a murderer, one who ran away from God is now afraid. He is face to face with the Almighty. Even we, in the New Covenant, are aware of our sins and our unworthy condition the first time we hear our name called by God. God, however, goes on speaking to Moses without acknowledging Moses’ fear. God wasn’t interested in his shortcomings or his past, God now focuses on the future.  Just like what He did and does with us.

God laid out the whole plan. He told Moses that he would be the one to set the people free from Egypt, that they would leave there wealthy, that the land promised to Abraham was waiting for them. He tells Moses what His Name is and answers all of Moses’ questions.  The next thing Moses did was try and get out of it, but that’s another story.

The takeaway here is that God never changes.  Moses didn’t deserve grace, neither do we. Moses was a sinner, so were we. Moses was called, so are we.

We receive eternal life not because we gave our life to Christ, but because He gave His life for us.

           God So loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

        God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5:19)

        In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

So, like Moses, it’s not about us, it’s about Him and His love. (With Moses, it was His love for the Jewish slaves in Egypt; with us, it’s His love for us who were slaves to the world.)  He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

Titus 3:4-7 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs  according to the hope of eternal life.      

All we need to do is say “Thank you” and spread the good news to others so they can be set free too!

 

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When Times are Hard

June 14, 2014

So many Christians go through hard times and question God or their faith. This post from Psalm 35 using verses 15 through 20 as it speaks of how He looks over the “righteous”.  (The “righteous” are those who belong to Him:  Phil. 3:9b: that which is [those who are] through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith/ Romans 3:17: For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed–a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”)

The eyes of he LORD are on the righteous and His ears are open to their cry…The righteous cry out and the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.

            The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

            Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers them out of them all.

            He guards all their bones; not one of them is broken…

            The LORD redeems the soul of His servants and none of those who trust in Him will be condemned.

***

1 Cor. 10:13:    No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

We can rest assured that He will bring us through, that He hears us and is with us at all times.  He guards us and loves us. Though times get hard, we have a protector and deliverer. Trust in Him, it will work out, it always does.

Psalm 91:1,2:  He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”…

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GOD OR NOT

April 22, 2013

To those who don’t believe in God, should they be right that we live and just die and are gone, I say: Because of my belief that He is, I will have lived a life with joy and peace, convinced that He loves me, cares for me and plans my way.  Even if I am misguided the life I’ve lived will be a  full one—as opposed to those to whom life offers nothing: no hope or meaning.

To you who cannot or will not consider Him, I say to you:  He loves you anyway and calls you to Himself continually.  When you seek Him, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart.  Today, if you hear His voice (and you just have) don’t harden your heart. He is real.

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Ephesians 1:2

October 19, 2011

            What a great way to start a letter, or a conversation, or a prayer for another person:  “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  We have a heavenly father; one who has called us, who wants to fellowship with us, who has adopted us into His family.  We have a Lord, a Savior, an intercessor who sits at the right hand of God the Father and is constantly aware of us and pleading our cause.  He understands us and loves us regardless of our failings.

             The grace brought us to Him, and it has resulted in the peace that passes understanding.  That unmerited favor bestowed upon us at the cost of Jesus’ very life and suffering has produced peace for us.

             Oh, we must remember that great gift, the wonder of it, that the One through whom the universe was created set aside everything, became mortal, so that we could live today in peace if we so choose, and then to live eternally with Him filled with His love.

            Oh yes, grace and peace, the precious gifts that the world cannot know outside of God, are ours.  Don’t take them for granted, but remember the wonder of it and walk in it today.

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Live Peaceably with all.

July 25, 2011

   Romans 12:18   “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”    Paul begins this thought with the words “If possible”.  That indicates to me that there will be times that it is not possible to live peaceably; however, he then goes on to say:  “as far as it depends on you”.  That tells me that, no matter how difficult the situation is with the other person, it is up to us to live peaceably with them. 

   I have learned to remove myself from the pain, to walk away and regroup within myself.  I then take my anger or hurt feelings to God, talk to a friend if possible, and try and quiet the disturbance within me.   I have been trained to “let it go”, “pray for them”, “act as if”, and only address it with the other person if my Lord gives me the words, the strength and an opportunity to do so only after I am no longer disturbed.  Most of these tools have come from my recovery program; however, they are scriptural and they work.

   Today, I choose to be happy, joyous and free.  The Bible tells me to have the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).  The only time He was harsh was with the Pharisees and then only because they were corrupting the people. 

   So, I will continue to work on myself to live peaceably with all.  We are supposed to be different, we are supposed to be the light to a dark and dying world; we are supposed to love as He did.  So, if possible, as far as it depends on me…