Friday, May 23, 2014
Last week we started to look at peace; did not mention that it would be a two part devotional. Last week the focus was more on a corporate/national if you will. Or even a local Church. Now peace has also to do with us as individuals. It is what is going on inside while we are home or alone... I am not saying that it does not go toward work .... outside the home... But it would help us if we will focus on at home or being alone. For here is when if you are honest with yourself you will know if you have the peace of God. Last week we said that peace involves tranquility, quietness, harmony and freedom from disquieting thoughts or oppressive thoughts or emotions. We did not talk about that this peace involves one's mind and emotions. Let us begin with the idea that one can just leave work relationship/problems at work that we can just stuff them/hide them... or that the relationships/problems of the day can be buried inside forgotten if you will. Oh some are doing that know and it seems to be working, eventually they will catch up with you... and who knows... for some or many it is not good. We all need to learn how to quiet our minds and emotions so the peace of God can prevail. So many times I hear people say that their mind is going 'a mile a minute' or that they cannot focus... they seem to be elsewhere. Also many times we see people who's emotions run wild, saying, 'I am emotional person'... for us men we need to quiet our emotion of bursting out, anger... One more for the mind thinking ill will toward someone(s), also how about hatred. The first part of peace is to have peace with God. Now this is done by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior... recognizing that He paid the price for our sins... and He will forgive us of our sins, all of them if we confess to Him. There is no other way to have peace with God. So as many have done turn to Jesus and accept Him... For if you truly do this your life will change and one of those changes will be no more toiling over is there a heaven, am I going, am I being punished for... and so much more. For God and Jesus has so much for us... Now if you have done the first part it becomes easier to do the second. That is to live in peace with others. For our minds, if we follow Jesus. will start thinking of His ways... Some of our bad habits will change to good ones... also some of these words will start manifesting more in our lives, more powerfully than ever before. Grace, mercy, love, forgiveness, tenderness, kindness, helpfulness... Now I have been a believer for many years, let me tell you I would not want to think of what I would be like without Jesus. For anger needs to be kept in check it wasn't without Jesus not that I am perfected in that area. For the things of the mind need to be kept in check we need Jesus also for that; it is so easy to go off and start thinking not such good things..."stinking thinking". But with Jesus we can change, a change that is so different than what we all have tried and tried... Now I am not saying it is all easy... for we still need to make choices. Phil.4:4-9 "Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanks giving let your request be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally Brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." You see we need to have peace with God, which gives us peace within our self, which allows us to have peace with others, which allows us to have peace when all around things are in turmoil.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
As we continue our study we come to peace the next part of the fruit of the Spirit. When we think of peace more than often it is in contrast with war. Which is part of the definition of peace. Peace is much more than that, for how can nations be at peace with each other... and still harbor hatred toward each other... Peace is tranquility, quietness, harmony, and freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions. First concept of peace is quietness, tranquility. For we can have peace even in times of war... For in times of great trouble... we need to remember and do Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him, fret not yourselves over one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devises." Isn't it hard to be still before God? To wait for Him to act? So many times we go forth thinking that God is acting... while He is still back there waiting for us to be still. We tend to jump up and start doing, fixing... while go says to be still, wait. Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." For if we are too busy... not being quiet... we miss the knowing that God is almighty, all knowing... That He does care, is in control . For us to be in harmony with God we need to be still. We need to stop take the time to focus on God/Jesus. For when we truly take the time to be with God, learning of who He is... Then we can understand how He wants us to live. And the bible starts to become more clear and His words more precious... I remember a friend sharing at bible study about the apostle Paul. He said if he was the apostle Paul he would have stopped after being stoned the first time. But Paul was in harmony with God and continued on, through more beatings, and being stoned again even in prison he kept on doing God's work. For us we need to focus on God taking the time to be still. For our readers in the Ukraine My prayer go out to you all in your times of turmoil. May you all be strong and stay strong in the Lord.