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The Peace of Christ

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Jesus did not enter this world to bring peace. Rather, He came wielding a very sharp sword. In fact, this weapon is so keen and precise that it pierces between soul and spirit. With supernatural power, it discerns our thoughts and the intent of our heart.

Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.Matthew 10:34 (NKJV)

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)

 Confusion can arise when reading John 14:27, for Jesus speaks of giving us peace. If He did not come to bring peace on earth, why would Christ speak of leaving His peace? There is a clue within the scripture, “He does not give as the world gives.”

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.John 14:27 (NKJV)

Jesus does offer peace to individuals, but He did not come to earth bringing political peace. His message was radical. Jesus taught us to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us. But the message written in Exodus 21:23-25 directed Jews to act without showing grace. To understand the new message, Jews first had to believe Jesus was the Son of God. They also had to embrace the power in love, the greatest and most powerful gift of all. The blood of Jesus provided forgiveness of all sin and believers were to practice and model forgiveness.

But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:44-45 (NKJV)

Man often spurs political agendas. Greed, selfish ambition, and power are all motivators. Sin prevents peace in the realm of politics. It is too saturated with self.

But Christ came to us in humility, with a servant’s heart. He brought a peace beyond comprehension, yet obtainable through a sincere faith and a trust in His perfect will. He is the Prince of peace.

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)

When man looks to the Father, seeking the Wonderful Counselor for help, there shall be peace. When man reflects on the power of God, He who is Mighty, there shall be peace. When confused thoughts afflict and we lay our burdens at Christ’s feet, there shall be peace. For with a Savior who loves us we have hope, and in that hope we also find peace.

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.1 Corinthians 14:23 (NKJV)

The blessing, “The peace of Christ be with you” is perfect for these days of trouble. Christ is our peace. So, when political leaders attempt to force their agendas on the world, we should rest knowing God is in control. The Lord knows about every atrocity and will transform them, some how, into good.

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.Genesis 50:20 (NKJV)

It is not for us to understand how He acts, or His perfect will. But, it is our responsibility to wait, trust and believe in His character. God is faithful. He is love. He is all-powerful. He is gentle and merciful. Jesus already won the battle, which the devil is trying to overturn. The enemy should read the book of Revelation! The Lord reveals the ending and he ends up in a pit of damnation.

And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.Revelation 20:10 (NKJV)

 May you find encouragement in these scriptures.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13 (NKJV)

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:7 (NKJV)

 

Peace: The Absence of Fear

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“You have to remember, fear is not real. It is a product of the thoughts you create. Don’t misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.” ~Anonymous

“The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.”   Psalm 29:11 (NKJV)

“And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”   Daniel 10:19 (NKJV)

When fear is present, peace is absent. Fear will always rob our peace of mind, weaken our resolve, disturb our rest, and cause us to question the righteous power of God. Fear is an emotion that will hinder our walk with Christ unless we learn to face our adversity with trust, trust that God is in control.

In Isaiah 26:3 we read how God keeps those whose minds are steadfastly transfixed on Him in perfect peace. When we take all our thoughts captive and trust God with our well being, fear will depart. Placing our faith in His power will remove insecurities, wobbly uncertainty, and unstable thoughts or decisions.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

Because God knit each one of us together, He understands our nature and individual weaknesses. He lovingly calls out, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV). It is His desire for us to rest in His peace. God longs to give us rest. Faith requires trust, and peace is the fruit of that trust.

In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace.” When He walked the earth as the Son of Man, He told that we would have to face tribulation. But He also told us to be of good cheer since He had conquered the grave. This fact alone should produce peace in our hearts. The battle has already been won. Eternal peace is our guarantee, but peace while we are still yet earthbound is also available. In fact, we are told to pursue it!

“Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.”   Psalm 34:14 (NKJV)

How then do we pursue peace? Through Christ and Christ alone! Through supplication and humble petitions we enter the very throne room of God. While in His very presence, we interface with a mediator who intercedes on our behalf both day and night, for He never sleeps. By knocking on His door and seeking Him out, He gladly agrees to fellowship and dine with us. While in His presence, He will fill us with hope, inexpressible joy, and comforting peace. Trusting in His love for us produces peace.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”   John 14:27 (NKJV)

Psalm 23 mentions how God provides peace for those walking through “the valley of the shadow of death.” By focusing our eyes on Him, not concentrating on our difficult circumstances, He leads us through green pastures and beside still waters. Who doesn’t want to rest in such a place?

When we walk by the Spirit of God, the fruit of the Spirit shall become even more evident in our lives. Peace, not fear is a component of this fruit. We must crucify our flesh, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6 (NKJV). By doing this, God blesses His people with a quiet mind and contentment.

“God incarnate is the end of fear; and the heart that realizes that He is in the midst… will be quiet in the middle of alarm.” ~ F.B Meyer

“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”   2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NKJV)

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”   Psalm 23:1-6 (NKJ)

“A great many people are trying to make peace, but that has already been done. God has not left it for us to do; all we have to do is to enter into it.” ~D.L. Moody

 

The Peace Of Christ

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“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

Saints who trust God with total abandon experience the reality of supernatural rest, a byproduct of the peace of Christ. It does not matter if their day is filled with routines or unexpected adversity. Said believers maintain a steadfast gaze on their Creator, circumstances are not their focus.

Thanks to a solidified trust, they understand situations happen for loving and beneficial reasons. They may not understand the WHYS, but they trust in the character of God. Almost in stride they look for the lesson God has provided within their day, always quick to thank Him for the equipping He so graciously provides.

This peace is free to all. Will you claim it now, along with the rest that comes with it? Trust God with your cares!

Father God,                                                                                                                     May the Holy Spirit fill this dear reader with an undeniable outpouring of strength and courage today. It takes courage to trust an unseen God with burdens of fear, grief, and an unknown future. Help them to lay each care aside and trust You with each one. Grant them a blessed rest and supernatural peace today and may it carry them through the night and into their slumber. Amen.

“God holds my today and my tomorrow in the palm of His hands. I know I am secure no matter what comes against me.”  ~ Unknown

Is It Well… With Your Soul?

 

*It Is Well
The hymn “It is Well with My Soul” has always been a favorite. This worship song is just beautiful. It reminded me of the sovereignty of God and His faithfulness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDNi5C0eDS8

My Peace I Leave You

PEACE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmFd0MvU7zo

Perfect Peace: by Laura Story

“Peace is not the absence of affliction but the presence of God.”              Unknown

You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in You.”   Isaiah 26:3 (NIV) 

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27 (NIV)

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”                         John 16:33 (NIV)

Dear One,                                                                                                                        The Word of God tells us that in this life we will have tribulations, but that we can find peace in Christ Jesus.  We should find encouragement in knowing He has overcome the world through His death and resurrection.  He offers His children peace in the midst of their trials and storms.  John 14:27 directs all believers to put aside fear and worry, and yet we continue to fall prey to fright and anxiety.  Why do we refuse, neglect, or forget the peace our God offers us so freely?

Isaiah 26:3 tells us that God will keep in perfect peace the one who has a STEADFAST MIND.  To be steadfast is to be resolute, firm, and unwavering in conviction.  This conviction and stance to rely on God lends itself to stability.  Stability and loyalty to God produces a peace that transcends all understanding.  This verse also states that the one who is steadfast TRUSTS in God.  Trust produces a steadfast spirit, which then produces a conviction of faith and reliance, which bears the fruit of peace and a sense of stability.

When we trust in God, the fruits of the Holy Spirit become more evident in our lives.  Romans 15:13 offers up a prayer asking the God of HOPE to fill those in need with joy and peace as they trust in His power.  By trusting God in all matters, He will fill us with joy, peace, and hope!  Indeed, He blesses His people with peace! (Ps. 29:11)

We find in Psalm 119:165 that those who love God’s law have great peace and that nothing can make them stumble.  With a solid knowledge of the scripture, the Holy Spirit can speak to your heart and mind, directing your steps so you don’t stumble in your spiritual walk. 

Peace is gained through a trust and faith in God.  It requires believers to consciously lay down their will and set aside their fears, casting them off with purpose.  Reading the Bible permits the Holy Spirit to direct our steps, thus reducing any anxiety pertaining to what we should do and where we should go.  Peace comes to those who trust a guide who is wise and able to do all things.

Finally, Philippians 4:6-7 describes a peace that transcends or surpasses all understanding.  In order to attain this peace, we must petition God with our requests and do so with a thankful heart.  The thanks comes in knowing that He hears and answers all of our prayers with His infinite wisdom and grace.  May the peace of our God be with you today, dear one.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”                                      Romans 15:13 (NIV)

“Great peace have those who love your law,
and nothing can make them stumble.”   Psalm 119:165 (NIV)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”          Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Do You Ever Want To Fly Away Home To Jesus?

 

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“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”   Revelation 21:4 (NIV)

Jesus wept.” John 11:35

Dear One,

Tears come with sorrow and grief.  Jesus wept over Lazarus and was called a “Man of Sorrows” in Isaiah 53:3. He was acquainted with grief. Jesus understands our suffering and pain, for He lived them all while on earth as the Son of man. He is sympathetic to the ache in our hearts.  He even records our cries and keeps a record of our tears. 

Our tears mean something to Him, otherwise why would He bother with listing and recording them?  He wants us to know that He is cognizant of our sufferings and sorrows.  They do not go unnoticed.  They are never discounted, nor are they ever in vain.

In this life you will have tribulations.  They may take your breath away, but God will faithfully breathe life right back into you.  Sorrow is not meant to crush you beyond repair.  In fact, it is impossible if your eyes are focused on God.  He will lift you up and command His angels to care for you. He is close to the brokenhearted and in your times of need, He will give you His strength.

If you have had to say good-bye to a loved one, the separation and the loneliness that follows may knock you over.  You may feel as though a part of you has disappeared.  The reality is that your loved one has not disappeared.  Rather, they have journeyed to a destination that is temporarily beyond your reach.  In God’s time, you will (Lord Willing) be with them again. 

Heaven is described in Revelation 21:4 as a place where there is no more crying or pain.  What joy there is in knowing that He will wipe away every tear from our eyes!  His grace is sent to us while we sojourner here, but in heaven our joy will be complete.  Tears will only be a distant memory. 

If you are sowing many tears as of late, be encouraged by the words of Psalm 126:5.  This verse reports that those who sow with tears will reap with shouts of joy.  Sorrow and rejoicing, tears of sadness and shouts of joy….. opposites and yet connected.  Our God is full of mysteries.

Maybe today you are heavy burdened and desperately long for your eternal home, God understands.  He tells us that we are not of this world, and that we should live as foreigners longing for our everlasting home.  We are to live our lives looking up, but moving forward. 

Grief can be a roadblock in your forward progress.  The enemy will whisper lies in your ears and attempt to make your circumstances appear hopeless.   With God there is always hope. 

There are countless sorrows in life, and many of them do not involve the death of a loved one.  There are injustices, illnesses, separations, losses, and an endless list of other tragedies.  Whatever the sorrow you are carrying today, you don’t have to carry it alone.  God wants to share your burden, so lay it down.  Let Him ease your suffering with His love and compassion. 

God understands that you may want to “fly away home” on some days.  He wants you home with Him, but only when it is your time.  He will help you to endure your sorrows of today, and tomorrow will take care of itself.

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!”         Psalm 126:5 (ESV)

Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll– are they not in Your record?”      Psalm 56:8 (NIV)

He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; 
and as one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.”    Isaiah 53:3 (ESV)

 

A PRAYER FOR GRACE

1 Cor 1:3 (NIV) “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Dear Reader,
We all need the glorious grace of our Creator. I offer up this prayer on your behalf. I pray that it encourages and comforts you. Your friend, Cheryl

Father God,
I lift up the soul who is suffering right now. The struggle in* her/his life has worn her out. The devil is attacking her walk by throwing his fiery darts of deceit her way. Please dress her in the armor of Your Son Jesus Christ. Bind all confusion and help her to read Your Word. Teach her to effectively utilize the Shield of Faith and the Spiritual Sword of your Truth. You tell us that Your grace is sufficient. Please send Your grace to her and strengthen her so that she can get through this day and on to the next one tomorrow.
Amen.

*Her/Him

Grace is derived from the Greek word charis. In secular Greek, charis was related to chairo, “to rejoice.” It denoted “sweetness” or “attractiveness.” It came to signify “favor” and “lovingkindness.”

In the New testament, “grace”(156 times) takes on a sense of redemption in which God makes His favor available to sinners who do not deserve it.

Psalm 84:11 (NIV) “For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does He withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.”

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