The Prince of Peace

even-smaller-bug-light1

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

— Phil. 4:7 NLT


When we follow Paul’s advice, we find that we have a whole new outlook on life. We also find that the joy of the Lord is contagious and those around us will soon be rejoicing with us. Then God’s peace will guard our thoughts and our emotions. This peace is not an absence of offenses and bad situations, it is a peace in those situations. We live in a world of wars, violence and chaos, but we, as Christians, can experience an inner peace in the midst of the storm. As someone once said, “When we are in a storm, sometimes God calms the storm and sometimes He calms us.” Either way, we can have that peace that the world knows nothing about. So rejoice and give thanks, sing spiritual songs, psalms and hymns. Thanksgiving and praises are the life jackets in the sea of life.It is good to know that singing “Joy to the World” is appropriate anytime of the year.  Our joy-giver is also our Prince of Peace.

27 “I’m leaving you peace. I’m giving you my peace. I don’t give you the kind of peace that the world gives. So don’t be troubled or cowardly.–John 14:27 (NLT)
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-21-2016

The Joy of Your Salvation!

even-smaller-bug-light1

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,  and make me willing to obey you.
— Psalm 51:12 NLT
 
When we have one of those days that we can’t seem to find the joy of the Lord, perhaps we need to look into our recent thoughts and actions. Have there been any changes in our attitude toward God and His blessings? Did we take time to thank Him for our salvation or did we just take it for granted? Jesus did not have to die, He chose to die for us. After each prayer, do you take time to thank God for the answer and just give Him praise for Who He is and what He has done and continues to do. If you are not finding joy in this season of joy, perhaps you have moved away from God. He inhabits the praises of His people. He will hear your praises and you will feel His presence. Slip into His arms and find rest, joy, and peace. Not just today, but every day.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-05-2016

Give and Give Generously

even-smaller-bug-light1

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others–. 2 Cor. 9:8 NLT


It is important for us to remember that everything we have here on earth is a gift from God. It doesn’t matter who signs the paycheck, God is ultimately our resource. We are to be good stewards of all of the resources God gives us. This includes our time as well as our finances. Just as He has the authority to raise up leaders and put people in positions of authority, He can raise us up financially or He can bring us down if we trust only in our finances. Any gift that God gives to us is to be used not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of those He puts in our paths each day. The ultimate use of the resources God has put under our authority is to expand the Kingdom of God. It isn’t that God “needs” us or our finances, He has chosen to use us in His work. That requires us to be obedient to His precepts. Unless you are using more than 10% of your time and money for God, you haven’t started giving yet. Give generously and cheerfully and be prepared for a great blessing from the Lord.

38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. – Luke 6:38 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 11-27-2016

A Time For Celebration!

even-smaller-bug-light1

10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
— Nehemiah 8:10 NLT
 
 

After the work on the walls of Jerusalem had been completed and the gates were hung in place, Ezra gathered all the people together and took a census.  Then he sent them all home.  They reassembled in Jerusalem and asked Ezra to read to them all of the Book of the Laws of Moses.  As Ezra and the scribes read the laws, the people wept remembering their disobedience.  They realized how much God had forgiven them and how he had brought them safely back to Jerusalem.  They had seen how God had provided everything they needed to rebuild the walls.  Though the enemy came close shouting insults and discouragement, God had protected them while they finished the work.  Ezra and the priests explained to the people that this was not a day for weeping but a day for rejoicing and celebration. There are times in our lives, when some things need to be rebuilt.  When some unexpected event has shaken our faith, we need time to rest and heal.  Perhaps a close friend has broken our trust or one of our spiritual leaders has fallen from grace. The enemy will come close whispering discouraging words in our hear.  God will protect us through the storm and when the skies are clear, it will be a time for rejoicing and celebration for us just as it was for the Israelis in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah.

Psalm 30:1-5 NLT

Post 07-28-2016

Cry Out to Him!

even-smaller-bug-light1

23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.  — John 13:23 NKJV
 
In a society where “real” men don’t show this kind of affection for each other, this verse can cause some confusion. We must remember that this occurred in a time and place where men greeted each other with a holy kiss. So, get past the first impression and see the picture as it is really meant to be seen.  See it as pure love with no lust involved.  Try to put yourself in John’s place and feel the comfort and joy that he must have felt right then. Remember the times in your early years when you would be frightened about something and your Dad would pick you and hold you against his bosom.  Do you remember the safety, and in a few minutes, the peace and the joy that you felt?   Or maybe, you were ailing and your Mom would hold you against her bosom to comfort you.  Isn’t wonderful that we can still have that kind of relationship with Jesus?  We can run to Him, sit in His lap and He will wrap His arms around us to comfort and cheer us.  Get this picture in your mind and focus on it until it becomes real to you. Then, in those trying, difficult, scary times, run to Him with your arms wide open and simply say “Abba”, I love you!  He will be thrilled and you will have a time of peace that passes understanding and joy that overflows your heart.
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” — Romans 8:15 NKJV
Post 07-02-2016

Joy Unspeakable

even-smaller-bug-light1

7  And though you started with little,  you will end with much.. Job 8:7 NLT
Bildad also wrongly assumes that Job has committed some transgression and God is disciplining Job for  that sin.  But Bildad is correct in the statement that he makes.  “But if you pray to God and seek the favor of the Almighty, and if you are pure and live with integrity, He will surely rise up and restore your happy home”.  And his statement in verse 7 above turns out to be a prophecy for Job.  Job definitely ends up with twice as much as he had in the beginning.  If we faithfully persevere in the times of testing, we will be blessed here on earth.  The greatest of these blessings is not material possessions or anything that money can buy.  It is the peace and the joy that comes from knowing that we are pleasing our heavenly Father. From my own personal experience, I can testify that there is a peace that each of us can access that is different from what the world knows as peace. It is a peace that will guard our hearts and our minds.  It is a peace that keeps from thinking those thoughts that satan would use to destroy us. It is a peace that assures us that we are not alone now and we will never be alone.  Although the peace you have now may be little, focus on Jesus and you will have abundant peace and joy that is truly unspeakable.
Post 06-23-2016

Ignore the Roar!

even-smaller-bug-light1
11  You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.  You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12  that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!– Psalm 30:11, 12 NLT

God is so good to us all the time.  He is always working for us, turning evil into good and our times of mourning into times of joy and praise.  It is His heart’s desire for us to live lives full of joy.  Not happiness and pleasures, which are fleshly and temporary, but abiding joy deep down in our hearts.  Joy that no one can take from us.

John 16:16-24

Joy, that is not pretended or unrealistic, but joy that is the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus made to His disciples and to us.  It isn’t because we deserve it or have earned it in some way.  It is simply because He loves us and wants us to love Him.  He gives us His peace and joy so that we can be free to praise Him in every situation.  ​So, that we can sing praises to Him and not be silent.  It is true that there are roaring lions out there and one.in particular, that is trying to destroy our joy and us physically.  ​It is hard to ignore a roaring lion, but as Spurgeon points out, Samson’s roaring lion yielded honey.  God can produce joy and sweetness from the worst of situations.
Post 04-07-2016