20 For human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. – James 1:20 ISV
As the end of time draws nearer and nearer, satan seems to be reacting like the cornered, trapped animal that he really is. That same spirit of anger and violence seems to be permeating our society. We see it in all the headlines, the senseless murders and crimes that are being committed on a daily basis. Yes, these things have been happening every since Cain slew Abel but the frequency and the intensity seems to be magnified more and more everyday. That is on a worldwide basis, but what about each individual? There was a time when we could laugh at our mistakes and have a little fun with each other over those issues on which we disagreed. But, more and more we have to be much more sensitive to these things. Statements that once would have been seen as light humor are now taken seriously and great harm is done. Even small, unintended injustices suddenly become someone’s newest campaign against whatever was mentioned. We see over and over the truth of the verse that “human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” Therefore, we, as Christians must put aside all our foolishness and fill our hearts and minds with the Word of God. Meditating on and storing God’s word in our hearts is our strongest defense against any kind of unacceptable behavior.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. — Psalm 119:11, 12 NIV
In a world of violence and anger, we must stand as lighthouses to lead others to Jesus, the Prince of Peace. We must let the light of Jesus shine through us. We must be the ones to show others that in the middle of the storm, there is a safe harbor, a place of calmness and peace. More and more, the world needs individual peacemakers. By blessing others with our examples of peacemaking, we ourselves receive God’s blessing.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God. — Matt. 5:9
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
May God give you more and more grace and peace. – 1 Peter 1:2b NLT
How are we supposed to live a holy lifestyle in today’s world? We are bombarded by filth and violence continuously. How do we find grace and peace in abundance in our world today? By accessing the Divine power that raised Jesus from the dead and now gives us everything we need for a Godly life here and now. The word translated “life” here in verse three is the Greek word “zoe” and it means life that is real and genuine, a life full and complete, devoted to God, blessed, even in this world when we put our trust in Christ, and it will be consummated after the resurrection into a more perfect body that will last forever. God has given us “very great and precious” promises so that we can participate in the Divine nature because we are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We have been redeemed and cleansed from the corruption of this world and the evil desires of our flesh. In and of ourselves, we can do nothing, but we can do all things through Jesus Christ.
13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. — Phil. 4:13 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
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
8 Stop being angry! Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm. — Psalm 37:8 NLT
Considering all that is going on in this country and around the world, this is a very timely message. Every day we see the wasteful results of those that choose to express their anger with violence and illegal acts. God gave us our emotions and one of those is anger. There is an anger that comes from righteous indignation when we see the evil being done to others in our cities across the world. But that anger must be controlled and pointed in the right direction. Our response must be to hate the sin and love the sinner. Unless we are expressing our feelings about sin and evil actions, we should never use the word “hate”. Jesus has set the standard. We are not allowed to pick what we will love or hate, He has already shown us the right way. We are all guilty of allowing our anger to control us at times, so we need to learn to pray before we react to any situation.
We must pray for those that have been deceived into thinking that violence is a solution to their issues. Each of us needs to set aside a few minutes of each day to pray about this issue and for praying especially for the cities that we call home.
16 Let us, your servants, see you work again;
let our children see your glory. — Psalm 90:16 NLT
Lord, we live in a sinful world where evil is magnified on a daily basis. Our children are daily tempted with overdoses of “me first” and sexual innuendos. They see riots in city after city where people get what they want by protesting and violence rather than working through the legal system. The America we live in now is not the America that most of us were raised in. It is more like Macedonia when Paul arrived. There are fightings on the outside everywhere we look and there are people all around us living in fear. 2 Cor. 7:5, 6 Our kids and grandkids see good people struggling everyday to make it. They see parents working too many hours because the parents live in fear of not being able to give their kids everything they think they want. First, help us as parents and grandparents to live lives totally dependent on you. Let us be the examples that show the younger generations that possessions and busyness do not bring peace and lasting joy. Remind us of that daily by helping us to observe the work that you are doing in our world right now, all around us. Then, Lord, let our lifestyles be a beacon to others to point the glory you receive from our obedience. Open our eyes to see that you are still a God who works miracles on a daily basis. Let our children see your glory and the beauty of worshipping the only ture and living God. As Pastor Jack Graham says “YOU CANNOT EXPECT YOUR CHILDREN TO LEAD DYNAMIC, SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIAN LIVES IF YOU AREN’T LIVING A VIBRANT, DYNAMIC, SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIAN LIFE YOURSELF”.
Help us to live lives totally dependent on You and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Help us to talk the talk and walk the walk before them that they may catch hold of Who you are and what you desire for each of us. Your desire is for us to be joyful and content no matter what our present situation may be.
Father, thank you for protecting our kids and grand kids. First of all and most importantly of all, thank you for protecting them spiritually so that they will spend an eternity with you. Then, thank you for protecting them physically, mentally and emotionally and for providing for their every need. All praise and glory be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen
2 I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. — 2 Cor. 10:2-6 NIV
After admonishing the Corinthians for allowing impurities in their worship service and then expressing his joy because of their repentance, Paul expresses his concern that some of them still haven’t gotten the full message. They are still trying to bring the world into the church instead of carrying the church into the world. Just as with the Corinthians, our actions do not always back up our teachings. Paul starts teaching the Corinthians and us about where the problem is and how we should attack it. The problem is our mindset and that is not a battle that can be won with worldly weapons. The world and satan hits us with a constant barrage of violence, sexual innuendos, and all manners of chaos. To protect our minds, we need to fill them with the knowledge of God and be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit. Every thought that comes to our mind, must be immediately processed and either deleted or stored in our arsenal of divine weapons. We can’t dilly-dally or play games or we will be overpowered with fleshly desires. Be on the alert! Be ready to punish and cast out every vile and sinful thought.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. — 1 Peter 5:8, 9 NIV
15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.–1 Cor. 2:15,16 NIV
God is waiting to show you the Way.
If our spirits are in tune with the Holy Spirit, we have access to all the wisdom of heaven. Since that is true, we should be able to make wiser decisions than those who do not have that access. The decisions we make and the actions we take will not always bring us worldly acclaim. Why? Because the world does not understand the wisdom of heaven. There is no way to explain to a person without the Holy Spirit explaining it how we gain our life by giving it up. How we can have more by giving away what we have or be free when we are in voluntary servitude to Jesus Christ. That is not how the world thinks or operates. “But we have the mind of Christ” which means we think differently. It means that we can have joy in our hearts even though the world around is decaying and we can have peace when we are surrounded by violence and rioting. We can have hope when it appears that there is only hopelessness. We can forgive even when we are the ones that have been wronged. We have a future worth living and dying for because we are redeemed. We can praise the Lord in the worst of situations.
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.–Psalm 103:1-5 NIV
45 “Yet it isn’t I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes. 46 If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. 47 But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”–John 5:45-47 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
It wasn’t necessary for Jesus to accuse us or condemn us. Our unbelief has already condemned us. Just as the religious leaders were condemned by their unbelief of the Old Testament Scriptures, we are condemned by our unbelief. We have even more reason to believe the truth about Jesus than the people that Jesus was speaking to then. If we believe in Him, there is no condemnation or judgment for us.
18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.–John 3:18,19 (NLT)
33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.—Romans 8:33, 34 (NLT)
Will the world accuse us and condemn us? Will we be offended? Of course, but we must remember that the words they speak have no authority in the courts of heaven. If we believe, there is no condemnation for us. This is the Good News that we need to spread to a world full of people searching for something to give them hope in a world filled with violence and discord. There is someone who can give them the peace for which they are so desperately searching.