Monday, April 25, 2011

God's Perfect Peace~

No God, no peace. Know God, know peace. ~Author Unknown

Do you know what God's Word has to say about peace? Are you aware of all the promises of peace that are found in the Bible?

Our peace is often the focus of the enemy. Satan knows without peace, we are in a weakened condition, vulnerable to defeat. If he can get us to hand over our peace, he knows it won't be long before we become putty in his hand.

So, how do we fight the enemy?

How do we hold on to our peace?

How do we use our peace as spiritual warfare and do some battling of our own?

By knowing God's Word and then speaking it into our life, our heart and our situations.

God's Word is true and it can be trusted. But, have you ever thought of the power that we have been given in Jesus' name when we speak His word and claim it in our life?

Today, meditate on these verses. Hide them in your heart. Then, start to tap into the peace they bring when the enemy is on the attack. When we stand on God's Word, we won't fall for the tricks of the enemy!

The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace. ~ Psalm 29:11

In peace I will lie down and sleep,for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. ~ Psalm 4:8

Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it! Psalm 34:14

But give great joy to those who came to my defense. Let them continually say, “Great is the Lord,who delights in blessing his servant with peace!” ~ Psalm 35:27

Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. ~ Psalm 37:37

I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying,for he speaks peace to his faithful people.But let them not return to their foolish ways. ~Psalm 85:8

Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble. ~ Psalm 119:165

A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones. ~ Proverbs 14:30

When people’s lives please the Lord,even their enemies are at peace with them.~ Proverbs 16:7

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! ~ Isaiah 26:3

And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever.~ Isaiah 32:17

You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song,and the trees of the field will clap their hands! ~ Isaiah 55:12

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.~ John 14:27

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33

This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. ~ Acts 10:36

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. ~ Romans 5:1

So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.~ Romans 8:6

For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. ~ Romans 14:17

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness... ~Galatians 5:22

For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. ~Ephesians 6:15

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. ~ Colossians 3:15

And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. ~James 3:18

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I could go on and on. God's Word is overflowing with peace!!!! But, let me leave you with this one. Truly it is my prayer for each of you today-

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. ~ Romans 15:13

Friday, April 22, 2011

Loosening Our Grip~

A man was walking along the edge of a cliff, enjoying the scenery and his time alone in nature, when without warning, the ground beneath his feet gave way. As he fell, he was able to grab onto a branch, which temporarily stopped his fall. He knew he couldn't hang onto to this branch forever. He also knew there was no way he would be able to climb the steep wall of the cliff. So, he started yelling for help, hoping someone would hear him and come to his rescue. "Help! Help! Is anyone up there?" He yelled for what seemed like hours, then he heard a voice.

"Can you hear me?"

"Yes! Yes!" the man cried. "Help me, please. You've just gotta help me!"

"Yes. I can see you there. How are you, Tom?"

Surprised that this "stranger" knew his name, the man replied, "Uh, who are you....and where are you? I don't see you."

"It's me....the Lord, Tom."

"The Lord? You mean........GOD?!"

"That's Me."

"God, please help me! I promise if You'll get me down from here, I'll stop sinning. I'll be a really good person. I'll serve You for the rest of my life."

"Easy on the promises, Tom. Let's just get you down from there; then we can talk. Now, here's what I want you to do. Listen carefully."

"I'll do anything, Lord. Just tell me what to do."

"Okay. Let go of the branch."

"What?"

"I said, let go of the branch.. Just trust Me. Let go."

There was a long silence. Finally Tom yelled,

"HELP! HELP! IS ANYONE ELSE UP THERE?"

Let go and let God.

In our heart of hearts, we know God is MORE than capable of handling our needs. We know God is ALL LOVE, ALL THE TIME. We know God is working all things for our good, and for His glory. We know God has it all under control. And yet, we are afraid to relinquish our control.

Every time I hear the story of Tom, I often think of how the story would have ended if the one who came to his rescue would have been a close acquaintance. To make it personal, I picture myself hanging on for dear life and the one coming to my rescue being someone from my family; my father, my mother or my sister. Somehow, if it was one of them counseling me to "let go", I think I would. I would trust them enough to listen to their instruction and follow their guidance.

Why is the struggle with God so much more intense? Why, when God answers, do we bypass His invitation, and continue our pursuit to find help in our time of need? Why do we so quickly turn to people (or things)and turn away from God?

I think it comes down to our trust in God. I think it comes down to truly knowing God. It comes down to our personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. I think it comes down to the level of intimacy we have with God.

As a little girl, I was extremely blessed. I grew up in a family that could be trusted. I knew they loved me and wanted only the best for me. I knew they would never do anything to harm me or to hurt me. While I may not have understood everything they tried to teach me, I understood their heart. If they told me to let go, I let go.

It is no different with God. Sure, I can't physically see Him or actually hear His voice when He speaks to me.....but really, does any of that matter? It wasn't my father's voice that "saved" me when I was in trouble. It wasn't my mother "being there" that helped me to trust her. Who they were and how they felt about me was all that mattered. I knew they loved me and could be trusted. My heart knew their heart.

That's the way it should be with our Heavenly Father. We need to come to a place of undeniable trust. It is hard. I am the first to admit that. I hold onto to my life until the knuckles of my heart are white! Yet, I will also be the first to admit that my holding on has God in a holding on pattern, too.....holding on to all that God wants to do in my life. He can't release His plans for my life into my heart, until I am ready to release my heart into the plans He has for my life.

At some point, we HAVE to let go. We can't keep hanging on to the branches in our life forever. God is there. He is more than willing to step in and help us....more than ready to reach down, pick us up, and place us on the steady and sure foundation of His will for our life. But, he's waiting on us.

Place Your Life Before God

1 -2 So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2, The Message

God is asking us to present ourself.....our body, our thoughts, our emotions, our will....to Him as a living sacrifice. He is calling us to let go. As we begin to take our eyes off of the world (and self!) and focus on God...fixing our attention on our Heavenly Father, we are changed. We begin to know God in a deeper, more REAL way; a way that makes it easier and easier for us to trust Him with our life. It is a process, a daily renewing of our mind and a daily relinquishing of our control into the control of God.

How about you? Are you ready to start loosening your grip on your life and allowing God to take over?

Go ahead, let go!

Fall into the nail-scarred hands of Jesus.

Hands that have the evidence of unfailing, trustworthy, I love you so much I died for you love engraved upon them.

You can trust God.

Let go........

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Unwrapping the Gift~

Do not open until December 25th.
These instructions attached to any Christmas gift only serve to add to the delight of the present. The beautiful packaging of ribbons and bows do their part to bring joy to the recipient, yet the sheerest form of pleasure will be, when at last, the long awaited day arrives, and the wrapping is torn to reveal the treasure hidden inside.

The world’s greatest gift arrived with such instructions. Wrapped in swaddling clothes, the baby born in a manager that first Christmas Eve brought great joy to Joseph and Mary, the shepherds and the wise men. Yet, the time for the opening of this gift had not yet arrived. The appointed time for the revelation of this Heavenly present had nothing to do with December 25th and everything to do with Calvary.

It wasn’t until the cross, that our precious Jesus, wrapped in humanity and surrendered to the will of His Father, was torn to reveal the true treasure inside; the Messiah, in whom we find our forgiveness and our salvation.

The baby was God's gift to mankind. The cross was Jesus' gift.

His incomprehensible love for you and me held Him to the cross while the soldiers drove the nails into His flesh, ripping and tearing away His humanity. As each wound was inflicted upon His body, His blood, a ribbon of crimson, flowed from His heart straight to ours, loosening the grip of sin.

As Jesus' humanity was uncovered to reveal His true divinity, we were clothed with His righteousness in spite of our humanity. As He breathed His final breath and spoke the words, "It is finished" we were given our first breath and life that knows no end.

The baby brought anticipation, excitement and hope, but the cross....the cross brought victory!

Thank you, Jesus, for being broken and spilled out for me.

Friday, April 8, 2011

God's Law of Supply and Demand

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

The other day I heard the most amazing teaching on God's law of supply and demand. God's ways are easy and His burden is light. We are the ones who make life such a struggle. God has promised to give us everything we need. With Christ, we can DO ALL THINGS and we HAVE ALL THINGS. We have absolutely NO NEED to worry.

But wait, you say....you don't know all the demands I have in my life. I have deadlines to meet at work, due dates for bills, and decisions to make. I have difficult people in my life! I am a wife, a mother, a taxi driver, AND I work a full-time job! Everything is pulling me in a million different directions! My life is FULL of demands! Believe me, I've got plenty to worry about!"

I know. That's exactly the way I use to think, too. That is precisely the way I had been living my life. Demands! Demands! Demands! And....quite honestly, all those demands were giving me was an overwhelming amount of stress and worry. No peace here. But then....then God spoke to me through this teaching on His law of supply and demand.

Whenever you have a demand placed on you, like a deadline, or a due date, or a decision to make, you automatically start to feel stress about it. You worry, begin to feel anxious, and your peace flies out the window. When this happens, your body starts to "feel" these demands too! Your blood pressure goes up, your heart begins to beat faster, the muscles in your neck and shoulders begin to tighten. Ugggh! This is NO WAY TO LIVE. God never intended for us to live the life of demand! Christ came so that we can live the life of supply! And believe me...there is a HUGE difference between the two!

And my God SHALL SUPPLY ALL YOUR NEED according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19


A demand is simply a need we have. When we start living by God's law of supply and demand, we begin to realize that for every demand we have, God has a supply. So, instead of feeling the demands of life, we can choose to walk in God's supply and exchange our stress for His peace.

For instance, if I know I have to give a presentation at work, I can start to allow this demand to steal my peace. I can begin to worry and fret about it, etc. OR, I can believe that God will supply what I need, to do what I need to do. As I prepare for the presentation and do my part, I can be confident and sure God will be faithful to show up and do His part. I don't need to worry about it. Instead of living under this demand, I can simply flow in God's supply.

All this week, I have been living by God's law of supply and demand. And, it has been working! (Why did I ever doubt that it would?!) God keeps His promises and if He has promised to meet our needs with His supply, He will! No more demands can be placed on me when I allow myself to live in God's supply.

Have you been struggling with demands in your life?

How is your peace?

Satan tries his best to steal our peace because He knows when that is gone, everything else starts to crumble. Once our peace is gone, everything else begins to spiral downward. When we are under the pressure of demands we don't think clearly, we often make poor choices, and are then left dealing with the negative consequences that are sure to follow.

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7, The Message

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. Philippians 4:7, (NLT)

Today....and everyday, walk in God's supply! Walk in God's peace~

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Favorite Time with You~

Aaahhh...Thank you, Lord.

What a peaceful, calm, serene ending to a busy day, and an even busier week.

Thank you for the breeze; a light caress, a soothing touch, a refreshing breath of fresh air. As I breathe deep, inviting your peace in, I sense my body rising to greet it, to usher it in, to embrace and absorb it.

Be still.

Be still and know that I am God.

What an invitation.

To sit in the stillness of this moment. Tweets and chirps serenading me in the background. Tiny, new, vibrantly green leaves dancing their delight in anticipation of the starlight that will soon grace the night sky. It is as if the whole world, at least here in my backyard, has become still. Frozen in a brief moment of time; suspended between day and night.

Dusk.

My favorite time of day. It is the time when I sense your presence the most. There is something about the ending of the day and the beginning of the night that draws me to you. I love to sit and listen. To sit and watch. To sit and experience you in this moment.

To worship you.

To be still.

To know that you are God.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Gift of Mercy~

Nothing can make injustice just but mercy. ~ Robert Frost

Why do you love God?

Have you ever just stopped and thought about that?

For me, I think it was God's mercy that first drew me to Him.

Mercy....so much wrapped up in such a small word. Here are some synonyms for mercy:

blessing

charity

favor

forbearance

forgiveness

generosity

gentleness

grace

kindliness

lifesaver

softheartedness

tenderness

tolerance


Is this not the description of Jesus?!

He IS mercy!

Mercy is so like God and so unlike me....and there in is where my attraction to God begins. I know how wretched I am. I know how Holy and beautiful He is. Yet, He loves me.

He blesses me.

He shows me His favor.

He forgives me.

He is more than generous with me.

He is so gentle with me.

He extends me His grace unmeasured.

He is kind.

He is my lifesaver.

He is so softhearted and tender with me.
He tolerates me!

......and because He is all of this and so much more....I am drawn to Him.

I am drawn to His pure, unconditional love for me.

I am a most noteworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvellous Presence.~ Christopher Columbus

Thank you, God, for the gift of your mercy~

We love Him, because He first loved us. ~ 1 John 4:19