Pursue a Peaceful Life

Pursue a Peaceful Life

There are great spiritual benefits to pursuing a peaceful and peace-filled life.

Not only should we each pursue this way of life, according to the Bible, but we should endeavor to generate a peaceful atmosphere wherever we go.  Now, let’s look at what the Bible says to us on this subject.

Seek peace and pursue it. (Ps 34:14 ASV)

Deceit is in the heart of them that devise evil; but to the counsellors of peace is joy.  (Pro 12:20 ASV)

Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit.  (Pro 12:12 NIV)

“Happy are people who make peace, because they will be called God’s children.”  (Mt 5:9 CEB)

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.  (Heb 12:14 ESV)

Those who advise a peaceful resolution to problems or issues receive the reward of joy.  That is a beautiful blessing to desire and to receive.

The basis of peace in negotiations generates a good harvest in all of its endeavors.  Peacemakers are happy because they are known as children of God.   

We’re instructed in God’s Word to work toward peace with everyone, as well to make every effort to live a holy life.  The result of obeying the Bible is that we are enabled to live a life that is rewarding, fulfilling, and blessed by God.  Praise the Lord!

God Supports & Sustains Each Believer

<strong>God Supports & Sustains Each Believer</strong>

God blesses each and every follower and disciple of Jesus Christ daily.  He supports us by giving us enabling and empowering grace to encourage us to endure trials and tests.  He maintains [sustains] our very life, health, strength, and faith, as well.  We may safely hope in Him.

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.  (Ps 94:18 NIV)  He supports us by His unfailing love and mercy.  Thank You, Jesus!

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.  (Ps 121:3 KJV)  God, our Sustainer, never slumbers nor changes His will.  He keeps us from stumbling.

A man’s steps are established by the Lord, and the Lord delights in his way.  24 Though he stumbles, he will not fall down flat, for the Lord will hold up his hand.  (Ps 37:23-24  ISV)  The delights in our lives, and establishes our steps.  He holds us up with His hand so that we won’t fall down.

. . . but I have prayed for you, that your faith will not fail; and you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”  (Lk 22:32 NASB)  Jesus prayed for us, that our faith would not fail.  And we are encouraged to strengthen and support our fellow believers.

. . . who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  (1 Pet 1:5 NKJV)  We are KEPT by the mighty power of God which means that we are preserved, sheltered, and kept separate unto God.  He will not let us go, so long as we do not reject our Savior and Redeemer.  He has given us such hope and assurance.

This is how valuable we are, individually, to God.  Think about having such a Friend and supporter as the Living God.  Hallelujah!

The Exalted Servant

<strong>The Exalted Servant</strong>

The Lord Jesus was not only the suffering, bruised servant of God, but He is also and more importantly the Exalted Servant.  Certainly Jesus was the suffering and bruised servant as He made His way to Calvary and to the suffering that preceded His crucifixion.  Dr. S. Lewis said, “That event is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ to which the saints of God through the past ages, the present body of believing men and women, and the elect angels constantly gaze in adoring gratitude.”  Jesus completed the mission for which He came to earth.  Glory to God most High!Let’s consider these Scriptures passages:Therefore God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth . . . (Phil 2:9-10 MEV)  God exalted Jesus and gave Him the name which is above all names.  He is worthy of honor, and glory.Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.  (Isa 52:13 NKJV)  Jesus surely did conduct Himself prudently [discreetly, wisely, carefully] on earth.  Here also, the Lord promises the exaltation of His Son.Jesus came near and spoke to them, “I’ve received all authority in heaven and on earth.”  (Mt 28:18 CEB)  Jesus received all authority from His heavenly Father.He had become much greater than the angels, and the name he was given is far greater than any of theirs.  (Heb 1:4 CEV)  Jesus’ name is far greater than the angels.. . . who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.  (1 Pet 3:22 ESV)  In heaven, all angels, authorities, and powers are under the control of Jesus, the Messiah.On his robe that covers his thigh he has a name written:  King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  (Rev 19:16 ISV)  Jesus, alone, bears the names and titles mentioned in this verse.  So you see, we serve and follow someone who knows about serving and suffering, and received His reward and will enjoy His laurels for all eternity.  This is the Savior with whom we have the honor of being in relationship.  Let us rejoice in Him and give Him glory!

Have You Got It?

<strong>Have You Got It?</strong>

Have you received the thing for which you most recently and fervently prayed?  The answer should always be YES!  Why?  Because the Bible says so!Let’s read these Scriptures:Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  (Mk 11:24 NIV)  Believe that you have already received what you need and faith operating in you will bring it to you!  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.  (Mt 21:22 KJV)  When we pray and ask the Lord to give us something based upon His Word, we must always mix our prayer with the faith that we have received at salvation.  If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  (Joh 15:7 NASB)  Keeping God’s Word (the Bible) ‘before you’ means reading it regularly—daily—and memorizing and meditating upon it.  As we make these habits a part of our Christian lives, we may ask WHATEVER we need, and it will be done.  Hallelujah!Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  (1 Joh 5:14-15 NKJV)  Note first of all that this Scripture passage mentions our CONFIDENCE in God; this is crucial.  Once, we have that confidence and we pray according to God’s Word—which is His will—then we are positive that we have received our prayer requests.  Praise the Lord!But those who seek the Lord lack no good thing..  (Ps 34:10b CEB, emphasis added)Our Lord and our God, you are like the sun and also like a shield.  You treat us with kindness and with honor, never denying any good thing to those who live right.  (Ps 84:11 CEV, emphasis added)

Both of the verses above from Psalms say that we, as followers and disciples of Jesus Christ, will never be denied any good thing.  What a joyous and blessed security our Savior has given to His children.  God bless you!

Hidden with Christ in God

<strong>Hidden with Christ in God</strong>

How are we “hidden with Christ in God”?  Let’s explore this thought.

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Col 3:3-4 NKJV)

As believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, we have been set free from the law of sin and death.  (Rom 8:2)  We are set free from the power of sin. (Rom 6:7)  Since we are ‘dead’ to sin—or spiritually separated from it through salvation in Jesus—our lives are encompassed or contained in Jesus Christ. 

All of this simply means that we are in union with Jesus, our Savior.  We are one with Him.

On that day [when that time comes] you will know for yourselves that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.  (Joh 14:20 AMP)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  (Gal 2:20 ESV)

As you can see from the two verses shown above, it is clear that we are forever in union with Jesus, and securely enfolded by our loving heavenly Father.

After a little while, the world no longer is going to see Me, but you are going to see Me; because I live, you also will live.   (Joh 14:19 NASB)

Being in union with Christ means that the past, present, and future aspects of our life are now and forever tied up and remain in union with Christ, and it began at the Cross when we died with Him. The condition of our lives may appear to contradict this truth, when difficulties rain down upon us, but no matter what life throws at us our union with Christ is 100% secure. 

(Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/colossians-3-3)

All of this reassures us to realize that we are safe and secure in Jesus.  He is our rock, our fortress, deliverer, strength, shield and our stronghold.  (Ps 18:2)  May God bless your day!

Called to Imitate Jesus

<strong>Called to Imitate Jesus</strong>

We are called to follow Jesus’ example on earth.  He is our example, or pattern, of godliness and holiness.  In order to model ourselves after Jesus, we must first comprehend what He was called to do.

Jesus had prophetic Scriptures to fulfill, and He was very aware of those Scriptures.  Let’s turn to the Bible and explore this topic.

  • The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord anointed me to bring good news to the humble; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to captives and freedom to prisoners . . .  (Isa 61:1 NASB)
  • The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.  (Lk 4:18 NIV)
  • The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.  (Mt 11:5 NKJV)

Jesus came to bring the good news of salvation to mankind.  He was sent to heal the brokenhearted, release the captives, heal the lame and blind and deaf, and to declare freedom to the prisoners of evil.

  • But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  (1 Pet 2:9 NIV)

We are told in 1 Peter, chapter 2, that we who have accepted Christ as our Savior and Lord are a chosen people, called out of darkness into His marvelous light.  As His royal priesthood, we are called to live holy, righteous lives that shine before all men to the glory of God.

In imitating Christ, not only should we desire to act as He did, but to do so with the same purity of character and the motivations of LOVE for His Father in heaven and for the people to whom He ministered.  Without the correct heart attitude and inspiration, our actions would become a mere parody of our Lord’s. In order to fulfill our calling, we need to maintain a profound relationship with our Redeemer—a living relationship clearly conspicuous by our obedience, submission and love for the Lord.  Such an ongoing relationship coupled with an honorable character will result in a life of true service to the Lord and to His Kingdom.  God bless you!

Our True Daily Bread

<strong>Our True Daily Bread</strong>

Bread is a symbol of many things.  In the Old Testament, the Lord provided bread from heaven when His people were wandering in the wilderness after escaping from Egypt.  (Ex 16:4, 14, 31)  In this context, bread was a forceful symbol of God’s provision for His people. 

For decades in America, the husband in a family was referred to, in informal terms, as the breadwinner.  Even now, bread is a synonym for money.

Let’s read what God’s Word says about bread.

Give us today our daily bread.  (Mt 6:11 NIV)

Give us day by day our daily bread.  (Lk 11:3 ASV)

Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say:  ‘No one can live only on food.  People need every word that God has spoken.’ ”  (Mt 4:4 CEV) 

In the above verse, Jesus reminds us that we need to know and love God’s Word as much as we do our daily food.

Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”  35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.  (Joh 6:31-35 ESV)

In John, chapter 6, Jesus clearly declares Himself to be the true bread from heaven.  Through faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we become partakers in eternal life.  It is vital to maintain an ongoing faith in Jesus and an ongoing relationship with Him because we need to depend upon Him continually for our every need. 

The Lord Jesus proved Himself to be forgiving, merciful and loving to those who followed Him.  He was a fount of wisdom and grace, and being in His presence provided a powerful blessing.  He was also the hand of God who healed the sick, maimed, deaf, blind, and hurting.  People received deliverance and miracles and wonders through the ministry of Jesus Christ.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  (Heb 13:8)

 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.  (1 Cor 10:16-17 NIV)

When we partake of the Communion elements, we are remembering the sacrifice and obedience of Jesus. Through the ceremony of remembrance—which is the observance of Communion—we declare our unfailing gratitude to God for the precious gift of salvation that we have received.  Praise the Lord!

We Shall NOT Lack

<strong>We Shall NOT Lack</strong>

The Scriptures tell us that we shall not be in need nor have a shortage of daily provisions.  In fact, the Bible says that we who seek the Lord won’t lack ANY GOOD thing.  Wow!  What a precious and powerful promise that is.

The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.  (Ps 34:10 NKJV, emphasis added)

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give favor and glory, for no good thing will He withhold from the one who walks uprightly.  (Ps 84:11 MEV, emphasis added)

The verse above goes on to say that NO GOOD THING will the Lord deny from those who walk uprightly.  Hallelujah!  This applies to believers because we are justified through Jesus Christ, our Savior.  Jesus is our righteousness. (Jer 23:6)  Also, spending time reading and meditating upon God’s Word cleanses each one of us daily.  This means that we may claim this verse for ourselves.

. . . for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.  (2 Pet 1:3 NASB)

This passage in second Peter, above, is very clear that the Lord has already given to us everything that we would ever need for a righteous and holy life through our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  (Rom 8:32 NIV)

This is a resounding declaration by the Holy Spirit that every believer who has accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord has been FREELY given ALL THINGS.  This is a mighty promise from God the Father to every believer.  Believe it and stand upon it. 

Rejoice in God’s promises and blessing to you, and worship Him with thanksgiving.  You are blessed.

Control Your Tongue

<strong>Control Your Tongue</strong>

We all know that it’s important to control what we say, but that doesn’t make it necessarily easy to do!  The Scriptures have quite a lot to teach us about this subject.

  • Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.  (Pro 4:24 ESV)

Crooked can mean dishonest, corrupt, twisted or unscrupulous.  Devious means sneaky, cunning, or scheming.  As followers of Jesus Christ, we can understand why neither of these would be admirable behavior for us.  The Holy Spirit would never lead us to act in such a way, particularly in light of Matthew 5:37; Colossians 3:9 and 4:6; and Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (Eph 4:25 NIV)

  • All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing crooked or perverted in them.  (Pro 8:8 NASB)

The psalmist is laying his heart before the Lord concerning the use of his tongue.  Let us each remember Psalm 12:6, The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. (NIV)  In imitating our Savior, we should speak pure words, full of righteousness.  Short of that, we should choose to be silent.

  • But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.   (Col 3:8 RSV)

This Bible verse (above) clearly tells us what type of behavior and conversation that we should reject.  And we are given a clear instruction of what we should communicate in Ephesians 4:29, Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  (NIV)  Our words should encourage, comfort, and bless other people.  In this way, we become ministers of the love and presence of the Lord to other people.

  • If you think you are being religious, but can’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is useless.  (Jam 1:26 CEV)

In the book of James, we’re reminded that controlling our tongues is a basic requirement for believers who represent the Lord Jesus and the kingdom of God. 

  • Obscene language, silly talk, or vulgar jokes aren’t acceptable for believers. Instead, there should be thanksgiving.  (Eph 5:4 CEB)

Thanksgiving is always appropriate.  Having an attitude of gratitude will improve our daily lives and generate a pleasant atmosphere for those around us.  Being thankful to other people, as well as to God for His many blessings, is always appreciated.

To sum up today’s article, here is one more Bible passage:

Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit . . .  (1 Pet 3:10 ESV) May God give you good days and continual blessings!

Be Careful in Choosing a ‘Hero’

<strong>Be Careful in Choosing a ‘Hero’</strong>

What is an IDOL?  It is a graven image; a statue; or an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship.  It can even be a person we’ve made into a hero.

We human beings can turn almost anything into an object of worship!  It can be anything from a famous basketball star hero to a treasured car to an appointment calendar that we decide is untouchable—even sacred.

But our God has a lot to say about idols in the Word, and we would do well to heed His words. 

They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.  (Jonah 1:8 KJV) 

Vanities are vain things—things that deceive [mislead, betray, trick, or dupe].  Idols fulfill this definition.  Anything that we trust in place of or instead of God can be considered a lying vanity.

I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the Lord.  (Ps 31:6 NIV) 

This Bible verse calls idols ‘worthless.’  Since idols are empty, hollow, and pointless, this is an accurate adjective.

But they are altogether stupid and foolish; the instruction from idols is nothing but wood!  (Jer 10:8 NASB) 

As this Scripture says, the only ‘instruction’ a person can receive from an idol is a contemplation of wood.

“What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies?  For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols!  19 Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach?  Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it.  20 But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.”  (Hab 2:18-20 ESV) 

Since idols are made by human hands out of wood or stone, and often decorated with gold and silver, it is obvious to recognize it as an unresponsive object with no life in it.  However, our God is alive; and He (alone) can impart life—even eternal life.  Glory to God.

Value your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ as the most important relationship in your life, and you will avoid some of the traps that the enemy tries to set before believers.  God bless you.