It’s Never Too Late for Peace, Part 2

It’s Never Too Late for Peace, Part 2

We continue our study on making peace.  We serve the God who is the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6), so we must always cooperate with Him.

Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.  (Ps 34:14)

Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.  (Jas 3:18)

A very vital spiritual discipline is to pray for the other person involved in the broken relationship.  Never try to “get even,” because that motivation does not come from the Spirit of God but from the pit of hell.

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 . . . (Mt 5:44)

Bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse.  (Rom 12:14)

Make sure that no one repays evil for evil. Always pursue what is good for one another and for all people.  (1 Thes 5:15)        

If you’re the offended person and you receive a text, email, or note in the mail similar to what was described in our previous article, pray deeply and sincerely about your response.  Weigh the pros and cons of what actually happened between you. Was it an uncommon occurrence on the other person’s part?  Was it out of the ordinary or some kind of misunderstanding? 

Ask the Lord to give you His supernatural grace to forgive; and understand that when you ask Him to do something according to His will (1 Jo 5:14-15), that He hears you and gives you exactly what you’ve requested. 

Remember that you are also forgiven by the Lord.  The Lord said:  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  (Mt 6:15) 

If you’re able to forgive the other person, it is a victory for the Kingdom of God!  And it will enrich your life and the lives of those who may be aware of the problem.  Forgiveness and reconciliation is a testimony to God’s goodness, mercy, and grace. 

If you honestly and sincerely feel that the circumstance(s) that caused a rift between you was a predictable event, and that it will certainly happen again, then you still need to forgive the person.  But you can choose NOT to resume a relationship with the person who hurt you.  However, you should respond to their overture and let them know that you do forgive them, and that you wish them the very best.  You can then indicate that due to the history between you, you feel it’s best for you that you don’t resume a relationship with them. 

In following these guidelines, you will have cooperated with the other person (and with God) in establishing peace between you.  (2 Cor 13:11) God bless you.

It’s Never Too Late for Peace, Part 1

It’s Never Too Late for Peace, Part 1

When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.  (Pro 16:7)

And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.  (Rom 5:11)

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  (2 Cor 5:18, 19, emphases added)

The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.  (Pro 19:11)

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.  (Rom 14:19)

It’s never too late to make peace with estranged friends, family members and loved ones.  Reconciliation is the very crux of Jesus’ work for the Kingdom of God.

Whenever something has happened to cause a breakdown in a relationship, it’s best to pray about it and literally bathe the event in prayer (after it has happened).  Ask God to give you supernatural wisdom, insight, and understanding in the matter. 

If you’re the offender, respectfully approach the person whom you’ve hurt, and indicate that you would like to make peace.  This might involve you sending a “thinking of you” card in the mail (or a text message or an email, etc.) saying that you’d like to make things right between you.  Share your sincere apology for the offense (briefly say what it was), and that you would like to resume a relationship.  Indicate how important the other person is to you.

Now, whatever the response is—you’ve done your part.  Your mind and conscience can be at peace, even if the offended person doesn’t reply.  Or they may say that they forgive you, but they don’t want to resume the relationship.  Again, that’s their prerogative, and you’ll know that you did the responsible and godly thing.  At least you have participated in establishing peace between you and the other person.  (Rom 12:18)

Our next article will cover Part 2 of this subject.

Spiritually Minded

Spiritually Minded

. . . to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  (Rom 8:6b)

What does “spiritually minded” mean?  Definition:  having the mind set on spiritual things: filled with holy desires and purposes: spiritual.

Being spiritually minded may refer to the structure and outlook of our minds. This is when the Spirit is shaping our mind-(attitude)-set according to His own. It exalts Christ and values God.  It cherishes the Word of God and sees people and things with a relentless God-consciousness.

Reading the Bible every day will assist us in training our mind and thoughts.  A constant feeding upon the Word of God will actually renew our minds so that they’ll be in agreement with the Holy Spirit. 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  (Rom 12:2)

. . . and be renewed in the spirit of your mind . . .  (Eph 4:23)

Invite the Word of God to transform you so that you may be spiritually minded and enjoy a peaceful, blessed life.

The 7 Redemptive Names of God

The 7 Redemptive Names of God

Here are the seven redemptive names of the Lord, their meanings, and where they can be found in the Bible.

  • Jehovah-Rapha, The Lord our Healer – (Ex 15:26; Isa 1:5-6; Jer 17:9; Lk 5:31)
  • Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord our Banner [or Refuge] – (Ex 17:8-15; Ps 20:5)
  • Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord (who) is Present – (Ezek 48:35; Ex 33:14-15; 1 Chr 16:27; Ps 16:11; 97:5)
  • Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness – (Jer 23:5-6; Ps 11:7; 89:14; 1 Cor 1:30)
  • Jehovah-Shalom, the Lord our Peace – (Judges 6:24; Isa 9:6; Lk 1:78-79)
  • Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord our Provider – (Gen 22:8-14; Joh 1:29; Gal 3:8; 1 Cor 2:7)
  • Jehovah-Ra’ah, the Lord our Shepherd – (Gen 48:15; Ps 23:1; 80:1; Isa 40:10-11; 1 Pet 2:25)

As our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ operates with mighty power in each and every one of these offices of salvation and redemption.  He is the Lord who never leaves us and never fails us.  Hallelujah!

New Man, New Heart

New Man, New Heart

Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him . . . (Col 3:9-10) 

In order to put on the “new man,” we need to put on a new heart, or new heart-felt motivations inspired by God’s love and grace.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  (Col 3:12 NIV)

The reason that we have the ability to put on the new man, with his new heart, is due to the fact that we’ve been made new in Christ, our Savior.

  • We are born again when we are baptized (Jn. 3:3, 5).
  • We are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15).

Paul instructs us in this new way of living.

. . . that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.  (Eph 4:22-24) 

We bear with one another and forgive each other.  (Col 3:13)  We put on love, the perfect bond of unity, and are unified with our brethren.  (Col 3:14)  We allow the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts, and we are thankful.  (Col 3:15) 

As we obey the Bible passages in Colossians, we are given wisdom and insight into how to live this blessed way of life.  As we obey the Word, we are transformed into people of prayer with a thankful attitude who have godly wisdom towards unbelievers.

We are complete in Him who is the head of all principality and power.  (Col 2:10)  Walk in this wonderful newness of life! 

We Are Protected

We Are Protected

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.  (Ps 4:8)

The Lord gives us, His saints and His beloved children, protection.  He grants us safety and peace.  He MAKES us to dwell in safety.  How wonderful!  Here are just a handful of verses to support this concept.  There are many, many more similar verses.  Challenge yourself to find some of them!

He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.  (Ps 121:3)

The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.  (Ps 34:7)

 For it is written:  ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you . . .’ (Lk 4:10)

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.  (Deu 31:6 – emphasis added)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  (Ps 46:1)

Trust God and simply rest in the truth of His Word.  You’re protected.  You are safe. The angels of God are camped around you for your protection. 

God strengthens you and provides you a safe haven in Him.  You’re not alone—God goes with you everywhere!  Rejoice!

Jesus, the Branch

Jesus, the Branch

Then speak to him, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, saying:  Behold the Man whose name is the BRANCH!  From His place He shall branch out [sprout up], and He shall build the temple of the Lord; yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord.  He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; so He shall be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”  (Zech 6:12-13, emphasis added)

Counsel means advice; consultation; deliberate purpose; plan; design. 

Peace means a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially interpersonal relations; freedom from strife or dissension; public order and security; a state of tranquility or serenity.  Another definition of peace is nothing missing, nothing broken. 

Jesus is the Branch who built the temple of the Lord—we are that temple! (1 Cor 3:16) 

Jesus is the King (Mt 27:11, 37) and it is His throne that’s referred to in Zechariah 6:12-13.  Jesus is also our High Priest (Rom 8:34), who intercedes for us in Heaven.  At the same time He rules as King on His throne. The counsel of peace reigns between Jesus, our King and Jesus, our High Priest.

Jesus paid for our salvation, therefore He is our Justifier, as well.  (Rom 3:24, 28)

The deliberate purpose and plan of the Lord was that peace would reign victoriously between Priest and King—and between Intercessor and Justifier.  Thanks to Jesus, there is complete harmony among His multiple offices.  Due to this arrangement, there is nothing missing and nothing broken in the plan of salvation or in our lives. 

Jesus, the Branch, has provided for our every need.  Glory to God!

Live at Peace With Fellow Believers

Live at Peace With Fellow Believers

Who are you to judge another’s servant?  To his own master he stands or falls.  Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand(8) For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord.  Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.  (Romans 14:4, 8 NKJV – underscoring added)

We must not judge our brothers and sisters in Christ harshly.  They are God’s servants—not ours.  God’s Spirit in us brings unity and harmony, peace and understanding.  We should not walk in strife, criticism, envy, or division.  Those things do not flow from the heart of God.  They come from the enemy of our souls in order to create division.

See the brothers and sisters in Christ through God’s eyes.  God sees each of His children as He ordained them to be:  VICTORIOUS!  He sees them as having already fulfilled the tasks that He has assigned to them.  He sees each one of us through His love, His mercy, and His plan for us. 

Allow yourself, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to see past the outward appearance to the hidden hurts and challenges with which every human being must deal. All human beings have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. No one is exempt from pain, trial, or testing.   

Remember, the Bible says that God is able to make His servants STAND.  (Verse at top of post.)  He will enable and empower each one of us to stand, as we trust Him and obey His Word daily.  The Good News says: Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. (Rom 14:8)  You are God’s child; rejoice in that!  Ask God to give you grace to walk in peace and harmony with your brothers and sisters in Christ, and then rejoice that He has answered you.