Being Kept in “Perfect Peace”

Being Kept in “Perfect Peace”

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.  (Isa 26:3)  Our inner peace is supported by and dependent upon our complete trust in and focus upon God Himself.

But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’  (Lk 10:5)  We can share the glorious peace that resides in each one of us with others!  How wonderful!

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  (Joh 14:27)  Jesus is speaking in this passage, and it says that He gives each one of us His own peace.  What a precious gift!

Jesus was so filled with peace that he was able to SLEEP in a small boat in the midst of the sea during a fierce storm!  (Mk 4:35-39)  Jesus commanded the sea to be still, and it obeyed Him.  Jesus literally spoke the peace that was within Him into the sea.

What does it mean to be kept in “perfect peace” as mentioned in Isaiah 26, above?

This is referring to a peace that is not dependent upon our circumstances at all.  Rather, it is entirely and completely reliant upon knowing—with complete assurance—that God loves us wholeheartedly; and that He is with each one of us ALWAYS.

Bear Grylls writes in his autobiography, ‘Faith in Christ has been the great empowering presence in my life, helping me walk strong when so often I feel so weak.’  Bear is a former member of the UK Special Forces, and his TV adventure series Man vs. Wild has reached an estimated 1.2 billion viewers in over 180 countries.

God’s presence in our lives should be a constant reassurance to us.  The knowledge of His unfailing love and His plan to bless each of us at all times is designed (by our Creator) to fill us with peace.  This peace is a deep, abiding sense of tranquility and calm within us.

As we rest in the loving arms of Jesus, having the certainty of His goodness and His good plans for us, we are made strong and powerful.  Knowing that the Lord has already purchased our victory, we are inspired to live our lives of faith courageously.  Be bold in the Lord for you are blessed!

The Lord Opens A Pathway for Us

The Lord Opens A Pathway for Us

I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.”  16 Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters . . .  (Isa 43:15-16)

Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?  I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  (Isa 43:19)

The Lord makes pathways for us even in the most treacherous of circumstances . . . when it seems impossible to find a way through a jungle, a wasteland, or a forest—He will always clear a path for us.  Glory to God!

The Lord Jesus knows the end from the beginning.  Nothing intimidates Him nor surprises Him.  He can move mountains, create fountains of pure water, and conquer any giant to catapult us to the victory for which Christ has paid.  When we come to the end of ourselves—the end of our resources, ideas, or abilities, turn to Jesus and put your faith, hope, and trust in Him.

All of the paths of the Lord are paths of righteousness (Ps 23:3); and paths of mercy and truth (Ps 25:10).  The Lord will direct our paths.  (Pro 3:6) 

As we follow the Lord Jesus Christ and walk in His footsteps, we walk in wisdom.  Wisdom’s ways are pleasant and her pathways are full of peace.  (Pro 3:17)  Blessings upon you!

Be an Encourager

Be an Encourager

That’s why you must encourage and help each other, just as you are already doing. (1 Thes 5:11 CEV)

So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement. 32 Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words.  (Ac 15:30-32)

The Bible reminds us to encourage one another in our faith.  That also means that we should encourage each other in every area of life, since faith touches literally everything in our lives.  The Scriptures are full of encouraging words to guide our lives and to spur us on to faith and action.  Here a just a few of those passages:

  • For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory. (Deu 20:4)
  • Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (Ps 34:10b)
  • But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isa 40:31)
  • Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isa 41:10)
  • Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  (Mt 11:28)
  • No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Cor 10:13)
  • I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)
  • And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)

Take as many opportunities as you can to encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ to cling to the Lord and to their faith in Him.  You will be blessed and encouraged as well.

Are You an Overcomer?

Are You an Overcomer?

What does the word overcomer mean?  It is synonymous with conqueror; victor; champion; or winner. 

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.   Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  (1 Joh 5:4-5)

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  (Rom 8:37)

The verses above imply a battle, a war, or a competition of some kind.  But where is the battleground and over what do we fight?  The Bible teaches us that the world is the battleground.  The battle is for the souls of men, women, and children.  

On a day to day basis, overcomers are followers of Christ who hold fast to faith in Christ under all circumstances.  Whether their challenge is financial, physical, mental, or emotional, the believer trusts in God and in His Word.  He/she will find Scripture verses that address the trial that they’re facing and such verses will cause their faith to grow stronger and firmer.

God doesn’t leave us defenseless in this world.  He has given us the armor of God to equip us in battle.  (See Eph 6:11-17)  This armor is available to all believers. 

We come through trials by the power of the Holy Spirit, and by perseverance in faith. 

For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end . . .  (Heb 3:14) Steadfast means constant, stalwart, and unwavering. 

Hold on firmly and resolutely to your faith in Jesus Christ.  He will not fail you.  You ARE an overcomer! 

“I Shall Not Die”

“I Shall Not Die”

Can it ever be the “wrong” thing to say (along with Psalm 118:17), “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”

First of all, how could agreeing with the Bible be wrong to do?  Some people will say, “Yes, but I knew a brother who confessed that verse but then he passed away, so it was wrong for him to confess that.”  I strongly disagree with this thinking.

Doesn’t the Bible TELL us to hide God’s word in our hearts (memorize it)?  See Deuteronomy 6:6; 11:18; 30:14; Job 22:22; Psalm 19:14. 

Furthermore, doesn’t Romans 10:8 give us specific instructions?

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach) . . .  (Rom 10:8) When the word is in our mouths, it means that we are speaking it out loud.

This passage from the Bible specifically says that God’s word should be in our mouths and in our hearts.  “Yes,” someone might say, “but maybe NOT certain passages of the Word.” 

Again, I cannot agree.  Doesn’t the very foundation of our faith state that when we accept Christ as our personal Savior and Lord that we have received ETERNAL LIFE

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  (Joh 17:3)

. . . that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  (Joh 3:15)

So for any believer, at ANY time in their lives, to declare that “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord” is completely in keeping with their faith and their lifelong testimony. 

It is good to understand and to know that when we graduate into eternity, we shall most certainly be ALIVE, and we shall be “declaring the works of the Lord” forever! 

Thanks to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, believers move from victory to victory.  So, be BOLD and CERTAIN in your faith, brothers and sisters!

From Enemy to Ally

From Enemy to Ally

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.  (2 Cor 2:14 NIV)

The author of this passage (the apostle, Paul) speaks of “triumphal procession” because the Romans would routinely hold such events to demonstrate their victory over an enemy and to lead their captive enemies to their deaths.  The enemies who were not executed were sold into slavery.

In the passage above, Paul says that we are led as “captives” in Christ’s triumphal procession but that the Lord uses US to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere!  This is an image of a pleasant fragrance or perfume being released! 

How is that possible?  Because when Christ captures or subdues a person, He reigns in our lives as a benevolent and loving King.  Yes, we are in submission to our divine Captor, but it is a submission and yieldedness born out of love and willingness on our part. 

In the kingdom of King Jesus, His conquered enemies are transformed into His beloved and cherished allies—even so far as to becoming His beloved children.  He shares His blessings, kindnesses, and gifts with all of those whom He lovingly pursues and conquers!  He also shares with each one of us His eternal victory.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (1 Cor 15:57 NKJV, emphasis added)

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  (1 Joh 5:4)

Glory to God most High!

It’s Far Better to Trust God than Man

It’s Far Better to Trust God than Man

The Bible says outright that it is immeasurably better to put our trust in God than to rely upon any human being.

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.  (Ps 118:8)

Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.  (Jer 17:5)

The Lord shares His wisdom with us from His Word.  It’s simply a matter of believing and trusting in what we read there!  The scriptures tell us that the one who trusts man more than God is cursed.  May that never be the case!

The Word reminds us to trust in the Lord completely and not to rely upon human reasoning or understanding.  As we look to our Savior and trust in Him, He’ll give us direction and guidance, as well as miraculous answers to prayer.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.  (Pro 3:5-6)

He will bring us through to victory.  (1 Cor 15:57)

There are a number of good, practical reasons to trust God completely rather than man.  I’ll share some of them with you.

  • God doesn’t lie. (Nbrs 23:19)
  • God cannot fail. (Josh 23:14)
  • God has limitless power. (Job 36:22 TLB; Ps 147:5 ESV)
  • God never forgets a promise. (2 Pet 3:9 AMP)
  • God doesn’t change. (Mal 3:6 KJV; Heb 13:8)
  • God is all-knowing. (Isa 40:13-14; 28 ESV; Job 28:24 ESV; Ps 147:5 ESV; Col 2:3)

When you’re facing a difficult or frightening situation, especially when there seems like no way out and no one capable of helping, put your hope, trust, and faith in the Lord and in His Word. 

Safe in God’s Secret Pavilion

Safe in God’s Secret Pavilion

Have you had a circumstance where people were speaking evil reports about you—and they were untrue?  Are you aware that somehow you’ve made an enemy at work and that person is making plans to undermine you?  Has a close relative or friend turned against you for no apparent reason? 

Do you realize that God has a safe hiding place for you that will protect you while He works on your behalf?  This hiding place exists within your heart and mind.

You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.  (Ps 31:20)

You will be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, and need not fear destruction when it comes.  (Job 5:21)

For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will set me high upon a rock.  (Ps 27:5)

You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.  (Ps 32:7)

You are my hiding place and my shield; I put my hope in Your word.  (Ps 119:114)

Psalm 32 says that the Lord surrounds us with songs of deliverance.  God says that He will rescue you, and set you free from these types of situations!  Thank the Lord!

In the secret dwelling place of God, the holy of Holies (the inner sanctuary of God’s tabernacle), we may relax in peace because we are secure in the knowledge that God is our protection.  In this state of mind and heart, we are free to pray in faith and to ask the Lord to help us and to give us His wisdom, revelation, and insight into our situation. 

He promises to hear us when we call, and to answer! (Ps 66:19; Pro 15:29; 1 Joh 5:14)  As Psalm 32:7 reminds us, God has already surrounded us with songs of deliverance—that means that in the spiritual realm where time does not exist, your deliverance is already an established fact.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (1 Cor 15:57)

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  (1 Joh 5:4)

According to the two Scripture verses above, God gives us the victory through Jesus by the faith in our hearts that is born of God and this gift of faith overcomes the world.  Remember, you have received overcoming faith to stand upon God’s Word and to expect Him to deliver you from evil.  Stand firm and expectant of great things from God.  God bless you.

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.

A Perfect Way

A Perfect Way

Greetings and welcome!  Think about this before you return to the daily grind.

God [is] my strength [and] power, and He makes my way perfect.  2 Sam 22:33 (NKJV)

[It is] God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect.  Ps 18:32 (NKJV)

In these passages from the Bible, the writer is describing God’s help and the blessings of a relationship with Him.  This is how our relationship with our Father God, through Jesus, blesses us:  God gives us –

  1. Swiftness to pursue or to elude our enemies;
  2. Strength;
  3. Protection; and
  4. A firm footing!

A firm footing is very important under all circumstances.  But you can well imagine how vital a firm footing is during battle!  Firm ground upon which to place your foot during battle can mean the difference between winning and losing—surviving or dying.

These precious promises are for us.  The Lord gives us His strength and power; His counsel and protection in battle; and makes our feet secure!  This is His recipe for victory in every area of our lives!  This means we have victory and favor in our day-to-day jobs.

Receive His strength!  Tap into God’s power; and listen to His counsel.  You will find God’s counsel in the Bible; in advice from trusted, spiritual friends; and from the pastoral staff in your home church.  Glory to His Name!