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The Peace That God Gives

MP900181797Philippians 4:6-7  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Jesus told his troubled followers in John 14:27  “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Exactly what manner of peace was Christ offering here? He didn’t say “a peace” he said “my peace.” It was the kind of peace that could fall asleep in the back of a boat and sleep through a storm. It was the kind of peace that could go to a garden to pray, knowing he would be betrayed, captured, tried, beaten and crucified. The kind of peace that could face even the cruelest of deaths and still have the compassion and composure to tell one last repenting sinner, “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

It was this peace that held together the heart and mind of church reformer Bishop Nicholas Ridley. On October 15th 1555 in Oxford, England, Bishop Ridley sat down for his last meal before being burned at the stake for his opposition to Catholic Church doctrines.

As he sat at the table a lady began to weep for him, to which he replied “Quiet yourself: though my breakfast shall be somewhat sharp and painful, yet I am sure my supper shall be more pleasant and sweet” (speaking of his being in heaven with Christ after his death). After dinner his brother told him he would sit up through the night and talk with him until his execution the next morning. Bishop Ridley confidently replied “No, no, that you shall not. For I mind God willing to go to bed, and to sleep as quietly tonight, as ever I did in my life.” It is only through the most intense trials that we experience the most tranquil peace. If Dr. Ridley could sleep peaceful on the night of his execution, of such a horrible death; surely God can give peace for whatever trials we face today.

 

The peace that comes from God is beyond our understanding. It lies deeper and goes far beyond the comprehension of even the most learned of men. This kind of peace is eagerly sought after by many but experienced by only a few. But to them who will put their faith in the person of Jesus Christ and walk with him through the Valley of Hardship, it is they who will savor the taste of this exquisite peace.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2014 in Devotional Reading

 

GROWTH point_ Love Right

???????????Romans 12:9  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 

The word dissimulation means sincere and without hypocrisy. Our love should be pure and Christ centered. We should not love the things of the world and the flesh. The things that oppose our Lord or violate his word should not be of interest to us. Those things that hurt others and take us away from God should be avoided at all cost. We are clearly instructed to abhor (detest) them; we are commanded to cleave (cling or stick to) to only the good things.

If we are going to GROW in CHRIST then we must Love Right! Love doing good to others, love telling the truth, love to study Gods word and pray for his cause. We should love to help others and love to make peace where grief may be dwelling. Love Christ-honoring music, love sending words of encouragement to the hurting and lonely. Love to win souls to Christ and then love teaching and mentoring them into a deeper walk with God. Love them that teach you Gods word, love them that invest their time into you and into your family. Love to do right and live holy….I could go on and on, but you get the picture; LOVE RIGHT!  Love what God loves and you will GROW in the RIGHT LOVE.

 

GROWTH point_Do Good

???????????Galatians 6:10  As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

As we Grow in Christ we become more like him. We share his interest in people and his concern for their well being. An important aspect of Christian growth is thinking more about others than you do for yourself. This unselfish attitude is a key characteristic of Christ. The verse tells us to use every opportunity to “do good unto all men.” This would include; rich, poor, the good and the bad, your friends as well as your enemies. ALL men means ALL men! But the verse goes on to say we are to be “especially” good to other Christians. We as Christians have enough enemies and trouble from without; we should not have to worry about trouble from within our own ranks.

Go out of your way to be good to other Christian brothers and sisters, find ways to be a blessing to them. Some ideas would include: pray for someone regularly, buy someone’s lunch, send them a card, invite them to your home for fellowship & dinner, find something they really like and take it to them. You could also sit down and write them a kind letter or simply call them to say you’re thinking of them. Pray for other ideas that will brighten their day and encourage their faith. As you GROW in Christ, be especially good to your Christian siblings. The family of God is a precious and very valuable unit. Treat others as you would like to be treated and see how your own life is enhanced and encouraged in the process.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2013 in GROWTH points

 

GROWTH point_ Do Good, Feel Good

???????????Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Just as salvation in Christ delivers us from the condemnation of Hell; there is no condemnation or guilt to the Christian who walks after the Spirit. When we obey Scripture and follow the Holy Spirit we feel good. We feel pure, innocent and close to God. When we walk after the flesh and do those things that God has forbidden; it brings a feeling of guilt and shame. If we are going to Grow in Christ, then we must follow his Spirit. Every time the Spirit reveals truth to your heart, make it a point to obey what you learn. As you obey God’s word and follow his Spirit’s leading you will Grow in Christ. Do right, and live in the joy of God’s Love.

 

GROWTH point_Learn to Let it Go!

???????????Proverbs 19:11  The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

Growing in Christ means we learn to control our temper, and when people transgress against us, instead of lashing out in anger we just let it go. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “discretion” as that discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution….primarily regarding one’s own conduct. As we grow and study scripture we see how Christ handled his scorners and learn how he controlled his anger as he dealt with them. Just because we think someone deserves a piece of our mind doesn’t mean we have to give it to them. Let Christ fight for you. You focus on growing in the grace of Jesus Christ. Next time give grace to your offender and let it go.   -2Peter 3:18

 
 

GROWTH point_Admit Failure

???????????Proverbs 19:3 “The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.”

Foolishness or unintelligent/unspiritual decisions will pervert or twist our way. Sin always makes life harder and always carries tough consequences. This verse says that after people get themselves into trouble they begin to fret against, or blame and speak angrily toward God. It is often easier to blame others for our failed situations, but the growing Christian owns up to failure, repents of sin, learns his lesson and moves forward. If we are continually Growing in Christ, we will make fewer foolish choices and experience a better quality of life. Grow in Christ by admitting failure and seek Gods help.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2013 in GROWTH points

 

Growth Point_Hard Work

???????????With our church theme this year being “Growing in Christ” from 2 Peter 3:18, I thought it would be helpful to send out some Growth Points. Just a small devotional thought that has a point of spiritual growth attached to it. I pray it is a blessing to you as you Grow in Christ this year.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…” Jesus said in John 9:4 “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

From these two verses we get the concept of HARD WORK. Work as hard as you can, while you can, for as long as you can. I know sometimes it gets hard but don’t stop! Keep pressing on! God is watching, he will reward; and when we get busy, he will help when he sees that we mean business. John Phillips once wrote “We must do what we can do; then God will do what we can’t. As you GROW in CHRIST, grow in the discipline of faithfully working hard.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2013 in GROWTH points

 
 
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