The Peace of God

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As Sisters and Brothers in Christ, I feel it is important to share our experiences with the Lord. This is my testimony.

Hearing the voice of God lead you and direct you is the most rewarding experience in life. It is greater than giving birth or anything else that is satisfying in your life. It elevates you and takes you to a place of peace that is greater than our understanding. You experience serenity and the reverence of God. I can’t even image the ‘peace’ we will experience in heaven. NKJV, Philippians 4:6,7 is clear and succinct.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Every believer has the ability through prayer to experience the peace that surpasses all understanding because at this point we have entered into God’s heavenly space.

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‭‭This peace exceeds anything we can understand, and when you find yourself there, your relationship with the Lord becomes so much more fulfilling. You long for the indescribable experience and desire to continually live in it. The indescribable peace guards our hearts and minds, we are in the presence of Jesus. The resistance you once felt to obey the Word falls away. Suddenly you no longer doubt, question, stray from, or desire the world as you did before. Having entered this space, I can say, the world no longer draws me as it did before. You see the war, the strategies the evil one uses to lure you into an immoral life has been exposed. You no longer want to conform to this world, your mind has been renewed and your sole purpose in life is to prove what is good and acceptable and perfect in the will of God. Your behavior changes. You no longer hold precious the things of the world. You simply long for our Lord and Savior and an ever-growing relationship with him. When you experience God’s peace, the scriptures make sense. They are no longer intellectual jargon, but become ‘The Truth’, without question or premise. The world becomes less inviting, it loses its hold on you. You enter into God’s will. It is more than good, it is perfect and pleasing to your being.

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This experience brings meaning to ‘humble yourselves’. According to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, Humble means to make low, to be abased; lowliness of mind. Abase, to bring to a humble condition. You are brought to a humble condition when you lavish in this peace. You can’t be anything else but humbled because you know your righteousness is Gods and not our own. Our salvation is bright and unyielding. It is clear we are filthy rags but loved none the less. Grace and mercy become living words and the peace becomes real.

Praise the Lord for this experience. He is my strength, my refuge, my rock, my Savior and my Heavenly Father.

Images – Google Images, LAB’s Collection
Scriptures-Biblegateway.com

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LOVE – Truth in Action

 

 

This month the central theme has been obedience and dependence, and today we add a third, love. I consider these three actions as defining elements in our lives.

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Two require submission and one action.

Love is one of the three things God gave us: Faith, Hope, and Love. We abide in Love through Faith and Hope. Obedience and Dependence are the vehicles in which Faith, Hope, and Love operate.

“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NLT

Obedience and dependence do not require outward interaction, they are a state of being. Love, on the other hand, requires a second party and is an action taken.

God’s love is eternal and our wellspring. It never dries up, we never have to search for the living water. He loves us and it is our place as Christians to love others.

The first step in loving others is loving yourself. The question is, if you are commanded to love your neighbor as you love yourself, how can you love others if you do not love yourself? To love others, you have to first forgive yourself for all your actual and perceived sins that haunt you. Once you have accomplished this and believe you have been forgiven, then and only then can you show God’s truth, which is love, through your actions. 

It is important to note that, we are not saved through our works, we do not live in the Old Testament dispensation. Through the New Testament, we are new creatures in Christ and live through GRACE. We cannot be saved through this action, we are saved by grace and only grace. The action is only a demonstration of our faith.

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT

Further, we should not misinterpret this act as a deed, it manifests itself as action. It is not a work that we do to receive Gods love, it is a gift. God loved us first, and because He loves us, we love others and act to meet their needs. We love others sharing Gods love for us through our actions.We are a branch of His tree. Our actions are demonstrations of God’s love for us.Love4

Fruit of the Spirit3Love is the most important Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22. Without agape love, Christ-centered love, we cannot show the other Fruit listed. It is through the action of Love that all other Fruit of the Spirit is given life.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

Christian love

As Christian Warriors we must all strive to love others as an action. This simply means we step out of our comfort zone to assist others in need of help; others can be a co-worker, friend, family member or stranger.

I find that when I am nudged by the quiet voice of God, I need to step out of my comfort zone. Take a moment to discover when God nudged you and caused you to pay greater attention to others. We should all become more aware and present in the moment. It is important that during these moments we take immediate action. If we do not take action, i.e. the failure to take action, you will find these moments tend to haunt you.

Practice displaying God’s love through your actions. As we do so, we become more Christ-like and mature in the Word as Christian Warriors. You’ll become the person others speak about saying, “I don’t know what it is about Sam, there’s a warmth and caring I sense when I am around him.” This means others are beginning to sense the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. It also is a sign that you are doing God’s work.

Love is truth in action!

 

From Verse-by-Verse Commentary, 1 John 3:18, by Grant Richison, June 17, 2001, BibleStudyTools.com.

Scriptures – BibleGateway.com; BibleHub.com; Bible.com

More on Fruit of the Spirit from Lisa Blair:
lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com/Posts – Change Your Filter, Hear His Voice, Feb 22, 2018; Valentine’s Day, Temporal Love, Feb 21, 2018

YoungchristianWarriors.com/From Punishment to Correction and Healing, Feb 21, 2018; Core Values Early In Life, Sept 23, 2017; Children-Fruit of the Spirit, Sept 22, 2017; Activating the Fruit of the Spirit in Children, Sept 19, 2017
Images – /bible.com/111/1jn.3.18.niv; Google Image

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Blessing + Instructions = Fulfillment of Gods Promise

 

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”

Galatians 5:13 NIV

I know without question, God unconditionally loves us. Remember Summer Bible Camp singing, ‘Jesus Loves Me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…’, what I didn’t know as a child was, God always blesses us, but wants it to be an interactive experience, hence the blessing is accompanied by ‘instructions for proper use’.

Most of the time, we receive the blessing, forge ahead and later ask, why is the blessing less than I expected? We see the blessing in its fullest. We acknowledge the blessing. We do not follow the instructions associated with the blessing.

If we unpack the scripture, we read:

  1. We are called to be free.
  2. We should not indulge our freedom in the flesh.
  3. We should humble ourselves.
  4. We should serve one another in love.

 

The Instructions Mean:

1. We know we are called to be free and received Jesus as our Lord and Savior on our own recognizance, we were not forced to ‘saved’, it was our own passion to desire more of God,  we chose to be saved. We think this gives us a license that emboldens us. Spiritually we are emboldened and equate it to its root, to encourage. In the flesh we are not emboldened, we translate the term as, empowered, generated by self-endowed, blazon, and self-righteous attitudes.

2. We know we should not indulge in our freedom through self-indulgence, yet becoming emboldened we forget it is not our own doing, but a gift from God, and is intended to be used to serve others, not ourselves.

3. We know we should be humble, but instead, we insert ourselves as the subject of the equation. This means we omit our Lord as the subject, rather giving ourselves the credit. Being humble takes practice and requires honesty to give credit where it is due.

4. We know we should serve one another in Love. Loving our neighbor and treating them as we treat ourselves in the Great Commandment, Jesus said, “this I leave you…”

These four steps will maximize our blessing. Yet being human, we get caught up in our own aggrandizement and forge ahead without using the instructions. How many of us have bought something and when it arrived we unpacked it, separate the parts and began putting the item together only to find that we should have read the instructions? Prayer is much the same, we can receive the prayer without applying the instructions and receive part of what God intended, or we can gratefully receive the blessing, thank God for answering our prayer, and follow his instructions to fulfill the blessing as intended.

Our problem is that we are not selfless people as God desires, we are self-absorbed people. We tend to follow the instructions but seldom through to the end. As we mature in the Word through our actions and deeds the instructions become involuntary and becomes one with us. We are free, but should not indulge the flesh, and should always be humble and loving.

Big order, but one we should work to strengthen and apply throughout the day because we will never meet perfection on earth, but we can continue to strive to be ‘on the way’.

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One practice in learning to pray is to strengthen our understanding and application by memorizing scripture.

I’ve included a few, but do not stop here, search the Bible for other scriptures to help you mature in the Word. I view this process as a lifelong commitment.

Scriptures

“We love because [God] first loved us.” John 4:1

“Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”  John 4:11-12

“Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we are dead in our transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4

 

 

 

Images-Google Images
Scriptures-Bible.com; BibleStudyTools.com

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Valentine’s Day, Temporal Love

Today is Valentines Day. It is the day to display and recognize a loved one, but not in the agape kind of love, the Christ-like love, the outpouring of love for all of humanity, kind of love, it is – temporal love.

The topic of love, agape love, is hard to achieve yet mandated by God. It is one of the main reason Jesus was sent to earth.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this, all men will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another.”
‭‭John‬ ‭13:34-35‬ ‭NASB‬‬

This type of love can only be accomplished through Jesus Christ. We have to be dependent upon him and his love to even begin to love others, even those that have hurt us, lied to us or abandoned us in some way.

We need him because it is impossible for us to love others, as we love ourselves. Most of us do not love ourselves and, therefore, cannot love others without him.

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭19:26‬ ‭NIV

Gods perfect love and unmerited favor are the only way we can love others and let others see God in us.

“And now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love”. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭13‬ NIV)

Can we take this step today and ask God to be present in us and help us live a life that demonstrates agape love?

 

Additional explanation of AGAPE LOVE

1. More about agape love definition from Wolfram Alpha.com

Agape love –  selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications (especially love that is spiritual and nature.)

2. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, 1996, pp. 371, 382.

Love can be known only from the actions it prompts. God’s love is seen in the gift of His Son, 1 John 4:9, 10… Christian love as God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all and implicit obedience to his commands, John 14:15, 21, 23; 15:10; 1 John 2:5, 5:3; 2 John 6. Self-will, that is, self–pleasing, is the negation of love to God.

Agape love, as used of God, expresses the deep and constant “love” and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects producing and fostering a reverential “love” in them towards the giver, and a practical for“ left towards those who are partakers of the same, and a desire to help others to see together.

Scriptures – YouVersion, Bible.com, 2/14/2018
Images – Google.com, Safari.com

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All Things Are Possible With God

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It is thought that Matthew scribed the First Book in the New Testament and in so doing quotes Jesus who said,

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26 NIV

The THIS is anything you may feel is not possible in your life. The mighty power of the Lords grace can work on your heart. His grace can end afflictions, influence and dispose your mind, your heart, and cause you to want the Lords glory and salvation. He can meet all your needs, known and unknown, and give you strength and peace greater than you can imagine. Nothing is impossible with God if you have unquestionable faith and are committed to Him.

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“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

2 Chronicles 16:9, NIV

God scours the earth seeking us, so He can bestow His love upon us. When we are weak, He is strong. All we need to do is call upon Him, as a child to a parent, and rest in knowing He will respond in Love, and that He is an awesome God. Recognizing His power in our lives is comforting. During times of sorry and need, it is particularly important to rest in His love. In times of uncertainty, and during times of comfort, it is also important to rest in His love. Our relationship with Him gives us the strength we need to live day-to-day.

Therefore, beginning the day ‘thanking Him’ for all He has done in your life is powerful. Acknowledging that this is the day the Lord has made is dutifully important. It is our responsibility to rejoice and be glad in this day; each day He meets our needs and gives us joy. For many joy is elusive. Carnal joy is reactive; spiritual joy is an internal disposition. The things of this world do not affect joy unless you allow it. Spiritual joy will carry you through life’s circumstances.

All things are possible with God; there are no exceptions or caveats. He reigns supreme and can do all things. If you are committed to Him, He will reign in your life, strengthen you, carry you, and Love you eternally.

Strength in Brokenness

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Proverbs 18:14 states that if our inner spirit is injured, the whole person will struggle.

‘The Spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who will heal a broken spirit?’

We cannot cure our broken spirit by ourselves, no matter how we try. It is impossible. Only God can heal us, but we must shed our pride, stubbornness, self-will and sinful habits first. We must repent and acknowledge we are broken and dysfunctional and need His help. It is through God’s grace that our sinful nature, our sinful humanity can be reconciled. Jesus was crucified to take away our sin. Through God’s love and sacrifice, we are able to repent and be redeemed. Through His grace and mercy, we can be made whole.

The dichotomy between the spirit man and the carnal man is that we see brokenness as ‘failure’ but our Lord sees brokenness as the beginning of healing. To God, brokenness is the beginning of our relationship with Him. When we are broken, we become completely dependent upon Him and in turn, He will begin to rebuild us in His image. Only when we surrender and cry out for help, can we be restored and transformed.

‘The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’ Psalm 3:18

 

God’s Unequivocal Love

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“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:35‬ ‭NIV

God loves us. This scripture is about His love to us, not our love for Him. This love is from Him. It is unequivocal, and unconditional, love. He is with us in hardship. He is with us in times of persecution. He is with us in times of famine. He is with us in illness. He is with us when we are naked and exposed. He is with us when we are in danger. It is through His grace that He holds us up, carries us, provides optionsand when necessary, a way of escape. He intercedes, and interjects. His love is matchless. It’s like none other. It is wonderful, inconceivable, and undeserved. It is His bond, His union with us, birthed through the death and resurrection of Christ.

Love is the very essence of who He is. He doesn’t just love-He is love (1 John 4:16). It motivates His every action, directs His activities, and reflects His desires (1 John 4:10). Love is the greatest and purest essence of who a person is and its proper expression brings fulfillment.

True love is liberating, not restrictive. God’s love motivates His compassion and mercy (love in action). His love brings transformation.

 Love requires relationship, as love is a dynamic force or presence that naturally seeks expression. Simply put, love loves! And in order to do that there must be an object of that love or it is incomplete.

God’s love is revealed in that He created us in His own image (a position of responsibility before God) and likeness (moral freedom; Genesis 1:26-27; Job 33:4).

Our relationship with God is an intimate one. There is a sacred knowledge and expression that takes place. The bond is so strong that God says a nursing mother may abandon her child, but He will never abandon us (Isaiah 49:15-16). He becomes the ultimate Father! 55609543-6934-47D7-A18B-A1D707B25D53

He loved us first, enabling us to respond properly to His love (1 John 4:10-11). And His love (and ability) never fails.

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Images from, Google Images

Some paragraphs are paraphrased or quoted from The Unconditional Love of God. http://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-studies/the-unconditional-love-of-god.html. February 2018