peace

Don’t Want to be Here!

 

You do know there are many many people who are where they are, but do not want to be there.  Recently I heard the story of a family going on an incredible vacation, but the 14 year old son didn’t want to be there.  Instead of trying to enjoy the trip, he just made everyone else miserable.  How unfortunate for the family and for the young man who couldn’t get over himself and embrace the experience.  No doubt, it’s hard to be some where with someone who doesn’t want to be there.  They don’t say it, but it’s almost as if they see it as their personal responsibility to make everyone else miserable.  You’ve heard it said, and it’s true, “Misery loves company.”  Miserable people are every where today.  You work with some and you go to church with some and they are on your child’s ball team and they are behind the counter.  I was thinking that Judas, the betrayer of the Messiah, had to be a miserable person.  In a moment of humble sacrifice Mary anointed the Lord’s feet with oil and wiped His feet with her hair.  But Judas spoke up and said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”  John 12:5.

Judas killed that sweet moment of fellowship and service to the Lord.  Judas was with the disciples, but he really didn’t want to be.  And that’s what people do when they are in a place they don’t want to be, they say something or do something that ruins what could be an amazing moment for others.  Judas’ main problem is that he simply needed Jesus!  He was with Jesus, but didn’t have Jesus and he was miserable.  

So what do you do when you find yourself in a place you don’t want to be?  Ask God to change your heart and attitude, because you want to be a light where ever you go.  Be careful about what comes out of your mouth, because those with you may absolutely love where they are.  Believe that where you are right now is not where you will always be, God can move you or change you.  Several years ago I went to evening service at our church and I didn’t want to go, but my wife strong armed me.  I went almost mad, but I knew I needed to go even for a witness to my young children.  About half-way in to the song service I noticed how my attitude had changed.  By the time we left that service, I was so blessed to have gone.

Whether you know it or not, you are a vital part of the atmosphere around you.  You either are a catalyst the presence of the Holy Spirit or a hindrance.  Don’t be guilty of blocking the Spirit from moving and don’t be guilty of making everyone around you miserable.  Be changed in Jesus Name and make every place you go meaningful and enjoyable for everyone else.

Overcoming Uncertainty

One of the scariest places to live on planet earth is in you own universe of uncertainty. What will be happening in the coming year or the coming weeks?  Who is telling you the truth about what is taking place in the world with the virus and job losses and all the prophetic voices?  Whatever happened to the bands of people coming to the southern borders and how about the stimulus change thrown at the American people while millions go into foreign accounts?  Instead of a $2,000 stimulus, why not $5,000 or $10,000 since the national debt doesn’t seem to be a big deal?  When you reach the peak of uncertainty in a world that at one time made some kind of sense and seemed somewhat normal, you have only a few options left. You can panic. You can prepare. You can pray.  And you can rehearse what you know is true. Don’t panic, but pray, prepare and rehearse what you know is true.

1.  God is in control of all things and even the things that are out of control. John 19:11

2. God loves me and wants me to live as close to Him as I can. James 4:8

3. The power of God’s peace has no impact on me unless I live in a personal relationship with Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

4. God is for me and not against me. Romans 8:31

5. Jesus is coming again.  John 14:3

6. God is my protector and provider. Philippians 4:19

7. The government can’t do for me what God can do. Acts 5:38-39

8. I know I am His, and He is mine. Song of Songs 6:3

9. I know my time here is short.  James 4:14

10. I know God ultimately wins because He has never lost. Luke 24:6-7

Don’t live in uncertainty, but move towards what you know (The One who) is true.

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

The Prince of Peace

His name shall be called—“The Prince of Peace.”  Is it even possible to have peace in such a noisy and chaotic world?  Say, Yes!  At the moment the Messiah was born, the prospect and power for peace was made possible.  With great excitement and in concert, a host of angels announced to nearby shepherds the birth of the “Prince of Peace.”  They declared, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Real peace is not possible without the presence of the “Prince of Peace” in your life.    

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

There is One who rules over life’s greatest dispositions.  It is Jesus, “The Prince of Peace.” He makes peace possible to anyone, at anytime, and in every place and circumstance you could be in. His peace overrides the fearful and worrisome circumstances around you by supplying a greater understanding of the sovereign One who lives in you.  His peace shows up only where He is—a job interview, a classroom for an exam, a doctor’s office waiting for a report, a prison cell separated from family, and even a cemetery mourning a loss.  His peace is so powerful that when the world falls apart around you and panic strikes the hearts of men, you do not fear because the “Prince of Peace” is the Prince of your life.  You’ll never control the circumstances around you, but you can always draw near to the “Prince of Heaven” who lives inside you.  

Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep [him] in perfect peace, [Whose] mind [is] stayed [on You,] Because he trusts in You.”

Learn this Prayer 2

Learn this prayer, “God, I give this to You!” He will know exactly what you are talking about and He is waiting to hear you speak and pray those words to Him. This is what it sounds like to “Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7. You cannot keep carrying the heavy load of your loss and you cannot handle the complexity of your circumstances. And many times we cannot escape the reality of where we are, but we can give it all to the Father. Life will repeatedly overwhelm you unless you learn this prayer. Our prayers are often crowded with questions and petitions for more, and I’m not saying that is altogether wrong, because it’s not. But this prayer is filled with faith in releasing what has the potential to drown you. Think about it, what is the “this” you need to give to God today? “O Lord, I give this to You right now.” It may be your marriage or your job. You can give anything to God. “O Lord, I give you my health and this sickness, I give you my pain. I give you this guilt and shame. O Lord, I give You my finances. I give You my future. O Lord, I give You this loneliness. I give You my child.” Surely there is something you need to give to God to stop being harassed by the weight of that need. There is great relief when you give it to God. Relief and peace is how you know you have laid the burden at His feet and left it there.

You may still be faced with the circumstance, but the circumstance isn’t weighing you down anymore. Pray this prayer in faith as often as you need to and ask the Father to teach you how to lay things down at His feet and not pick it up again. Go ahead and start practicing this prayer, “God, I give this to You.”

Come to Jesus

John 6:25 (NKJV) And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?” This question was asked by a multitude of people who had witnessed the miracle of Jesus feeding 5,000 people. When they had eaten and were full, they saw Jesus walk alone into the mountain and the disciples get in the boat to depart on the sea. They knew the disciples’ boat from all the rest, and they knew the first place to start looking for Jesus so He could feed them again was Capernaum, and they were right. They were seeking Jesus, but for the wrong reason. They were seeking Him only to be fed, but not to believe in Him and have a relationship with Him.

It’s just like many today who seek Christ for what He has, but not want to surrender to who He is. These are crisis Christians and situational saints and Sunday soloists—Sunday being the only day an hour is given to Him. And here’s the deal, God knows who and why we show up. Some will come to Jesus for the social status, but the Lord knows when our hearts are far from Him. No one can fool God!

The good news of this is that when those people came looking for Jesus, they found Him. They never saw Jesus get into the boat, but they had a good idea where the disciples were. And today if you are seeking Jesus, you should go to where you believe His disciples have gathered. Jesus didn’t tell the multitude to go away because they sought for the wrong reasons, He told them the truth about who He was, “I am the bread of life.” People come to Christ for many reasons. Why do you?

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