Colossians 3:15 NKJV – The peace of God

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”

Sometimes we choose to live our lives outside of the peace of God. Yet as believers, we are called to be a lighthouse for the Lord; to be a showcase of the reconciliation and peace Jesus Christ has brought to us. The world should see in us His love, His forgiveness and His grace. Sometimes we choose to take hold of the world instead of taking hold of the hand of Jesus.

Peace is found only in God and is maintained through having a close relationship with Him. John 15: 4 says, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” Here Jesus emphasizes a steadfastness needed in a relationship with Him. This personal relationship begins with faith. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1 NKJV)

So why do you suppose we would want to live outside of the peace of God. I believe it’s a trust and submission issue. Failure to trust may be a result of a betrayal of trust in the past. But we can be assured that God will not fail us. We can put our trust in God’s power and strength, His unfailing love, and certainly in God’s salvation through His Son, Jesus. Trust in God is nurtured through His revealed truth.

Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1 NKJV) The faithfulness of Jesus in shown in His character because He is the truth. He is the way. He is life. (John 14:6 NKJV) The peace that is found in Jesus Christ is a supreme remedy for all of our fears and it is a legacy that He left for each and every one of us because we are His heirs.

When was the last time we prayed for the peace of God to be upon us, our spouses, our children, our families, our friends, our church, etc?   The world is a fallen place. The world does not look out for us and cares not for our peaceful existence. The peace of God can only be found in Jesus and a relationship with Him. Join me as we make it a part of daily prayer that the peace of God would rule in our hearts and the in lives around us. Jesus said, “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.” (John 14:27 NKJV)

Dear Lord, thank You that the peace we need to live in this world is found only in You. Thank You that You are constantly watching over us and waiting for us to simply submit to You. May we always walk in Your hand as You guide and direct us. May the peace of God rule in our hearts and the hearts of those around us. Forgive us Lord when we place our trust in the world to help us get through the day. May we turn back towards You in repentance and receive Your forgiveness and restoration. We love You Lord, and pray in Your Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

James 4:10 NKJV – God blesses the humble

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

God exalts the humble. As believers we should humble ourselves before the Lord. It’s being aware of the majesty and glory of the Lord and the reverence needed before Him. I’ve heard some believers say that when they get to heaven and meet Jesus face to face, they will jump up and embrace Him and love on Him. I say, I will not, just yet. What I know is that I will be on my face in weeping humility and reverence before my glorious Lord. The sheer magnitude of the thought of being face to face with Jesus will drive me to lay prostrate before Him.

Humility is an attitude of lowliness and obedience, grounded in the recognition of your status before God as His creation. God commands humility. That is what our foundational verse is saying. When I was saved in 1999, I came from a life of pride, not humility. I thought I could do anything, live anyway, and I was totally responsible for the outcome of either. But humility is linked to repentance. “So the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, “The Lord is righteous.” Now when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, “They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance.” (2 Chronicles 12:6-7 NJKV)

Humility is also linked with God’s favor. “The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.” (Psalm 25:9 NKJV). God will not despise a broken and contrite heart. (Psalm 51:17 NKJV) God will restore those who humbly come before Him. Through Jesus Christ, God has made possible a new relationship between Himself and a sinful humanity. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are born again. We become a new creation. The prideful way I lived my life was taken away and I was reborn and became as new. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things be become new.” (2Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)

In humility I came before the Lord on Sunday, July 18, 1999 and knelt and prayed. He gave me new life and lifted me up. And today, I find myself coming to the Lord in humility each and every time I pray; each and every time I have conversation with Him. I can’t say that I am completely free from my selfish pride. I continue to seek forgiveness with that. But I can say that each day I come to God in humble prayer, I find myself less and less prideful. And more and more blessed as a result. Isaiah 66:2 says it this way, “For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,” Says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.” Let us worship and bow down to Him, our glorious Lord!

Dearest Lord, we exalt Your Name. We humbly come before You Lord and give You praise. You are our Almighty King and Glorious Lord. Teach us Lord to always approach You in humble reverence but in complete faith that You will hear us and answer us. May we live humbly before You always and repent of any prideful way in our life. May You be glorified in all we say and do. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 61:1 NKJV – Hear my prayer

“Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer.”

When we pray, we are seeking God’s counsel and readiness to answer. That is exactly what this verse is saying. O Lord, I am here and I need Your help. Hear me O God. Whether we are seeking Godly wisdom, or an answer to something not understood, or healing for oneself or a loved one, or prayers for deliverance from an addiction, you can call upon the Name of God.

Psalm 50:15 says, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” When we call upon the Name of God we are demonstrating a dependence upon Him. Sometimes this is out of a sense of desperation. Sometimes it’s acknowledging who God is. And as intercessors, we call upon the Name of God as a function of prayer. In all of these cases, we are making known we need the power and the presence of God.

God promises to hear and respond to the prayers of His children. And God expects His children to make requests of Him in prayer. ““Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:7-11 NKJV)

So crying out to God in prayer is not something strange. Among other things, crying out to God in prayer should be central to a believer’s life. And prayer is a form of worship. As I said before, when we call upon the Name of God we are demonstrating our dependence on Him. We are literally saying, “Only You Lord can take care of this.”

God’s desire is that all people should seek after Him and find Him. Those who seek God with all their heart are rewarded. “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6 NKJV) So in times of need, times of trouble, times of sorrow, times of confusion, seek the Lord and cry out to Him. He will certainly attend to your prayer. And while you’re at it, thank Him for hearing you and answering you.

Dear Lord, we thank You that You are always ready to hear our prayers. Thank You that You answer our prayers. Help us Lord to come humbly to You and believe in advance that You completely understand our needs. Teach us Lord to trust in You and wait even when things seem to be needed almost immediately. Forgive us when we sometimes lose faith in the midst of Your answer. Hear my cry O God and attend to my prayer. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Deuteronomy 7:9 NKJV – Great is Thy Faithfulness

“Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments”

Well, AMEN and AMEN. God is faithful. I have been meditating on the faithfulness of God; even to the point of the sound of “Great is Thy Faithfulness” resounding in my mind’s ear.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

God’s faithfulness is an integral part of His nature. His limitless power and steadfast love imply complete faithfulness which is contrary with human nature. “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV) God’s mercies are not consumed by the world and the things the world throws at us. His Compassion, His Power, and His Glory overshadow everything. When we feel we need so much more, God provides. The enemy would like us to believe that there is only a single level of God’s faithfulness that is available and that we have to apply for the rest. That’s a LIE!!! God’s faithfulness is abundant in power and grace and always surpasses what we need. Don’t believe the enemy’s lies.

God’s is faithful to His name and His character. “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13 NKJV) God’s faithfulness is known through fulfilled promises. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV) God’s faithfulness is not negated by human unfaithfulness. God’s desire has never changed since before time began. He has always desired to spend eternity with His creation. That’s you and me.

Jesus Christ is the ultimate evidence of God’s faithfulness. “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 1:20-22 NKJV) Jesus is one with the Father and the Father is one with Him. “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:21 NKJV)

God is faithful. It’s the grace and the mercy of God that are the qualities of God’s character by which he shows himself compassionate, accepting, and generous to sinful human beings, shielding them from his wrath, forgiving them, and bestowing on them His righteousness so that they can live and grow in faith and obedience. God’s faithfulness, grace, and mercy are made known in Jesus Christ. “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:16-17 NKJV) “Great is Thy Faithfulness” ends with this last verse:

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,

Blessings are mine, with ten thousand beside!

Friend, a relationship with a faithful God begins with a prayer; a humble conversation with a loving God who desires to pour out His love and faithfulness over your life. He desires nothing more than to spend eternity with you. His love for you is everlasting and Jesus Christ has already paid the price for your sin. Why don’t you pray today and ask God to forgive you and cleanse you and come into your life and heart. Jesus died and rose from the grave so that He could lift you out of the miry clay and snatch you away from the grips of the enemy. Sin and death have no power over you if only you would believe.

Dear Lord, I no longer want to walk in this life without hope. I am tired of living for myself and desire a relationship with You. I am a sinner and I am in need of a Savior. Forgive me Lord and come into my life and my heart. I submit my life into Your hands and believe that You died for me and rose from the grave to defeat sin and death once and for all. Even for me, Lord. Be my Savior and wash me clean by Your blood, today, Jesus. I love You. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Proverbs 14:13 NKJV – Why do I feel this way?

“Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, and the end of mirth may be grief.”

Have you ever been just plain old sad and didn’t know why? I mean, deep down in your heart you ached and on the verge of tears at a moment’s notice. I can tell you, I have. In the stillness of trying to understand what all the emotion was about, you burst out in weeping and the tears don’t seem to end.

This has happened to me. Now I will share with you that I am a man of emotion. When I encounter God and His presence, I typically begin to weep in that knowledge. I am reminded of how majestic and glorified God is and how incredibly small I am. I understand that it was by God’s great mercy and grace that I am even alive. And I begin to weep.

But this particular season of grief, I just couldn’t understand. God blesses me every single day. He watches over me and guides me. He calls me His own and He knows my name. He loves me with an everlasting love. Yet, my heart weeps. I was profoundly sad.

Psalm 6:6 NKJV says it this way, “I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears.” Yup. That pretty much describes it. So what is someone to do? Well God’s Word says that He is close to those who grieve. “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 NKJV) And if we know that God is near, we need to pray. Keeping God close during these times is a great comfort. Just resting in the knowledge of God’s love for me takes the sorrow and sweeps it away.

Friend, there will be times when we feel sad and sometimes deep sorrow and simply can’t place our finger on the reason why. But I will tell you that no matter what, God is near. God is ready to send His Holy Spirit to comfort you. We might not even know what to pray for, but God is able to turn our tears into joy. “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11 NKJV)

Gracious Lord, thank You for being near when sorrow overtakes us. Thank You for taking away the tears and replacing it with joy. Even when we don’t seem to understand, Your mercy overcomes us and by Your Holy Spirit we are comforted. Thank You, O Lord. May we fix our eyes on You in our times of grief. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

1 John 3:19-20 NIV – Where is our focus?

“This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts and He knows everything.”

Where are our thoughts? Where is our focus? God gives us the opportunity, a choice, of where we place our minds and our hearts for each moment of time we live. We can either go on our own or to capture the presence of God and go with Him.

When we wake up in the morning, God is with us. How do we respond? Do we jump up, look at the clock, run and get some coffee and get about doing what needs to be done? Or do we take some time to sit in the presence of God and allow His peace to engulf us. God did not sleep while we slept. “He who watches over you will not slumber.” (Psalm 121:4 NIV) Imagine the difference in our day if we took the few minutes to thank the Lord and welcome God into our day.

But God isn’t through with us in the morning. He continues to walk with us. In times of trouble or worry, God is with us. In our times of stress, God is with us. In our times of relaxation, God is with us. Would it not benefit us greatly to acknowledge His presence and soak in it as we go about our day?

Each time we bring God into our thoughts and into our lives, He stands ready to guide us and direct us and to mold us into what He designed us to be. Each moment, each step God is alongside and we are never alone. But the choice is ours. God knows what we will face and is ready to be our deliverer, our healer, our restorer, our defender, our lover. Whatever we need. But we need to make the choice. We need to enter into His presence and allow Him to set our hearts at rest. How do we do that? How do we enter into His presence? Acknowledge Him. That’s the answer. “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. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)

We acknowledge God when we take the time to settle our minds and hearts and pray to Him. Not jumping into a prayer of “my needs” and “my wants”, but rather acknowledge God for who “He is”. God is everything we need. He is the “the Great I Am.” All that we can think, all that we can imagine. God is everything we need. Acknowledging God first in our prayers sets Him in a position of love and adoration; thanksgiving and praise. We say, “Hallowed be thy Name”. God is gracious and full of mercy and knows all things. He is greater than our hearts and everything we are facing. God’s guidance is promised to those who genuinely desire it and seek it.

Let’s begin our days with acknowledging God and entering into His presence. Let’s carry that attitude of prayer with us throughout the day as we go about living life. And then let’s join together in the rich and bountiful blessings that come from an intimate relationship with our Lord.

Heavenly Lord, thank You that You are always with us. Thank You that You know what we will face each day. And Lord, if our hearts begin to condemn us, we know that You are greater than our hearts. There is nothing greater than You, Lord. Help us to acknowledge You in all we do and in every moment of our lives. Thank You for then directing our paths and forming us into what You have designed us to be. Forgive us Lord, when we try things our way. And thank You for Your mercy and grace to restore us when we do. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 136:1-9 NKJV – His mercy endures forever

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever: To Him who alone does great wonders, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who by wisdom made the heavens, For His mercy endures forever; To Him Who laid out the earth above the waters, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who made great lights, For His mercy endures forever—The sun to rule by day, For His mercy endures forever; The moon and stars to rule by night, For His mercy endures forever.”

God’s mercy is His total devotion to those who believe. God is unchangeable. His love is consistent. His mercy is consistent. His grace is consistent. His purposes and plans do not change. And God’s Word does not change. God’s grace and mercy are made known in Jesus Christ. Let us give thanks!

We must give thanks to God, not only because He does good, but because He is good; not only because He is merciful to us, but because His mercy endures forever.   Do you know that we are reminded that “His mercy endures forever” twenty-six times in this Psalm? I’m thankful for that. I need the mercy of God each and every moment I live. There’s little wonder that the psalmist begins with a command to thank God three times. Daniel said it this way, “To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.” (Daniel 9:9 NKJV)

God is compassionate. It is an aspect of God’s nature. It is reflected in His understanding of human weakness and His willingness to restore those in trouble. “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and He tender mercies are over all His works.” (Psalm 145:8-9 NKJV) Again this demonstrates God’s steadfast love and devotion to His people. His mercy endures forever!

Precious Lord, we give You thanks. Let us lift You above all things. Let us never forget that You are good and Your mercy endures forever. Even when we fail, Your plans and purposes never change. Even when we turn away from You, Your love never changes. In the midst of our human weaknesses, You are gracious Lord and full of compassion. Thank You Lord for Your mercy endures forever. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

 Don’t believe me, believe God!