Tag: peace

Sunday rest and reflection–praise!

Greetings in Jesus’ Name!

Jesus is our heavenly Bridegroom! His Bride comes from every tribe, tongue and nation. From the rising of the sun to its going down, His Name will be praised! But in the New Jerusalem, a sun is not needed! As God’s glory filled the temple of Solomon’s day that he built, so God’s glory will fill His eternal city, the New Jerusalem. It will be a city of peace, joy, and everlasting blessing for those with their names written as citizens there. There will be joy unspeakable and full of glory!

As his father David was a warrior/king, Solomon was a king of peace among the nations!  He ruled Israel and through his wisdom made ties of peace with many other nations.  He took wives and concubines, 1000 in all, from many lands!  His splendor and wisdom were told of throughout the known world!  The wealth of nations were brought to him.  God’s favor rested on him to build a “house for God’s Name”. God’s glory filled that “House”! This foreshadowed the promised Messiah who came through Solomon.

Jesus Christ is Solomon’s greater son!  He is wisdom to us!  (1st Corinthians 1:30)  He is the Prince of Peace!  As King of kings, He will rule over the world from Jerusalem and all the nations will serve and worship Him!  The glory of His later ‘House’ will be greater than the former ‘house’!  Amen!  Have a great day of praise and worship to our great King!  In Adoration of Him, Pastor John

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Don’t quarrel on the way!

Scripture reading for January 16th: Genesis 45-47

Families and churches are sometimes prone to conflict!  I know because I live in a family, have attended churches for many years, and have pastored for 34 years in four different churches.  I have experienced conflict in family and church settings and sometimes been responsible for it myself.  Sometimes conflict comes from misunderstanding and poor communication.  Other times it comes from jealousy or envy.  Sometimes it comes from sin and wrong-doing.  Everybody wants to blame somebody else and arguments ensue about who is at fault! 

In our reading today, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers after a series of  encounters with them.  When Joseph revealed himself to them, they were astonished, speechless, and terrified because of guilt!  (Genesis 45:1-7)  Joseph had to reassure them that it was truly him.   He understood their feelings.  He had likely worked through these same kinds of feelings himself over the years.  God gave him understanding of His greater purpose that was being worked out.  Joseph shared this purpose with his brothers to encourage them.  “It was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”

As Joseph sent them away to bring Israel and the rest of the family down to Egypt to save them during the coming 5 years of famine, he warned them not to quarrel on the way!  He knew human nature and the temperament of his brothers. God desires forgiveness, unity, and humbly serving one another. In that unity He can bless and fulfill His promises. Prophetic vision of God’s purposes helps us cooperate.

Are you experiencing strife or quarreling in your family, church or at work? What is God’s purpose that He has to place you there? How might you share this to God’s glory?  

Genesis 45:24 “Don’t quarrel on the way!” 

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Discerning God in our midst

Scripture reading for July 24th: Luke 19, Psalm 146, Proverbs 22

Luke 19:41-44 “And, when He drew near and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had know on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

As Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem on a donkey to shouts of joy and worship, he stopped to weep over the people there. He knew that their shouts of worship would turn into calls for His murder. He knew that sin and pride had hidden the Truth He had taught and modeled to them. He was now going to offer His own life and blood to save them. He cared for each one with His Father’s heart of love and compassion. But each person has a free will and must choose the things that make for peace with God. Each are given a time of visitation revealing Jesus as Lord, Messiah, and King. They have the choice of salvation through repentance and faith or eternal destruction and ruin through unbelief.

Psalm 146:9-10 “The Lord watches over the sojourners; He upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked He brings to ruin. The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your caring heart for those that are hurting and lost, rich or poor, as You have made them all. Thank You for giving me faith to know the time of my visitation and make peace with You through the blood of Your Son. Use me to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, Messiah, Lord, and King with others in need of a Holy visitation. Watch over me and guide me to my eternal home.

Proverbs 22:1-2 “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. The rich and poor meet together; the Lord is maker of them all.”

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Again I say rejoice!

Scripture reading for June 20th: Philippians 4, Psalm 122, Proverbs 29

Philippians 4:4-8 “Rejoice in the Lord always ; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, my brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Paul concludes his short letter with an exhortation to rejoice with a double emphasis! He encourages the believers to live a life of continual rejoicing. If they have any worries or fears, they are to realize that the Lord is there with them and they need to cast these cares and fears on Him. Jesus will restore their peace and take away the fears. As the Jews were glad when they traveled to Jerusalem to visit the temple and experience God’s presence, the believer is to experience God’s peace because they are the ‘new temple’ of the Holy Spirit. Joy and rejoicing and peace are fruits of dwelling in God’s presence! Amen and amen!

Psalm 122:1-2 “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.”

Prayer: Father God, I am glad today that I am the temple of the Holy Spirit and that You dwell in me. Thank You for the privilege of coming to You with all my worries and cares and casting them on You. Thank You for the fruit of Your Spirit growing in my life as I focus on You and Your Word. Fill my life with continuous rejoicing as I grow in righteousness, peace and joy through meditation on Your promises!

Proverbs 29:2 “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.”

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Shining lights in a dark world!

Scripture reading for June 16th: Philippians 2, Psalm 120, Proverbs 27

Philippians 2:14-18 “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the Word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.”

Paul knew that as believers lived in love and unity of the Holy Spirit, they would cease from grumbling and complaining and begin to shine in the darkness of this world. Paul told them that the people living in the world system were crooked and twisted in their ways and thinking. It would require focused living for Christ, clinging to His Words of life, to bring reward when Christ returned. Paul, even though suffering in jail, rejoiced with the Philippians that they were standing fast. He encouraged them to rejoice with him as well. Suffering for the Gospel is part of shining light in the darkness and crookedness of this world.

Psalm 120:6-7 “Too long have I had my dwelling place among those who hate peace. I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war!”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the wise counsel of our Brother and Friend, Jesus Christ, and Paul Your Apostle. Help me to rejoice in those of faith who are suffering around this world for standing firm in Christ. Help me to stand firm and share the Word of life, shining Christ’s eternal Light into all darkness. Keep me from war, grumbling or dissention, but guide me in Your peace and unity with my brothers.

Proverbs 27:9 “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a a friend comes from his earnest counsel.”

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The Kingdom Law of Love

Scripture reading for June 2nd: Romans 14, Psalm 110, Proverbs 17

Romans 14:15-19 “For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”

God’s people are governed in His kingdom by the law of love. The central focus is not rules about foods, eating or drinking, or not eating or not drinking. We must all respect our brothers and sisters and their current growth and understanding. Mature believers should limit their liberties to help the younger believers. God’s kingdom rule is one of love and righteousness through faith in Jesus. As we rest in Jesus, we have peace with God and with those around us in HIs kingdom. This promotes joyful living and friendship with God and others.

Psalm 110:1-3 “The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool.” The Lord sends forth from Zion Your mighty scepter. Ride in the midst of Your enemies. Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of Your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.”

Prayer: Father God, I thank You for Your rule of righteousness, peace and joy coming from faith in Your Word and grace through Jesus Christ. Your scepter is one of righteousness! I give myself to You freely to be filled with Your Spirit and love for my brothers and sisters. Make me sensitive to their needs and growth in faith (or the lack of it); that I may love them properly, bring peace, and build them up.

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

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Fall in love with Jesus, our Wisdom!

Scripture reading for April 3rd: James 3, Psalm 66, Proverbs 4

James 3: 13-18 “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but it is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

The letter of James is often likened to the proverbs wisdom of the Old Testament. Like the Jewish rabbi’s, James asks a question about who is wise and understanding. James answers his own question, stating that the wise are meek and do good works in a righteous manner. This is contrasted with those who are jealous and selfish and because of this bring disorder and chaos. God’s wisdom is likened to a godly woman in Proverbs 31 and again in Proverbs 4 where lady wisdom will keep you and guard you if you love her! Like the godly woman, wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle and full of mercy and good fruits. Godly wisdom brings in a harvest of righteousness and peace in contrast to the worldly wisdom’s disorder and demonic activity. Let’s fall in love with Jesus, the true Wisdom from God!

Psalm 66:1-4 “Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of His Name; give to Him glorious praise! Say to God, “How awesome are Your deeds! So great is Your power that all Your enemies come cringing to You. All the earth worships You and sings praises to You; they sing praises to Your Name.”

Prayer: Father God, I shout for joy and sing glory to Your Name for the Wisdom of God in Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior! Through the Holy Spirit help me to walk in the purity and gentleness of Your Wisdom in all my actions and relationships. Keep me from jealousy and selfish ambition. Use me to make peace with my brothers and sisters and reap a harvest of righteousness and peace in my own life. Amen!

Proverbs 4:5-6 “Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the Words of My mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.”

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Pay attention to peace!

Scripture reading for April 6th: Joshua 22-24, Psalm 116, Luke 19

Luke 19:41-44 “And when He drew near and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Jesus was going to enter Jerusalem, the City of Peace, on a prophetic final mission. He told His disciples where to find a colt and mounted it and rode into the city thronged by crowds of people shouting praises and ‘Hosanna’, a greeting of salvation. They blessed the “King Who came in the Name of the Lord.” As Jesus drew near, seeing the city more clearly, He began to weep over it and lament over it’s inhabitants and the coming judgment that would befall them and their city as a result of unbelief. They missed the time of their visitation. They failed to understand the Prince of Peace and to receive the salvation He was offering. What a tragedy!

Joshua 24:20-21 “If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.” And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the Lord.”

Prayer: Father God, Thank you for interceding over Jerusalem and interceding for all mankind on Your Cross at Calvary. We have all sinned and failed to serve You and promised that we would. Our only rest is in Your mercy. Jesus is our rest! He has delivered our soul from death, our eyes from tears, and will keep our feet from stumbling! I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living through Him!

Psalm 116:7-9 “Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”

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“Peace! Be still!”

Scripture reading for January 6th: Genesis 9-11, Mark 4

Mark 4:37-41 “And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?””

Life is filled with disruptions that cause us to loose our peace and bring out our fears. Fear of death, fear of pain, fear of punishment and other fears mark our lives as humans. The disciples in the boat that day were no different than us. When the storm broke upon them, they were fearful for their lives and they woke Jesus from His sleep with a serious question: Did Jesus really care for their welfare? Jesus took action, speaking to the wind and the storm. Immediately there was a great calm and the disciples were filled with even more fear! Who was this Man? How could He speak to the wind and sea? But Jesus’ Words applied to them as well! With faith they could have peace and cast out fear and live abundantly in a great calm!

Mark 4:20 “But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the Word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for delivering us from fear through the Word of God, Jesus Christ our Lord. Help me to remember these words of Jesus to the wind and sea and chose faith instead of fear. Thank You for the New Covenant of eternal life in Jesus Christ and the privilege of using Jesus’ Name to confront storms and waves in my own life. Deliver those bound with fear through the Good News of Jesus today!

Genesis 9:8-11 “I establish My covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations. I have set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of My covenant between Me and the earth.””

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Protection from falling away!

Scripture reading for November 12th: John 16

Key Scriptures: John 16:1-4 “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor Me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.”

Jesus had just finished a long dissertation explaining that He would be going away and that persecution would come. His Father would send them another ‘Helper’ Who would be with them always. He told them about their access to Him by prayer and how they would do even greater works because He was going to the Father and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. In summary, Jesus stated that He had told them all these things to help keep them from falling away when the events of His departure unfolded and the persecution that would come escalated. Their remembrance of these things would be facilitated by the Helper, the Holy Spirit.

John 16:12-15 “”I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you.””

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Words of wisdom and encouragement to all who believe and follow You. Thank You for securing the Holy Spirit to be with us always, bringing to remembrance all that You have spoken. Lead me today into all Truth and empower me to proclaim Your Word to those in need of a Savior and those of Your followers who need to hear so that their faith would not fail!

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

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