We all want to be at peace, but we allow many things to come between us and that peace that we are looking for. Let's turn to the Bible for answers to those things that separate us from peace. 1) 1 John 3:1-2 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called...
Be like the Son of Man. He did not come to be served.Instead, he came to serve others. He came to give his life as the price for setting many people free.(Matthew 20:28 NIRV) What does it mean that Jesus came to Earth? That he laid down his heavenly Glory, and...
I want us to imagine the road ahead because the truth is we need to redeem our imaginations! The word redeem is a critical word that has to do with 'buying back.' To redeem something means to turn it around, to make it right. It means for God to touch it and to move it from dark to light, from...
To reconcile all things means to make life work, to make life fit! That longing inside of you for the good, that's what this reconciliation is talking about. We are a people who were torn from the heart of God by our own sin like a baby ripped from her mother's arms and we have been kicking and...
When you look at the future and all you see is doom and gloom and darkness, and the noise of the battle, then you have lost sight of the victory and the peace that lies afterwards! All you are going to see with your natural eyes is darkness, hopelessness, brokenness, despair and whatever else...
The reason that we are not experiencing what the Word of God says, is because we are mis-aligned; we are not doing what the Word of God says. When we are button pushing, controlling, fault finding, arrogant, critical or negative, we are being evil and we need to repent of that and work for...
A big part of the insanity of this world is that we don't recognize the insanity. A big part of dysfunction in a family is normalizing disfunction, so that you pretend what is crazy isn't crazy. You pretend that what is unhealthy is ok. You pretend what is morally or ethically wrong isn't...
We all want to be at peace, but we allow many things to come between us and that peace that we are looking for. Let's turn to the Bible for answers to those things that separate us from peace.
1) 1 John 3:1-2
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
We should reflect on God's love for us and study it. God's love for us is not earned, yet he calls us his own. God is not of Earth and because we are his children, neither are we. This explains why we have so many problems with living in the world. However, we can find great peace in considering God's love for us and that one day we will be with him forever.
2) Deuteronomy 31:7-8
Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
In Deuteronomy 31, Moses comforts Joshua telling him that the Lord goes before him, providing as he has promised. We cannot go anywhere God hasn't already been and where he hasn't already been working. We should be courageous because we trust that God is with us and he will not leave us.
3) Ephesians 2:14-18
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
In Ephesians 2, Paul describes how Jesus has broken down the things that separated the Jews and the Gentiles and now they can come together as one community identified as followers of Christ. Disharmony among believers or between believers and non-believers can only be resolved through Jesus. If we work on improving our relationship with Jesus, drawing him near, then we will see improvement in our other relationships. We are all identified as children of God and by growing closer to him we will grow closer to each other.
4) Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
A common barrier to peace is the desire for us to accomplish as much as possible in our professional life. Hard work does not have to be a bad thing, but we can begin to idolize our own success and forget to rest. When we rest, we are relying on God to take care of us while we focus on the blessings he has given us. It is important that we prioritize rest, where we do not worry about the future or struggle with our past but go to God and lay our burdens at his feet.
5) Colossians 3:15-16
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Ultimately, we are our own barrier to peace. Sometimes we get caught in a place where we feel that someone or something in our life is keeping us from peace, but these thoughts are just wrong. The offer of peace is always there, we just have to be willing to soften our hearts and let Christ rule in our hearts as Paul wrote to the Colossians.
Jesus wants you to have peace because when you are in Him, you have all you need to live your life. He’s got this!
Be like the Son of Man.
He did not come to be served.
Instead, he came to serve others.
He came to give his life as the price for setting many people free.
(Matthew 20:28 NIRV)
What does it mean that Jesus came to Earth? That he laid down his heavenly Glory, and stepped into the world as a baby. To grow and live. To follow God with every breath, every step. To show us the way.
The way of love.
The way of peace.
The way of joy.
Do you know the love of Jesus? A love so deep that he calls you brother. The love that put you first when he gave his life for you so you could be with him for all eternity.
Do you know the peace of Jesus? The peace that passes all understanding. The peace that covers you when everything is chaos. The peace that breathes, “Be still, I AM.”
Do you know the joy of Jesus? The joy of knowing you are a child of the King. The joy of knowing that if God is for you nothing can stand against you. The joy of a fellowship with God that gives you purpose and passion.
If you don't know these things, you can when you get to know Jesus. When you decide that your way is inadequate and the only way to really have life is by allowing Jesus to lead your every step.
If you know Jesus, it’s time to act. Time to make it real. Time to share this love, this peace, this joy, with a world that is broken and hurting; a world that needs to know how much Jesus loves them.
How will you share Jesus with the world in 2017?
Do you want a devotional like this one delivered to your inbox once each week? Sign up for the Weekly Life Lifters here, and be encouraged and inspired for a deeper relationship with Jesus.
To reconcile all things means to make life work, to make life fit! That longing inside of you for the good, that's what this reconciliation is talking about. We are a people who were torn from the heart of God by our own sin like a baby ripped from her mother's arms and we have been kicking and screaming through life trying to find happiness, trying to make this puzzle fit and work together and we cannot succeed without the hand of God on and in our lives.
Whether on earth or in heaven, God is bringing all things together. How? By making peace through His blood shed on the cross. Jesus invaded planet earth with the heart of God and he brought light to a dark world. Guys, I want to share with you that by shedding his blood on the cross, Jesus raised the value of every human life!
God so loved the world...that he sent his son Jesus to be not merely a moral example, but to be a personal savior for everyone who would believe. Believing is so much more than religion, believing is so much more than checking a church box on Sunday. Believing means seeing the value of Jesus and seeing him as the center of your story! -Dr. Drew Shofner
When you look at the future and all you see is doom and gloom and darkness, and the noise of the battle, then you have lost sight of the victory and the peace that lies afterwards! All you are going to see with your natural eyes is darkness, hopelessness, brokenness, despair and whatever else hell wants you to see. But when you start believing, it is as though the horizon breaks and you can see how Heaven has invaded earth and now there is hope where there wasn’t hope, there is healing where there wasn’t healing and even death itself, I see death in light of Heaven and it just doesn’t matter anymore. It’s all about interpretation.
Real faith is about seeing life differently and you see it through Christ who was crucified, buried, and rose on the third day, who cannot be stopped by all the powers of hell and is coming again. We live in the short time in between, between the first and second coming of Jesus Christ, and we live with the vision of the kingdom overshadowing the power of the darkness.
So whatever comes our way, we interpret it by seeing the reality of what will be true forever and that is that God is victorious and has done everything that could possibly be done for us, and that we are going to be ok because heaven has won and hell is defeated. Believing is seeing the possibilities of God applied to real life, while the battle still rages and before we get to Heaven itself.
Jesus Christ is resurrected and His spirit indwells every true believer and every true believer now, "can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13) There is an answer and His name is Jesus. If you can find a better answer that is more positive, than good luck to you. I could not and I don’t believe that you will either. Father, in Jesus’ name I pray that you would help us to surrender and to run to that which will set us free. –Dr. Drew Shofner