HOPE …… Psalm 42:5b …… November 25, 2018 JOY …… December 9, 2018

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PEACE …… Isaiah 9:6 …… December 2, 2018

      For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, PRINCE OF PEACE. Isaiah 9:6

      What I wouldn’t give for some peace. Have you ever felt like that? I would dare say there are a a lot of people in the world today that feel that very sentiment. Bad news upon bad news upon bad news, with no relief in sight. Financial woes…wars and threats of wars…. evil appears to be winning in many circles of life. Stress and life messes are everywhere without solutions. Life, at times, makes you want to scream…. STOP!!! Have I described you or someone you know, who feels as the few sentences just penned? It may be hard to believe, but there is a place of peace in the mist of the craziness of life. A sweet peace that you do not have to give anything for, for it is a gift to you from the Prince of Peace. I know these words are easy to write but application is another story. So how do you receive this gift of peace that is offered to you?

     This may be the hardest work you will ever do. We labor in our minds with questions like: if God is so good and powerful, then how does evil even exist? Why do bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people? Why do children and the innocent suffer so unjustly? Just fill in the blank with whatever question you might have, for the list of questions could be endless. The answer, however, may be one you don’t want to hear. The fact is, God did do something… He sent His only Son…… and …… He created you. If you have the ability to identify and see evil, then do something about it. Jesus was once asked the question, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:28-29 ESV  If you believe in Jesus, then you know that he came and defeated the evil and death that was introduced by Satan. This is not a belief as the devils have, for they believe and tremble. (James 2:19) It is a belief that turns you from blaming God to serving God in whatever capacity he has enabled you to do. There are marks that identify a Christian and Romans 12:9-21 describes them well. Let me close this point of believing with verse 21 …. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

     In order for peace to be a reality in a person’s life they must trust. God provides this peace when we trust in Him and make Him our focus. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 ESV  The definition of the word ‘trust’ as a noun is this: a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.  Trusting in God is relational and becomes stronger as you walk with Him through life. It is knowing that God is sovereign and nothing can separate us from His love. (Romans 8:35-39) Peace comes when you grasp that, as a child of God, you are in His hand, and no one has the power to remove you. (John 10:28) Trust in yourself or trust in God; you make the choice, but let me remind you – one is a band-aid and only temporary; the other is the cure to life’s stresses and is eternal. Psalm 46:10 tells us, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Zachariah, the father of John Baptist, said these words concerning his son, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into THE WAY OF PEACE” Luke 1:76-79 ESV  The way of peace is salvation in Christ alone. It comes by being forgiven of every sin that has ensnared us – sins both known and unknown …. sins past and future. It is peace that comes in the middle of life’s storms when you recognize him as the shepherd over your life.  The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:1-4 ESV  As sheep follow the shepherd, Christians follow Jesus. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and THEY FOLLOW ME. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27-29 ESV

      As Christians, we need to 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 request be made known to God. AND THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING  WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS. Philippians 4:4-7 ESV

Simply put, as in the simple cliche….. No peace… No God. Know God… Know Peace.

      Let me close with this thought,  To those who have obtained a faith….by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May GRACE AND PEACE be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1:1-2 ESV

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

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