VIDEO Presence of Peace – What a friend we have in Jesus

Presence of Peace

 

“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen Matthew 28:20

A child is frightened by a crashing thunderstorm in the middle of the night. With a parent’s presence and assurance, soon the child will be asleep again. Did the storm stop because the parent entered the child’s room? No. Assurance was gained not by what was taken away—the storm—but by what was added—the parent’s presence. Safety is not the absence of trouble; safety is the presence of Jesus.

During the year-and-a-half Paul spent in Corinth on his second missionary journey, he encountered stiff opposition from the Jews when he spoke in the synagogue. This was not unusual for Paul, but he decided he needed to move on to evangelize Gentiles (Acts 18:6). But Jesus appeared to Paul in a dream and said, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you” (verses 9-10). Jesus didn’t remove the opposition; He reminded Paul that He was with him in Corinth.

Are you facing trouble, storms, opposition, discouragement? Instead of praying for God to remove them, first pray for a deeper awareness of the peace that comes from His presence. He is with you!

Anxious care is out of place in a heavenly Father’s presence.  Kenneth Wuest


What a friend we have in Jesus

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Always Begin With God

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Matthew 6:33

There are many vocations focused on problem solving: consultants, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, practitioners, advisors, life-coaches, mentors, and more. Some may be biblically focused, but most use secular approaches to solving problems.

Because Christians live in the world, it is hard not to be influenced by how the world approaches life—which is generally, not from a biblical perspective. We have to constantly remember that no one knows as much about our life, our circumstances, and the solutions we need than God. While we may end up getting helpful advice from a “consultant” of some sort, our first counselor should be God: Lord, You know my situation and my need. I begin with You, asking for You to be involved in this with me. Give me Your wisdom; help me choose the right path; show me Your purposes; reveal to me any error on my part. If You want me to get help from others, please show me who to talk to.

If you need wisdom or guidance today, begin with God. Start by asking Him to direct your thoughts and your steps.

I live in the spirit of prayer…. And the answers are always coming.  George Müller

The Fullness of God in You

Ephesians 3:14-21

Have you ever wondered if you are a “whole person”? We all have struggles in life that could make us feel incomplete, but the apostle Paul says we can be “filled up to all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:19). What does that look like?

A whole person is generally satisfied with life. He feels loved and is able to love others in return. Difficulties and hardships don’t devastate him, because he is able to go through them with confidence in God. He isn’t a complainer or someone who’s quick to blame others. A positive attitude guards his mind since he knows that the Lord will work everything out for good (Rom. 8:28).

Being a Christian doesn’t automatically make us feel complete. Fullness comes only when we experience God’s love. For many years, I knew theologically that the Lord loved me. I even preached about it, but I didn’t really feel it. Only after I took a deep look at my life and started dealing with events that had fractured my soul in childhood did I begin to experience His love in a personal way. Once I felt the security of His love for me, I discovered great joy from walking in obedience to His will. The reason was that I knew I could trust Him to meet all my needs in His time and way.

Do you feel the Lord’s love, or do you see it as just a biblical fact? If you long for wholeness, the key is to genuinely experience a one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ. This is possible only when you are willing to open up and let the Lord search your heart. He will reveal what’s holding you back from accepting His love.

Be Of Power, Love, and a Sound Mind

“For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

This little verse is full of information. In the previous verse, Paul insisted that Timothy “stir up” the gift that he had received and use it as it was intended because God did not give us a “spirit of fear.”

The Greek word deilia, translated as “fear,” stresses timidity or cowardice as opposed to terror. God’s gift does not function well if we are too timid to use it. His gift has power, love, and a “sound mind.”

The gift is not power. God’s gift (whatever it may be) comes with dunamis—the innate ability to carry out the gift. All the twice-born are given “the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20). Whatever the Holy Spirit has gifted us with upon our entrance into His kingdom (1 Corinthians 12:11), He has also given the necessary power to implement and use that gift.

Your gift also comes with love. Again, “love” is not the gift but part of the character of our Lord Jesus and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Were it not for the reflection in us of the unilateral and sacrificial love of our Redeemer, these supernatural gifts could be misused, distorted, and abused for personal glory. Diotrephes misused his gift, failing to use the spirit of love (3 John 1:9).

Sophronismos is the unique Greek word used to describe the spirit of a “sound mind” that is given to us with our gift. It’s a combination of the Greek verbs translated as “to save” and “to control.” Its basic meaning would be “safe control” or “wholesome control”—perhaps even “control that saves.”

With our spiritual gifts comes the perfect combination of abilities that empower the gift, the love that keeps the gifts focused on others, and the “safety controls” that keep it from doing damage unwittingly. HMM III

The Lord shall suddenly come to his temple

Malachi 3:13-18

Here we conclude our Old Testament readings; the Lord grant that we may not have read in vain.

Malachi 3:13

The people were far too ready to justify themselves and deny the charges which were so justly drought against them. We are never right while we try to clear ourselves before God.

Malachi 3:14

They looked for temporal benefit from their outward religiousness. Like hirelings they would be paid for everything they did, and had no real love to God.

Malachi 3:15

Thus they envied the condition of the wicked, and thought God’s dealings were unjust.

Malachi 3:16

While sinners were murmuring, a few saints of a better temper were communing about the best things. They spake often together, and spake so sweetly that the Lord listened, and recorded what he heard. Holy conversation is both edifying to us and pleasing to God.

Malachi 3:17

The Lord made these holy talkers to be his crown jewels, his peculiar treasure, and he promised that at the last great judgment day he would own them as his choice ones. May we all be among them.

Malachi 3:18

Men will be seen in their true colours at the last, and hypocrisy will come to an end.

Malachi 4

Malachi 4:1-2

Carefully attended and bountifully supplied.

Malachi 4:3

This shall be the result of Christ’s coming, that the wicked shall be overcome, while the righteous shall rise to glory and happiness.

Malachi 4:5, 6

John did come in the power of Elias; he began to preach the glad news which bids all discord cease. That gospel word has continued its peace-giving power, and will do so for ever. The Old Testament concludes with the word “curse.” The Jews have wished to alter this, but there it stands. Let us look away from the law which can only curse us to that better covenant which blesses us in Christ Jesus.

 

How will my heart endure

The terrors of that day,

When earth and heaven, before his face,

Astonish’d shrink away?

 

Ye sinners, seek his grace,

Whose wrath ye cannot bear;

Fly to the shelter of his cross,

And find salvation there.

 

So shall that curse remove,

By which the Saviour bled;

And the last awful day shall pour

His blessings on your head.

 

Be One Of God’s Overcomers

These have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:14)

I insist that if we are burdened with genuine concern, we have the responsibility of examining the true spiritual condition of men and women within the church’s ranks.

We do live in a time of soft, easy Christianity. It is an era marked by a polite “nibbling” around the edges of the Word of God. There is a mindset within present day Christianity that supposes one should get into trouble or suffer embarrassment for Christ’s sake!

My brethren, what does it mean to be loyal to Jesus Christ? To confess that Jesus Himself is more important to us than anything else in the world?

Many find it hard to understand how large numbers of Christian believers could have died for their faith in our own generation! With a sense of distant admiration, we call them simple-hearted nationals. God calls them overcomers!

Professing Christians in our North American churches can hardly comprehend so costly a price for the faith we take for granted. Material prosperity and popular acceptance have sapped the vitality of our Christian witness!

 

Grace For the Humble

“He giveth grace unto the humble.” James 4:6

Humble hearts seek grace, and therefore they get it. Humble hearts yield to the sweet influences of grace, and so it is bestowed on them more and more largely. Humble hearts lie in the valleys where streams of grace are flowing, and hence they drink of them. Humble hearts are grateful for grace and give the Lord the glory of it, and hence it is consistent with His honor to give it to them.

Come, dear reader, take a lowly place. Be little in thine own esteem, that the Lord may make much of thee. Perhaps the sigh breaks out, “I fear I am not humble.” It may be that this is the language of true humility. Some are proud of being humble, and this is one of the very worst sorts of pride. We are needy, helpless, undeserving, hell-deserving creatures, and if we are not humble we ought to be. Let us humble ourselves because of our sins against humility, and then the Lord will give us to taste of His favor. It is grace which makes us humble, and grace which finds in this humility an opportunity for pouring in more grace. Let us go down that we may rise. Let us be poor in spirit that God may make us rich. Let us be humble that we may not need to be humbled, but may be exalted by the grace of God.