Your 2015 resolution – peace; God’s Plan – Peace… in HIM! – – –

peace

As we end 2014 and look to 2015, there will be no shortage of resolutions to live lives differently than we did in 2014. Above all, we all look for that “thing” that will bring us peace in our hearts, our minds, our Spirits, our homes, our jobs… our lives. Jesus intends that we find peace as well, but not as the world gives – but as HE intends! May you find that peace you seek – – in Him!

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (Isa 26:3)~ Our peace is often the focus of the enemy. Satan knows without peace, we are in a weakened condition, vulnerable to defeat. If he can get us to hand over our peace, he knows it won’t be long before we become putty in his hand. But, the devil is a lie! Friend, have you ever thought of the power that we have been given in Jesus’ name when we speak His word and claim it in our life? One of the great provisions of Christ to us as His family is peace in Him. He not only gives us peace, He keeps us in peace; in His perfect peace, inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, in all events. Trust in the Lord for that peace, that portion, which will be for ever. Whatever we trust to the world for, it will last only for a moment; but those who trust in God shall not only find in Him, but shall receive from Him, strength that will carry them to that blessedness which is forever. God’s Word is true and it can be trusted! When we stand on God’s Word, we won’t fall for the tricks of the enemy! And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (Col 3:15). As members of His family, peace is not just God’s gift but His WILL…His intention for us. He doesn’t intend that we live in stress and strain; He doesn’t intend that we have dysfunction in our families and relationships; He doesn’t intend that we struggle through life. It is His will that every need be supplied (Phil 4:19). Friend, I pray that God, the source of all hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. ~ (Rom 15:13).

God uses our #wisdom to expose our foolishness! –

Fool4God

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness (1 Cor 3:19)~~ You don’t have to look very far these days to find a social media commentary, a social or political group rally or some other ‘organization’ broadcasting it’s “teaching” of what it (the world) calls true wisdom. You’ll also find, if you’re worth your salt in your experience of the Word of God that such teachings tend to and in many cases seek to corrupt, to pollute, and destroy the building of the Body of Christ; in favor of their own promotion. Mankind are very apt to oppose the design of the mercies of God.
Fame, charisma and popularity among social and political circles are some of the attractants that lure us away from a right spirit which should be kept pure and holy for God. We sway from God’s righteousness in favor of these “things” of man; who is elevated in the span of human life; Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever (Rom 1:25); foolishly following worldly rationality over divine truths. Man continues to wander from God, till all traces of true religion have been lost, should not the revelation of the gospel prevent it. Man has dishonored God by the most absurd idolatries and superstitions; and has degraded himself by the vilest affections and most abominable deeds!
Those who spread loose principles, which render the church of God unholy, bring destruction upon themselves. Christ by His Spirit dwells in all true believers. Christians are holy by profession, and should be pure and clean, both in heart and conversation. He is deceived who deems himself more relevant, wise or pertinent than the Life present in temple of the Holy Ghost, and yet is unconcerned about personal holiness, or the peace and purity of the Body of Christ.
To have a high opinion of our own wisdom, is to flatter ourselves; and self-flattery is the next step to self-deceit. The wisdom that worldly men esteem, is foolishness with God. How justly does He despise, and how easily can He baffle and confound it! The thoughts of the wisest men in the world, have vanity, weakness, and folly in them. Our own words become the very source of our foolishness and our downfall. Meanwhile our Creator’s invisible power and Godhead are so clearly shown in the works He has made, that even idolaters and the wicked wise are left without excuse!
All this should teach us to be humble, and make us willing to be taught of God, so as not to be led away, by pretenses to human wisdom and skill, from the simple truths revealed by Christ.

MOVE forward LOOKING through the windshield; leave the past ‘reflections’ in the rearview mirror! #Progress –

rearview-mirror

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert (Isa 43:18-19)~~ Sometimes we spend so much time looking in the rearview mirror of our life that we miss the great things God is doing today. He is blessing us in ways greater thank we could ask or think – in ways our eyes have not seen nor ears have heard – but we are so focused on what was, how things used to be, the way we or they were,  what happened to us, and who said or did what! We pray and pray for God to show us the way to our blessings but while He’s doing it, we’re still looking at the situation we’ve asked Him to take us out of. 
Yes, experiences do shape our disposition and our past does play an important role in our life, but we are not supposed to be so focused on it that we are not living in the present. We must learn to seriously let go when we ask God to move us in life. Notice – God doesn’t move the things in our life, He moves US – WE must change; WE must move forward; WE must take the different approach! God’s grace is sufficient to carry us as we MOVE forward! We will SEE the blessings He promises us when we LOOK to the place from where our help comes rather than the situation we’re currently in! 
Where is your focus? Are you constantly looking back at things you have done or things that have been done to you? We need to keep our past in the proper perspective. We are to learn from it and use it as a way to give God thanks and praise for all He has done in our lives. But, it is not to be our focus.
God is constantly working in our lives and we need to be focused on the present so we an see where He is working in our lives and hear what His plans are for us today and for the future!  God is about to do something new. He is calling us to a new place to do a new thing! That calling requires us to put away the old things!
It can be hard to leave a place where we are comfortable; where we have had good times and many friends. Funny thing is it’s also hard to leave a place where bad experiences have happened as well.  We’re better at staying mad, holding grudges and digging up the past than we are at getting past our anger, forgiving faults against us and burying the past. When we respond in obedience to His calling, we begin to see what the Lord reveals to us; the way He makes in our spiritual wilderness. It is easy to stay where we are comfortable but that is not always where God wants us to be.
A history we have with a place or with people is a blessing we are to treasure in our hearts, not what we are to cling to. God wants us to cling to Him, lean into Him so He can reveal what He has for our present and our future. If we only focus on looking back, in the past and the connections with it, we never will see what God has for me today and into the future!
It is not always easy and some of the lessons are tough to learn but it’s SO worth it. Think about how you are viewing your life. Are you constantly looking back at your past? Are you allowing the things in your past to hold you back from what God has for you today? When driving, we glance in our rearview mirror from time to time but we don’t keep our eyes there. That is what we need to do with our past. Glance at it, appreciate it, learn from it and then focus forward. Who knows what God has in store for you today and tomorrow!

Wonderful Counselor; Mighty God; Everlasting Father; Prince of Peace #Jesus #MerryCHRISTmas —

Wonderful Counselor

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Isa 9:6-7)~~ The birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus! There has never been a more significant event in the history of the world. It’s a story of the all powerful God coming near to his creation in the form of a baby. Centuries of prophecies being fulfilled through the birth pains of a woman. The worldwide curse would soon see it’s undoing as this baby would grow into a boy, a man, and then become the all atoning and perfect sacrifice. The course of not just history but eternity would never be the same. That wonderful, mysterious night over 2000 years ago caused shepherds to leave their sheep; it started a long journey for wise men from foreign countries, scores of people put down their ‘lives’ to pursue the presence of the Lord in worship! As we remember again the significance of that night, may the wonder, mystery, and majesty that set many on a special journey in their lives, stir our hearts as it has done in those of who have responded to it for generations. Merry Christmas to all of my friends and family. May God bless you! 

For Unto us a Child is Born; Wonderful Counselor! #WhatChristmasMeans #MerryChristmas

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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end (Isa 9:6-7)~~ We talk about  Christmas being the time we observe the birth of Jesus, but what is the significance? It’s about more than just the day we observe that our Savior was born – for we all know that the true worth of what we have in Christ is the complete cycle beginning with His birth, but including the life, death and resurrection of Him; to complete the work to our own eternal salvation. This Child, Christ our savior, was born for the benefit of us men, of us sinners, of all believers, from the beginning to the end of the world. He is called Wonderful, for He is both God and man. His love is the wonder of angels and glorified saints. He is the Counselor, for He knew the counsels of God from eternity; and He gives counsel to men, in which He consults our welfare. He is the Wonderful Counselor; none teaches like Him. He is God, the mighty One. Such is the work of the Mediator, that no less power than that of the mighty God could bring it to pass. He is God, one with the Father. As the Prince of Peace, He reconciles us to God; He is the Giver of peace in the heart and conscience; and when His kingdom is fully established, men shall learn war no more. The government shall be upon Him; He shall bear the burden of it. Glorious things are spoken of Christ’s government. There is no end to the increase of its peace, and the happiness of its subjects shall last for ever. It’s more than just remembering the ‘birth day’ of Christ…but the understanding of the victories He brings! #WhatChristmasMeans

CHRIST can’t be ‘Crossed’ out..

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Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus ‘sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus (John 12:9-11)~ Even around the time when Jesus was born, there was an interest in Him that on the surface may have been the appearance of sincerity but was truly with a motive to silence Him completely. Herod was not to be upstaged by anyone! He asked the wise men to share their information about meeting the baby Jesus, so that he too may come to worship. Yet Herod had another plan in mind… preserving his own power. It’s intriguing how the world claims to be interested in knowing the miraculous works of Christ; but only to the point of wanting to suppress it in order to further man’s own intent over the Will of God! Even today, there are many who will come into the knowledge of God only that they will be able to develop a strategy to circumvent the message of Light and promote themselves. When the Truth of God frees us, that thing we are being freed of is that thing the evil of world desires that we hold on to. So the enemy, through the laws of the world, will then seek to kill, steal and destroy the truth of God in the efforts to turn us back to ‘the world’ because the goal of the enemy is to steal us from God, kill our relationship with Him and destroy our salvation. Laws and common desires, social modernization, political and social stature… these “facts” as the carnal mind would contend…do not make a thing righteous in the sight of God. No matter how compelling the argument, no matter how charismatic the speaker, let no opinion sway your belief in the true Lord of all things! Let nothing silence your message, let nothing keep you from your worship of Him! For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:38-39). The truth of God cannot be challenged or destroyed by the majority rule and it’s validity cannot be changed by swaying the opinion of man! Truth is truth, no matter how much the ‘times change’! The grass withers, the flowers fade, times indeed may change, but the Word of the Lord shall stand… uncompromising and unchanging, forever!  

God Makes Us Holy; Perfect and Blameless; So Fresh – So Clean!

perfect and blameless

…that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish (Eph 5:26-27)~ We can try to live a holy life among a lost world, and we can persevere not to allow the influence of darkness stain our garments; but in truth, each day we stand before the Lord in need of new mercies.  We hear and see things that can bend our thinking and tarnish our purity.  Even in times when we’ve not sinned, our spirit can still pick up the stale odor of the world from just having passed through it—kind of like walking through a shroud of cigarette smoke.. We didn’t smoke it but we might come away smelling like we did…its influence is on us! God has made provisions for our continual cleaning and re-cleaning.  He knows that we’ll encounter constant challenges to our faith, constant pressures to compromise, subtle foxes spoiling our vines from beneath where we don’t always see them. Our Lord is the master of cleaning our dirty laundry.  He can lift any stain, press out any wrinkle, and remove any lingering odor of unrighteousness. God’s grace provides for us a good washing when we need to be cleansed from being out in that dirty world. Jesus paid an awful price to make possible this holiness we can so freely wear it, and He did it not just for our benefit…He intends to present Himself with a perfect, flawless Bride, and she’s not going to have one speck of soil on her wedding garment!  When we allow Him to use the soap of grace, applied against the washboard of loving discipline, and rinsed in the water of the Word, we come out as pure, forgiven, and sanctified as if we’d never been dirty in the first place.  So Fresh; So Clean!