The PEACE of God SURPASSES Our Mortal Thoughts (Week 4)

“As He approached and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, “If you knew this day what would bring peace — but now it is hidden from your eyes.”  Luke 19:41-42

What would bring you peace—Literally, the things that make for, or tend to, peace. The Greek is the same as that translated “conditions of peace” in Luke 14:32; in this case, obviously, the “things that make for peace” are repentance, reformation, righteousness.”  Ellicotts commentary

Repentance:   Please take a moment and honestly examine one of your sins.  Consider how low the weight of the guilt of that sin presses and sinks you.  While the weight keeps you pressed low, from that vantage point you now see all the other things that have been pressed low and those things will now be your influence.   These ‘low things’ will teach and guide you and offer their wisdom to you and there you remain tied down and will easily accept the lies that keep you there.   Oh, but there is good news!  Repentance from that sin will remove the weight of guilt.  Repentance will free you and restore peace to your heart and mind.  This is your peace.  Do not shut your eyes to the things that concern your peace.  Not one of us is outside of time.  We each have our day and our time of grace, may none of us be found sleeping concerning repentance and be past our time of remedy.

Reformation:   The legacy of the Reformation is, “Let the man who would hear God speak, read Holy Scripture.” (Luther)  God speaks to his people in the Book and it is the place where we hear his voice.   From the Word, the Spirit works in us internally and brings our internal thoughts and external experiences in line with the Truth.  The power of reformation is the people of God meeting personally with Him through his very words. This pattern is powerful enough to reform any heart, any family, any church, and any nation.  This is your peace.

Righteousness:   We are told that ALL have sinned and ALL have fallen short of the glory of God but we are justified by HIS grace through the redemption found in Christ Jesus.  Through Jesus, God has removed His wrath from all that have faith in the blood of His Son.  God, therefore, declares you righteous if you have faith in Jesus  (Romans 3:22-26)!  We are in right-standing with God through Jesus; we are justified (just-as-if we never sinned).   All of this because of His amazing grace ~ God’s unmerited favor.  This is your peace.

Jesus plainly informs us, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”  Peace is knowing we have received in us, through the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ peace.   All the peace concerning the providence of God is given us through the Spirit He Himself gave us.  We receive HIS peace; he does not create our peace nor does His peace come alongside our peace.  We share the peace Jesus has.  Hallalujah!

Some verses highlighting peace:

He is the Prince of Peace and God of peace. (Isaiah 9:6, Romans 15:33)

To set your mind on the Spirit will be life and peace to you. (Romans 8:6)

The kingdom of God is peace. (Romans 15:13)

Be at peace and the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11)

The God of hope fills us with peace as we believe in Him so that we overflow with hope. (Romans 15:13)

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  (Romans 16:20)

Peace comes by being born again. (Galatians 6:16)

The God of peace Himself sanctifies you completely.  (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

Peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ in truth and love.  2 John 1:3

We can envision peace even if there is currently no peace. (Ezekiel 13:16)

God’s peace surpasses every mortal thought in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

Live the truths of the Bible and the peace of God will be with you. (Philippians 4:9)

You, chosen according to the foreknowledge of God, may peace be multiplied to you. (1 Peter 1:2)

The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace.”  James 3:18

Friends, yield yourself to the Spirit of God and allow the peace of God to surpass your mortal thoughts, understanding, logic, and wisdom.  HIS peace does not always make sense according to what our sensory perceptions are revealing to us.  This is why we walk by faith and not by sight. Thank you, Lord that you have given us Your Spirit.   Without Him, we would never truly experience REAL peace.

Remember:  Review the post dated Oct. 24th regarding the weekly schedule concerning the Fruit of the Spirit. (Thursday we fast and pray.  Friday consider what the Lord reveals to you and repent as the Spirit leads.  Saturday, manifest/be aware of God’s peace in you at least once, Sunday at least twice, and Monday at least three times.)

In His grace,

Amanda

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Foundational Reason to be Thankful

Psalm 100
Be Thankful

Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.
Acknowledge that Yahweh is God.
He made us, and we are His, —
His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal;
His faithfulness endures through all generations.

Greetings fellow sojourners!  We are INCREDIBLY blessed simply because we happen to live in this great country.  Therefore, never hesitate to express your thankfulness to anyone with an ear to hear!  But even more than that sweet things, we have an even greater blessing because we have been declared Heaven’s citizens!  While we tread our thankful feet on this American ground let’s also lift our voices in PRAISE to the One who has secured our eternal citizenship!

Prepare your heart and voice to enter into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise for it is so great a privilege!  Anticipate His goodness which is manifest within.

Know what God is in himself and what he is to you.  When you know this, consider it, and apply it.  It is then your heart and soul will joyously turn serious in his worship.  Our happy God deserves to be worshiped by happy, thankful people.

As you meditate on this Psalm consider yourself called to render exalted praise to God as he is the creator, preserver, and benefactor of your life.  Any time you show gratitude let a smile shine brightly on your face.  It has nothing to do with what you do not have but everything to do with what you do have.  Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise — dwell on these things.

Remember to allow God’s LOVE and JOY to manifest abundantly in and through your life.  I am thankful for you!  In His grace,

Amanda

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In His Presence Abundant Joy is Found (Week 3)

When you receive the fullness of the Spirit one of the fruits that boldly manifest is JOY.  Greetings fellow sojourners!  Do you know down to the deepest recesses of your heart that there is absolutely no one or no thing that is adequately equipped with the fulfilling ability to pervade your longing soul with the kind of joy you were created to crave?  That is God’s job alone by the powerful work of His Holy Spirit.  You are well able sweet thing, by the power of the Spirit, to not only possess but to manifest the kind of joy you and everyone else you come into contact with desires.

“Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)  During your day of fasting instruct the part of you that pines for food to instead crave the righteousness found in the Lord.  When you eagerly long to meet the needs of your thirsty mouth feel your want of the righteousness of the Lord and know you are blessed because the promise given is that you will be filled.  Sojourners, if you find you do not hunger and thirst make your initial prayer be for the Lord to create the desire in you to HUNGER and THIRST.  Make it your hearts cry; the deep longing of your soul.

The word translated ‘blessed’ in the Matthew verse is the Greek word ‘makarios’.  It communicates not only the idea of happiness but also profound peace, comfort, stability, and great joy.   If we are going to have any attitude why not make it a Be-atitudes?  It is Jesus that gives this Spirit of joy but it is you that must crucify your flesh and this is vital if you truly desire to get in deep with God.

Have you ever considered the happiness of God?  God IS joyful.  1 Timothy 1:11 speaks of the glorious gospel of the blessed (happy) God.  God’s blessedness ~ his happiness, is central to his glory.  We have God’s joy in us because we have the Spirit and the Spirit is part of the Triune God! You have joy in you!  So, how do we draw this joy into our personalities?  YIELD.  Insist that your will be yielded to the Father’s will.  Once you have directed your mind completely to His will, your heart will begin to fully desire it.  It is similar to forgiveness.  You first forgive because it is a command even though your heart may not be in total agreement.  After a few opportunities of forgiving, your heart will catch up and be in agreement with what you have already commanded your will to do.

Since the source of our joy is the Spirit residing in us, we can have biblical joy even if we are mourning, suffering, or experiencing a difficult trial.  Being filled with joy allows us to bathe that concern we are suffering in the fullness of the Spirit’s joy which is now OURS in Him.  This is how we are still able to rejoice in our sufferings.  Paul instructs us to rejoice in the Lord always and then again rejoice.  The way this is possible is we approach our not-so-pleasant situation and filter it through the joy of the Lord.  This is our strength.  Through this strength, we are able to do all things. We will ALWAYS be able to do this because we know He will never leave us or forsake us, therefore we know that we will always have joy in us.

As we adopt the Father’s will as our own we will discover that we stop trusting in the potential of sin to make us happy and instead we will trust in God’s promises of joy that are found in the Word. Psalm 16:11 tell us that He has revealed the path of life to us, and in His presence, there is abundant joy.  Thank you Jesus!

Let’s think about this.  In John 15:11 Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”  This verse is instructive because Jesus refers to his own joy as being in us ~ he is not just giving us any joy, but HIS joy.  And whatever he is joyful about is in us. We are not only rejoicing over what we know about Jesus, we are rejoicing with the very joy of Jesus over what he knows about everything, especially what he knows about his Father.

The essence of the mission of the Spirit is to glorify Jesus.  He will make Christ real to people and show us who he really is in his glory so that we love him, trust him, and obey him. Through this, we are able to demonstrate the joy we have IN HIM to the world.

Thank you, Jesus, for protecting us from stumbling and enabling us to stand in the presence of Your glory, blameless and with GREAT JOY!

Remember to fast on Thursday and repent of whatever the Lord shows you which prevents you from receiving and manifesting HIS joy (see the schedule on the post dated Oct. 24).

In His grace,

Amanda

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The Greatest of These is Love (Week 2)

“Hatred stirs up conflicts, but love covers all offenses.”  Proverbs 10:12

“Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.”                   1 Peter 4:8

“Hatred rakes up old feuds which have slumbered, but love covers up and refuses to look at any wrong done to it.” (Ellicott’s Commentary)  Love does not microscopically observe but willingly forgives and forgets the injuries and offenses of others and in doing so prevents contention and mischief in our hearts and minds.  God’s pardoning love and grace covers all the sins of his people with the blood and righteousness of his own Son. Love spreads its cloak over the sins of fellow Believers and forgives the sin instead of exposing them; love instead hides and conceals them.  (I am referring to personal conflicts and not illegal or dangerous activity.)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love

love-is-patient-color-ginny-gaura

Love is the universal language of this world.  People immediately recognize and understand when love’s power is being demonstrated.  However, even born-again Christians stumble in their ability to walk in love as God instructs us to do in our everyday lives.  The main reason this occurs is that we attempt to demonstrate love out of our own strength, out of our own emotions, and out of our own flesh.  Allow the truths in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 above to be what you allow to be manifested in your life during this challenge…and beyond (for details and outline of the schedule please see post dated Oct. 24).

Gratefully, the Holy Spirit is in us and we can learn to draw His love into our personalities so that we can walk with more of this quality operating in our daily lives.  Walking in love will require that we yield our will, our emotions, or desires, our thoughts, and our heart to the Spirit of God.  It is truly remarkable that God empowered us with His OWN Spirit so that we CAN manifest things we never dreamed we could manifest without Him.

When we yield ourselves to the Spirit of God He then is able to manifest the sweet aroma of the Lord in all the places our precious feet tread.    We desire to adeptly learn to walk in HIS love with the proof of this being manifested in our words and actions with others.  How about living so bold in this area that it is not you that is recognized but the Lord Himself!  May we learn His love so fluently that it becomes our priority response.

‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love.’  The word translated love here is the Greek word agapē.  Let’s take a look at a few other places in Scripture where this same Greek word agapē is translated, love.

“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.”  Ephesians 5:1-2

“Your every action must be done with love.”  1 Corinthians 16:14

“Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.”  1 Timothy 1:5

“And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”  Hebrews 10:24-25

Our goal is to love people (and ourselves) the way God loves them, the way God sees them, and the way God edifies them in truth.  Nothing will touch people so deeply than to have the love of God shining through your life and into their circumstances.  God’s Spirit in you will give you the compelling ability to LOVE.  Yield your life to His influence and lean powerfully into it.

When we yield our entire lives to the Lord we are crucifying our desires, goals, plans, out-of-sort emotions, energies, will, etc.  concerning our idea of how we should live this life under the sun.  Galatians 5:24 instructs us, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions (ie: whatever befalls one, whether it be sad or joyous) and desires.  If you recall the hand motions during the in-class video for self-control it was as if we were steering the reigns.  When we yield to the Spirit we turn the reigns of our lives over to Him so that He can lead us beautifully down His divine paths.  Another way to exercise self-control is when we choose not to act on our out-of-sort emotions but instead REPLACE them with the truth of the Word.

Part of what occurs when we crucify the flesh is crucifying any emotion that does not line up with God’s truth.  Expect some tears and some hurting as we crucify these intense emotions that attempt to lead us astray and cleverly assist us in elevating feelings that contribute to our poor thoughts and actions.  (It is never a good idea to pretend certain emotions do not exist but we must recognize when they are out of line with the truth of God and with the fruit He desires to produce in and through us.)

A goal we are after when we crucify the flesh is that we are readying ourselves to be FILLED with the Holy Spirit.  Let’s recognize that being filled with the Spirit will be a life-long battle with our flesh.  God is always willing.  Would you be willing to pray this prayer and yield your will?  God pour out Your Spirit upon me so completely that I am filled with Your joy, that I become victorious over sin, and that I become Your bold witness in this world.  Amen.

An unbeliever has his/her affections set on things which are below ~ earthly things and his/her own glory and will.  In contrast, the ultimate goal of the believer’s entire being (including intellect and emotions) is to focus on that which is uncreated: God and his glory and will.  When our focus is on God we can expect a yielded life and the resulting benefit of lasting fruit.  Altogether Lovely.

Love boldly fellow sojourners.  It’s worth it.

In His grace,

Amanda

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