Posts Tagged With: peace

Be Still and Know

Cross in Clouds

Be Still and Know

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am the Creator of heaven and earth.

Be still and know that I knit you together in your mother’s womb.

Be still and know that I discern your thoughts from afar.

Be still and know that I am the God who heals.

Be still and know that I am the God of comfort.

Be still and know that I am steadfast and abounding in love.

Be still and know that I am slow to anger.

Be still and know that I will not leave you nor forsake you.

Be still and know that I am a refuge in times of trouble.

Be still and know that I forgive your sin.

Be still and know that I have a plan for you.

Be still and know that I am sovereign.

Be still and know that

Be still and know that I am God.

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You are Never Alone

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Regardless of where you find yourself today or what you have to face today, you can take comfort as a follower of Christ that you are never alone.

John 14:16

 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,

John 14:23

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us so we would never have to be alone. We don’t have to seek out His Spirit because it lives inside of us and is always available to us. His Spirit will lead and guide us in the way the Lord wants us to go. His Spirit will provide us with wisdom and comfort in times of trouble.

Jesus was on the earth for a short period of time but sent His Spirit to abide with His people forever. What are you facing today? If it is a health situation, know the Lord is right there with you and will bring you comfort, peace and strength. If it is a situation at work, know the Spirit will give you wisdom and discernment. If it is a problem with a relationship, know the Spirit will empower you to be a peacemaker and help you bear His fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control.

Because His Spirit dwells within us, He is with us in our times of greatest heartbreak and greatest joy. Spend some time in prayer and take comfort knowing He is with you.

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Change of Plans & Unexpected Blessings

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It is hard to believe 2013 is coming to an end today. I am sorry for not blogging in the past month. My end of 2013 has brought a lot of unexpected events. In the past month I have been a caretaker for my sister-in-law who had foot surgery which required me to travel from Texas to Kansas. While her surgery was a tough one with lots of pain during the recovery and left her unable to drive for 6 weeks, God was faithful. I was blessed with some very special time with my niece. Since my sister-in-law and niece live in Kansas, I don’t get to spend as much time with them as I would like.

Sadly, in the midst of taking care of them, my sister-in-law’s mother’s health took a turn for the worse. I flew to Florida with them to take care of my niece so my sister-in-law could spend time with her mom at the hospital. Her mom lost her battle with cancer and went home to be with Jesus on Dec. 22. I remained in Florida for the funeral on the 26th which meant I was away from my husband and daughters for Christmas. Again, the Lord was faithful. I was honored to be part of my sister-in-law’s family for the holidays and they welcomed me with open arms. As difficult as it was for all of them to celebrate Christmas without their beloved wife, mother and grandmother, their love for one another shone brightly. I was privileged to be part of the celebration of life for Ann and see her faith community come together to celebrate the kind, generous and giving spirit Ann had.

As I was preparing to return home, I found out my daughter had been approved for sinus surgery. The only thing was, the surgery was scheduled in Kansas because she had seen an ENT while she was there visiting me, my sister-in-law and her cousin. Again, the Lord provided. My daughter flew from Houston to Kansas and I changed my flight to fly from Florida to Kansas as well. God’s provision prevailed again as my daughter was able to have her sinus surgery and we are hopeful it will help her stay well and not have continuous sinus infections and persistent sinus headaches.

Spending over a month in Kansas and Florida was certainly not my plan for the last month of 2013, but clearly, it was the Lords. When we are open to His plans, we are blessed because He uses us to bless others. It has been a long month and I am eager to get home and back to my normal routine but the Lord gave me everything I needed to get through this past month. I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for me in 2014!

Things don’t always work out the way we plan, but if we are faithful to the Lord, He will provide. He will provide His peace, strength, comfort and hope. We expect things to go one way, but the Lord sees it working out a different way. His blessings often come in unexpected ways. Keep you ears open to hear His call, your heart open to follow Him and your eyes open to see where He will move in your life and you will be abundantly blessed!

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Holidays and Families

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Thanksgiving is upon us this week and Christmas is right around the corner. Holidays mean spending time with families. For some that can be a blessing and for others, the thought of spending a lot of time with extended family can bring on stress. Regardless of how you feel about time with family at the holidays, there is something we can do to make it more joyful for everyone.

Romans 12:18

18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Thanksgiving and Christmas with all of the preparations that go with them can be a stressful time for many people. We have more things to do and less time to get our regular duties completed. We generally don’t behave our best when we are experiencing stress. However, we have a choice in how we treat others. We have a choice in the words we use, the tone with which we speak and the way we act. We can choose to speak words of kindness in a pleasant tone rather than responding with irritation. 

It is all about what we choose to do. The Scripture in Romans is a beautiful reminder that we are called to live peaceably with ALL, not just those who are easy to live peaceably with. Sometimes, those in our family can push our buttons easier than anyone else. However, we always have a choice in how we respond.

James 3:18

18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Let’s be people who reap a harvest of righteousness by sowing peace in our families this holiday season. One way to help you be a peacemaker is to spend time with the Lord in prayer BEFORE spending time with your family. Seek the Lord and ask Him to empower you with His Holy Spirit to be a peacemaker in your family. Ask Him to reveal ways you can bring peace to your family. As followers of Christ, let’s choose to show His love to those around us this holiday season!

 

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Is your Prayer Constant, Intense and Unselfish?

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Today we will wrap up our study of Ephesians and look at Paul’s final words on prayer.

Ephesians 6:18-20

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

These verses immediately follow the passage on the armor of God and it is connected by the word ‘and’. William Barclay gives the best description of this passage. “Finally, Paul comes to the greatest weapon of all – and that is prayer. We must note three things that he says about prayer. (a) It must be constant. Our tendency is so often to pray only in the great crises of life; but it is from daily prayer that the Christian will find daily strength. (b) It must be intense. Limp prayer never got a man anywhere. Prayer demands the concentration of every faculty upon God. (c) It must be unselfish. The Jews had a saying, “Let a man unite himself with the community in his prayers.’ I think that often our prayers are too much for ourselves and too little for others. We must learn to pray as much for others and with others as for ourselves.”

“Finally, Paul asks for the prayers of his friends for himself. And he asks not for comfort or for peace but that he may yet be allowed to proclaim God’s secret, that his love is for all men. We do well to remember that every Christian leader and every Christian preacher needs his people to uphold his hands in prayer.”

Ephesians 6:21-24

21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.

23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.

Paul tells the people He is sending someone else who will encourage them in their faith. He leaves them with the peace, love and undying love of Christ.

Which area do you need to bolster your prayer – its constancy, intensity or selflessness? Are you upholding you church leaders and pastors in prayer? As we approach the weekend, spend some time in prayer for your church community and its leaders. As we leave our study of Ephesians, I pray you have grown in your faith and pray you experience God’s peace, grace and undying love in your life and show it to those around you!

 

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