Friday, October 11, 2013

Overflow with Hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Rom. 15:13 (NIV)

“. . . the God of hope . . .” Paul says ‘the greatest of these things is love’ but we have to have hope and the love of God to get us through our journey of life.

. . . fill you with all joy and peace . . .” We sometimes have to learn to accept things as they come to us. We do this by surrendering our thoughts and feelings to God.  Certain circumstances in our lives help us to grow in the Lord and later we see His hand in those things that originally vex us.

. . . as you trust in him. . . “When we rely on the Lord to guide us through our days, we are not in control. We pray and seek His wisdom about our circumstances and wait for Him to work.

. . . so that you may overflow with hope. . .” I have a friend who has had a complication following what is considered a simple surgery. But, as I listen to her talk, she conveys that she’s taking these steps she has to take in stride. She has hope that she and her husband will get through this ‘momentary trial.’ They decided this is their journey for right now.

“. . . by the power of the Holy Spirit.” We cannot do anything without the power of God working through the Holy Spirit. Jesus told his disciples that, when He left them, he would send a Helper to assist us. It is this third person of the Trinity that guides us through the pitfalls of our journey through this life. 


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Peace Guards Us


“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 

will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”   
Phil. 4:7 (NIV)

What does Paul mean by the “peace of God?” 

He means the only kind that comes from The Father. We have seen how the world seeks peace-through wars and through diplomatic means. But we haven’t had world-wide peace in my lifetime. After World War 2, we had the Korean War (everyone knows it was a war.) Then we had the “Cold War”, followed by The Vietnam War. There were other ‘military actions’. Then we had Granada, Desert Storm (the first Gulf War,) Iraq and Afghanistan.

Peace in our world today eludes us. The only peace we can have in our lives is what God gives.
Can we have peace in our world today? God gives us His peace, the only one that lasts forever.

I remember hearing of a picture of a small bird sitting on a branch of a tree in the foreground. In the back ground is a large waterfall churning up water on the lower level. Peace is thought of as a condition of not having any stresses, trials, or problems in our surroundings. But reality is we will have these issues in our lives.

Graphic: helpme-find

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Live in Peace

            “Make every effort to live in peace with all men
  ; and to be holy without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
Hebrews 12:14 (NIV)

The writer of Hebrews gives us a difficult command—to live in peace with each other. He then instructs us to make every effort to do this. We can only do this through the grace we have from God.

The writer continues with his command that we are to be holy. When something is deemed holy, that object has been set apart for His service. When we choose to work for the Kingdom, He sets us apart for His service.

Next, the writer says something that, on the surface puzzled me when I began to study His Word. He tells his readers, then and now, that if we don’t treat ourselves as set apart for His Kingdom, none of us will see the Lord.

We need to look upon the different tasks we do for our churches as doing it for the Lord. The list of those tasks might include nursery duty, greeting people, working at a fund raiser, working in the kitchen, mowing the yard. Trimming the bushes, or cleaning the facilities.

In the book of first Peter (2:9),he tells us, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, A HOLY NATION, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”


Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...