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Grace (study) pt 5

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11)

Want here indicates need. Learning is a process that takes time.

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Philippians 4:12)

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)

When read in context, this scripture isn’t talking about signs and wonders…it’s talking about being content in all situations…and being at peace with God.

TV preachers promise return on blessing which usually somehow winds up equal to materialistic gain.

The greatest blessing we can hope for is absolutely possible to receive while we are hungry and broke!

Paul said that he was fasting & hungry often…..

So what’s the benefit of living for God if He isn’t going to fix all the problems? The benefit is learning that happiness, peace and joy are completely independent from this world.

How else does the world know who the real people of God are?

Two houses…one on a rock and one on the sand. The difference was what happened when the rain came.

Few Christians get to the point that they can be trusted with great trials. We must determine in our hearts that we will learn to trust Him….and refuse to allow fear cause us to just be spectators.

Many days that I have the most pressure…the most strife…the least amount of patience are the days when I didn’t start out by going boldly to the throne of grace.

Grace gives us the strength to SHOUT over the testimony without yet seeing the completed work!

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Credit to: Bishop Chester Wright

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GREAT PEACE

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 Isaiah 26:3-4 (AMP)

You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

Peace has been greatly on my mind lately. Mostly, because I feel as if I have had to fight for every second of peace I have had.  As I read this scripture today, I am bowled over by this: You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace.

Clearly this scripture is saying God will guard me, God will keep me in perfect and constant peace. Perfect peace? Constant peace?  Who has perfect peace? Who has perfect constant peace? Not me, yet, this is what God wants for me and writes to me in His Word.

The first step I need to take in receiving it, is knowing that God wants me to have it. In fact, He wanted me to have His Peace so much, that He sent His son, Jesus, the Prince of Peace, to give me His peace.

Ephesians 2:13-16 (GW)

13 But now through Christ Jesus you, who were once far away, have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 So he is our peace. In his body he has made Jewish and non-Jewish people one by breaking down the wall of hostility that kept them apart. 15 He brought an end to the commandments and demands found in Moses’ Teachings so that he could take Jewish and non-Jewish people and create one new humanity in himself. So he made peace. 16 He also brought them back to God in one body by his cross, on which he killed the hostility.

John 14:27 (AMP)

27 Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

Jesus, the Son of God, is our peace. Yet, my life is filled with anxiety, and fear. Peace is a nice thought but not a living reality.  I say I believe His Word and yet my heart trembles in fear over my circumstances.  “Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  How do I keep my heart from being troubled? What position is my heart in? Where are my thoughts congregating? Is it anxiety and fear? That is exactly where it is. My mind is resting on the problem not on the solution. As I let my heart be agitated my emotions get all stirred up and I am overwhelmed.

The solution is “keeping my mind of God.” My responsibility in receiving perfect and constant peace is to keep my mind on Him. Not on the swell of fear in my heart or the discouragement I feel but rather to keep Jesus as my sole focus. Jesus’ ability, Jesus’ power, there is no situation I face that is greater, or stronger than my God. When I focus on my God, my Goliath problem becomes small in comparison and totally defeat able.

In knowing this, why do I not practice this with consistency? All I see in my life is a terrible consistency in be consistent in fear.  This vision is so discouraging to me. It is Jenni vision. Thank God I don’t have to lean on my own ability or create my own peace.

As I seek the Lord, He gives me His heart for me. The Holy Spirit sees me facing fear and every time increasing in strength and power because my mind is stayed on Him. Every time I allow my mind to be renewed to His word concerning whatever I am facing, I gain strength and wisdom.  In fact, fear has become my signal to pursue peace. Meaning I pursue Jesus. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14). The more of His Word I allow Him to teach me the more of Jesus I receive, the easier it is for me to keep my mind stayed on Him, despite my emotions, despite my fears, and heartaches.

Today, my hope is in God, Who has given me great peace, because it is Jesus’ peace. I don’t have to depend on my own peace.  I can depend on the Peace of Jesus, which He has given me. Jesus left me His Peace that I may have strength to overcome all the works of the enemy.

Psalm 29:11 (AMP)

11 The Lord will give [unyielding and impenetrable] strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.

Psalm 119:165(AMP)

165 Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble.

In every situation I allow His peace to be the place where my mind rests, my emotions follow. My emotions, at peace are such a blessing to my life. Then what happens is I have strength to overcome in the trial and receive the victory.  The greater His peace I have, the less I stumble.

Isaiah 26:12 (NIV)

12 Lord, you establish peace for us;
    all that we have accomplished you have done for us.

Peace is God’s plan for us! Every place I am struggling with receiving peace, it is not because I don’t deserve it or He is withholding it from me. That is what the enemy of my soul would like me to believe. Yet, God’s plan for all of us, you and I, is peace. I have been asking the Lord to help this to become a living reality in my life. Little by little I am learning what my part is in receiving His peace. My part is keeping my mind on Him, what He says, what He thinks, in what He leads.

So rejoice my friends, God’s plan for you is for peace. You know that place in your heart that is aching and so overwhelmed with fear that you will never see the goodness of God, God’s plan for that and all of your heart is peace. I just speak peace to you. Even as I have been learning about God’s peace and receiving it myself, I just now release it to you in the name of Jesus. As you read this, may His revelation of His peace come to your heart.  May you grasp it with all that you are, so that great, prefect and constant will be your peace and nothing shall make you stumble.

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The God Swap

Dear friends,

Everyday, I seek the Lord I do it in a specific way.  I SOAP. This method was taught me by Wayne Cordeiro of New Hope O’Ahu  church.  SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.

This simple plan has totally changed my life and greatly increased my walk with the Lord. It has brought my devotions to a new level of intimacy with God. It has taken me from depending on others to help me seek the Lord to me being able to seek and hear myself.  I use it with my children and husband. We each have our own journals and our own bibles and we SOAP as a family.  It trains us to daily commune with God by seeking and listening.  Currently, we are SOAPing through the book of ACTS. It has been amazing what has been shared in our study time together. I share it here to encourage you and to give you a tool to increase you.

 

https://i0.wp.com/www.tattooforaweek.com/images/letter-s-temporary-tattoo.jpg Scripture:  Acts 22:5

As the high priest and whole council of elders (Sanhedrin) can testify; for from them indeed I received letters with which I was on my way to the brethren in Damascus in order to take also those [believers] who were there, and bring them in chains to Jerusalem that they might be punished.

OBSERVATION:    Paul is speaking of his zealous desire to served God by imprisoning and punishing the brethren. This was before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.

  APPLICATION:  I have a strong desire to serve the Lord, too.  In my younger days, I was so zealous about what was right and what was wrong. I understood Truth but had no real understanding of Mercy or Grace. My heart breaks over the way I used my words to “bring the brethren in chains to be punished.” Often times still, my opinions, maybe not expressed, but still thought, come out in my prayers. I try to pray according to what I think is righteous. That’s the problem, my limited righteousness mentality. I repent.

What I am learning is to immediately ask God to show me what He wants me to think and pray for the situation and person.  Anytime, my words condemn, shame, or criticize,  whether spoken or thought, I ask for a “God Swap!” His thoughts, His heart, His Words for my negative, critical judging opinion.

This simple practice is really growing me in compassion and love. It is helping me learn how to operate in the Holy Spirit. My words and my thoughts, through His power are setting the captives free and breaking the chains of my fellow brethren. Only God can turn death into life, He is teaching me how to do this too.

PRAYER: Lord, I just repent for  my words that have hindered and hurt and even imprisoned my fellow believers. I repent for thinking my zealous righteousness could honor you.  I seek your heart for my life and for all those you bring into it.  Help me to see what you see. Help me to have your words that will bring life, hope, strength, courage and peace. Help me have words that bring others to Jesus and Jesus to others. Please inhabit my words so that as they are spoken they carry your presence and minister to the very need of the moment. In Jesus Name, Amen