March 24, 2016

Peace

Peace is not a destination.

It is neither a walk in a park, nor a favorite vacation spot, nor a good work-out, nor a shopping trip, nor is it found in good cry, a good book, a great cup of coffee, nor a great visit with a good friend.

All of those things can be quite lovely, but peace is not found, or known, in those things.

Peace is freedom from strife, and freedom is either in a soul, or it is not.

Jesus is the Prince of peace, and he sets people free.

In believing, and doing as he commands, one knows God.

In knowing God, through Jesus, a soul knows peace.

A soul is not given peace, as in "I have Jesus, now, Jesus, will you give me peace?"

If a woman knows God, then she intimately knows peace.

She will also know joy, and it will be her nature to express it.

In knowing God, his spirit abides in her soul.

Her soul is at peace, and she is peaceful, and joyful regardless of location, or sickness, or pain.

In abundance, or in lack, she says to all her world, "Make a cacophonous maddening sound, and take all I have, for my soul is at home with my God, and though he slay me, yet will I praise him."

Regardless of circumstances of any sort, the truly believing woman is at rest.

Her words will be peaceful, and her actions of love don't change despite any blowing wind.

The truly saved woman does not say, "Be quiet so I can have peace!"

Nor does she say, "I need to go for a walk, and get peaceful."

Nor, "Change your ways, and then I will be happy, and all will be well."

She doesn't need for anything (except repentance) to happen so that she can finally be at rest.

Joy, and peace, and rest are not separate from knowing God through Jesus Christ.

To believe like that is to practice a false religion like the meditation, or exercise, prescribed in yoga.

Jesus gives the believer peace, but not as the world gives it (John 14:27).

The peace he gives in knowing God does not come and go.

That is worldly "peace" and the world makes demands with its desires, and it waxes, and wanes.

Love makes no demands, and the peace that the believer knows passes understanding.

Examine your heart.

Is peace there— always?

Or is it formulaic?

Must you, and everyone around you, do "something" in order for you to know peace?

When one does not know peace, then others must cooperate for peace to occur.

The prescription to know the lasting peace that passes understanding is repentance.

How is it that the peace that God gives is not understood by the world?

Because it is contrary to the world.

The world says, "Give me what I want, plus this, that, and the other thing, and I will be happy."

Knowing God says, "Come what may, I stay the same. My soul is at rest. I abide in the Vine. You do not have to change, or give me something, or do anything for me, or to me, dear husband, or friend, or child, for I am at peace! It is glorious, and deep, and I know God, and am at rest in his hand."

Can you say that?

If not, repent of your way of life, and turn to walk the narrow way that Jesus commands.

He commands, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," (Matthew 4:17).

The only way to love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself is to repent.

Metanoia.

Change your mind about the sin that you do.

Then you will know God, and peace will flood your soul, and you will never be the same ever again.



March 22, 2016

What's it take?

When you are frazzled, what does it take for you to relax?

If you are fearful, or can't sleep, and if worry has made you incoherent, where do you turn?

Where do you find peace as the world continues to spiral seemingly out of control?

In order for your soul to be at rest, if you turn to what is temporal, then you are on shaky ground.

What is temporal?

A great husband, a long soak in a bathtub, a walk, perfect weather, a hot cup of anything, a shopping trip, a vacation, a friend who always answers the phone, a hot meal, money, good insurance, the perfect house, no aches and pains, and basically anything that can be experienced with the senses.

The apostle Paul knew of good, bad, and horrible situations, and he says that the secret of contentment in any situation is knowing God who gives strength to face life (Philippians 4:12-13).

Just knowing God. That is all. Is that all it takes for you to know peace, rest, and contentment?

To need your senses taken care of before you can calm down is to live according to feelings.

To always be at peace, no matter any circumstance, is to live by faith.

How does one come to live by faith?

Repentance.

In what does one have faith?

Jesus.

And what does that mean exactly?

It means that one lives by every word that Jesus spoke.

It means obedience.

Obedience comes when one loves God.

One loves God only after one stops loving sin.

One sins only because one loves it.

One cannot love God, and live according to the flesh.

A good tree does not produce bad fruit.

Galatians 5:16 tells us that when a person walks in the Spirit, then they will not fulfill the flesh.

To need the flesh fulfilled is to live in constant need.

That soul is at rest only temporarily, and only when needs are met.

The one who has temporary rest knows not God.  

Which way are you walking?

Are your feet on solid ground walking the narrow road?

If not, agree with God about the sin that you do, and get home to his embrace, and comfort.

No one who knows God is uneasy, and fretful, and demanding.

Being held by God is eternal life, and life with him is rest, and joy, and peace.

Come what may, the soul who knows God knows continuous contentment.

To trust in God is turn from sin, and to put no trust in anything temporal to be soothed.

God is love.

He commands repentance.

He is waiting.

Listen to his call. Submit to his Word. Love him with all your heart. 

What's it take for you to be at rest?

Is it only knowing God, or more?

The woman who claims to know God, but wants for more, knows not God.

Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.

 






March 20, 2016

Need to know

Some things we need to know and other things are unnecessary.

My husband briefly came in from work yesterday, and handing me his phone said, "I broke my phone. Would you be able to go get me another one?"

I did not ask him how he broke it.

I really didn't care.

He just needed a new one, and I could go get it, and more importantly, I told him that our 6 month old kitten, who had gone up a tree further than ever, and seemed to not know how to get down from it, had indeed gotten down.

That, to me, was more important news to share with him, and as he seemed in a bit of a hurry, I didn't want to take valuable time with inconsequential information.

But at the phone store, I was asked, "How did he break it?"

I told the sales associate that I didn't know, and a little about why I didn't ask him, and was it important to know? Would it affect whether he got a new one or not? He just needs a new phone!

Well, if any of you have to deal with cell phone stores, you will understand when I tell you that, all told, it took around 6 hours, and me going home, and getting my husband, and returning to the store, to get him a "loner" until he can get his broken cell phone properly replaced.

In thinking back on that experience, I ask, "What is really necessary to know as a seeker of God?"

And, "How do we know we know him?"

And, "How do I know that I am following Christ?"

If you think that you are saved, then do you know what is essential to understand?

Is it simply that we have prayed a prayer?

Is it that we have been baptized?

Is it that we believe that Jesus is who he says he is?

That cannot be it. Demons believe that is true. They are not saved.

John 13:35 tells us that by one particular way all men will know if we follow Christ.

Love.

Do you love?

The words that come out of your mouth, and the deeds that you do, if aligned with I Corinthians 13, will prove you know God. All that is needed, in order to test yourself to see if indeed you follow Christ is the love test. We are told to examine our hearts to see if we are in the faith (II Cor. 13:5).

Do you search your heart, and ask God to help you (Psalm 139:23)?

We are not told to point to a record kept in a church office somewhere as proof of salvation.

We are commanded to look inside our hearts, and minds.

We are not to poke around in the hearts of others.

"By this will everyone know that you are my disciples, if you love one another," John 15:35.

Romans 5:5 tells us that those who know God have had love poured into them.

I Corinthians 13 explains what love is, and what it looks like in a true believer.

Love is not demanding.

Do you seek your own way, your own pleasure, and in your book, are you number one?

Love pitches no fit.

Do you stomp your foot, pout, and feel put-upon if things don't go as you wish?

Love hopes all things.

Have you given up on anyone, and think that some are beyond redemption?

Love does not experience discontentment.

Must you be entertained?

Love is happy for the success of others.

Do you rejoice when others rejoice, and weep when others weep?

Love endures— it never ends.

Does your love run out before the end of the day?

Love is patient, and does not say, "Hurry up!"

Love is not prejudice, nor show partiality.

Do you have best friends, while others are tolerated?

Love is kind.

Are you two-faced?

Love says, "My life I lay down for you."

Can that be said of you?

Love, in a soul, allows the soul to rest, for in knowing God, one is home, wanting nothing more.

Is your soul completely at rest?

Do you know God?

If so, then you love.

If not, repent of your sin. Turn away from it, and onto the narrow road. Seek God.

He commands that we love him with all our heart, and soul, and mind.

Do you?

You need to know.



March 18, 2016

Living by faith

Christians do not live by feelings.

They live by faith.

What's the difference?

Feelings are based in the flesh.

If a woman lives by how she feels, then she picks up her dirty plate, and the dirty plate of her husband, or any others, and washes them if she has the energy, or if it is her turn, or if she wants to do it, and she will feel completely fine about neglecting to do any of that if doesn't feel like it.

The redeemed woman, who lives by faith in the teachings of Jesus, knows that she is to lay down her life, and her feelings, which are based in her flesh, and moods, and emotions, and serve, and serve she will, for she has been crucified with Christ, and she no longer lives, but Christ lives in her, and while she is, and will be tempted to sit, and let others serve her, she will get up, and get to it.

The truly saved woman has a new nature, and new inclinations, and new emotions, and new feelings.

All things, for her, have become new.

Even though she is tempted, she will not yield to the temptation; God will not allow that to happen.

Read I Corinthians 10:13 and you will find it to be true.

God does not allow it.

If you still live by your feelings, then you do not have the new nature.

Examine your heart.

What do you find?

Has your "want to" changed?

The redeemed woman is tempted to lie, but her desire not to do so controls her, for she has the mind of Christ, and Christ in her accomplishes goodness. She does not brag about the fact that she does not lie any more, for it is not of her power that she does not lie any more; it is of Christ.

She boasts of him. She belongs to another country— now. She loves not this world— now.

The "sweet by and by" is in her— now.

The river of love runs deep in her— now.

She lives by faith which means that every word of the Word she obeys— now.

Her mind is set on heavenly things— now.

She doesn't wait until she feels like serving, and loving, and giving.

By faith, she serves, and loves, and gives— now.

Her body is a living sacrifice— now.

Willingly she allows her physical body to be buffeted, used, and abused, and she loves all the while.

How about you?

If you have to try to be good, then you are working for your salvation.

Salvation does not work that way.

It comes in repentance.

Repent.

Turn from your sin, and know God, and be saved from sin to sin no more.

Or continue to love your sin, and not know God, and live in your feelings, and perish in them.

Which way will you choose?

Faith or feelings?

The woman, who loves God, obeys him (I John 5:3).

Do you say that you love God?

Only if you obey him, then it is true that you really do.

Otherwise, it is lip-service.

Matthew 15:8 tells us that there are those who proclaim love with their lips, but their heart, and actions tell a different story.

Do your words, and actions match up, or do they go in opposite directions?

Are you walking on the narrow road?

Are you one of the few?

Seek God. Repent. The kingdom of heaven is at hand.




March 3, 2016

Are you trying?

Be kind and compassionate.
(Ephesians 4:32)

Love God with all your heart.
 (Mark 12:30)

Love your neighbor as yourself.
 (Mark 12:31)

Rejoice always.
 (I Thessalonians 5:16)

Pray without ceasing.
 (I Thessalonians 5:17)

Study to be approved by God.
(II Timothy 2:15)

In everything give thanks.
 (I Thessalonians 5:18)

Wives, submit to your own husbands.
(Ephesians 5:22)

Do not show partiality.
 (I Timothy 5:21)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition.
 (Phil. 2:3)

Do not quench the Spirit.
(I Thessalonians 5:19)

Hold fast to what is good.
(I Thessalonians 5:21)

Abstain from every form of evil.
 (I Thessalonians 5:22)

You can try, and work at all of these commands, and you will fail over and over again.

You can be determined, and get angry at sin, and think that you just need to be more strong-willed.

Unless you repent, and are given the new nature, then the old nature remains in you.

The truly repentant do not have a tendency to do what is natural because they have a new nature.

They've been born of God.

No one born of God continues to sin (I John 3:9).

Tendencies change; the old is gone, the new has come.

It is deception to believe otherwise, and to think that all that must be done is to try harder.

A branch in the Vine does not try to be good.

The Spirit flowing through the branch does it for the branch.

It is not of works lest any woman should boast (Ephesians 2:9).

Don't be deceived as Eve was in the garden.

How did the deception occur?

She listened to lies, and did not recognize the lie, for her eyes fixed on more.

She forgot what God had said.

She did not hold to truth.

Do you?

Do you fix your eyes on more?

Do you forget what God has said?

Do you know what God has said, and if so, then are you doing what he has said?

You don't do what he says by trying.

It is done by repentance.

Then you are given the new nature.

It is not by works that we live for God, and love him with all that is within us.

Repent.

Turn your eyes from the pig-sty that is the world, and love God with all your heart.

You must be born-again.

March 1, 2016

This one thing

It is a rave to post on YouTube 50 facts, random, or otherwise, all about oneself.

People think that others will find interesting the most mundane facts.

And millions upon millions do find it entertaining.

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.

The world is a vain place.

It should surprise no one that instead of hearing a YouTuber say, "Tell me 50 things about you," they simply assume that others will want to hear all about them.

The truly redeemed are not a part of this world; they already belong to the kingdom of heaven.

And here is one thing that they want you to know about them:

"One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, 
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple."
Psalm 27:4