The Way to Peace

Where is peace?

The way to peace is illusive.  It’s hard to find.  If you find it, it’s hard to keep.  One text, one thought, one facial expression and – poof!- it’s gone.

I’ve found that it’s easier to feel peaceful in the mountains or at the beach – closer to God’s creation.  Many of us flock to those places on vacation…….looking to have a good time and, possibly, a few moments of peace and calm.

Jesus wept for Jerusalem in Luke 19 while saying, “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace.  But now it is too late, the peace is hidden from your eyes.”

The Good News for us is that peace is not hidden from our eyes.  Jesus is the way.  Jesus can give us the internal peace that nothing else – including the mountains and the beach – can give.

When we look to Jesus for peace, we will find it.

Thank you, Jesus.

Peace

He will be our peace.

Seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the Prophet Micah gave us a prophecy about  the birth of Jesus saying that a ruler would come from Bethlehem, “And he will be the source of peace.”

Notice – it doesn’t say ‘a source of peace’.

Jesus is ‘the’ source of peace.

Do you feel that in your life?

I do.

Because I don’t find peace in the things that people here on earth seem to value so much.

I have not found peace with money and success.

I have not found it in relationships other than my relationship with God.

Buying things has definitely not given me peace since things break and grow old – no longer shiny, no longer ‘the latest’.

I have not found peace in education and achievements.

I love to travel and experience new things but that is not where I find peace.

Jesus is my only source of real Peace.

I can trust him with everything and he has a perfect love for me.  He has proven his love for me over and over in my life.  He who never sinned became sin for me on the cross so that the price for my sins was paid and I can live with him forever.

My eternal life with Jesus has already started on this earth –

as he fills my life with the peace only he can give.

Thank you, Jesus.

Define It

What is your definition of a blessing?

Is it getting something that you want?  Or is it getting something God wants for you?

I figured out quite a few years ago that I want what God wants for me.  I realized that he gives good things – better things than I could dream of.  He gives important things that only come from him which money can’t buy – like peace and love and purpose.

God tells us in Ezekiel 24 that he is planning ‘showers of blessings’ for his sheep, for his people.  I imagine my Abba Father in heaven  looking through his huge warehouses of great stuff  as he plans to bless me saying, “Oh, I’ll give her that – it will help her balance all the priorities in her life.

“And that!  She has no idea how much peace that’s going to bring into her days.

“And – in the middle of all that – I have some very special surprises for her.  Their  names are Micah, Eden and Sydney (my grand darlings) and they will bring her much joy and happiness.”

Thank you so much, Abba Father, for the blessings that you shower down on us.  Please give us what you want us to have because you always know what’s best for us.  We love you.

 

With Me

Every day…

Every situation…

Every trial…

The Spirit of the LORD is with me.

In the Old Testament, there were times when God would give his Spirit to someone when he had a tough assignment for them.  We read in Judges 9 that Caleb’s little brother, Othniel, became a judge for the Israelites.  God raised him up to deliver the Israelites from slavery to the King of Aram Naharaim.

“The Spirit of the LORD came on him” and he led the fighting men into war.  God’s Spirit made Othniel strong and courageous.

As believers today, we live under the New Covenant with God.  Now, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of each of us when we accept the salvation Jesus freely offers to each of us.

God’s Spirit is with me every minute of every day.  His Spirit wants to make me strong and courageous, too.

And loving,

joyful,

peaceful,

patient,

kind,

faithful,

gentle and self-controlled.

All of this is inside me – I just need to let God’s spirit have his way in my life.

If you are a believer, all of these great things are inside of you, too.  It’s time to nurture them and let the Spirit show.

Thank you for the awesome gift of your Spirit,  Abba Father.

Get Ready!

Be prepared!

Know that it’s coming.

Stand up and do what needs to be done!

God gives these directions to Jeremiah as he begins his prophetic ministry.  God also gives these directions to us each day as we go about our lives – loving others and speaking truth into their lives whenever God gives us the opportunity.

God tells us that he will give us strength for the things he asks us to do.

I can’t do it on my own.  You can’t do it on your own.

Sometimes we feel powerless, don’t we?  I know I do.

Then I realize I feel that way because I am forgetting to plug into my power source –  God.  I forget to ask for and receive his help.  No wonder I feel powerless!

I need to remember each day to ask for his strength..

for his wisdom….

for his peace.

“For I am with you.” declares my LORD.

Please help me remember to ask, Abba Father.

Looking For It……

but peace is hard to find.

The world rushes around us.  We’re always in a hurry.

I retired 6 months ago and I’m still trying to re-train myself to stop rushing from thing to thing. It’s not easy – everyone is doing it.  And it’s especially hard to find peace and calm with ‘screens’ screaming and blinking everywhere I go.

I’ve discovered that real peace can’t be found in my environment.

It’s just not there.

True peace only comes from God.

Thousands of years ago, Micah prophesied that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem and he would shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD.  Micah said the Messiah would give us security because his greatness would reach to the ends of the earth.

“And he will be our peace”.

Jesus is our peace.  The Holy Spirit who lives inside every believer brings us peace.

I will not find true peace anywhere else.  Everything else is fleeting – here today, gone tomorrow.  Unpredictable.

Peace can’t be found with money – although its easy to get lost in that direction.

And it won’t be found in any other relationship other than my relationship with God.

Jesus has come to world.

And he offers us the only true place to find peace – in a close relationship with him.

Thank you, dear Jesus.

Blessed

We are blessed.

You, Oh God, watch over us.

You provide.feb 24 2016 blessed

You protect.

You teach.

And you show your love for us.

We feel you smiling down on our lives every day.

You shower your grace upon us.

We always have your attention – it never wanders.

You bless us with your peace.

And your peace is not like the fleeting feelings of peace we may experience here on earth.

Your peace quiets our souls and dispels our worry.

You remove our anxiety.

You place our feet once again on the Solid Rock of our Salvation.

And we are blessed.

Thank you, Abba Father, for the blessing of this benediction you gave to Aaron centuries ago.  

 

Where is my Healing Place?

Physically.

Emotionally.

Spiritually.

We all need healing of some type.

And where do we go for that healing?

A large number of people during Jesus’ lifetime went to a pool called Bethesda in Jerusalem.

I had the chance to spend some time at this pool last year when I visited Jerusalem. It’s no longer a pool but the exterior is still there along with some remains of the colonnades around it which are mentioned in the Bible.fDSC_0489

It is beautiful.  A feeling of peace and healing are still there.  It was a quiet and calm oasis in the middle of tension-filled Jerusalem.

Where is our pool at Bethesda today?

Where we do find peace and healing?

The answer is always Jesus.  He tells us to come to him when we are weak and broken and lost.  He will give us rest and wholeness and a place to belong.

I have discovered that my healing place is right where I am now – in a quiet spot with my Bible open on my lap.  As I listen and read and think and discuss things with God, he once again sets my feet on solid ground.  He opens my eyes to the truth while he covers me with his love and grace.fDSC_0490

Two weeks ago I spent a cloudy day on the beach in San Diego with my Bible open on my lap – that was a healing place.

A couple of months ago I spent a day alone up in the mountains with my Bible on my lap.  That was a healing place.

Where is your healing place?

If you haven’t found it, why are you still looking?

You are our healing place, Abba Father.

Great Joy!

The angels had such good news to tell the world on the night Baby Jesus was born!

They told the shepherds to not be afraid – their news as going to create great joy for all people.Oct 20 2015 great joy

Great Joy!

For all people!

For all time!

The shepherds found Baby Jesus in the stable right where the angels said he would be.  And they praised God!

Simeon realized that his wait for a Messiah was over when he saw the Baby Jesus in the temple.  And he praised God!

Anna also recognized the Baby Jesus as the one who would redeem Jerusalem.  And she praised God!

We have great joy today because the Baby Jesus was born!

The Messiah!

He came to save all of us from our sin!

He brought peace into our world of chaos and anger.

He brought grace so he could replace our guilt and shame with his love.

He brought wholeness for our broken and empty souls.

He brought light into our dark and lost lives!

Today we join with the shepherds and Simeon and Anna in praising God for sending his son for us!

Thank you, Abba Father, for such Great Joy!

Flooded With Blessings

“Test me in this.”

God only says this once in his Word to us.Oct 5 2015 floodgates of blessing

He tells us to bring the whole tithe into his house.  When we do this, he promises to “throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” (Malachi 3:10).

Wow!  Such a great promise!

Don’t we want that to be true in all of our lives?

Those of us who have tested God in this have experienced these blessings.  When we are faithful with our wealth, God truly does throw open the floodgate of blessings upon our lives.

Sometimes these blessings take the shape of actual money with raises, promotions or even unexpected checks showing up in the mail. (This just happened again to me).

But the greatest blessings God pours abundantly upon our lives are from the things that money can’t buy.  Like joy.  Purpose.

Peace.

Oh, the peace that comes from knowing that God is providing exactly what I need is priceless.  The peace that comes from knowing that God is in charge of our bank account is supernatural.  The prosperity that comes from God is perfect – the right kind, the right time.

God wants us to be faithful with our wealth…

because it’s good for us.  It’s right for us.

And he will open the floodgates.

He has promised.

Thank you, Abba Father.