Monday, March 11, 2019

A Spiritual Mind

Romans 8:6 New King James Version (NKJV):
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

So often we don’t enjoy what we have.  Health is often not appreciated fully until it is lost.  We may have thousands of dollars in the bank but never enjoy a dime.  Loved ones often go entirely take for granted until they are taken from us.  In just this way the child of God has access to the unlimited peace and wholeness that comes from knowing Jesus.  Yet, when we walk in carnality we don’t take advantage of the peace which we have been given.  We live like spiritual beggars when we have been given everything that we need for life and godliness.  Being carnally minded may have to do with clear and outward sin, and it may be nearly invisible to the people around us.  While carnality can take many forms it usually involves being heavily self-focused.  But how to be spiritually minded?  Clearly, this involves changing our focus, from ourselves and our need to Jesus Christ and His perfect provision.  When we are fully dependent upon the Lord, beholding him through His word we tap into the life and peace that only He provides. 
This has been a Minute for the Bible.

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Peace from Wisdom

Psalm 37:37 New King James Version (NKJV):
Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright;
For the future of that man is peace.

Like spoiled children, we often think of the Lord’s righteous standard as being overly demanding and stringent.  Yet, like a patient parent, the Lord allows us to learn that his upright and perfect character is the only way to have to enjoy life.  How many non-believers have found this to be true.  They do not trust in Jesus, but by being honest, hard-working, and basically moral they have a seemingly peaceful and pleasant life.  This is because they are making the right choices even if their reasons are entirely selfish.  However, the person who is a child of God, walking by means of the Holy Spirit, will experience permanent spiritual peace and, most often, the peace that comes from living out His life and character.  Or, as Proverbs 16:7 put it: “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies be at peace with him.”

Monday, February 25, 2019

When the birth pains are over...

Isaiah 55:12:
“For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

This passage proclaims the joyous life in the Kingdom of God.  When Jesus reigns upon the earth we will see everything respond with glory.  Romans 8:22 says: “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”  Creation groans because it is subjected to the futility of man’s sin.  It doesn’t groan in hopeless suffering, but as an expectant mother who is longing to give birth.  That time will come when Christ reigns and even the earth itself will respond in praise and glory from being finally righteously ruled by the Creator and Redeemer of planet earth…Jesus Christ.  When you think of the beauty of the earth remember, she is still in labor pains…if you have trusted in Jesus Christ you will see her in her restored splendor as she flowers under the hand of her One True Master.This has been a minute for the Bible.

Monday, February 18, 2019

God has done His works in us...

Isaiah 26:12:
Lord, You will establish peace for us,
For You have also done all our works in us.

This passage foretells the victorious culmination of Israel’s long and turbulent History.  While the rulers of the age would squabble and plan, prepare and bargain, with the threats all around them the Lord had a different message.  They would be disciplined by being taken off to the Babylonian Captivity but there is a time, yet future for us, when the LORD will establish peace for Israel.  That will be the full peace of the millennial Messianic Kingdom wherein God will provide all that He promised Israel, proving that all God’s promises are “YES!” in Christ.

But there is an indirect application for us in the church today.  Just as all of Israel’s best efforts to create and maintain peace were a failure on the national front, so our best efforts for creating peace in our lives will result in failure.  Light a candle, take a bath, listen to some quiet music.  All these things just provide a temporary illusion of peace.  The only true peace comes from the Lord’s work within us.  The paraphrase the Lord Jesus:  A branch can produce no fruit on it’s own…it can only stay close to the life-giving vine.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Justified Peace

Romans 5:1:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…

Justified translates the Greek word dikaiow and means to be declared righteous. This is different than being righteous.  Nobody is righteous before the Lord as all are touched by the death dripping guilt of our sin stain.  Yet a person is DECLARED righteous by accepting the perfect payment of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross.  The result of this declaration of righteousness is a complete and total peace between the Saved Saint and the Righteous God.  Bad days and good days, through all of life’s ups and downs, nothing can take the peace that comes from the eternally valid sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  We all have growing to do, and will likely walk in sin from time to time…but we can never lose the peace that exists between us and God, because we didn’t make, earn it, or maintain it…it is a grace gift of our loving God.

Monday, February 4, 2019

He Cares, He Can

Philippians 4:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

“Don’t worry about it!” The voice of the used car dealer rang in my ears as I sat by my broken-down car, wishing that I had worried about it while I was on the car lot.  The fact was that he didn’t know much about the car he was selling, nor have the care or power to fix anything.  His direction that I shouldn’t worry turned out to be especially hollow.  But when the Lord tells us not to be anxious, we should listen.  The Greek word merimnao means to be troubled with cares and we are here COMMANDED with a present active imperative not to be troubled by our cares.  But why?  What are we to do with our burdens and fears?  We are meant to make our requests known to God.  This tells us two very important things about the Lord.  First, he Cares.  Second, He can.  The Lord commands us not to be burdened with our worries – because for Him they are light, and we were never meant to bear them.  

Monday, January 28, 2019

Personal Peace

John 14:27 New King James Version (NKJV):
27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you;
not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

When the Bible uses the word “peace” it means a wholeness, fullness, or completeness.  In the Biblical concept, we find that peace is the result of having needs met and being free from want.  Interestingly, peace is not something that a person can find or achieve for ourselves.  When Jesus was getting ready to go to the Cross, He comforted his disciples by promising peace.  But He gives them some extra information.  The peace that Jesus promised is personal.  It is His peace, and he alone can give peace.  Furthermore, this peace is given in a special way.  It is not given in the same way the world gives.  The world gives with conditions and expectations, but the Lord gives His peace freely and fully to all who believe in Him.  While we may get distracted, and we may be deceived, we never have less than all that we need.