A Heart of Peace

peace-key-703x201

The world clearly doesn’t know peace.  Wars and threats of wars are consistently hitting the headlines.  Violence and law-breaking are keeping lawmen and women in constant alert.  Thousands of people are visiting their local psychologist in attempt to solve their mental stress.   Families and marriages are tearing apart due to unrest and strife.  Even Christians are suffering from anxiety because of their problems.

According to Webster’s dictionary, peace is defined as “a state of quiet or tranquility; freedom from disturbance or agitation; applicable to society, to individuals, or to the temper of the mind.” In the Greek and Hebrew, it indicates rest, safety, and prosperity.

These definitions wouldn’t describe much of what we see around us.  However, it was never God’s intention for peace to be absent in the world.  Beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, nothing evil existed.  But when Adam and Eve sinned, Satan was allowed to bring all evil into the world.  Apart from God, a severe lack of peace reigned.  The opposite of peace’s definition was seen due to his influence.

God, on the other hand, is the author of peace.  He is the God of peace.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Thessalonians 5:23)

The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:9)

As His children, we have the ability to live like Him.  God’s will, unlike the devil’s, is that we walk in peace, just like He does.  Thankfully, He didn’t leave us floundering to walk in that peace on our own.  He first gave us His nature, a born-again spirit, to live by (2 Corinthians 5:17). He’s also gave us the Fruit of the Spirit, which includes peace (Galatians 5:22-23).  He has given us His Word, a constant, written reminder of His nature and promises.  With these tools, peace should always be our lifestyle!

“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.” (John 14:27)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

How Peace Comes

With resources from our Heavenly Father, why do we still live peace-less?  The answer is found in Philippians 4:6-7:

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.

Like faith, peace is not present if it isn’t first in the heart.  It doesn’t come from the outside in; it comes from the inside out.  It is true peace when it’s not determined by the situation and atmosphere around us.  If the “peace” can be shattered by an evil report or a frustrating person, it is fake peace – a counterfeit posing as the real thing.  Counterfeit peace will smile and act like everything is fine on the outside, when it’s really filled with anxiety on the inside. When it’s genuine peace, however, storms can blow and the peace will stay, unmoved.

Notice that Philippians 4:6 first addresses anxiety.  Anxiety is a form of fear – fear that something will happen or go unresolved.  God expects us to, by faith, make our requests for assistance known to Him through our prayers.  Once we’ve made our requests known, we can have faith, or confidence, that He will take care of us just like He promised.  At that point, the peace of God will fill our hearts.  Once that peace is in our hearts, it can impact our minds effectively!

Live Love, Part 4

image_of_god_love

Who Do We Love

  1. We love God.

(1John 4:19 KJV)  We love him, because he first loved us.

  1. We love strangers.

(Deuteronomy 10:19 KJV) Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

  1. We love enemies.

(Matthew 5:44 KJV)  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

  1. We love brothers and sisters in Christ.

(1John 4:12 KJV)  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

  1. We love friends.

(John 15:13 KJV)  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

  1. We love neighbors.

(Mark 12:31 KJV)  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

  1. We love all men.

(1Thessalonians 3:12 KJV)  And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

Additional Notes on Love

 It takes faith – not feelings – to love.

(Ephesians 6:23 KJV)  Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Ephesians 3:17 KJV)  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love . . .

(Galatians 5:6 KJV)  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

  1. We are to never stop growing in love.

(Philippians 1:9 KJV)  And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

(2Thessalonians 3:5 KJV)  And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

  1. There is no fear in love.

(1John 4:17 KJV)  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

(1John 4:18 KJV)  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

(2Timothy 1:7 KJV)  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

  1. It takes work to STAY in the love of God.

(Judges 1:21 KJV)  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

(John 15:10 KJV)  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

(1Timothy 6:11 KJV)  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

(1Thessalonians 5:8 KJV)  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

 

 

 

Live Love, Part 3

 

love one another

The Results of Love

 Like Love operates, blessings follow those who walk in love.  It is the result of putting His way first, regardless of how we feel.

  1. Things work together for our good.

(Romans 8:28 KJV)  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

  1. Nothing separates us from it.

(Romans 8:35 KJV)  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

(Romans 8:39 KJV)  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  1. Mercy is given.

(Deuteronomy 5:10 KJV)  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

  1. Blessings come.

(Deuteronomy 7:13 KJV)  And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

  1. Provides protection.

(Psalm 91:14 KJV)  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

  1. Causes us to be unified.

(Philippians 2:2 KJV)  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

(Colossians 2:2 KJV)  That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

  1. God keeps His covenant.

(Deuteronomy 7:9 KJV)  Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

  1. God manifests Himself.

(John 14:21 KJV)  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

(John 14:23 KJV)  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

  1. God knows us.

(1Corinthians 8:3 KJV)  But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

  1. God fills us with Himself.

(Ephesians 3:19 KJV)  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

  1. God gives us a crown of life.

(James 1:12 KJV)  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

  1. God makes us heirs to His kingdom.

(James 2:5 KJV)  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

  1. We become the sons of God.

(1John 3:1 KJV)  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

To be continued…

 

 

(Photo courtesy of google images.)