“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NASB)
Cuba, Vietnam, Granada, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea – these are places in my life time that our country has either been at war with or at least been the threat of war. I am sure there are others that I did not mention but I think that you get the idea.
There is a lack of peace in the world however, that extends beyond the military battlefield. That battlefield is in the home and the work place and even the church where there is unrest and strife and worries and these things rip the peace out of our lives and cause terrible unrest.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world – John 16:33
Peace means much more than the absence of war. Peace paints a picture of harmony and completeness. It is a promise of peace; to make whole and restore. To have Peace or “Shalom” is to have a fulfilled life in every way. It is a state of safety where your life is put at ease by the Lord Jesus Christ – the One that we celebrate at Christmas. The One bringing this peace has the power to carry His plan of peace out.
With “Shalom” peace there is no fear; no worry, but instead a sense of harmony and oneness. Everything is exactly the way it should be. Things are in their proper order. This is “Shalom” – this is the peace that Jesus brings – Our Prince of Peace.
Jesus didn’t come so that we could give gifts on the 25th of Dec. He didn’t come that we could sing “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claus is coming to Town”. He came to give us peace with God and He came to give us peace within ourselves. How about you? Have you ever said yes to Him? He stands at the ready offering His peace and wants to be a part of your life. Say YES to Him today. It’s the greatest gift you could ever receive.
Father, help us to discover the peace that came to the world, born in a feeding trough, lived a sinless life and offered Himself as a sacrifice for all the world. WHAT A GIFT! May we receive that gift as we repent and believe. Thank you.
In Jesus Name…Amen
Recently my 4-year-old son fell out of bed a fractured his collar-bone. The sound of him hitting the floor from his twin bed was thunderous – it shook the entire house. We ran into his room to find him climbing back into his bed and upon examination we could not see any signs of injury. The next day however was a different story. He was clearly in pain. So off we went to the ER.
I was somewhat amazed at how my little boy clung to me, never letting me out of sight. He wanted me to sit on the bed with him and hold him. He wanted me to carry him and when the time finally came to get his x-rays he wanted me to go in with him. My boy was terrified and I can only hope that my presence there offered him a little comfort because he knew that I was close by.
I believe that the Lord shows us this picture of trust so that we don’t exist in this life filled with fear. The Lord teaches us that He will ALWAYS be right there with us through the most difficult trials and our happiest moments. The Lord truly wants us to be content; the kind of contentment that ONLY comes from knowing Him, trusting that He will always meet our needs and that He always has our best interest at heart. This truth has the power to expel fear and allow us to say with assurance “the Lord is my helper”.
Joshua didn’t want to be at the hospital and certainly didn’t want an X-Ray but he found out that it was for his own good. He also found out that just like with our Lord, I had every intention of holding on tightly to him with no plans of letting him go – unless he wanted his mommy of course. 🙂
Lord, Help us to truly realize Your Supreme love for us, Your desire to comfort us and Your power to cast out the fear that trips us up. Thank you for loving us with a perfect love. Amen.
During a season of tough love with one of my girls, the resounding theme was “I don’t want to”. Without going into details, this was the answer that I received every time I tried to make her understand that her behavior was unacceptable and needed to change. She wanted her way, no matter what. She would risk everything to have her way even if it meant disappointing me and mom, getting grounded or even a spanking.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you – Ex. 20:12
The honoring of a father and mother creates not only sability in the home but also in our society
So I began to try to show her that the very thing that SHE wants, she cannot have. That her disobedience would lead to much heart ache. Disobedience is nothing new I said. I explained to her about Adam and Eve and how they were created here on earth by Almighty God and given everything – EVERYTHING, with the exception of course, one thing that was withheld for their protection and because God loved them so much. And yet the one thing that they were told to avoid, to leave alone, they had to have.
Now before I am too hard on Adam and Eve, I would have done the same thing I am sure given the same circumstances and so would you – we have all proven that.
I remember hugging her tightly and saying, “You are loved. We love you and because we love you we can’t allow this to go on behaving this way. You are loved”. And so We continue to love her through this season of growing pains, teaching her that God loves her, that we love her and that we are here for purpose – to honor the One who created us, to have charity, patience, to care for all those we come in contact with and to show the love of Christ so that it is real to anyone who sees. Is it tough? Absolutely! But press on friends. The final product will be amazing.
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God – 1 Cor. 10:31
Father, Help us to understand that You want what is best for us and always have our best interest at heart. Lord give us the wisdom we need to see things the way that you see them, that we might glorify You with our obedience. – Amen
When my youngest son Joshua was about 2 we had this thing going. Everyday before I went off to work he would say, “Swish Swish”, meaning for me to turn on my wipers before I leave the driveway. This went on for a while and soon added flicking my lights and finally beeping the horn. When he heard the horn this huge smile popped on to his face and the joy seen on his face was amazing. And as I backed out of the driveway he stares out the window to see what his father is going to do.
Isn’t that how it should be with our Heavenly Father? Shouldn’t we been watching every move He makes to see what He is going to do next. All that boils down to this – God has a plan, For you!
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”, Jeremiah 29:11.
This really rings true for all of us. And while we pray for help, health and hope, pray believing that God can right every wrong, heal every hurt, cure any sickness, dry every tear. The Lord thought hard about your creation, spent a lot of time thinking about all the things that make you unique and put all that into motion. He wants you to have perfect peace in your heart – personal peace that comes from KNOWING HIM and to give you a future that is our hope – A life with Him. So when you pray – believe and start Watching the Father to see what He is doing.
The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing – Zephaniah 3:17
I was at home one morning before work and it was snack time. I LOVE snack time! My wife Kristi brought the children one of the usual snacks, today was the cheese puffs. As I sat on the couch watching Joshua my 2-year-old (then) enjoy the crispy snack I began to smile at the strangest thing. I could hear Joshua crunching away at his snack, really enjoying every bite. It sounded like Snoopy on Charlie Brown Christmas eating that big stack of bones – really.
My smile was that of sheer pleasure as I observed Joshua’s delight. It made me think about how God delights, even sings over His children because of His great love for us. When we have joy, God has more joy. When we have pain, God has more pain.
We seem to forget that with all of our shortcomings, with all of our faults and failures that the God of the universe REJOICES over us. Can you imagine the song that God sings over you?
All of my children experienced their Daddy walking with them up and down the hallway or pacing in the kitchen floor singing to them as they struggled with sleeping, tummy aches or just plain fussiness and especially the times when everything was peachy, watching their little faces smile knowing that there are loved.
This is one of the characteristics of our heavenly Father. He models this behavior for us so that we might be more like Him and rejoice over our children, even sing over them.
Lord help us to recognize the Love that You have for us – a superior, unfailing love; a matchless love that can ONLY come from a holy heavenly Father. Allow our hearts to open up and embrace Your pure undying affection and share with the world the name – JESUS! – Amen