Praying today for the peace of God to rule in our hearts, that we would live in faith not fear, and we would live our lives worthy of Jesus, keeping our eyes and our allegiance to Him and Him only.
We are always in a hurry and sometimes for no reason. We commit to too much, overplan, set goals that are not reality, and stress ourselves into a state where peace is elusive. We are in a state of perpetual hurry. Cultivating a relationship with our Father can not be hurried. That is one of the things God has shown me the last several years.
We need to learn that “less is more” in life. To not be so busy, so weighted down by commitments, so burdened by trying to be the world’s best mom or dad. “Less is more” when we come to Scripture. Sometimes instead of reading a few chapters of the Bible read, and reread a few verses and let our loving Father reveal to you His messages and His truths to your life. Today I read, reread, prayed and thanked God for Isaiah 43.1-7. Take a moment
“But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”” (Isaiah 43:1–7, NIV)
- Read this a couple times
- Pray over them and ask Father to speak to your heart about them.
- Ask Who is God for me? How does He see me?
- What promise does God have for you right now in your life? What are forever?
- Respond in grateful appropriateness.
Keep in the process of spiritual formation, receiving and responding to God’s love.
Pastor Nate Elarton
We have been singing and listening to this Christmas song “O Holy Night” for 159 years since it was written in 1847 by Placide Cappeau.
I love the words, “Long lay the world in sin and error pining.” Meaning we were getting worse and worse and our error was continuing to degenerating us until. Until Christ arrived to save us, “Til He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.” The gift of salvation has amazing and priceless value. Jesus, and know Him personally, is so worthy.
We have designated worth to so many things in our culture that are not really all that worthy. And trash compared to knowing God. Our newest phones, our vehicles, our social media fake personality, ourselves, and our happiness. We have given worth, and they have consumed our lives. Is this stuff really that worthy? Do they deepen our character? Make us more like Christ? Do they help us be emotionally healthy so we have meaningful relationships? The answer is no of course.
Does your soul know the worth of Christ? Do you treasure Him and His ways beyond anything else? Sin and error will “pine” in our lives without Christ. It will just get worse. Only Christ should get our lives. Only he is worthy.
I pray that we know and reflect the worth of Christ this Christmas and every day. That we would treasure him far above anything else in this life we have the blessing of enjoying. May your soul know His worth, this Christmas Eve. If you do, it is a Holy, sacred, and special night.
Why do so many of the Lord’s people live absent of contentment and peace? Let me give you these simple seven reasons and please read the powerful Scriptures following my writing.
1. We skip our daily time with Christ- When we spend time reading the Word, thinking about the Lord and the things of God, talking to God, reading and journaling, we reap incredible peace. Why? Our faith increases. We experience the closeness of Jesus and our security increases. We know the Lord is near. We are ministered to by His Spirit. We trust, we seek, we have the confidence that life will not defeat us, as we are daily reminded, our God is in control and He never leaves us.
2. We allow sin in our life. We will never have peace in our hearts as our peace with God is disrupted by a barrier in our heart. Unrepented sin still steals our peace. The Holy Spirit wants us unsettled when we are living with sin that we know it is not the will of our Father. We used to call that being “convicted” defined as “convinced” of our sin. We repent, turn, receive forgiveness and keep growing. Have you grown “used” to a particular sin in your life? Have you grown numb to the Lord’s voice beckoning you to desert and walk away from a behavior?
3. We have unforgiveness and bitterness in our heart toward, people, a person, the church, or the government. Bitterness, strong feelings of hate and anger steal peace. It does not have to be directed at one person. Guard your heart. Allow the Lord to baptize you in love. We need more of Jesus. Past family conflicts, X spouses, hurts in the church, or at work, let it go.
4. Watching and filling your mind with Garbage Movies that are violent, cop TV shows where people are murdered, raped, hacked up, pornography on your computer, IPAD or phone will steal your peace. Your mind is under attack and you are what you think about and you think about what you watch. Guard the window of your heart. Guard what goes in your eyes and ears. Jesus saved us, and these things are not entertainment. This grieves the Lord, the fact America thinks that this is the fun thing we can do with our leisure time is a sign of how sick our society is getting. May we as God’s holy people not participate in these deeds of darkness. Live higher, live better, walk holy.
5. Pride-We want to be in control and we are tormented with no peace if we are not. We want to control others, and that leads to manipulation and drama…no peace. We don’t take time with Christ daily and surrender because we have fallen for the ancient lie that we can really do a better job at our life than God can. We lack humility and we want our way and life just isn’t like that. We don’t get our way all the time, and our peace is again shattered. Turn from self, pride, control, and throw your life into the control of God! You will never be sorry! Be free of the torment and bondage of control. As a leader, I can struggle with control, and I know that is pride. I have to repent and let God have His way not I. The best thing to do sometimes is to just serve others. We need to make sure we know life is not all about us, but about the glory of Christ. Do something for others and minister Christ in this world.
6. Tough Times in life and storms. Keep your feet on the Rock Jesus Christ during difficult times. Surrender your desire and longing to control and acknowledge that God is in control. Surrender the situation to the sovereignty of God. Look to grow, learn from the dark experience. Allow your roots of faith to be driven deep in Christ. Don’t let the storms steal your peace! I have to keep telling myself that Jesus is constant and consistent, my emotions and moods are not and this life sure is not!
7. Fear –Fear is a real emotion. It steals peace, and can rule us if we are not vigilant. We must be aware of our fears and know that 99% of everything we fear and think about, will never happen. We must not be ruled by fear and thoughts of terrible things happening, or fear of the future, or the “what if” things we dwell upon. If I dwell on things that will not happen, I won’t only lose peace, I will lose joy, and be paralyzed with fear. That is not what the Lord wants for me or you! Grow in faith, worship, and verbally speak the Word of God and His power over our life, our family’s lives and our future. God has not given us a Spirit of fear. This is not from Him. Jesus Christ is Fearless.
Scriptures to bring the Peace of God and Freedom
Proverbs 16.7 “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
Isaiah 26.2 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
John 16.33 “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.”
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.”
Psalm 46.1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
John 14.7 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
2 Timothy 1.7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
2 Thess. 3.16 “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”
Hebrews 12.1-4 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;* then you won’t become weary and give up.”