Try having a conversation on a phone without phone service.
Try starting a vehicle without an engine.
Try using a microwave without electricity.
You can try, but they won’t function as promised. It is impossible!
Try living life without a true relationship with Jesus, and you experience no peace. You may say: “That is not true. When I was doing this or was (is) with that person…or when I see these celebrities with thus and so, they have peace.” The presence of things give an illusion of peace.
Our physical eye gravitate towards the environment we live in. Right now, our environment is primarily a worldly perspective. We are in this world, but not of it. What this means is that if you confess the Lord Jesus to be your personal Savior, your character and mannerisms should not mimic those who do not; there should be a distinct difference.
The peace that the world depicts is counterfeit and temporary peace. Always having to look over your shoulder, is not peace. Just as it is impossible to properly chew food without teeth, is impossible for us to believe that we can have peace and joy without the Lord, when they originate from Him.
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 NKJV
If we allow the peace of God to rule in our hearts, then we become publishers of peace. Let me share a few examples.
If you’re always launching missiles with your tongue, being rash with your mouth, you’re not a peacemaker. You’re becoming a peace breaker, and you are forfeiting your blessing.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 NKJV
If your efforts lead to tension, arguments, disagreements, attitudes, divisions- then your attitude produces chaos and your life cannot be peaceful. Jesus told us to make every effort to do what leads to peace. Our resolutions and solutions to issues should lead to peaceful outcomes. That is what pursuit of peace looks like.
“Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” Psalms 34:14 NKJV
There are some instances where a person will not desire to be peaceful, that should not prevent you from doing your utmost to reflect the image of Christ.
“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18 NKJV
We have an obligation to “let the peace of God rule” in their hearts (Colossians 3:15). This means we have the choice either to trust God or to rely on ourselves. What choices will you make which truly leads to a quiet and peaceable life?
Making decisions is probably the most crucial act of all in our lives. In fact, the Lord gave us the ability to even choose if we want to be with Him. Although He is loving and demonstrates it everyday, it’s almost as if God is saying: “Okay, if you think you will find something better, go right ahead.”
“But if it seems wrong in your opinion to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Choose the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But my family and I will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 CEB
Doing and following through on your decisions is equally important. Your decisions have a major impact on your life.
Life basically boils down to this: Making the right decisions and the follow through. Making the right decision, however, depends on your emotional state. Having the wrong frame of mind will cause you to make the wrong decision, thinking it’s the best decision for your life. This produces what I’d like to call a “dysfunctional decision.”
A dysfunctional decision a condition of having poor, unhealthy behaviors and attitudes which can cause a person to function in an abnormal or unusual way. The Bible shares with us a story two sons and their dad, in the book of Luke, the 15th chapter. For the purposes of this devotion, we focus on the younger son.
The younger son asks his dad for his share of his inheritance because he was out- he was done!!! He was getting away from his father, his older brother and everything he knew. He was ready to “do him” and live it up, on his own and do his own thing. Here is what I wonder: The young man had it made. What prompted him to even desire to leave? I have no idea but the audacity of him. First of all, inheritance was typically given to the older son and the older was in control- unless the dad had already communicated what was gone be when he passed on. Hence the second point: The dad was STILL living. I could imagine the dad thinking: “So you asking for rights to something while I’m still here?” 🤔
Dad didn’t get an attitude. He granted his younger son’s request and the son went on his way. Pretty soon, after all the money is gone and the so called “best friends” have moved on, the younger son recognizes that he acted on impulse. He made a dysfunctional decision.
The prodigal (young) son made a dysfunctional decision that led him to hang out with the little piggies. However, hanging out with the little piggies actually worked on his behalf because the irrational and dysfunctional patterns disappeared- when the prodigal son was left with nothing but his thoughts; thoughts of who really loved him and not what he possessed. Thoughts of what really mattered in life.
Have you ever found yourself in a state of reality? After you had done all that you could think to do, deviating from the right thing, you were left alone to deal with the consequences of your behavior. And guess who was waiting? Your Father. He saw how the world was trying to beat you to a pulp. He could have intervened but he wanted you to want Him. When you came to your senses, your Father didn’t bring up your past. Although you had to suffer from choices you made, he welcomed you home with open arms. Just to have his son/daughter…safe in His arms, was all that mattered.
Do not allow yourself to have a “brain fart” as this young mad did. Sin is like a spiritual disease that corrupts our hearts and minds, causing dysfunctional behavior.
Have you ever heard someone say that the Lord speaks to us by His word, but we have to remove the words from the pages of the Bible and make them real? Today, I will demonstrate how we would actually do this. Check out this dialogue. Some references are general for a daughter or son, referenced as “the child,” while others are specific to a son or daughter.
The child: Hey dad, how are you? Our Father: The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. (Psalms 145:8-9)
The child: Can I talk to you about a few things? Our Father: Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
The child: I’ve been really going through. Our Father: Give all your worries and cares to me, for I care about you. (1 Peter 5:7)
The child: Nothing seems to be going right. Our Father: My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. (2 cor. 12:9-10)
The child: I thought when I really started to listen to you and began to be obedient, things would get easier. But it seems like they are worse. Our Father: 1 Peter 5:8-9 (CEB) Be clearheaded. Keep alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. Do so in the knowledge that your fellow believers are enduring the same suffering throughout the world.
The child: Sometimes I feel so alone Our Father: Come close to God, and God will come close to you. (James 4:8)
The child: I’ve been hurt sooo bad! Our Father: I keep track of all your sorrows. I have collected all your tears in my bottle. I have recorded each one in my book. Psalm 56:8 (NLT)
The child: if you love me so much why do I have to go through so much? Our Father: 1 Peter 2:21-24 (NLT) For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.
The daughter: Sometimes I can’t help but to think about how they really hurt me and took advantage of me. Do you not know that a person I used to call a friend gossiped about me? I’m so hurt by her and what she did Our Father: Proverbs 25:23 (NLT) As surely as a north wind brings rain, so a gossiping tongue causes anger! Luke 6:27-28 (NLT) “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.
The Daughter: And then…listen to this. The man that’s supposed to be my dad here on this earth…I am HIS seed. He has NOTHING to do with me and I have NO idea why. In fact, well you know this, I am his first born. We live right here in the same monkey city. He missing out on beautiful grands. He really SUCKS! Our Father: Psalms 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.
The daughter: I’m just scared; I don’t know what to do. Our Father: Isaiah 41:10 (NLT) Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
The son: I don’t really know how all this works. Our Father: Psalm 37:5 (NLT) Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you
The daughter: I hear people say you talk to them. Can you PLEASE talk to me? Our Father: Job 33:14-17 (NLT) For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. He whispers in their ears and terrifies them with warnings. He makes them turn from doing wrong; he keeps them from pride
The son: I believe you are real, but man, I think I’ll go back to doing the things you say I shouldn’t Our Father: Galatians 4:8-9 Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. 9 So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world?
The child: it seems so hard to please you and to talk to you. Our Father: Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
The daughter: I know I am your daughter. I know I am. Our Father: Yes…you are! Psalm 139:13 (NLT) You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb
The daughter: Here’s another thing: I really wanted to be with my baby’s dad. He said he was going to marry me but he hurt me sooo much and I stay and deal with it. I know it’s not love or what supposed to be like. I know this. But Why did I have to be the one to get hurt? Our Father: James 1:14-15 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
The child: Do you hear me? Why does it seem you don’t hear me? Our Father: (Isaiah 59:1-2) Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.
The child: I been learning – You’re my Father and you sent Jesus to help me get back to you because we upset you really bad back in the day, but how will I know what you want from me? Our Father: Luke 10:27 (NLT) You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself
The child: I hear people talking about purpose. After all I’ve been through you MUST have something for me to do. How do I know my purpose? Our Father: Ecclesiastes 3:1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
The child: It’s crazy out here! People dying for nothing. People killing and robbing. Folks sitting in their car and being killed. Why won’t you stop this? Our Father: Psalm 37 Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
The child: I’ll never disrespect you. SO forgive me if I’m coming off all wrong. Our Father: Ecclesiastes 5:2 Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few
The child: Seriously, I do appreciate you looking out for me. Our Father: Isaiah 49:15 (NKJV) “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you
The child: I could have died but I know you were there. Our Father: Psalm 91:4 (NLT) He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection
The child: I just wanna know that you are really here with me. Our Father: John 14:15-18 (NLT) If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you
Our Father desires to talk to us and for us to know and experience what true love really is. He is waiting with open arms.
Conclusion We will never know God and learn what His expectations are of us, if we do not communicate with Him. Our relationship is established through the words that He has already spoken. We can find comfort in Him through the words spoken and given to us in the Bible. They will never change and they apply to any and every situation we have and will encounter in this life. Our Father desires to speak with us. Are we willing and ready to listen?
Even with knowing that the struggle produces the best from and through us, it still does not negate the fact that we do not like struggle.
We must not allow our struggles to become our identity. If we can resist the urge to become bitter, negative and hopeless, the struggles we face today will create the strength that is needed for tomorrow.
Find hope, in a hopeless matter.
Find courage, in a discouraging moment.
Find endurance, in a weak moment.
When every obstacle that is thrown at us dares us to give up, throw faith back at it and handle it! Overcome it. Fight it. Get through it. Rise above it. Stand on it! Conquer it!
Your attitude should reflect that of a winner!
You are MORE than a conquer through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”Romans 8:37 NKJV
Sometimes we hold on to what we don’t need and rid ourselves of what we need to hold on to.
It is time to make some minor adjustments. Let’s begin right here. If we be honest, there is a lot we need to rid ourselves of:
Lose the foolishness.
Lose the doubt.
Lose the gossip.
Lose the half-heartedness.
Lose the pride.
Lose the senseless acts.
Lose the sin.
Lose the anger.
Lose the maliciousness.
Lose the hurt.
Lose the frustration.
Lose the disrespect.
Lose the hard-heart.
Lose the thoughtlessness.
Lose the insensitivity.
Lose the bitterness…
And keep the faith.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2 NKJV
If you gotta hold on to something, hold on to your faith.
There are people around you, who draw strength from your strength.
There are people around you that are holding on because you are.
Your faith retains spiritual muscle memory from holding on: “If He kept me before this, He will keep me THROUGH this.
Exercise your faith and Hold On!
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35, 38-39 NKJV
Jesus had a friend who died. His name was Lazarus. He loved Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary (John 11:5).
Now I don’t know if Jesus intentionally delayed returning to town, so the miracle could be performed on His dear friend, if He was grieving, waiting for the friction to die down or if it was a tad bit of everything. It was clear that Jesus felt a personal connection because the Bible states:
John 11:35 (NKJV) Jesus wept.
Some people are just emotional and will “weep” with those who weep. If there is a personal connection to the person who passed away, the circumstance is more than just praying emoji hands or a blanketed statement of sending condolences to the family. Jesus was grieving – Honey, He was shedding some serious tears. In fact, when Jesus got to the grave in John 11:38, He was still groaning within Himself.
John 11:38 (NKJV) Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.
Lazarus sister named Mary, met Jesus on the road, when she learned that Jesus was on His way back to town to come see Lazarus. She was distraught and frustrated. Mary, knowing the miraculous powers that Jesus had demonstrated throughout the neighborhoods, says in what seems to be a frustrating tone: “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
See, Mary wanted what SHE wanted. Well – Mary, that’s not entirely true.
Jesus always professed that His will was to do that of His Father in Heaven; so, if God’s will was for Lazarus to be at rest, Lazarus would have remained resting. We can learn from this example. Even in the midst of trying times, and in fact during the most challenging times, we must seek the will of God.
As we know, God’s will was not leave Lazarus at rest. Jesus asks Mary where Lazarus was laid, she takes Him there, and Lazarus comes out of the grave clothes, his burial site and there sat Lazarus as an example of the glory of God to be revealed and for the naysayers to believe that Jesus was who He said He was (John 12:9, 11).
Before all this transpired, it was a mess:
The Jews in Judea were looking to kill (stone Jesus).
The disciples were clueless with understanding what Jesus was saying in the Spirit.
Thomas talking about let’s go die with Lazarus.
Another disciple was talking about if Lazarus is sleep, he should be fine.
Lazarus had already been dead 4 days and that process of decomposition had kicked in…
JUST A MESS!
Had Jesus focused on the environment, what the people were saying, their unbelief, and not the instructions of His Father, everyone would have missed the miracle.
Oh, but remember when sin had you bound, and your spiritual life was dead? Had the Holy Spirit not led someone to you, to redeem you from your mess, the miracle of salvation would have never been.
Don’t miss the miracle, focusing on the mess! The mess creates the foundation for the miracle.
Have you every watched a track and field event? Whether the racers are sprinters or long distance runners, they have at least one thing in common: the start and finish lines are the same. What determines the winner of the race is an individual’s gifting, coupled with the training, and determination to run one’s race to their ability, as he or she has been coached.
The same applies in life. We all have the same start and finish lines; what determines our success, as we have defined, is our gifting, coupled with training, and determination to continue to run. When it appears that you should be farther along in the race of life than you are, do not stop. Do not quit! Do not grow weary!
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9 NLT
Start where you are!
Do not allow what you think you cannot do to affect what you can do.
It is said that the image or statue of a kingdom’s ruler is positioned in distant parts of his kingdom to demonstrate his authority and the stretch of his domain.
God said that we are His image bearers. This means that we are we are living replicas of God to expand His Kingdom so that His glory is revealed.
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”Genesis 1:26 NKJV
Do you know what this means? Wherever your feet are planted, it is a sign that the presence of God has arrived.
When you arrive at work in the morning, remind yourself and others (by your conduct): “Heyyyy, Jesus is here!”
When you arrive at your children’s school to address an issue with another child, remind yourself: “Jesus is here!”
When you walked into that chaotic meeting, you were able to bring peace to the situation because Jesus arrived and left His peace.
“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 NKJV
When Jesus arrives, He has the ability to calm every storm. With His guiding Spirit, He has given us the same authority and power- in fact, even greater.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:12-14 NIV
And when you are rejected, by a business, a family member or an acquaintance, No worries. Don’t become offended, and do not copy their customs and behavior. Instead, pray for them because they have just rejected the kingdom of God.
“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” Matthew 10:40 NKJV
Shake the dirt off and “KIM” Keep It Moving.
“And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.”Matthew 10:14 NKJV
God dwells among us, and is working through us. Therefore it behooves us to always reflect His loving kindness in an unkind world.
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” 1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV