July 5 –Joy, Cheer, Courage, and Peace

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” – John 14:27 (NASB)
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NASB)

Joy, Cheer, and Courage have their origin in one ultimate victory and that is Christ’s victory over hell and the grave. Old Testament saints looked forward to this promise being fulfilled and the New Testament church (post Christ’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection) looks back on the beginning of the fulfillment. The essential ground for endurance in trials and persecution is the Jesus’ victory over the world system and its prince of darkness. Through Christ’s impending death, and he is looking for it to happen momentarily, in just a few hours. He rendered the world’s opposition null and void. While the world continues to attack His people, such attacks fall harmlessly, for Christ’s victory has already accomplished a smashing defeat of the whole evil rebellious system. This means that all the promises of God, all the promises Jesus gave to us through His disciples are imminently pending and are guaranteed by His Word. In the middle of our topsy-turvy world where all that was stable is being uprooted and discarded, we have the assurance that the peace Christ gave to us is the real thing. Let’s trust the peace.

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June 24 – With Truth Comes Acid

“Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you. Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart.” Job 22:21-22 (ESV)

The story of Job in the Bible is not one many really know very well. We might know of Job’s trials, losses and why. We might even have a clue about three friends who fail to understand and so missed the mark when trying to offer help. Instead of comfort counselors they were accusers. But in all that is said to Job, there are many interesting and valuable bits of advice. Eliphaz, the third and at first silent friend, is at first courteous, but in chapter 22 his frustration rises. Again, the fate of the wicked is expressed in the simplistic idea that all suffering comes from sin. Eliphaz did not believe Job was innocent and so painted a picture of the life of blessing in store for Job if only he would return to God and repent of his sin (v. 23). Out of this bit of acidic advice from his “friend” there is a truth. In order to properly “agree with God, and be at peace,” we must know Him as He has revealed Himself. In order to know God, God must know us as His own. That is how we truly know peace from Him.

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May 23 – Peace to Overcome


“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NASB)

Yesterday’s promise included the appropriation of the Gospel of Peace in order to stand firm against the ruler of this world system set on our failure as Christians. The attack is on all around us. Christian and Christianity is a target and quickly criticized by ungodly forces. Today’s verse gives us the promise of peace. Jesus, as he spoke to His disciples that last night at Passover Supper did so in order that they would have peace. He knew what was ahead was going to be very difficult and include tribulations and persecutions. But, as Jesus said, with His peace we can overcome whatever the world dishes out to us. Why can we trust this promise? How do we take on the courage we need and know it will be there for us? Because, Jesus declared the He had already overcome the world. As difficult as it was going to be, Jesus promised that what He had done for them and for us was to give us what we need to overcome the world – and that included His peace. Not a worldly idea of peace but a Godly kind of peace that lasts forever.

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May 17 – Equipped With Everything

“Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21 (NASB)

The selected verses for today’s promises are so often used as a benediction they may be familiar to some. They are packed with so much we will highlight just a few. Does it sometimes seem difficult to live the Christian Life in such a way that we will please God? The very long sentence begins with six words of the statement and then at the ending promise. We learn that it is the God of peace who raised Christ – our great Shepherd – from the dead. The power to do that is the power we have to live a life pleasing to God. We cannot and shouldn’t try to live such a life by our own effort. We will never make it on our own. We do not have the ability. God knows that we do not possess what we need within ourselves. God doesn’t expect it of us so He equips us with what we need. Our God makes us complete and He wants us to recognize that He will bring the changes in our lives to live godly lives. This is a promise and the result brings glory to God – it’s our reason for our existence.

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April 29 – Accomplished All We’ve Done

“O Lord, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works.” – Isaiah 26:12 (ESV)

The Book of Psalm is often called the song book of the Bible. Other Books also contain songs and today’s verse comes from one in the book written by the prophet Isaiah. This prophet spoke the Words of God to the people and leaders of Israel; words given to him by God which contained many promises and warnings. This is a reminder of the involvement of our God in our lives. God has been involved in the lives of His people since before Israel’s time. In the kingdom believers are promised that they will enjoy the peace God gives and will know God’s work on their behalf. In our verse God’s people recognize that anything accomplished through their lives is really the work of God. So we do need to remember that we can’t do anything of real value on our own. And, we must never forget that our God is really involved in the things we do each day. To recognize His involvement does give us peace in our hearts because we know that what He does in us is worthwhile and has eternal value and effectiveness. 

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April 11 – Holy Monday – He Knows Our Weaknesses


When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.” Luke 19: 41-42 (NASB)

We are thinking this week about the events during the last week that Jesus spends before His death on the cross. We remember that the crowds sang praises to him as He approached and entered the City of Jerusalem. Even though people were eager to see Jesus come and were singing to Him, Jesus knew that the leaders of the city had rejected Him and were planning to kill Him. So when He looked at the city the next day it made him weep. The timing of this crying may seem incongruous with the triumphal entry, but it reveals that Jesus knew the true superficiality of the peoples’ hearts, and His mood was anything but giddy as He rode into the city. The same crowd would soon cry for his death (Luke 23:21). The very thought of Jesus weeping over a city like this reminds us that He is aware of our weaknesses and He is touched by our spiritual needs. That’s what encourages us to bring our needs to Him because we know He is praying for us in heaven even these days. Let us not neglect to bring our needs to God in Jesus’ name.

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April 10 – Palm Sunday

“As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Luke 19:38 (ESV)

Today is another special day for us who know Jesus Christ as our Savior. We call it Passion Sunday or Palm Sunday because as the people welcomed Jesus they laid down their robes and palm branches in the road in front of Jesus It is the day the people outside of Jerusalem followed him and sang praises to the Lord as he approached the city. Notice the words “the whole multitude of his disciples.” Many people were following Jesus hoping He would establish His kingdom and free them from Roman tyranny. But Jesus had a different plan. The verse we have for today is the message that God wanted people to proclaim on that day. When the Pharisees suggested that Jesus rebuke those who were singing, He replied that if these people did not tell the message, the stones would cry out. What the people sang was the truth which needed to be heard. It’s is a message which we all need to proclaim. This Jesus who was to die on the cross that very week is our King. We need to recognize Him as the King of our lives and we need to honor Him every day.

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April 2 –A Safe Place to Dwell

“Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?” Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord! You have put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.” – Psalm 4:6-8 (NASB)

There are many today who are skeptical of those who believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord. Some make comments about how our faith is in someone who does not exist. They are saying, “You’re believing is something that can’t do you any good.” David had many of these critics, the taunting skeptics, but he cut them off with his testimony. He called on God shine on him with the light of His countenance. That is, he asked for God’s face to be reflected in his own face. As a result, David acknowledged that God was the true source of his heartfelt gladness. Only God can give us such authentic gladness so that is shines forth from our face. This is gladness that springs from our heart when we are at peace with God. It is not gladness that comes from abundance of food and “new-wine,” the evidence of provisions provided. It is the knowledge that God is the source of peace. When problems, conflict, and skeptics face us, and no matter how threatening our world is, we can lie down and sleep because we dwell in the safety God gives to us.

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March 23 –– Perfect Peace

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)

“Perfect peace.” Now isn’t that something we would truly enjoy? So much chaos in our lives and. Whether we turn this way or that, we things exist that rob us of even imperfect peace. We find a marvelous promise in our verse today. It’s a promise that proves itself over and over.  Our God is the only one who never changes. He keeps His promises and we can depend on Him to meet our needs every day, in every situation.  Although our situations change from pleasant to challenging God never changes. The secret of true peace in our hearts and minds is to fix our thoughts and our aspirations on our unchanging God – not on our own understanding. Trusting in God is like building on an unshakable foundation and keeping our mind anchored in the truth we learn from God and His Word. So, let’s base our thoughts on God’s faithfulness. Our verse says that this will give us perfect peace. Who can improve on that?  Of course, nobody can. Trust in God – He will keep you in perfect peace no matter what you might face today, or tomorrow or ever in your future.  

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 February 21 – Overcome For Us Through Christ


“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (NASB)

Today again our verse has the word “take courage.’ Because we live in a world that is hostile toward God and does not believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord we do need to bolster our spirit and strengthen our hearts with faith believing. But we do so not on our own or in our own might. We don’t have the capacity to be courageous in the face of tribulations from the world. In the New Testament, sometimes the word translated ‘take courage’ can be rendered ‘Be of good cheer.’ Another version translates it as ‘take heart.’ How can we do this? By trusting Jesus’ last phrase in this verse, “I have overcome the world.” He is the same ‘I’ that calmed their fears when he came toward his disciples walking on the surface of a stormy lake. The essential ground for our endurance in persecution is the victory of Jesus over the world. It is by His death, that He, rendered the world’s opposition null and void. While the world continues to attack believers, they are harmless to us, for Christ’s victory has already accomplished a marvelous defeat of the whole evil rebellious system.

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