Archive for December 2012

Thoughts around christmas…

All it takes is a quick look around and we see that peace is very low on the list of accomplishments for this holiday season. The economy is in the pits, money is scarce, people are losing jobs, savings, investments and some are losing their homes. These are times that are filled with even greater stress and tension than the ‘normal’ holiday times.

MH900238997Even with money as tight as it is, we run around trying to buy everyone a present. We are filled with the anxiety of ‘present’ purchasing; giving something to everyone who might be buying a present for us is a priority. It seems that our focus is on Santa Clause and the Christmas retail season rather than on the true reason for the season – the birth of Our Savior. Where is there peace? We are celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace.

Do you really need proof of god?

 

This is a time for celebrating the most precious gift of all; the gift of salvation. Unto us s Savior is born.
With all of the strife and turmoil in our world today, how can we find the true peace, the peace that is offered by The Prince of Peace? The Apostle Paul gives us very specific instructions in this area.

Philippians 4:4-9  (New American Standard Bible)

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! (When we think about the love that our Creator has shown us by causing His Holy Word to become flesh, to offer Himself as a sacrifice so that we can receive forgiveness for our sins, we should rejoice.)

5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. (Our ‘gentle’ spirit is the result of our lives being filled with the wonderful Light that is Jesus Christ. He is the creator of ‘gentle’ spirits.)

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Here Paul lets us in on the true secret to success and happiness. We must train ourselves to pray, genuinely pray. Prayer is our opportunity to communicate one-on-one with the Almighty Creator of Everything. We must supplicate ourselves, on our knees, humbled by His Majesty. Instead of using our prayer time to beg for blessings or complain about our situations, we need to express our thankfulness for everything that we have. Even if we have very little, we must show God how thankful we are. Paul let us know earlier in this chapter of his letter to the believers in Philippi that he had learned to be content whether he was lacking and hungry or living in physical prosperity. The key here is to be content with what we have; to be thankful, even for a little.

Anxiety is the opposite of peace. When we are able to be content (trusting that God will provide everything that we need) we place ourselves in a position to receive even greater blessings. Know that when we are self consumed and worried about receiving blessing for our own consumption, we demonstrate mistrust and our greed. God always blesses us through others and blesses others through us. We are blessed by blessing others.

When we are content and trusting in God, we pray to be a blessing to others and have no concern for receiving blessings for our own consumption.

7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. When we are able to trust God fully for all of our needs (physical and spiritual) and we use our prayer time to humble ourselves before the Prince of Peace, expressing our thankfulness for His provision, His peace (which is really beyond our understanding) will literally flood our souls. His peace will create an impenetrable barrier around our hearts and minds.

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. We need to immerse ourselves in prayer and the diligent study of God’s Holy Wisdom. It is in communion with God and in the diligent study of His Holy Scriptures that we learn to discern what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent and worthy of praise. We must dwell on these things; focusing our full attention.

9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. The diligent study of God’s Word, assisted by the presence of the Holy Spirit, will instruct us in the manner in which we must live to please God and to fill our world with the Joy and Peace of God, that peace which surpasses all understanding.

Let this Christmas season be the beginning of a new and wonderful time in your life. Let the genuine peace which can only come from a close and personal relationship with Christ fill your life. Do not rely on the temporary and transitory peace (an illusion of peace) that is offered by the pleasures of this physical world. Christ told us in the Gospel of John that He leaves with us His peace. His peace will brighten anyday. Let the Spirit of Christmas into your heart.

 

Have you ever considered…

Christians, diligent students of God’s Wisdom, know that everything that was created was created by God. John 1:1-2 confirms the creation story given us in the first chapter of Genesis. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”

I stated this reminder to make a particular point which all Christians need to understand. God created everything that exists in this physical world. IT ALL BELONGS TO HIM. We, in reality own nothing. He is gracious, loving us, and has allowed us to be stewards of small things and great things according to how we have proved ourselves. He has made each and every one of us stewards of His possessions.

Too many people, even Christians, are under the assumption that they own their houses, their cars, their businesses and other things. When we understand that we are only stewards, caretakers, of God’s possessions, our attitudes change. This is a good revelation.

MH900449125When we understand that He has allowed us to oversee His possessions and only asks that we return 10% to Him, we can begin to have a different attitude toward worldly things.  When we
acknowledge that He is the owner and we open our hearts and our minds to His instructions in His Holy Scripture, we begin to fare a great deal better.

If you are having financial trouble, know that, if you study and learn, God will direct you into the knowledge necessary to improve your situation. Concentrate, focus your attention on the only one
who can help you and He will lead you, after having studied to show yourself approved, into the solution to whatever the problem seems to be.

Do not concentrate on the problem. Concentrate on the problem solver! When all of our attention is on the fire, we fail to see the fire hose. When all of our attention is on the storm, we fail to see the storm calmer. Remember the story of Peter walking on the water after Jesus bid him to come? Even though the wind whipped up a stormy sea, Peter walked toward Jesus ‘on the water.’ When Peter began to look at the stormy sea, what happened. He began to sink. When he again focused on Christ, he was lifted up out of the stormy seas and walked back to the boat with ‘The Storm Calmer.’

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a sound mind. Fear of financial ruin, loosing you home, your retirement, your job, etc. is the enemy’s way of diverting your attention from Christ to the stormy sea. Keep you eyes, your ears, your full focus on Jesus, look full upon His face. He will lead you through the valley.