I believe we were meant to live in peace. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we will never have strife. The peace we are meant to live with is in knowing God and that in spite of our current situations our faith in that knowledge of God’s active presence and participation in our lives is working things out in our favor. Our peace is in knowing that when God’s active presence meets with our own obedience to that faith all things are possible. We must be mindful not to block our own blessings. When God calls us out, we can not be afraid to move. Let obedience to our faith in God be our strength and courage. Be at peace knowing that it is God’s presence within that leads us.
Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1-7
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1-12
Making Straight The Way
“What of your brother Aaron, the Levite?…You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. He indeed shall speak for you to the people; he shall serve as a mouth for you, and you shall serve as God for him. Exodus 4:10-20 Sometimes our children don’t yet have the confidence to do what we as parents already know is gifted within them. In his self-exile Moses lost his confidence, but God knew that within him was a longing heart for the people of God. Moses would not always need the assistance of Aaron. As he draws ever closer in his relationship with God, Moses’ boldness before God also increases. Even as life experiences sometimes beats down our own confidence, it is our confidence in God’s presence within us, which picks us up, leads the way as we boldly move forward in Christ confident that God our Provider prepares the way.
Is not this the carpenter..? Mark 6:1-13 There is so much more of God than any one person could ever know. If we are created in God’s image, then we can never truly know one another. In faith we are challenged to look beyond what we see. If in faith we believe in what is yet unseen, who might this “carpenter” be for us? Created in God’s image, who might we be for one another?
…perfect love casts out fear… 1 John 4:7-21 Truly, who among us can perfectly love? Who among us walks without the occasion of some doubt? Who among us occasionally reconsiders decisions to be made or regrets decisions already fulfilled? As much as we strive towards this perfection it is not ours to perfectly attain. Try as we might there is always some wonder if we’ve done the right things or if we are moving in the right direction. How is the fear ever removed? If we could live with perfect love – would not the world be a perfect place? We have to settle for striving for perfection and recognize that we will make mistakes. When we make mistakes we must learn to forgive ourselves. Christ, the perfect love of the Father, understands this about us. Himself, called to the people of Israel, time and again stepped out of his own box to which he was called, to heal, bless and forgive those who brought their faith before him. So too we are called to love, knowing that what ever our dreams, desires, frustrations or fears, God’s perfect Love for his creation encourages us to continue striving towards him in spite of our imperfectness and because of our faith in him.
Image Credit: Kerry Shook; worshiphousemedia.com
…Render true judgements, show kindness and mercy to one another; do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another. Zechariah 7:8 – 8:8 Especially at this time of the year who can argue with this kind of counsel? But the message speaks so strongly throughout the year, why does it seem as if it is only heard when the world tells us to do so? When the package of God’s word is opened, believers are unwrapped and awakened! We don’t need the world to tell us what to do next. Daily we prepare in our hearts, with our minds and by the works of our hands, always standing ready upon the threshold of his faithfulness. For blessed is the one who readily walks in the way of the Lord.
… which is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or… “Stand up and walk?” Matthew 9:1-8 For me, the encouragement Jesus gives to the paralytic is very important. We know that our behavior isn’t always perfect. We don’t always say or do the right thing. However any action that we take in our lives requires that we first believe what we do is possible. In biblical Palestine, it was a cultural belief that physical anomalies were tied to sin. Thus, Jesus’ choice of words for encouragement was to first help the man to believe in God’s forgiveness. While they affect one another, “physical paralysis” should not be confused with “spiritual paralysis.” It is difficult to move in the direction God wants us to go, if we do not believe in God’s desire for us to move. Never stop believing! So, whatever we’ve done, know that God forgives; then “stand” on faith, “walk” in God’s love, and find your way “home”, in Christ.
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified. Romans 8:28-39
What ever it is, strive to use it as a learning experience to strengthen your resolve to love God more and receive the mornings with joy!