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Let Peace Define Me - A Devotion

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John 14:27-29 (NLT)
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.”

Jesus promised that His Parting Gift to us would be peace of mind and peace of heart. This world is incapable of peace. We live in a state of perpetual turmoil. Just as there are two sides to every story that are choices to be made each day and done so from different perspectives. In fact even Jesus openly admitted that when He came to this world, peace was not His Intention because without the sacrifice on the Cross there would be no point. He came to turn this world upside down and set it on fire. (Luke 12:49-51) When He was done and ready to ascend to Heaven, then He offered us the gift of His Peace. His Peace is not like the peace that is found in the world it is perfect, complete, whole and lacking no good thing. (Philippians 4:7) I want this peace of mind and heart. Peace should define the life of the believer but this world presents many obstacles. Believers must learn to overcome the obstacles of peace and learn what it means to have unspeakable joy that can only come from right standing with God through Jesus Christ. I cannot open my heart and show you the contents when I get it right. Nor can I paint you a picture of it so you can have it, too. It is an experience with God that is not a one-time encounter but a lifetime choice. You will find it, fight for it and forge it like steel to keep it firmly intact.

Our life has been turned upside down for a long time now. I do not really remember what our life was like before we began the battle against cancer with our son. It is hard for anyone who has not walked this road to imagine the ramifications along the way. Each day presents me with new challenges in finding more faith, taking hold of more hope and maintaining the Peace that I have found in Christ. It might be easier if the storm would finally pass and we could get on with our life. The Lord has instructed me not to be trouble or afraid but there are days that I am overwhelmed by both. Jesus left me…but He did not leave me alone.

John 14:25-26 (NLT)
“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

I purposely left these two verses out before because all too often we leave the Holy Spirit out of our daily life putting ourselves at a great disadvantage in this world. He left us with “this” gift. His Spirit moves the Presence of God from a manmade temple to our heart which becomes His Temple. He is to be our Helper and constant reminder that the Lord is with us in our Spirit. The Holy Spirit takes the Word of God teaching us the meaning and how it pertains to our life. This is a lifelong process. He brings to remembrance God’s Word, Will and Way so that our life remains in agreement with God’s Plan. After all – isn’t that the definition of peace to live in agreement or the absence of warring conditions? It means to live in a state of harmony and stillness without mental anxiety. God didn’t say go figure it out. He gave us a Teacher to show us the way. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) No one can come to the Father but by Him. We must live in harmony with Jesus Christ and pursue peace with God at all times to have the Peace that passes all understanding as a positive factor for our life. The Holy Spirit advocates for peace of mind and peace of heart within us. Mankind cannot achieve peace on their own. We live as contradictive beings wasted by sin. Peace with God comes through Jesus Christ alone. (Acts 10:35-36) Outside of Christ you will have no peace at all just momentary relief followed by overwhelming circumstances as the enemy sets out to steal, kill and destroy all that the Lord is doing in our lives from the inside out.

Matthew 5:9 (NLT)
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons (and daughters) of God.

Peace comes from only one place – righteousness with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Peace accepts the Authority of Christ over the outcomes in our life. Peace is generated by faith that becomes confident hope. The more confident that we become in the efficacy and efficiency of God’s Power manifested in our life – the greater our peace. When I am completely convinced of something, no one and nothing can change my mind. We must become resolute in the fact that Jesus Christ died for us to have certain Kingdom Rights and Provisions that we must insist upon maintaining in our life. We are entitled to peace and prosperity as provided by Jesus Christ. Praise promotes peace in our life (Psalm 34:1-3) as we voice confidence in God’s Ability to provide all that we need just when we need it. Praise professes our faith in Jesus Christ no matter what the circumstances look like or what the doctor’s report says. Statistics mean nothing to Children of God because they are based on the probable possibilities but God operates in the completely impossible. Words like never and impossible become exhilarating to Children of God who choose to walk by faith. These are God’s Domain and He will not let any man, demon or the devil Himself in to steal, kill or destroy His Divine Destiny for your life. So when they cross the line professing such doom or destruction – praise negates their authority in our life keeping Jesus on the throne of our heart and head of our mind. The Peace of God is not passive but persistent. We must pursue peace and seek to maintain it. (Psalm 34:11-14) How? We must turn our life completely over to Christ to avoid distractions and delays that lead to doubt and disappointment. Hope never leads to disappointment! (Romans 5:5) Do you believe that? If you do, then you will continue to turn from evil to do good. (2 Timothy 2:21-22) Peace is a posture of humility. (Psalm 37:11) Having the same attitude of Jesus Christ, and that’s not always easy! (Romans 14:17-18) Peace in our heart and mind requires peace in our life. We must remain humble and gentle with all the people in our life. We must be ready to forgive and end division and disagreement. The enemy will stir up as much conflict as possible to disturb our peace. He is counting on our prideful, sinful nature to rise up and say, “Are you gonna take that?” The Holy Spirit says, “Why, yes I am!” turning the other cheek. Jesus Christ came so that all mankind to could find rightstanding or peace with God the Father once again. He then gave us the Holy Spirit to maintain His Peace in our life. We must become peacemakers in order to maintain righteousness and be called Children of God.

James 3:17-18 (NLT)
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

The Peace of God allows us to prosper. Who doesn’t want to prosper? Why do we get up and go to work each day? Why do we look for opportunities to take advantage of a good deal or get ahead? God has a plan that includes a future and hope for our life. (Jeremiah 29:11) This plan includes prosperity. We would like to think we can do something about that but as the Word of God says we prosper as “our soul prospers.” Where is the profit if we gain the whole world but lose our soul? Game over. God’s Word tells us how to prosper. It never returns to the Lord void and will accomplish what it sets out to do. We just have to be properly positioned to grow, mature and develop to maturity which is prosperity. The seeds necessary are already planted in your life. God has planted peace and prosperity in your DNA. (Zechariah 8:12) Peace with God allows those seeds to grow to full maturity and produce a harvest in your life. What will you gain from them? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

We fought long and hard for our son’s bone marrow transplant to be approved. I contacted every person that I could think of to hear our plea and allow our son to receive this treatment. It is extremely costly averaging $300,000 to $500,000. We were denied too many times to count. We were rejected. It seemed as though the world had washed its hands of our child when the price of life became excessive. Their value of our son is based on statistics. People who have cancer have a shorter life expectancy obviously but I challenge you to look at their odds after four relapses in less than three years. I refuse to but doctors tell me they are not good. After about four months of the fight, I was frustrated, angry and confused. Why did I still feel like we should pursue this after all the doors that had been slammed in our face? I cried out before the Lord. I just didn’t understand. Then I believe it was the Holy Spirit that led me back to God’s Word for our son’s life – “He will live and not die.” Suddenly the burden of care that I had somehow taken on in this fight became the Lord’s all over again. He was the One who I have given full authority and power in my life. He is the One who is making all the Promises. He is the One who keeps backing them up. Peace started flowing until it became a downpour and for the first time in months I felt worry leave me. Three days later, unexplainably and without warning – the hospital staff called. We were all stunned by the news that the preliminary treatment plan was approved so we could begin the transplant process. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3) Putting our faith and trust in the Lord is a choice. Not a one-time commitment, but daily activity. Those who are successful will prosper and be successful in all that they do.

Isaiah 32:17-20 (NLT)
And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in safety, quietly at home. They will be at rest. Even if the forest should be destroyed and the city torn down, the LORD will greatly bless his people. Wherever they plant seed, bountiful crops will spring up. Their cattle and donkeys will graze freely.

Righteousness with God brings peace. It is the ultimate peace that anyone can ever experience because it reaches past this lifetime into Eternity. It secures our future now and forever. We achieve righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ. Such faith is demonstrated by belief. We live what we believe. It dictates our actions and attitudes each day. If we truly believe that the righteous live in peace, we will work to maintain it. God’s Word outlines this lifestyle. (Psalm 119:165) When people’ lives please God, the will live in unexplainable peace that extends even to their enemies. (Proverbs 16:7) Godly wisdom always promotes peace in the life of a believer allowing us to know Him more and serve Him better. (Proverbs 1:32-33) Doing the Word of God promotes harmony in the believer’s life as we follow the example of Christ. Peace is not by chance or circumstance it is a direct initiative for our life to prosper in God’s Plan and have His Promises by faith turned to confident hope that keeps us still until He delivers. And the Lord WILL deliver. But that does not mean that sometimes we do not become weak and weary in our pursuit. It is the choice that even in the midst of great hardship and uncertainty, I will trust God, believe His Word, follow Jesus and be led by His Spirit living in complete harmony with God the Father, Jesus His Son and the Holy Spirit which will always lead to perfect peace even in the most violent storm. The Lord will give you strength to continue and the confident hope to endure until the end. (Daniel 10:15-19) Why? You are precious to God!

Philippians 4:6-8 (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Lord, today I choose not to worry about anything although I may have to remind myself several times and ask your Spirit to do the same. I will pray about everything. God you know what I need but I am not afraid to tell you again so please hear my prayer. I want your peace Lord above all else today – the kind that exceeds anything I can understand. I trust you today to do more than I could ever think or ask. Please guard my heart and keep my mind fixed on you! You are my Hope. I put my faith in you and back it up with belief. I will fix my thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable – funny how that keeps leading me back to you! I will praise you today Lord from the midst of this storm, wiping the sweat from my brow in the race of faith, silencing my lips unless they are about to shout your praise. You are my Prince of Peace and I thank you for that Lord. Let Your Peace define my life today from the inside out and all around me. Please remain at the center of it all – Jesus! I will be a peacemaker whether it is in me or around me because I want to be a Child of God!

Colossians 3:14-16 (NLT)
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

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