Let Peace Reign!

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

Luke 2:14 (NIV)
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:14 (MSG)
“Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.”
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“Glory to God in the highest [heaven], And on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.” -AMPLIFIED

Once again we take a look at Luke 2:14. Today, though, let us focus on this promised “peace among men”. Peace seems to be very much lacking in our World these days. People cry, “Peace, peace”, but there is no peace.

Peace is such a precious commodity in this day and age. We search for it in our lives and we treasure it when found, because too often we do not have enough of it. True peace though comes from God; it is lasting and not dependent on circumstances. In fact, Jesus spoke these words to His followers, “Peace I leave with you; my [perfect] 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 afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]” -John 14:27 (AMP)

Something that we each must realize for ourselves is that this peace that God has promised to us is ours; even in the most stressful, chaotic times of our lives; if only we will accept it. Too often we become so focused on the storms in our lives that we miss the closeness of our Savior who is standing right there with us through ever situation. Case in point, Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee; when His disciples were terrified and thinking they were about to die. Jesus’ response was this, “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” -Mark 4:39 (NIV)

F. B. Meyer speaks on Luke 2:14 and God’s peace; sharing these thoughts. “It will come, because when the heart has only one aim to follow, it is delivered from dividing and distracting cares. It will come; because the glory of God is so lofty an aim that it lifts the soul into the atmosphere of the heavenly and eternal world, where peace reigns unbroken. It will come, because we are not greatly troubled by the reverses and alternations of fortune that are incident to all work in this world, since the main object is always secure and beyond fear of failure. What though there be the ebb and flow of the wave, yet the tide is certainly coming up the shore, and will presently stand at high-water mark. This peace is said in the Revised Version to come only to men in whom God is well pleased. Live to please God and He will breathe on thee his peace. Seek his glory, and He will make thy heart his home. Do his will, and thereby good shall come to thee.” – (Our Daily Bread)

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Isaiah prophesied of this over 700 years before His arrival. His prophecy tells us, “Hope of all hopes, dream of our dreams, a child is born, sweet-breathed; a son is given to us: a living gift. And even now, with tiny features and dewy hair, He is great. The power of leadership, and the weight of authority, will rest on His shoulders. His name? His name we’ll know in many ways—He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Dear Father everlasting, ever-present never-failing, Master of Wholeness, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (The Voice)

Let the Prince of Peace be in your life today and every day. There is no need to give in to the chaos and stress of this life; Satan uses those things to distract us from where our focus needs to be firmly place; on Jesus. Grab hold of the hand of the Savior and rest in His peace. In turn, share that peace with others. There is a whole World that is in need of that peace that passes understanding. Share God’s peace with everyone that you can.

My Prayer:
Lord, let your peace reign in my life. I try to keep my focus firmly place on you, but I have to be honest, sometimes I fail. Sometimes, I become distracted by the storms in this life and I become stressed over circumstances that I have no control. Forgive me, Lord, for trying to handle things that I have no business trying to handle. Be the Prince of Peace in my life; fill me with Your peace that passes understanding. I will trust you in every circumstance.

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Live in peace and be thankful.

A daily devotional by Tonia Slimm.

Colossians 3:15-17 (NIV)
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:15-17 (MSG)
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
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Part 1:

“Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always]. Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” -AMPLIFIED

Paul, speaking to the Colossians, admonishes them to let the peace of Christ rule in their hearts. Peace, the opposite of war, disagreement or discord. Peace would refer to living in harmony, a state of unity and given to understanding. Peace, the very gift that Jesus left His followers. “Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] 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 afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]” -John 14:27 (AMP)

Paul reminds that since we are one body we have been called to peace. One body, many members, but called to work together as one. Get a group of people together and there is bound to be differences and disagreements. Stop, listen to God’s still small voice, listen to one another and work things out together. Let peace reign! “None of this going off and doing your own thing.”

Immediately after endorsing living in peace Paul says a strange thing, “And cultivate thankfulness.” Why would he suddenly be talking about thankfulness in the middle of a conversation about peace? Thankfulness, my friend, will cultivate peace. When we forget to be thankful for what we have and for what God has done we tend to become ungrateful which leads to a criticizing attitude which in turn will disturb any form of peace.

“It looks like a very small virtue to be thankful. Yet, dear friends, the absence of it is one of the grossest of vices. To be ungrateful is a mean thing; to be ungrateful to God is a base thing. And yet how many may accuse themselves of it! Who among us is as grateful as he should be? Be thankful. When you are grumbling at your plain food, put this as a sandwich between your bread and butter, Be ye thankful. When you are complaining of the East wind, just try if you cannot spell this little sentence, Be ye thankful.” When you are murmuring about those sharp pains and that long sickness, this is the kind of tune for the little bird to whistle at your window, Be ye thankful. We have all much for which we ought to be thankful, however sad we may think our lot to be. Look on the bright side, rejoice in God: Be ye thankful.” -Charles Spurgeon

Let us live in an attitude of gratitude! Keep on being grateful for what the Lord has done in and through your life. Look for and give thanks for the amazing differences that have been made in you. Thankfulness should be a habitual habit; that would mean that we practice it. When we practice something we do it over and over again until it comes naturally; we can do it without thinking. Praise should flow naturally from the mouth of the child of God as well as peace should rule in their heart. It is time to do an accountability check and consider individually if we meet the standard that God has set. If not, then it is time to make a few changes in our lives.

My Prayer:
Lord, I want to have a thankful heart and live in peace with others. At times I do not meet your standards though; forgive me and help me try again. Forgive me when ungratefulness creeps into my life. Forgive me when I allow petty issues to disturb the peace. Let your Spirit be in me; leading and guiding. I will praise your Name and give you thanks; for without you what a lost and sorry soul I would be. Lord, I need you and I love you!

No matter what the circumstances let us praise the Almighty!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
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“Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” -AMPLIFIED

One of the most vital facts we must learn as children of God is to to praise and worship Him no matter what the circumstance may be at any point of time in our life. God is still God no matter what is happening in our lives. He is still the One who is in charge and nothing and no one will ever change that truth.

“Sometimes stuff hits the fan, and life is no longer the perfect picture we’d all hope it to be. And although our faith in Christ does bring us a new-found purpose and destiny, this is not to say that things aren’t ever going to be tough. No matter what you are going through, God is still good, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all comforting.” -Jarrid Wilson

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians some pretty tough standards it may appear. He said, always rejoice, always pray, always give thanks; no matter what your circumstances may be. We may read that and respond with, “Yeah, right. Okay, is that even possible?” Yes, my friend, yes it is. Paul would not have asked it of them if it was not an achievable goal.

There are a few things that we must remember in order to come to the point of obedience in achieving these goals. 1.) Satan will do everything in his power to stop us from worshiping and obeying God. 2.) Bad things often happen to God’s people. Face it there is sin in this World; it affects each and every one of us; even God’s children. 3.) Sometimes things happen that appear to be devastating and wrong, but God will never allow anything to happen to His children unless He can use it to bring glory to Himself.

Paul tells us to always rejoice. No matter what the circumstances may be; rejoice. Job experienced the worst of the worst; yet we find that he was able to worship God despite losing all he had, including family. Remember that the source of joy will not come from us, but from God, Himself. When we begin to praise Him, despite our circumstances, He will fill us with joy.

Always pray is Paul’s next admonition. Charles Spurgeon once facetiously told someone, “As you are tempted without ceasing, so pray without ceasing.” Oh, how true that is. If we truly understood and knew how often Satan was at work attempting to lead us away from God we would realize the urgency to be in continuous prayer for ourselves and others. A. W. Tozer depicted a praying Christian as a menace to the stability and establishment of Satan’s government writing that, “The Christian is a holy rebel loose in the world with access to the throne of God”

Paul then reminds us to give thanks in all circumstances. Now, this may seem like a tall order; even an impossible one, but in obedience we must step up to the plate and do it. God asks us to give Him thanks no matter what the circumstances may be and there is a reason for that; not only does it bring glory to Him, but it shows that we are trusting Him no matter what comes our way. It all goes back to realizing that no matter what happens to us we understand that God is still in charge. We realize that even when the good, the bad and the ugly come our way God is still in charge; no matter what.

Paul concludes these thoughts with these words, “…for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This is what God desires of His children. It sounds difficult to do, but friend it is not impossible if we face each and every situation with the right attitude. God never sets us up to fail, remember that. He loves us and He wants only the best for His children. If things do not work out as you think they should; stop what you are doing and remember to rejoice, pray and give thanks no matter what the circumstances are God is still in control!

My Prayer:
Lord God, help me to remember to always rejoice in you, be in continual prayer to you and to always give thanks no matter what comes my way. I know that you love me immensely and want the very best for me. I may not understand why things happen in my life, but I can know that you are working all things out for my good. Help me to trust you no matter what. Help me to have a good attitude too. Give me a grateful heart, oh Lord.

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To everything there is a season.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (MSG)
There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
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“There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven—” -AMPLIFIED

Solomon tells us there is a period of time for everything in this life. There is an appointed time for various seasons in our lives; a point where one season will end and a new one begin. For some people this is a difficult point because they struggle with change of all kinds. Solomon, though, tells us to expect these changes; they are in fact part of life.

“A time to be born and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to [a]tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to keep silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.” -Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 (AMP)

We all go through seasons in our lives. Changes that sometimes are easy on us, like the drifting of falling leaves in Autumn, and at other times difficult, like the blizzards of the North snowing us in. The thing to remember through it all is that God has a purpose for each season in our life; He has a plan. “And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers. And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified [declared free of the guilt of sin]; and those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity].” Romans 8:28-30 (AMP)

“Do not be impatient. He who made you has prepared the successive steps along which you must travel to realize your full human development. God knows what you need and will bring you to its fulfillment, only you must wait His leisure with whom a thousand years are as one day, and one day as a thousand years. He can mature events with marvelous rapidity, and you will find that He will perfect that which concerneth you, so that no good thing will fail… Do not be cast down. Sorrow and trial are only for a time. They have their seasons, and pass. It is not always winter, and God puts bright and beautiful things into our lives which we need not be afraid of enjoying, it being understood that we do not snatch at them, or use them for our personal pleasure alone. Everything is beautiful after its sort and in its season, and every day has some element of goodwill in it, but we sometimes so strain our eyes towards a distant spot on the horizon that we miss the flowers on which we are treading.” -F. B. Meyer (Our Daily Walk)

We all go through various seasons in our lives, but we must remember this; God is faithful to us in every season of our lives. Solomon also reminds us of this truth, “He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” -Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

We may not understand what is happening in our lives at some points, but we can trust that God is always in control and He will bring about His perfect will in His time. Trust Him; He always has a plan. In His time all things will be made beautiful. Meanwhile, rejoice in the fact that You are His child and He loves you with an everlasting love through every season of life.

My Prayer:
Lord, I come to you seeking your good will in my life. I know that you will make all things beautiful in Your time. There are seasons of change in my life even now and yet, though I do not understand why, still Lord I will trust You. I will hold on to your everlasting promises made to all your children and know that you will work all things together for my good. I know that nothing can touch me unless you allow it to do so. I also know that greater is He, that’s you God, who is in me, than he who is in the World. Please fill me with your peace as we walk through this season together.