2 Thessalonians 3:16 “May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” ~CSB
Cooking is something I love to do. I am thankful for the desire to make delicious food because I can become a source for that particular taste that my family and I enjoy. Let me explain. I would go to a restaurant and taste an entrée and say to myself, “This right here is good! If I could just make this at home, we wouldn’t have to come back here to eat it.
That restaurant becomes a ‘resource’ because when my family and I crave that particular dish we go to that place, (that resource), to satisfy our craving. But when I learn to create the dish myself at home and can make that dish available to the family anytime, I become the ‘source’. I no longer need the resource because I can satisfy my craving for that taste of food under my own power.
Now let us look at this as it refers to being knowledgeable about Jesus Christ. Instead of focusing on memorizing our favorite scripture text, we should focus on knowing who Christ is. Tony Evans says in his Study Bible that, “It is not information about Jesus that will deliver you. It is Jesus who will deliver you.”
The information is the ‘resource’, the knowledge that ‘gets you there’. But when you get there, you need to be able to pull your own recipe for a blessing. Only ‘knowing’ God and The Son can do that for you. God is in us. Walking in the image of His Son allows us to create our own blessing recipes and allow the Source of the Lord’s power to work in us.
In other words, knowing the Son of God always supersedes walking around with just the information about Him. Knowing Him allows that power to come full circle in our hearts and allows the strength of our spirit to take over and tame our flesh.
It will allow us to receive God’s ‘peace’ during any storm that may attempt to toss our ships. This storm may be able to blow away the ‘information’ you have about the Savior, but it will just bounce off the power of 'knowing' Him every time. Why?
Because peace is the foundation of finding all solutions and the conqueror of chaos. When we know Him as the Lord of peace, then we can receive that peace from Him not only in our time of need, but also in our times of mediation and thanksgiving. It is during these times we mend our wounds from our trials and receive the blessings God always had in mind to give us when we are ready.
Paul prayed this for all believers. His prayer stands for you and me also. May God give us, “…peace always in every way. May God be with all of you.” Instead of going back and forth to a resource, (living on just information about God), let us learn from this text to tap into the ‘Source’, by knowing our Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. When we do this, we allow God to create that ‘dish of peace’ we crave so much, at anytime we crave it.
May the Lord always protect and guide you as you journey in Jesus’ name.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 “Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though the flocks disappear from the pen and there are no herds in the stalls, yet I will celebrate in the Lord; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!”
This text brings to mind a dark time in my life. 98% of that time I was in the vice of my alcohol addiction I was in denial. I refused to admit or say I had a problem drinking. I argued with my wife, I lied to her about quitting and when I got frustrated, I yelled telling her I had it under control. The addiction mixed with the denial covered up an anger I didn’t know about.
But it was that 2% that saved my life. That 2% that that was revealed to me when God’s Word began to strengthen my spirit. That 2% was my confession. The day I confessed, what my spiritual eyes saw, is the day that began my transformation.
Now, don’t get me wrong, even though I confessed, there was still a cloud of doubt surrounding me. My confession was the spirit telling me that God was in control. But my flesh wanted me to continue to see what was in front of my ‘physical’ eyes. My flesh was telling me, “…you’ve been drinking hard now for over 24 years. How do you think you can stop? You have to have a drink every single day now. You are too weak to quit and get better.”
This is what I was faced with. The chaos of the text was my darkness. If your fig tree is your only source of food and does not produce fruit; If your olive crop is your only source of provision for your livelihood and it fails. My addiction for alcohol had its time to grow and embed itself in my flesh. This dark journey went on for so long, I couldn’t visualize a day without it. 98% of of the fear entangled in our personal being is a result of everything going on in and around us.
But if we hang on to that 2% of faith, the strength of our spirit will overpower that 98% of doubt. How? Because when we “…celebrate in the Lord…” and “…rejoice in the God of salvation…” we allow the power of God to lay a miracle of healing on anything going on in and around us! His mighty hand will lay on our issue and allow that issue to become a blessing.
Because of my testimony about my addiction, I can now allow others going through similar addictions to see victory through their darkness. They can see in me God’s miracle of forgiveness, love and protection. Because my 2% was my praise in God, that 2% was strong enough to save my life!
I pray God’s power in your 2%. Hold on to your faith and watch the Word make it grow.
May God continue to bless you with His power and strength on your journey in Jesus’ name.
Following the Instructions
Psalm 19:7 “The instruction of the Lord is perfect, renewing one’s life, the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise.” ~CSB
My wife does not read instructions. She will purchase an item, whether it be a waffle maker, rice cooker or water pick, she will figure out how to operate the item on her own. Me on the other hand, even if I bought an old-style tape recorder with the six buttons, I will read the instructions from beginning to end.
One reason I read all of the instructions is because, one, I want to make sure I am operating the item correctly. And two, there may be so many other operations the device can do that I may not know about. In other words, I would like to get the most out of my product. I can’t do that if I don’t know what the item is capable of doing.
The same goes for our lives. We wake up every morning and live out our routines. Get up, go to work, participate in our chosen activities, and spend time with family. But what if we were meant to be so much more than the lives we lead? What if our purpose was hidden inside of us because we were not aware of the power we possess? Knowledge hidden because we didn’t read the instructions on ourselves.
Where are the instructions for us? I have found that my life is different because I read the Word of God every day. I find my instructions for direction as I live my life. I didn’t start off reading the Word of instruction every day, but because I have formed a spiritual habit, my journey has grown. My relationship with the Father has grown and because of that I have found out I can do more than I once thought I could.
Look at the instructions of that tape recorder I was talking about. I may read that the tape recorder can do more than I thought it could do. But those instructions may not be perfect. In other words, the batteries that came with the item may not work. So, until I get new batteries, it doesn’t matter how much the recorder can do, it won’t do anything until I get new batteries.
But “…The instruction of the Lord is perfect…” No matter how the Word instructs us to live, It will bring prosperity and life. We may not see the glorious fruits of the Word the moment we get the instructions but follow them and watch for the harvest. It will ‘renew our life’ and give us new meaning! It may take away or add to our routine, but a new desire of life will be birthed in us.
“The Testimony of the Lord is trustworthy…” God is not a man, that he might lie, (Numbers 23:19), what He says in His Word is true. His promises are to be expected and prayed for in thanksgiving. So as God testifies in His Word, this is the form of instruction of not only how to live but also of how He will always be there for His children. The same blessings, healings and miracles performed for those He loves in the Word, Old and New Testament, He will do the same for us who He loves so much that he gave His only Son for our sins. (John 3:16).
Follow the instructions given to you by God though His Word, and watch life turn into a spiritual adventure! God is waiting to train you in His will for your life.
May God bless and keep you as you journey in Jesus’ name.
Something to Look Forward To
John 13:3 “Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into His hands, that He had come from God, and that He was going back to God.” ~CSB
Working hard every day, enduring hard times or struggling during different seasons has its challenges. Even those of us that have jobs we love, get to a point where we get tired and just ‘don’t feel like it.’ But most of us that struggle through a rough time, accomplish this because we grab onto something we can look forward to.
For me, its my family. At the end of the day, I know I’ll be home with them. It doesn’t matter if I have seven more hours of hard work ahead of me, I know the day won’t come to an end until I see my family again. It is harder to face the challenges of hard work, working out or even learning to discipline ourselves to overcome an addiction or bad habit, without something to look forward to.
So here is some good news for those of us that feel they have nothing to look forward to. God has prepared a place for you through His Son. How about that! God has given us all something to look forward to!
In the text Jesus is about to wash His disciples’ feet. One of the lowest jobs of that time. But there was a lesson in the actions of our Savior and that is the lesson of a servant. When you find yourself in a position where you don’t want to be, understand that God is about to reveal Himself to someone around you in the midst of your struggle. A lesson He will teach through your actions in humility.
In verse one it says that “…Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart from this world…” Out of everything that was going on around Him, Jesus knew that the Father had given Him everything He needed. Just like the Father has given us everything we need to endure in the world. Everything we need to live out our purpose for the Father in this world.
So work hard knowing that God has given you the power to overcome. Conquer that addiction and bad habit knowing that God has a prize waiting for you at the finish line. Submit to the love of your brother and sister in forgiveness despite the devil telling you not to. God has forgiven us and allowed us a chance to be with Him in paradise as a result of all our hard work in our discipline.
Just as Jesus knew the Father had given Him everything, He wants us to know that we have the same opportunities. We have, “…come from God…” and we are “…going back to God…”
May the Lord bless you with His peace and guard your heart and mind in His Son Jesus’ precious name.
Authors Billy & Yolanda
This is the place where we share our heart through God's Word in faith that will inspire and empower you to live in peace.