Thursday, December 2, 2021
The prophet Isaiah says the reward for consistently focusing on God’s provision for daily life is perfect peace.

Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (KJV)

The power of Almighty God is so overwhelming and irresistible that worry cannot exist in the same space! Peace is the prevailing attitude in the throne-room of God. Woodrow Kroll explains the idea of “perfect peace” as like a double portion of peace. Remember Elisha desired a “double portion” of his mentor Elijah’s spirit?

Christ-followers remain serene and steadfast during confusion — because the Savior never wrings His hands and wonders what to do! There is no problem too great He cannot solve; no circumstance that He cannot overrule. The way is plain for the one who will simply place their trust in God with all their heart!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021
The apostle Paul calls Christ-followers to guard and preserve the peace of God.

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. (NASB)

One of the qualities of a Christ-follower is a peace that keeps us even tempered, through whatever comes our way. Satan will tempt you to give up that tranquility and indulge in negative emotions like anger, wrath, lust, etc. You can feel the peace of God being tugged at by these emotions! Hold on tightly and resist giving in to Satan’s temptations. The picture is of an umpire at a sporting event: let the peace of God make the decision as to where you go emotionally. Anything that tempts you to give up your peace should be resisted.

The apostle Paul calls Christ-followers back to an attitude of gratefulness! God loves us “while we were still sinners”; not by our righteousness which is like “filthy rags”. What do we enjoy as a Christ-follower that we have not received? Cultivate thanking God every chance you get, and you will develop a strong sense of contentment

Tuesday, November 30, 2021
The apostle John records Jesus’ words about how the birth-right of a Christ-follower is His peace.

John 14:27 [Jesus said] Peace I leave with you; My 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 fearful. (NASB)

There is peace and there is the peace that Jesus gives! As human beings you can lose your peace when you violate one of God’s timeless principles – when that happens, conflict begins. There are distractions that can divert our attention for a while, but when we are alone with our thoughts . . . the conflict starts up again!

This verse is telling you there is a peace that passes understanding. Albert Barnes describes this peace as one that, “meets all the wants of the soul, silences the alarms of conscience, is fixed and sure amid all external changes, and will abide in the hour of death and forever.” It’s a peace that provides the ability to handle the stresses of life. How wonderful that because you are a child of God, it is His Spirit that gives you this transcendent ability to cope!

Monday, November 29, 2021
The apostle John records Jesus’ call to the disciples to look to Him for overcoming power.

John 16:33 [Jesus said] These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. (NASB)

During the Christmas season it’s easy to become anxious and worry! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Savior would just tell us how to overcome such emotions? The good news is that He has done just that! When Jesus was just hours from being falsely arrested, beaten, wrongly jailed, and ultimately crucified – He was preparing the disciples for the future. Jesus had a supernatural peace that carried Him through. He wasn’t depending on the disciples; He was looking to His Heavenly Father Who controlled the circumstances.

The disciples were unclear who to look to for direction after the Savior returned to Heaven. Christ provided a substitute, just like Himself, in the Holy Spirit who would indwell all Christ-followers. Depend on the Holy Spirit to be a channel of overcoming power providing peace – when the world around you is filled with trouble!

Friday, November 26, 2021

The apostle Paul writes to encourage us to respond to the love of God.

 

Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;   (NASB)

 

Someone said, “there are some blessings God only gives to those who ask.”

Prayer is a discipline; it’s not easy and there are all kinds of distractions that can keep us from it.  But, for those who will “devote” themselves to prayer and make the sacrifice . . . God will show Himself faithful. 

Do not forget to thank God for what He has done . . .  is doing . . . and will do!  If you feel overwhelmed, remember what one Bible teacher said:  “the battle is the Lord’s, the decisive engagements of Christ and Satan in the wilderness and in Gethsemane and on the cross and at the empty tomb have all been won by Christ . . .” So, as you pray, be thankful for the victory Christ has won         .  We do not fight to win victory – we fight from a position of victory!

Thursday, November 25, 2021 (Thanksgiving Day)
The Psalmist writes of the confidence you can have in the living Lord.

Psalm 95:1-3 O come let us sing to the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all Gods. (KJV)

This verse is an invitation to worship and give thanks to God. Imagine a congregation of worshippers on either side of the aisle alternating in speaking this Psalm to each another! Remember the great shout of victory that comes with the final “out” of the World Series? That’s the idea of the words: “make a joyful noise”!

The motivation for this animated worship is our “great God” . . . the “great God above all Gods”! The first order of business is to give thanks. To whom? The “rock of our salvation”.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021
The apostle Paul writes about the importance of the faithful teaching of God’s Word.

I Timothy 4:4-5 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. (NASB)

“Every good and perfect gift is from above”. When you look at the up-close pictures of the planets in our solar system – the uniqueness of earth is obvious. There is no planet like ours. Other planets appear dead and barren – but the blue marble of earth has an atmosphere that sustains life!

Earth was created to provide a home for humanity; fertile soil to grow food; forests and seas provide meat and fish for the tables of the world. Everything we need for life has been provided by Heaven. Remember: life may present you with variety and abundance — but you can also be thankful with simplicity and sufficiency!

Tuesday, November 23, 2021
The apostle Paul writes to encourage Christ-followers in their ministry to one another.

Ephesians 1:15-16 [Paul wrote] For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; (NASB)

Paul had been a spiritual father to the Ephesian Christians and though it had been years since he had physically been with them — he rejoiced to hear of their increasing faith and love for other believers! Paul took his responsibility to these young Christ-followers seriously, and though imprisoned in a Roman jail, he regularly prayed for them and thanked God for their growth in faith. It’s no stretch to imagine Paul’s heart was lifted — and his own spirit filled with joy — as he saw the fruit of his labor going on for the Lord and maturing in their spiritual journey!

Someone said that regular . . . faithful . . . gratitude, for what God has done in the past, creates a greater expectation of it in the future. God places a high value on being thankful and it emboldens us to pray bigger prayers … to the God for whom nothing is impossible!

Monday, November 22, 2021
The apostle Paul writes to encourage those who are suffering.

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (NASB)

Faith suffers … if you are not being regularly thankful for what God is doing in your life! Life focus quickly turns to “what I don’t have” rather than “all I have been given by God”. Waiting for God’s time to answer your prayer is essential – as you may grow impatient thinking prayer doesn’t work for you.

God knows our prayers before we even offer them! Think about this: prayer doesn’t change God – it changes you! The key to answered prayer is praying for things God wants to give you & trusting Him when He either says “no” or “not now”. Being intentional in your thankfulness avoids taking God’s goodness for granted!

Friday, November 19, 2021
A psalm of David affirming the mercy, grace, and long-suffering nature of God to His children.

Psalm 103:8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. (NASB)
God’s love is easy to take for granted: as one Bible teacher declared: “God will never love you any more or less than He does right now”! God’s love for you is not performance based: it’s unconditional.
Yet, there’s more. God understands we are weak, flawed human beings. The first time we fall into sin – God does not strike us down with a bolt of lightning! Instead, He is long-suffering . . . slow to anger, willing to forgive.

Thursday, November 18, 2021
The apostle John writing to encourage people to believe in Jesus as the Son of God.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, (NASB)
When Christ walked the earth declaring, “I am the way, the truth and the life”– not everyone believed! In fact, most did not believe. Scriptures make it clear no one can believe in Christ unless the Spirit draws them.
However, when someone reaches out in belief in the finished work of Christ on the cross – a transaction occurs! The Holy Spirit gives us the right and privilege to become legal sons and daughters of God. With that family relationship comes the Holy Spirit to live within each Christ follower to strengthen and empower a life which pleases God. In fact, a process of transformation begins . . . making the child of God more like Christ!

Wednesday November 17, 2021
The apostle Paul writing to offer encouragement to suffering Christians.

I Thessalonians 3:12 May the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; (NASB)
Christ-followers are not to be static in their relationships. There is no point at which we can rest on our laurels and feel we “have arrived”, in our desire to live as Christ lived. We are either growing more like Him – or not.
The context for this prayer was the persecution of the Thessalonian church. Paul’s emphasis was showing the love of Christ to not only other believers — but also to those outside the bounds of faith. Not just that – but a Holy Spirit supplied, unconditional love . . . growing, increasing to all humanity – including the persecutors!