Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Knowing Peace instead of Feeling Peace

Scripture Read: Psalm 4:6-8 Many are saying, "Who will show us any good?" Lift up the light of Thy countenance upon us, O LORD!  [7] Thou hast put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound.  [8] In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For Thou alone, O LORD, dost make me to dwell in safety.
Application:  The peace in this passage has to do with God’s oversight – not man’s circumstances. Many of us feel at peace when we have all that we “need”. We need to remember that “feeling” at peace is not real peace. But what happens to that peace when hard times come? I don’t like difficult times anymore than anyone else. I – like many – can become complacent when times are good and all my physical needs are being met. That can lull me into a false peace. When those difficult times come that is when I get a reality check. It is at that point that the peace that flows from God over rides circumstances. Because I know he watches over me I can have peace no matter what. So when it comes to what decisions I make in life – where I live, what work I do etc., the issue needs to be what God is directing to do, not what do circumstances look like. As a missionary, I have seen many others deal with this when support level is bad. Do I leave the field because of direction or because of concern over support? If God is taking care of me I need to sense His direction and then I will have peace, fully supported or not. This truth needs to penetrate into every facet of our lives. We will always be affected by our circumstances – we are human – but the more we allow the Spirit of God to reveal how we can trust Him no matter the outward circumstances, the less we will deal with the emotional sense of peace when circumstances turn bad. When our sense of peace is founded on what we know about Him the less effect that emotional sense has on us.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A False Peace

Scripture Read: Deut. 29:14-21 "Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath,  [15] but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God and with those who are not with us here today  [16] (for you know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed.  [17] "Moreover, you have seen their abominations and their idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which they had with them);  [18] lest there shall be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of those nations; lest there shall be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood.  [19] "And it shall be when he hears the words of this curse, that he will boast, saying, 'I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart in order to destroy the watered land with the dry.' [20] "The LORD shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the LORD and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven.  [21] "Then the LORD will single him out for adversity from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant which are written in this book of the law. 
Application: There appears to be a peace that is not a peace. Circumstances surrounding us are calm so we assume we are ok. It must be that at some point a man living in open sin can convince himself that due to the fact that God is not actively punishing him, that he has peace. Even though he has no real connection any more, but because he has quiet, he believes he has peace. Then when bad times come he realizes there is no peace, or as in this case he becomes belligerent about how he can do what he wants (“Well my sins are forgiven!” or  “Everything is going alright so I must be okay”) At that point God actively gets involved to teach him he is wrong. What kind of peace have I been nourishing? It is so easy to think that outward circumstances reveal where you are with God. That is the danger – we forget that that picture of the bird resting very comfortably underneath a raging waterfall best portrays real peace. I am sure I get sucked into the same wrong sense at times. That is why the key is the inner life – not the outer. If I know I am living right my spirit will be at peace with Him. I need to seek only His peace, that alone will come through obedience and desiring what God desires. Help me Lord!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Trusting even when we know!

Scripture Read: Genesis 15:13-15 And God said to Abram, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.  [14] "But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve; and afterward they will come out with many possessions.  [15] "And as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 

Application: Abram could die in peace – even though he knew the future was not good for his people. How is this? Abram was able to fully entrust God with the future even when he knew it would be bleak. This is the faith walk. Trusting even in spite of circumstances that you know are not good! I do not know my future so there is always hope. When I take that hope and place it at the feet of an all-loving God I can rest in that trust. What happens if I am placed in the situation that Abram was – knowing what will happen and that it will be bad? That is the way it is for the future of this earth and the church. I do not know when but I do know that at the end of the age the world will forsake God and even the church will be luke-warm. Should I now live not caring or uncommitted because I know whatever I do in the end the world will still run after the Anti-Christ? Not at all! I know that God has promised that whatever He brings into my circle of influence is an opportunity to bring Him glory and see fruit for His name. I will see growth in my character and experience the joy of seeing God change lives. I can only deal with God had brought my way – the world is too big for me to handle. I need to deal with only the part of it He brings my way.  We can rest in the truth that God will always do what is right, whether I see it or not – because I do see Him. I know Him and have experienced His love and mercy.