The Connection Devotional - Week of August 15

August 15, 2014
Peace through the Word
By Skip Heitzig

I grew up as a child of the sixties. Everywhere I went, I'd see tie-dyed peace symbols: on shirts, on vehicles, and on signposts. People would flash one another the peace sign—a sign that once stood for victory. People were looking for peace then, and they still are today.

I believe that peace is the most sought-after commodity on earth because war is a constant reality. Just look at any newspaper. At any given moment you can find a vicious war waging somewhere. It may be war in Afghanistan; it may be terrorist attacks in Israel; it may be gang wars in the United States. Perhaps the war that is closest to you is one that rages among family members.

Though we see war raging all around us, as believers we can experience peace. Jesus told His followers, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). Unfortunately, while Christians are at peace with God, many of them don't enjoy that peace—they're still in the war zone. There are three primary reasons why Christians don't experience the peace of God:

1. They haven't rested in God's unconditional love. In other words, they don't believe that God could actually love them. If you find yourself in this category, reword the well-known Scripture John 3:16, inserting yourname. When you find yourself doubting God's love, repeat this verse until you believe it and can rest in it. "For God so loved (insert your name) that He gave His only begotten Son."

2. They listen to Satan's accusing voice telling them not to come before God in prayer. If you find yourself in this category, memorize Psalm 6:9: "The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer." Fight Satan's accusations with the truth of God's Word. God really does want to hear your prayers.

3. They have a distant relationship with Him. If you're feeling distant from God, it's good to ask yourself, "Who moved?" God has promised to stay by you; He will never leave you or forsake you. So if you feel a gap between yourself and God, take some steps toward Him. Memorize James 4:8: "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."

If peace could be bottled and sold, it would be a billion-dollar commodity. But our caring heavenly Father gives freely that which we cannot buy. God promises to "keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You" (Isa. 26:3). By memorizing Scripture, you are planting God's peace in your heart and mind. I pray that this week you will turn your attention away from the wars and the worries and toward the Word of God. I pray that you will find the peace of God on the pages of your Bible and experience the peace of God deep in your heart.

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