March 9, 2014
Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:34, NIV
“One Day at a Time”
“It has been said that there are two days that people worry most about but should actually worry least about: Yesterday and Tomorrow. We worry about yesterday – the mistakes we made and what we would like to do over or differently. Yet, there is nothing we can do to change yesterday. Our worries are wasted. We also worry about tomorrow. It is out of our grasp. So again, our worries are wasted.
When we do not waste our worries on yesterday or tomorrow, it frees us to live in the present – today. Today, we are able to make decisions about our lives. Today, we can set our course, set off in a direction or alter our course, if necessary. Sure, we will still make our share of mistakes. And, we will still have worries. Each day brings enough to be concerned about. Still, seldom are life’s concerns unbearable today. Our worries become unbearable when we add the wasted worries of yesterday and tomorrow.
Jesus instructs us to live one day at a time. He knew that so much of what we worry about is out of our control. He wanted us to understand that God gives us today. And, as we live our lives seeking Him, we are in a safe place. Jesus promises that our heavenly Father will provide us with everything we need.”
“Your heavenly Father knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you love for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”
Matthew 6:32-33, N.L.T.
Today’s Study Text:
“But upon David, his descendants, his house, and his throne, there shall be peace from the Lord forever.”
1 Kings 2:33, Amplified Bible
“Words of Blessing – Peace From the Lord Forever”
“The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7, N.I.V.
What would it mean to me everyday to know that God’s peace is “guarding” my heart?
What is happening in my life right now that God’s peace would help settle my fears?
“If the basis of peace is God; the secret of peace is trust.”
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
John 14:27, K.J.V.
Definition of “Peace” in Greek: Quietness and rest. To set at one again. (John 14:27).
After telling his son, Solomon, that if he heeded God and walked in His way, kept God’s commands and obeyed His word, that blessings would flow into his life, David became extremely specific about the tremendous benefits Solomon would experience as he walked with his heavenly Father. David told Solomon he would be blessed with wisdom and a prosperous, prudent life. He also noted that God would place signposts along the way to provide direction during Solomon’s lifelong journey and furthermore, the blessings enumerated were not just for Solomon, they were for his offspring – passed down the family lineage from generation-to-generation.
But as far as I’m concerned, one of the greatest blessings, a promise left to the last, was that David’s family would enjoy God’s peace, forever.
As I began to study more deeply about the heavenly peace, promised to not only David and his family, but to you and me too, it didn’t take me long to recognize that the “peace” spoken of in Scripture isn’t like the locket I used to have with a peace sign carved on it. While the wonderful dream of total peace in our world – no war or fighting anywhere – sounds almost too good to be true in this old world of ours, the peace which is described in 1 Kings 2:33 and in the words of Jesus in John 14:27, is a peace which is possible in our own individual worlds, no matter what is going on around us. In the Hebrew, the word used in 1 Kings 2:33 for “peace” is: “rest, safe, to be wholly well.”
In John 14:27, in the Greek, we find Jesus’ word “peace” to be close in similarity, meaning: “quietness and rest, to set at one.”
These tranquil and serene definitions got me to asking myself: “How in the world can I have this ‘peace’ in my life today? You may be asking yourself the very same question as well.
This led me to reflect on David’s own life, for he was not a man who had seen a lot of what you and I might call, “peace” in his life. Beginning with his encounter with the giant Goliath and the many years he spent on the run living in mountainous caves and barren deserts, hiding from his enemy, King Saul, who wanted nothing more than a dead David, there appears to be little time where I’d call David’s life one of quiet and rest. Yet, this was what God promised would be the result when David and his family, “walked in God’s way.” And so, I had to question myself regarding the basis of this promise. What is the key to obtaining this “peace” so bountifully promised to us? Am I not at peace, especially during troubling times, because I haven’t asked God hard enough or long enough? Do I need to prove to Him the sincerity of my longing for His peace? Hardly!
Our Father doesn’t, as He tells us, withhold any good gift from His children and I believe “heavenly peace” is a good gift promised from above. A gift our Father wants us to possess.
It appears, much to my relief, that I’m not the only person down through time, who from a spiritual perspective, has struggled to find the answer to having a life infused by God’s peace. In my studies, I found an important key, that for me, helped to unlock my recognition of how God’s peace can fill my life, no matter what turmoil surrounds me. Howard Thurman wrote these incisive words: “‘Seek ye first the rule of God,’ the Master says. And after that? The key that one needs for one’s peace is in the heart. There can be no personal freedom where there is not an initial personal surrender.” Herein lies the critical answer to why Dorothy’s heart isn’t always at peace, for only when I totally and completely surrender to my Father’s will, can His peace infiltrate every fiber of my being. As Herbert Van Zeller so penetratingly wrote “Peace comes not by establishing a calm outward setting so much as by inwardly surrendering to whatever setting.” This is exactly what David found out and why he wrote in Psalm 119:165 (Amplified Bible), “Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble.” And then in Proverbs 3:1, 2, we again find Solomon, David’s son, shining a radiant light on what his father had told him about heeding, walking, keeping and obeying God’s Word: “Forget not (God’s) law or teaching, but let your heart keep My commandments: for length of days and years of a life worth living and tranquility (inward and outward and continuing through old age till death), these shall they add to you” (Proverbs 3:1, 2, Amplified Bible).
I have shared these words before with you. They are penned by one of my favorite poets, John Greenleaf Whittier:
“Drop Thy still dews of quietness
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.”
John Greenleaf Whittier
The year was 1873 when Horatio G. Spafford wrote one of my favorite hymns, “It is Well With My Soul.” I found I loved this song even more after reading about the deep affliction which prompted the words to this hymn. In 1871, Horatio G. Spafford, an attorney who was heavily invested in real estate, lost a fortune in the Chicago fire. Right at the same time, his four-year-old son died from Scarlet Fever. Deciding to take his family on a trip to England to hear his close friend D. L. Moody, Horatio went to New York, where his wife and four daughters boarded the luxurious French liner Ville du Havre. Detained by a work matter in New York, Horatio received a cable from his wife, who after the Ville du Havre had collided with an iron sailing vessel, had to inform her husband that their four daughters had drowned.
While on the way to join his heartbroken wife in England, Horatio Spafford wrote: “It is Well With My Soul”
“When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows, like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
‘It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
In the words of Jesus:
“I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left – feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.”
The Message Bible
“The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord: And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always.”
Book of Common Prayer
“You, Lord, give perfect peace
to those who keep their purpose firm
and put their trust in you.
We follow Your will and put our trust in You:
You are all that we desire.”
Philip Law, from
Isaiah 26:3, 8
“Let us not seek out of Thee what we can find only in Thee, O Lord: peace and rest and joy and bliss, which abide in thee alone. Lift up our souls above the weary round of harassing thoughts to thy eternal presence. Lift up our minds to the pure bright, serene light of thy presence, that there we may repose in thy love and be at rest from ourselves and all things that weary us; and thence return arrayed in thy peace, to do and to bear whatsoever shall best please thee, O blessed Lord.”
E. B. Pusey, (1800-1882)
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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