“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
~ Romans 5:1 (NKJV)
May we never minimize so great a peace! May we never discount what it means to be at peace with God. We may long for peace here and now, but may we ever so much long for peace in eternity. May we remember how far we have fallen away from the grace and favor of God and how far He has come to turn away His great wrath and grant us His peace. We now have the privilege of serving the Price of Peace. He who declares to the storms “Peace, be still”. He, who is Jesus Christ, and brings to us this peace which Scripture describes as surpassing our understanding. God’s peace does surpass our understanding, doesn’t it? Who can comprehend such mercy? Such love? That the sovereign and eternal God of heaven and earth, He who is holy, blameless and pure – He who the Bible says is comprised of unapproachable light – would justify poor sinners through the sacrifice of His own Son – and reconcile, that is join together, His lowly creatures back to Himself through and by His eternal and everlasting peace.
“A sermon steeped in prayer on the study floor, like Gideon’s fleece saturated with dew, will not lose its moisture between that and the pulpit. The first step towards doing anything in the pulpit as a thorough workman must be to kiss the feet of the Crucified, as a worshiper, in the study.”
~ Thomas Armitage (1819-1896)
“I have sometimes heard of ministers that have been quite exhausted by the preparation of a single sermon for the Sunday. I am told, indeed, that one sermon on a Sunday is as much as any man can possibly prepare. It is such laborious work to elaborate a sermon. And then I say to myself, ‘Did my Lord and Master require his servants to preach such sermons as that?’ Is it not probable that they would do a great deal more good, if they never tried to do any such fine things, but just talked out of their hearts of the simplest truths of his blessed gospel.”
~ Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
~ Mark 10:45 (NKJV)
The life and ministry of the Lord Jesus was to serve others. Jesus came to serve, and to be an example of what it means to live a life serving, loving and helping others. Though Jesus was, and is, God in heaven, in coming to the earth, He took on the form of a servant. He came not with pomp and glory, but as a man in humble life. He practiced self-denial on their account, and for them was about to lay down his life.
Jesus came to us in the form of a servant in order not only to show us the importance of serving others, but also ultimately to give His life for us – the greatest act of sacrifice and servitude. We have to choose this day whom we are going to serve. The Lord or ourselves? Jesus wants us to take on the heart of the servant. To find fulfillment, peace and joy in serving others just as He did during this ministry. Pray to the Lord to grant you a servant’s heart. A pure desire to see the needs of others even above your own. To think and esteem others before yourself. To humble yourself before God and man that you might better others through your acts of service. For, in the final analysis, when we really let our heart dwell upon it, is this not what Christ has already done for you?
The search for your significance is over once you know the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says He is our Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. He is our all in all. We don’t need to look any further for our purpose, value, self-worth, than Christ to find our significance. For to have Christ is to have everything, and to not have Him is to have nothing. The significance of the Christian is not found in the thoughts, words and opinions of others. Nor is our true significance even found in our own opinion of our self. Rather, the true purpose and significance of the individual is found in Jesus and in Him alone.
“The heavens declare the glory of God, the earth shows forth His handiwork”
~ Psalm 19:1
What this verse is trying to teach is about the goodness of God towards us through giving humanity this beautiful creation to enjoy. How in creation, we see the indelible mark of a wonderful, kind, and artistic Creator. The Bible says here the heavens declare the glory of God. In other words, in creation, in the heavens, in the sky, sun, moon, stars and so on, God has revealed His own glory. If you want to see God’s glory, just look up. It’s on display in a magisterial way. God’s glory is not hidden away in some deep dark corner. His glory and grandeur are on full display as Creation itself declares the Lord’s infinite glory.
For Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel.
~ Joshua 7:1 (NKJV)
The story of Achan is really a sad one. Here’s a man who was one of the Lord’s own people, who was experiencing the blessing and favor of God along with the rest of Israel in their inheriting the Promised Land and yet, he could not withstand temptation, succumbed to the sin of covetousness and brought ruin to himself and his whole household. Worse, he thought he could hide his sin from God.
We can’t hide our sin from God and we can’t escape the sometimes fatal consequences from our sin. Not only does sin often have earthly consequences that effects those around us, those we love, but has spiritual consequences as well. Sin separates us from God and the Lord Jesus. Unconfessed unrepentanted of sin, hidden sin, only brings trouble, hurt, sorrow, pain and guilt.
Yet, the Bible says if we will repent and confess our sins, that God will forgive us. God has forgiven us in Christ. We just need to acknowledge that. 1 John 1:9, states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. God sent Jesus to forgive us. And He desires for us to come to Him, sin and all, and allow Him to grant His touch of gracious spiritual healing and forgiveness.
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.“
~ Philippians 1:6
God does not leave us unfinished, half done, incomplete Christians. He who began the good work of salvation, finishes that glorious work until the day of Christ Jesus. What the Bible is teaching us here is that God does not forget nor forsake those He calls to Himself. That once we are called unto salvation, God through Christ, ultimately sees us through to the end. The work of salvation is a persevering work. And this beloved is where our assurance and our hope stem from – from the goodness and grace of our God.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
~ John 14:26 (NKJV)
The role or purpose of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian is to teach us all things related to the one true Faith and to continually point us back, to bring into our hearts and minds, the person, work and words of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth for it is His design to illuminate the life of the believer in the glorious truth of God and the Lord Jesus. It is the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit that empowers us to know, love and serve the Lord. He draws us, leads us and moves us continually to Christ.
“My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me.”
~ Psalm 55:5 (NKJV)
In this Psalm, King David was dealing with two kinds of fears – external fears and internal fears. He feared the loss of the kingdom. He was being overthrown by his own son (see 2 Samuel 15:7-15). The nation was in tumult and confusion. He feared what would become of his throne and the future of Israel itself. He had all these external, or outward fears that had washed over him and consumed him.
Likewise, King David was dealing with heavy and severe inward fear as well. The Bible says David’s heart was severely pained with him. And I can imagine – not only was there a mutiny in the land of Israel, but it was at the hand of his most loved and cherished son. David was struggling with the fear of death – ‘the terror of death has fallen upon me’. David was on the run for his life from his own child. In this prayer, he simply confesses it has overwhelmed him.
Fear, both outward and inward, are not something reserved for people of old. God’s people deal with the reality of fear everyday. What do you fear? Do you fear illness? Failure? Change? Death? Whatever form it takes, our fears can, at times, overwhelm us.
Yet, when we truly put God first and fear Him the most, all other worldly fears melt away. Psalm 56:4 reads, “In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” Fear of the Lord. This fear, cast out the others. The more we come to worship, trust, love and serve and Him, the smaller our other fears will seem. David took his concerns to God in prayer and his God sustained and strengthen him to cast away his every fear.