Tuesday, April 28, 2009

As Much as Lies Within Us...

"If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men." Romans 12:18
That verse has been ringing in my spirit quite a bit lately. Another version says, "as much as lies in you..." I like that translation. Think about it. If we indeed are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), and if indeed we are filled with the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19), what if we allowed the God in us to shine forth in our time with other people? Wow! He is the Prince of Peace! (Isaiah 9:6) Our problem is that we get in the way. We become self-absorbed, thinking about our own perspective without a thought of the other person's perspective, or more importantly, without a thought of God's perspective.

Let's think for a moment about what peace is. One might think it is the absence of strife, division or pain. Is that peace? No. Peace is not the absence of anything. On the contrary, It is the presence of something. Ultimate peace is the presence of God. There is nothing like the peace you can experience when you are in the manifest presence of Almighty God! The Bible says that it is a peace that "passes all understanding." (Phil. 4:6-7) If we remember that it is the presence of something instead of the absence of something, we will realize that we can have true peace in the midst of all kinds of turmoil around us. If peace were really the absence of strife, we would only have peace in the good times. In this world, that would sure limit how much peace we can have! Paul got it. That's why he could say in Phillippians 4:11, "I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content."

The enemy sure wants to rob families, churches, communities, schools, and workplaces of peace. We cannot do anything about how other people react to issues that arise, but we can do more on our part to bring peace to a situation. I challenge you to take this to prayer. Every day this week, start the day by asking God to help you to remember to take Him to people with whom you come in contact. Pray that you will line up with Him. I like to say, "Lord, I place myself under You today. Let people see You and not me. I want to be a conduit of your love, peace, and healing to everyone who crosses my path. Help me remember that I take You with me wherever I go!"

I would love to hear from anyone who takes this challenge. Please come back and leave a comment about how this changes things in relationships in your life. You will more than likely notice a change within you first. You will start to see that you can experience peace even if the other person is not showing peace to you. Prayerfully, they will start seeing the peace in you and want it for themselves. I also suggest to read Ephesians 4:20-32 and Romans 12 and ask God to help you put this to practice. May God's Peace become real to you today!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I thank God upon every remembrance of you!

This past weekend I had the awesome privilege of going to 1st Assembly of God in Caldwell, TX to speak at a women's conference on Saturday and the church on Sunday morning and evening. It was like going to Mayberry! Now I understand totally what Paul meant when he said, "I thank God upon every remembrance of you in my prayers!" The people at 1st Assembly were so sweet! They showered me with love and received the word God gave me for them with joy. God's presence was so real in worship and during the messages. I will treasure that weekend for years to come. I thank God for the opportunity and I thank all of you at 1st AG! Get ready, God's bringing great increase your way! I look forward to the great reports. I look forward more to coming back and seeing for myself! :)

Feel free to click on the title to this post and see pictures of the conference in Caldwell.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Resurrection Day!!

"Jesus said unto her, 'I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.' " John 11:25

This was the verse that God laid on my grandmother's heart August 4, 1955, the day my grandfather met his maker just two weeks after he made Jesus the Lord of his life. That morning, my Grandmother Barron was scheduled to speak for a women's meeting at a church. While she was in route to the meeting, she couldn't get John 11:25 off her mind, so instead of delivering the message she had prepared, she talked to the women about Jesus being the resurection and the life. Little did she know that my grandfather's flight had a fire in the engine and crashed at the same time she was with the ladies.

While Grandpa was going down, he recited the Lord's prayer over the radio to the control tower. Though I do not understand why his time to go was that day before I ever came into the world to meet him, I am so grateful to know he surrendered his life to Christ and that one day I will meet him in Heaven--all because of Jesus' death and resurrection on the third day that we celebrate today!

Only God knows the length of our days on this earth. On that same flight was supposed to be one of the superintendents of the Assemblies of God. He was told right before take off that he had a phone call and if he were to take it he would miss the flight. He chose to take it. God was ready for my grandfather to come home, but he had more for this minister to do on earth. Either way, it was all because of Christ's resurrection!

Praise God for a lifestyle of Christian living that reminds us that we have hope because of that day over 2,000 years ago when our Lord and Savior conquered death, hell and the grave! That's a whole lot better than bunnies, candy and eggs!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Grace and Peace be Multiplied to You!

I had a dream recently that I was asked to speak to a large women's convention. When I got behind the mic, I exclaimed, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you!" When I woke from the dream I began to research that in the Bible. I found out that Peter opened both his letters with that exhortation in 1 Peter 1:2 and 2 Peter 1:2. He was writing to believers who were facing conflict in the form of persecution from outside the church as well as division from within the church. He put them in the right order because you cannot have peace until you have grace. Grace is God giving us the free gift of salvation that we do not deserve. That is what brings true peace!

With all the present-day conflicts we are facing, we will do good to delve into this a little bit deeper and see how it applies to us today. I researched the meaning of the Greek words Peter used for grace and peace. You're going to love this!

The Greek word for "grace" is "charis" which according to www.blueletterbible.org means:

1) grace

a) that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

2) good will, loving-kindness, favour

a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

3) what is due to grace

a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace

b) the token or proof of grace, benefit

1) a gift of grace

2) benefit, bounty

4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

The Greek word for "peace" is "eirene" which according to www.blueletterbible.org means:

1) a state of national tranquillity

a) exemption from the rage and havoc of war

2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord

3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)

4) of the Messiah's peace

a) the way that leads to peace (salvation)

5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is

6) the blessed state of devout and upright men after death

Wow! As I've been known to proclaim before, "That'll preach!" I want to proclaim that same blessing on you today, that all you just read be MULTIPLIED to you!