Archive for September, 2021

The Peace of God

JESUS SPEAKING

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) 

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

The thoughts and emotions of the unregenerate (unsaved) human being fluctuate wildly; rising and falling based upon their shifting circumstances, carnal appetites, and mental preoccupations. Thus the tranquility that the world offers is fleeting, momentary, and unstable. However, the peace that comes through faith in Jesus Christ is permanent, steadfast, and unwavering. When an individual chooses to become a believer, they must then receive the Holy Spirit; which becomes a source of lasting joy that transcends every unstable circumstance, difficult trial, and present tribulation. Only through God can we know peace in the presence of our troubles.

As the story goes, Lady Hosie of England, on a visit to China, visited the leper hospital at Hangchow. She had photographed a group of lepers, when down the stairs was helped an elderly woman in a most pitiable condition; her sightless eyes, without their lids, were covered by a woolen mutch. A cry was raised that Chang Ma had missed having her picture taken, so the visitor prepared to take another with her in the midst. As she was focusing her camera, that worst leper of all started to sing, “There is a Happy Land,” and suddenly instead of poor lepers the visitor was seeing them as “saints in glory […] bright, bright as day.” She was taken to see one who was dying, and wondered what she could say to him. Steadying her voice, she called to him with politeness […] “Elder Brother, art thou at peace?” And from that frame, almost unrecognizable as human, with an affected tongue and from a lipless mouth, came a voice, cracked and yet steadfast, “Yes, at peace, at peace. And I shall soon see my Lord.”

Like those lepers, anyone can choose to know “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4: 7) Those who seek God’s peace must first be reborn; an act which includes sacrificing their old sinful lives for the new existence God has planned for them. Having placed their faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will enter them and renew and transform their hearts and minds. Only then can they know genuine peace; only then can they experience the true joy which isn’t circumstantial, but is rather the product of a regenerated relationship with the Living God. Through faith in Jesus Christ, accompanied by repentance, anyone who wishes can receive God’s Holy Spirit.

Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to know Your peace; an everlasting tranquility that does’t change or fluctuate with our circumstances. Give us more of Your Holy Spirit, that we might have joy, even in the midst of our trials and tribulations. May others observe Your steadying presence in us and be drawn to You for the salvation of their souls. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ name we pray. Amen. God bless all of you!

Divorce is Devastating

JESUS SPEAKING

Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.” (Matthew 5: 31 – 32)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

During the time of Christ’s earthly ministry, many of the more liberal Jews believed that a man could divorce his wife for any reason. Jesus corrected that malicious belief; reaffirming the sanctity and permanence of marriage. According to God’s divine will, divorce is only permissible when one of the married individuals has committed some act of sexual immorality; such as adultery. And yet even then, God desires repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation whenever possible. Like many horrific sins, divorce devestates entire families; creating insecurity, instability, and spiritual decay. It is therefore to be avoided at all costs.

Let’s take a moment to look at some of the consequences of divorce. In only 10 percent of divorces did both parents feel they had achieved happier lives. Children of divorce may have lower scores on self-concept and social relationship tests. Girls whose fathers left home before they were five years old were eight times more likely to become pregnant as adolescents than girls from intact families. As adults, the female children of divorced parents experience less trust and satisfaction in emotional relationships. Boys who have experienced divorce, become sexually active at an earlier age and are more likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases. Children of divorce are also less likely to view marriage as permanent and less likely to view it as a lifelong commitment. Kids from divorced households demonstrate lower grade point averages. Children growing up in single parent households are almost 200 percent more likely to be physically abused or neglected. Children of single parents are nearly twice as likely to have emotional and behavioral problems.

Jesus condemns divorce because it creates suffering in the lives of all those who experience it. Marriage is an institution created by God, which unites one man and one woman together as one; for an entire lifetime. Divorce tears two individuals apart; which damages them, their children, and society as a whole. May we always respect the unity and permanence of holy matrimony. May we continue to strengthen our marriages by loving and serving one another. May we not look to the left nor to the right, but always stay focused upon, and be satisfied with, whomever the Lord had given us.

Heavenly Father, we recognize the permanence of marriage. Help us to love our wives, our husbands, and our children with a passion. May we care for them as we would any possession you have relinquished into our custody. May we serve them; may we love them; and may be gracious toward them. Take away those things that divide us and draw us ever closer together in unity and affection. We love you Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen. God bless all of you!


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