“You May Have Peace” Part Five

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This divine concern reaches into the temporal details of our lives. No child of God should ever become unduly anxious about the provision of his daily necessities. Jesus made this abundantly plain in His memorable Sermon on the Mount.

Pointing to the wildflowers blooming about Him, He said, “If God so clothe the grass of the field…shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?…for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:30-33).

What peace of mind we all would have if we followed this precious counsel! Of course, it does not mean that we should be slothful in our business arrangements, for indolence and improvidence are forbidden by other equally forceful passages of Scripture; but it does mean that we should cease from worrying so much about temporal matters and trust more confidently in the loving-kindness of God toward us.

To overburdened Martha, Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41, 42).

In so saying He did not mean to minimize the importance of home duties. He knew that such work has to be done. But He saw that Martha was more concerned with the housework that with God’s work. She was rushed and bothered because she thought she had no time to be with Jesus. Had she taken but a few moments to talk with Him, her soul would have been set at rest. It was a matter of putting first things first—and she had put them last.

Taking a little time now and thin to think about God and to talk with Hi is one of the surest ways of keeping your mind at peace.

If you know you are overwrought, nervous, quick-tempered, worried, it may well be because you are not praying enough. Communion with God is the most soul-calming force known. It will lift you out of the wild hurly-burly of a busy life into the serenity that surrounds His throne. It will correct your perspective and give events, people, and things their proper value. It will help you to realize that “the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Of course, it is easy to tell ourselves that there isn’t time to pray, what with the keen pace of modern life and radio, television, newspapers, and magazines, filling every vacant moment. Yet the more rushed life is, the more crowded our daily program, the more we need God. And if we would have His peace, we must find time to pray. Indeed, we must learn to bring all things to Him in prayer. As the apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6, R.S.V.)

With what result? “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (verse 7).

So, peace of mind is possible. God has made provision for it. It is one of the rich gifts of His love. You may have it if you want it. And you may have it now.

From “Your Bible and You”, by Arthur S. Maxwell, pg. 145-147

 

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“You May Have Peace” Part Four

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Note: To get a better understanding, read “You May Have Peace” Part Three.

It could be, or course, that your present disquietude is due not to past sins but to present temptations. You are worried lest you may fall into some trap the enemy of all good is laying for you. But here again God has made provision for the dispelling of your fears.

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation,” says the apostle Peter (2 Peter 2:9). He is right. God does know how to do it. As Jude says, He “is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (verse 24).

But, you say, maybe I shall sin again. Suppose you do. This will not take God by surprise. He has made provision for such a slip on your part. Should your conscience ever tell you that you have done something displeasing to Him, remember that you have “an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). He who died on Calvary for our redemption is now “even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34).

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (verse 26).

So we have strong help in heaven. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who together form the Holy Trinity of love, are eager to help us in our struggle with sin. They yearn for our victory. All the angels, too, are dedicated to be “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:14).

There is nothing God is not willing to do to help those who have surrendered their lives to Him. With such ample assurances why worry so?

From “Your Bible and You”, by Arthur S. Maxwell, pgs. 143-145.

End of Part Four.

“You May Have Peace” Part Three

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It may be that you feel that you have a proper reason for worrying. Perhaps you are thinking about some sin you committed years ago. You confessed it to God and asked His forgiveness, but you are convinced that He still holds it against you.

If so, you are suffering needlessly. If confessed and forsaken, your past sins should be dismissed from your mind. Your Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). As a result “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

To every repentant sinner God says: “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee. Sing… shout,… break forth into singing” (Isaiah 44:22, 23).

He wants us to be glad and rejoice in the salvation He has provided for us. And if He has blotted out our sins, why should we continue to worry about them?

“As far as the east is from the west,” we are assured, “so far hath He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). And that is a long, long way. It is, in fact, an infinite distance, beyond human measurement.

“If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity,” He says through the prophet Ezekiel, “he shall surely live, he shall not die None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him” (Ezekiel 33: 15, 16).

“Who is a God like unto Thee,” exclaims the prophet Micah, “that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:18, 19).

Only in recent years has the full wonder of this promise dawned upon human minds. For scientists have but lately discovered how deep the ocean really is. Parts of the Pacific are now known to go down more than seven miles. At that depth no wreck could ever be recovered nor could any diver each it. Under the enormous pressure it would be buried forever.

That is what God does with your sins, when you repent of them and ask His pardon. He casts them into the depths of the sea, eternally beyond reach, never to come to the surface again.

And if that is God’s intention, why worry about them any longer?

Why not leave them where He has put them and find rest for your soul in Him?

From “Your Bible and You”, by Arthur S. Maxwell, pgs. 141-143.

End Of Part Three

“You May Have Peace” Part Two

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Your Bible says that God is a “God of peace” (Hebrews 13:20). Nothing ever disturbs Him. No earthborn storms invade the holy calm of His presence. He is always at peace. With perfect vision He sees the end from the beginning. In the working out of His plans and purposes there is neither haste nor delay.

Can you imagine God being anxious? Impossible! There is no problem to which He does not know the solution. Nor is there any difficulty so great but He knows the way out. “There is nothing too hard” for the Lord (Jeremiah 32:17).

The Son of God is called “The Prince Of Peace,” and it is said of Him that “of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end” (Isaiah 9:7). That is because He understands the secret of peace. Having dwelt with His Father from “the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2, margin), He knows, as no other being can ever know, what perfect peace is and how it is maintained.

When He came to this earth and lived as a man among men, one feature of His life that deeply impressed both His friends and enemies was His perfect poise. Harsh criticism left Him unmoved. Unkind words never made Him angry. Rejection left Him sad but not revengeful. Even on the cross He prayed for those who drove the nails through His hands and feet.

Again and again He invited the weary, worried people who followed Him to share His placidity of spirit. “Come unto Me,” He said to them with loving sympathy and understanding. “Come and learn My secret.” “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

The farmers who heard Him say these words understood them perfectly. They knew that a “yoke” joins the animals who pull the plow. So to them this was an invitation to share their troubles and care with Him. It was an offer to carry the heaviest part of their load.

Many accepted this “yoke” and felt their burdens vanish. Tired mothers, anxious fathers, found peace in Jesus. They learned to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. See Psalm 37:7. They began to understood what the psalmist meant when he said, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee” (Psalm 55:22).

Especially concerned that His disciples discover the secret of peace, Jesus said to them again and again, in various ways, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). He was not afraid of the future Himself, even though He knew it would lead Him to Calvary, and He wanted them to share the peace that filled His soul. “Peace I leave with you,” He said to them, “My peace I give unto you” (John 14:27).

A little later they were disturbed again, this time by His statement that He was soon going back to His Father in heaven. So He added: “These things I have spoken unto you that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

They had no need to worry. His overcoming of the world, the flesh, and the devil, made certain the ultimate triumph of righteousness. His victory was theirs. They would share its glorious results with Him through all eternity.

So no tribulation or disappointment should ruffle our peace of mind or weaken our reliance upon the promises of God.

From “Your Bible and You”, by Arthur S. Maxwell, pgs. 138-141.

End Of Part Two

Extreme Teaching

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England: Dr. Rowland Taylor

The people of Hadley begged Dr. Rowland Taylor not to go see the bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor. They knew the bishop was furious at the teaching of Dr. Taylor.

For nearly twenty years, the English Bible had been legally distributed in England. Dr. Taylor had simply taught all those in his church to read the Bible for themselves and to follow its teachings. In contrast, religious leaders under the brutal rule of Queen Mary 1 called for strict adherence to the customs of the church.

After being insulted and accused by the bishop, Rowland replied, “I am a Christian man. I have not blasphemed against the church. In fact, by your own charge, you are the heretic. Christ died once and for all for the sins of mankind. It is sufficient. You and your traditions can offer nothing more.”

For the next two years, Dr. Taylor was a prisoner. When he learned that he would be burned at the stake outside Hadley, he leaped for joy. He was not concerned for his safety. Instead he rejoiced at the thought of traveling through Hadley and once again seeing his brothers and sisters in the faith.

Dr. Rowland Taylor was martyred in the winter of 1555.

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching.” John 14:23 NIV

Love is spoken in many different languages. People need to hear love in their own language in order to recognize it. Some husbands serve their wives breakfast in bed to demonstrate their love. Still other spouses need a thoughtful gift in order to hear “I love you” loud and clear. Greeting card companies hope we’ll say it with words. Jesus, however, says that His love language is obedience. That is how we express our love to Him. When we obey Him, we show that we love Him. Taylor was martyred for teaching his followers to speak Jesus’ love language. He taught them to read the Bible and obey its teaching. Show Jesus you love Him, and honor Dr. Taylor’s memory today.

From “Extreme Devotion”, by The Voice Of The Martyrs

(C) 2001, The Voice Of The Martyrs

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.