Tag Archives: Peace

Free Youthful Lusts

2 Timothy 2:22-23 King James Version (KJV)

 22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes

One of my youthful ways was to start something and never finish.  It has dragged into my older years as well.  I apologize for the long delay in getting started again with this blog.  There is no excuse to keeping you hanging for the next lesson.  It is time to get the ball rolling again and I pray you will enjoy what God has for us today

There are things in my life that I just have to run away from. I want to think I can stand up and fight those things by the power of Jesus Christ.  I want to believe that I can declare I am free of them and have the weight of those lusts drop from my shoulders.  I want to think I am strong enough in the Lord to stay away from them.  But the truth is that I must flee from them.  Run as fast as I can when they rise up to once again torment me.  These things have been with me since my youth.  They have attacked me for a long time and I cannot stand against them.  If I try to confront the, I will fall.  I must run and run swiftly.  That is the only way to overcome them.

Instead of following them, Paul gives us a few things we must follow after, or run toward as we are fleeing those youthful lusts.  The word Paul uses for follow means to pursue with all haste, or to earnestly desire to overtake.  It is a strong word that indicates we must go all out in this endeavor.  The half hearted one will not be able to continue this pursuit.  He will be turned back to his youthful lusts and feal that devastating blow of defeat.  We must pursue these things with all that is within us.. There are few things more important than a pursuit of righteousness, faith, charity and peace.  Let’s look at these attributes and see why it is so important to pursue them, besides the fact that pursuing these will keep us from our sins.

Righteousness leads the list.  Following things that are good and right in the Lords eye will distance us from the things that are bad.  Remember the admonishments in Deuteronomy 27 and 28?  Those that follow after God are blessed.  Those who follow His righteous ways have so many blessings they cannot contain them.  They are surrounded by them and flooded with them.  It is unavoidable as we look through the Bible to see that the ones who follow after doing good are blessed beyond measure.  From Noah to Moses to David to Peter, all go from obscurity to powerful men who bring down strongholds in other peoples lives.  They have a witness that transcends time.  What can God do through you if you just follow after righteousness?  How will you be blessed by this kind of walk?  On the other hand, look at the curses that come upon those that do not follow His ways, listed in Deuteronomy 28.  It is not because God curses them, but because they follow after the wrong things, their youthful lusts, and this is the inevitable outcome.  Doing good and right things can only lead to blessings in your life.

Following faith is next.  Why would we turn from this after we got saved?  After all, the greatest gift God gives is salvation, and that is taken into our life by faith!  Why would we turn our backs on a lie of faith once we got saved?  It is the allure of those youthful lusts that turns us around.  It takes no faith whatsoever to follow our youthful lusts.  They promise fleshly pleasure and they usually deliver.  But our soul is left damaged, and we once again turn to faith that God will deliver us from our sins.  Faith is always standing at the door and knocking to open up and let us come out of that bondage and into the blessing of the Lord.  Faith can move those mountains, part those waters, wake up those dead bones,  and set the captive free. Faith can open your blinded sprit and deaf ears to the things of God.  Faith can deliver those around you fro sickness, pain, suffering, financial woes, depression and all sorts of things that plague our flesh.  Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “Without faith it is impossible to please God, but those who come to Him must believe that he is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  Living a life of faith is one of the most powerful things we can do.

Following charity is third on the list.  This is the same word that Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 13.  We will often transpose the word love in here, and that is OK as long as we remember what kind of love we are talking about.  It is not the wishy-washy love of the world that is here today and gone tomorrow.  It is not the kind of love that just gets a girl to say yes and is then gone.  It is not the kind of love that gets an ”I do” from someone only to turn it into an “I don’t anymore” a few years later.  The world is unfamiliar with this kind of love, or charity.  This is the kind that says I will give my only Son so you can go free.  This kind of love never dies, but instead it is there for us when all others turn away.  This post could really get long if I dive into 1 Corinthians 13, which is the chapter that defines the kind of charity we are supposed to have.  Just verse 7 is enough, which says that this kind of ,love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.  Without diving into all 4 of these attributes I ask you to go to God and have Him reveal what these 4 things mean to your life and your relationships.  Take up the challenge of following this pattern and you will not have time to return to those ways of the past.

The fourth thing we must follow after is peace.  Those of us who are plagued with youthful lusts are also plagued with the sense that, even if I do flee them, eventually I will return to them so what is the point.  The inner struggle within is rages daily and we want so badly to go back to those things for the short, pleasurable gratification they give.  It is not a peaceful place to be.  And then the moment we act out again, the moment we tur around from our flight, peace leaves us because sin has entered in and the enemy of our souls comes to condemn us once again..  This is when we need peace more than any other time.  The enemy cannot bring chaos where God has brought calm.  Be at peace.  Follow after peace.  Do not let condemnation come upon you, for once you do that lust, that sin, will only draw you in deeper and hold onto you tighter.  But if you rest in the Salvation of the Lord and turn back to Him, peace will once again enter in, knowing that the Lord has already forgiven you. He did that on the cross, remember?  “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  He has forgiven you already.  Receive that forgiveness and walk in peace.

The last admonishment in  verse 22 is to follow men who call on God with a  pure heart.  There are good men of God in this world, and there are bad.  There are true teachers of the word and false prophets.  Make sure you are following those who serve God with a pure heart.  Those that are rightly dividing the word of God.  There are those who retranslate the Bible to fit their philosophy, or religion, e judged in the last days and exposed for their deceit.  I know I can follow my Pastor.  I have never met a man with such a pure heart for the things of God.  He shows love at every turn and will do anything he can to be a blessing to others.  He follows those things that are listed above at all times.  Paul tells us to follow him as he follows Christ.  Can you make that statement.  Do you follow Christ with a  pure heart?

Verse 23 tells us to stay away from foolish and unlearned questions.  Keep the main thing the main thing!  We are to spread the Gospel, the good news of Jesus life, death and resurrection.  We are to take the message of salvation to everyone we meet.  Don’t let them drag you into a dogfight over eschatology, or the evils in this world, or why so and so had to die.  Keep the main thing the main thing.  Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby in a manger, taught us the truths of God, suffered an agonizing death on a cross and then rose again to heaven to bring us salvation and eternal life.  All who call upon His name shall be saved.  Tell them that!

He Is My Peace

Ephesians 2:14-17

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

He is our peace. Our peace does not come from some foreign place or from inside of us or even from reading the word necessarily. It comes from Jesus Christ. Because He is our peace. He is the one who broke down the wall separating us from God. You might remember the account. When Jesus was on the cross, He let out a cry and the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom. The veil of the Temple separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. Inside the Most Holy Place was where the Israelites believed the very presence of God dwelt. It was such a Holy Place then only the high priest could go in, and only once a year was he allowed to go in there. And even when he did go in they would tie a rope around his foot in case he did something wrong and God would slay him while he was in there so they could pull him out. It was a Most Holy Place.

But when Jesus died and the veil of the Temple was rent in two,  that was breaking down the middle wall of partition. We now have access to God through Jesus Christ. We can come to Him anytime we want to. And this is where our peace comes in because Jesus Christ is our peace. We can now have peace knowing that God is right there all the  time,ready to hear our petitions and our cries. Jesus said “My peace I leave with you.  My peace I give unto you.  Not as the world gives give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled nether let it be afraid (John 14:27). The peace that Jesus gives is totally different than the peace of the world. It will always remain with us.

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Why is he our peace? He defeated the enmity between God and me.  I had to look up the word enmity because I wasn’t sure exactly what it meant.  The online dictionary says enmity means the state or feeling of being actively opposed or hostile to someone. It suggests true hatred. Paul says it the law of Commandments contained in ordinances that iis enmty. This is an interesting statement. The Jews lived by the law, they did everything by the law. It was their way of serving God. And Paul is saying here that it was an enemy that needed to be abolished. I can’t say that I fully understand all of it but I do know that we do not have to live under the law of Moses. We don’t have to live under the sacrificial law. It would be a burden to us. Jesus became our sacrifice so we would not have to do that. As a result He made His peace with God when His own flesh was crucified on the cross
And this is what verse 16 says. He reconciled us unto God in one body by the cross. The work that was done on the cross is amazing, and I don’t know whether I’ll ever fully understand all of the repercussions of that day when Jesus gave His life for ours. The simple truth is that He set me free. He set me free from the law, He set me free from sin, He set me free from Satan, He set me free from my own flesh. In every way that I can think of He set me free because He defeated the one that was opposed to me, which was the enemy himself, the devil. And there are times that I still allow my enemy to have a place in my life.  I need to stop doing that because whenever the devil’s around there is no peace. When I stand strong in the Lord, the enemy can’t come around because he’s been defeated

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

Now Paul says they came and preached peace, not only to people that were there but people that we’re a long ways away. We have the same call on our lives. How many people do you know that are troubled in their spirit or in their heart. They need peace. We have the peace that passes all understanding inside of us. Oh how we need to share it. This world needs a good dose of peace right now, probably more than it ever has before. Are you in a position to take that peace to the world? Do you have that peace deep down inside of you today? If you don’t then turn to Jesus. He is the source of the piece that you need to calm your weary soul.

Wonderful Peace

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

As a worship leader, I come across a lot of songs that just stick in my head.  During difficult times, this is a wonderful thing, because I can call upon them at any moment, and they encourage me over and over again.  I am reminded of one such song now – Wonderful Peace.  The chorus and second verse are most touching to me when I think about the peace of God:

What a treasure I have in this wonderful peace,
Buried deep in the heart of my soul,
So secure that no power can mine it away,
While the years of eternity roll!

Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
In fathomless billows of love!

 

This peace that God gives us is something that people can see on the outside if we truly walk in it. They won’t understand it, but they sure will observe it. It is a peace that surpasses anything this world can offer. Jesus said that He leaves His peace and then our heart should not be troubled or afraid (John 14:27). We can look at Jesus life and notice this peace while He was on this Earth.  He had peace about Him in every situation, even on the cross. And He said He was going to leave His peace with us. We can walk through life the same way He did. Nothing will bother us and we will live in harmony with God.

I know that I’ve mentioned this time and time again but it becomes so relative when I’m doing these studies. I was diagnosed with cancer March 10th 2016. And it wasn’t a simple cancer like prostrate. It was multiple myeloma, which has a long recovery cycle. I’ve been afflicted by several things that we are not sure whether they’re related or not. My right shoulder is not working and I’m right handed. And I have terrible neuropathy in both feet and both feet have succumbed to drop foot.  So I have to wear braces on both feet in order to get around. I need to use a walker even in the house.

Am I frustrated with all this? Of course I am. Do I question God and ask him why? Of course I do. Do I have peace about it? Absolutely. I know God is on my side and I know he does all things for my good (Rom 8:28) and I know if he has a plan and it includes His peace and an expected end (Jer 29:11). I’m not trying to brag but other people look at me and are amazed at the attitude that I have in the midst of this struggle. There’s a peace about me that only God can give, and the world does not understand it.

I pray that you’re experiencing his peace today. You will know if you have it because nothing will bother you. the enemy could send 1000 devils your way and you would know that God is on your side and you cannot be defeated. Relax and enjoy this wonderful peace that only God can give