Sunday, July 26, 2015

PEACE: Word of the Day

Peace is, according to Webster, “freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.” This is such a great reminder that we all long for peace in our lives, not oppression. We want our souls to be quieted from all the noise and disruptions going on around us.  Happily, God offers us that peace.
Isaiah 26:3 reminds us we will find peace because we trust in God: “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.”     

Psalm 4:8 blesses me as I read: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.”

Philippians 1:2 shows us that Paul wants his readers to know God is the sender of peace: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Of course we all crave peace. We pray for sweet peace before we lay our heads on our pillows at night, and are tired of tears slipping down our faces. We honestly want the overflowing of the peace of God’s Spirit to fill our hearts. 

But how? 

It’s by putting all of our trust in the Lord, not in the situations we are going through.  It’s by leaning on Him with all of our being. And letting Him direct our paths that will lead to perfect peace within.

Galatians 5:22-23 talks about peace being one of the fruits of the spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." Remember, peace as a fruit is the characteristic of our internal trust in God. It can also carry over into our external countenance that can bring others peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 reminds me that “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I love all of these verses, but seem to gravitate towards this last one, knowing that God’s peace will guard my heart in a way I don’t really understand except that I put my trust in Him and Him alone. 

What better peace can we experience than that of the peace of God? It is the only peace that will stand up against time.

I choose peace!

Becky Capps

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

OFFEND: Word of the Day

Webster’s definition of offend is “to cause (a person or group) to feel hurt, angry, or upset by something said or done.” Bam! There it is, one of the emotions that have separated relationships between family and friends for centuries past, and I’m sure into the far away future.

God’s ‘wisdom book’ of Proverbs has two important reminders for us about our reaction to being offended:
  • Proverbs 1:11 also proclaims “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”
  • Proverbs 17:9 says “Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”
We are people who hurt, disappoint, and offend each other all of the time. There are numerous other things we do that are not very loving, but those are some things I was just thinking about. I’m sure I have offended people unintentionally just by being me. A wise person will accept those offenses, and show grace with love. However, an unwise one will start a score card, checking off each time they are offended by another person. WOA! Let's all stop that right now. Ask the Spirit of God to help you choose not to take offense, and foster love. And stop talking about each other: that is gossip when it isn’t going to help clear the matter up. (That's going to be another word of the day soon).

Oh when I think about how many times I have offended the Lord, I want to weep. Isaiah 5:12 in particular reminded me that “For our offenses are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us.” However, Isaiah 44:22 tells us that God is forgiving: “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”

We must be redeemed, or bought at a price, to be forgiven by God. Jesus is the ONE who has redeemed us by dying on the cross for our sins. Our offenses (sins) are wiped clean when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. If I can help you understand this better, please contact me. I love to talk about Jesus!

I choose to forgive people who offend me!

Becky Capps