First Things @ First

Pastoral Perspectives,

During the previous two weeks on Sunday mornings, Jesus, John and the Holy Spirit have helped provide some instruction and encouragement on what is required to find the one blessing that seems to elude most everyone in this world. That blessing is peace. Peace is something that the world has experienced little of throughout history. And yet peace is available to anyone and everyone willing to meet the conditions. We looked at the first important condition to experiencing the genuine peace of God a couple of weeks back. The first condition was the ministry of prayer. As believers, disciples of Christ we must learn to pray objectively and pray obediently. It is and remains primary in experiencing the powerful presence of our Lord daily.

The second condition is what I referred to yesterday as the ministry of His Person; referencing the work of the Holy Spirit. I know it may be difficult to comprehend that God takes up residence in the body of a believer at the point of surrender and salvation but that is exactly what He does. And as you and I permit Him to take over our life, He provides everything the believer needs to find and fulfill the will of God on this earth. There will be occasions when that involves conviction of sin because as believers we are faced with temptation and fight against sin. There will also be those occasions when His work in us involves the counsel for better understanding His will for our lives. And there will also be those opportunities when His comfort is necessary in helping us overcome what life throws at us.

This peace, His peace is not the absence of trouble as so many wrongly assume. His peace is experienced as we become keenly aware of His presence in us. Jesus described peace as a gift that He was providing for those who trust Him and do not lean on their own understanding. That is the main reason why so few experience His peace in the present life. Many tend to lean on their own understanding instead of His Word.

In a period when many prefer to try something new or purchase something to experience real peace; God reminds us that His prescription for peace is the only solution that's proven. The peace of God that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7) doesn't come in a pill. It won't be found in a syringe or the bottom of a bottle or at the butt end of something you inhale.

This peace, His peace cannot be bought or sold. Only experienced as His conditions are met.

God's offer of the grace peace is available to everyone today regardless of the storm or how long they have been in it.

We'll get to it in a few days, but Jesus said to His disciples then and to His disciples now--"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give 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

So, let it be said and may it be done--in you, today and through all your tomorrows!

Be encouraged!

Pstr K

Hebrews 10:35-36