Monday, June 30, 2014

Jesus is Our Peace

At times in my life, I haven't had peace. I have also heard people say that they don't have any peace. They can't get any peace.  Why?

Let me share a story with you...

Jesus had just finished teaching a crowd by the lake.  Afterwards, He said to His disciples...“Let us go over to the other side.”  He left the crowd behind.  His disciples took him into the boat.  A huge storm came.  The waves beat up over the boat where it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the back of the boat, sleeping on a cushion.  The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  Jesus calmly got up.  He told the wind, "Stop!"  The wind stopped.  Then, He said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”  The wave became completely calm.  He turned to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”  (Mark 4:35-41)

Jesus' disciples were so afraid during the storm even with Jesus right there in their midst.  Jesus wasn't afraid though.  Even in the midst of those turbulent circumstances, Jesus was at rest.  He was calm and peaceful.  He literally calmed down those natural, physical cirumstances for them.

There are many lessons for us to learn from this story. 

First of all---when we are afraid during specific situations in our lives---we can rest assured that Jesus is right there with us. 

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6, NIV)

Jesus was in the boat with His disciples then.  He is in our 'boat' with us now.

Next, He wasn't afraid during that physical storm.  When we depend on Jesus, we don't need to be fearful either.  We can put our hope and trust in Him.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3, NIV)

Thirdly, Jesus was calm and restful.  He was at peace in the midst of the violent storm. 

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7, NIV)

We also can experience the calm even during natural circumstances.  When we depend on Jesus, He will help us to be at peace and rest---no matter what's going on around us.

Finally, we can know that we will have problems or hardships in this world. 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33, NIV)

However, Jesus overcame all of the troubles that the world threw at Him.  We can also remember that we are overcomers when we rely on Him. 

Most of all, know that Jesus is our peace in the midst of every so-called storm in our lives.  He is the only one to go to whenever and wherever we are located physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.  He calms us.  He also calms down any physical circumstances around us.  We can only be at rest and peace with Him.

Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

It is Finished!

While Jesus was hanging on the cross, He became thirsty and asked for a drink from those who were tormenting and crucifying Him.  (John 19:28-29

When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.  (John 19:30, NIV) 

Those three little words---"It is finished"---mean much more than you may be able to comprehend immediately. 

"It is finished."  (Selah)  Think, consider, ponder, and mediate on those three words now.  (Joshua 1:8)  "It is finished."  (John 19:30)

Everything was accomplished for us---believers---at the cross.  By everything, I mean everything.  Salvation is ours.  Forgiveness is ours.  Healing is ours.  (Psalm 103:2-3; Isaiah 53:4-5; 1 Peter 2:24)  Provision is ours.  (Philippians 4:19)  Blessings are ours.  (Ephesians 1:3)  Inheritance is ours.  (Ephesians 1:14, 18)  And, the list goes on. 

We don't have to earn it.  We don't have to manually work for it.  It has already been done for us.  Jesus paid the price for it.  He accomplished it for us.  All of it is a gift from God, our Father.  And, He is the ultimate giver.  (James 1:17)  

We only receive as little or as much as we are willing to receive from our Father though.  Just like any earthly father, our heavenly Father will not force His gifts on His children.  They are free.  He wants to give all of them to us.  However, it is up to us.  We have to do our part in order to receive all of those gifts. 

We are His heirs.  (Romans 8:17)  As most heirs of an inheritance, we need to continue in a relationship with that person---namely, our Father, in this case.  That on-going relationship includes fellowship, communication, sharing with one another, learning and growing together. 

Through the relationship with our Father and renewing our minds in His word, we are able to believe  and receive more from Him.  (Romans 12:2; Hebrews 11:1; Mark 11:22-24)  We receive everything from Him by grace through faith.  (Ephesians 2:8-9

I want to receive all that my Father has for me in this life.  How much do you want to receive from Him?  What will you receive from Him?  It's your choice.  You decide.  Just know and remember that "It is finished."  (John 19:30)  

Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.