Advent – Peace

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Colossians 3:15 NIV

In the world peace is defined as the absence of conflict.  The biblical definition of peace is more expansive and is speaking about having completeness or wholeness.  It is referred to as the taking of something that is broken and making it complete once again.  Jesus gives us peace by taking our broken relationship with God because of sin and restores it to completeness by His sacrifice on the Cross.  You can learn about this and other bible studies on a web site I hghily recommend…it is called the BibleProject

This is a great resource to spend time studying and learning about the bible through video.  May the peace of God be with you and flow through you each day.  Amen.

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“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in the Black Hills in western South Dakota)

Hope From God

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

When you feel discouraged and defeated…when situations and circumstances look bleak, remember the One who gave up His life for you.  He did it for love.  God is greater than any situation or circumstances in your life…God has promised to always be with you and God never breaks His promises.  Jesus Christ died to save all of us from sin and He has risen from the dead and it is because of Him that we have hope.  Amen.

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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

Be Still

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;”

Psalm 46:10 NIV

It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness, the quick to respond without thinking speed of the world.  Yet our God does not operate according to our worldly ways…it may be better to be still and wait for God.  How can we know what He is doing or where He wants us to be?  By staying in close contact and communication with Him, every day.  The more we can take time to be with Him the better we can understand what He is saying to us through His Word and through others.  Be still…be patient…trust His way.  Amen.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27 NIV

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)

Rest With Him

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[e] just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”

Hebrews 4:9-11 NIV

What can we do…where can we go…to get a moment of rest?  True rest and refreshment of your mind, body and spirit is found when we take time to rest with God.  It can be in prayer, reading God’s Word or even just sitting quietly in a peaceful environment.  There are these and many more ways to spend time in your relationship with God…how you do this is between you and Him…if you do this, well that is all up to you.  Take time to rest with Him.  Amen.

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park)

Rest In Him

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety.”

Psalm 4:8 NIV

Balance…for every moment we are rushing and running at a chaotic pace we should have equal time to rest with God and renew our minds, body and spirit.  We are not made to travel as supersonic speed all the time every day…and those who try will crash and burn…physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  Trust the Creator and His Word…don’t over schedule, strive to have balance, learn to say no to some things and listen to the Holy Spirit as your guide.  Walk with God.

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Monuntain National Park in Colorado)

He Is My Strength

It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.”

Psalm 18:32 NIV

Take time to sit in the presence of the Lord.  Whatever place and time works for you and your life…sit quietly and soak in His peace.  He will restore and renew you…if you will let Him.  There is no one and nothing in this world that can satisfy the deep desires of your heart…only God.  He is your strength.

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“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;…”

Psalm 46:10 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2021 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

Redeemed, Renewed And Restored

You were living in your sins and lawless ways. But in fact you were dead. You used to live as sinners when you followed the ways of this world. You served the one who rules over the spiritual forces of evil. He is the spirit who is now at work in those who don’t obey God. At one time we all lived among them. Our desires were controlled by sin. We tried to satisfy what they wanted us to do. We followed our desires and thoughts. God was angry with us like he was with everyone else. That’s because of the kind of people we all were. But God loves us deeply. He is full of mercy. So he gave us new life because of what Christ has done. He gave us life even when we were dead in sin. God’s grace has saved you. God raised us up with Christ. He has seated us with him in his heavenly kingdom. That’s because we belong to Christ Jesus. He has done it to show the riches of his grace for all time to come. His grace can’t be compared with anything else. He has shown it by being kind to us. He was kind to us because of what Christ Jesus has done. God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift. It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it. 10 We are God’s creation. He created us to belong to Christ Jesus. Now we can do good works. Long ago God prepared these works for us to do.

Ephesians 2:1-10 NIRV

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“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”

2 Peter 1:3-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)

Saved By Grace

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:1-10 NIV

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“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”

2 Peter 1:3-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)

Be Transformed

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV

Changed…renewed…remade…to make new again.  How we live, the decisions we make, our purpose and perspective are continually influenced by our life in this world.  If we fail to spend time feeding our minds and spiritual being with the Word of God and if we don’t spend time in prayer in relationship and communication with God, we will become like the world.  Only God can make us new again, with forgiveness, wisdom, courage, knowledge, trust and faith.  There are people in the world striving for the Fruits of the Spirit in their life…you may have to look for them with new eyes and a new perspective and those are available to all of us because of Jesus.  I pray we feed our faith and strive towards God and His will and away from the sinful nature.  Amen.

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“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

Romans 12:2 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at City Park in Winterset, Iowa)

Rest In Him

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety.”

Psalm 4:8 NIV

Jesus calls us to rest and to learn from Him and His Way.  He set the example for us and provides guidance throughout God’s Word.  Trust in Him and come to Him and you will find rest for your soul.  Amen.

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Monuntain National Park in Colorado)