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Inner peace is part of the spiritual inheritance Jesus left us: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). It confirms we’re experiencing true kingdom living, not mere religious rule keeping. It’s “fruit of the Spirit,” or evidence the Spirit is present and having His way in us (Gal. 5:22).
Like John the Baptist, God’s true messengers “guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:79). We should therefore earnestly “pursue the things which produce peace” (Rom. 14:19). Jesus weeps when we ignore His appointed “visitations” of peace or our opportunities to renew our peace by drawing near Him every morning (Luke 19:41-44).
As we continue doing so, God continues to “fill” us with more of His peace (Rom. 15:13). It supernaturally “keeps” (guards) our minds, even in very stressful situations, if we steadily commit all cares to God through believing prayer (Phil. 4:6-7). Christ “speaks peace” to us by bringing Scriptures to mind that explain our adversities and reveal what He wants us to do (Ps. 85:8).
God sends fresh supplies of peace to reassure us to stay faithful when others are abandoning Him (Ps. 125:5). He also renews our peace whenever we receive forgiveness or healing, do good works, win spiritual battles, complete tests or witness God’s fulfillments.
Peace always accompanies God’s wise guidance: “All her [wisdom’s] paths are peace” (Prov. 3:17). Whoever sows God’s Word will be “led forth with peace” (Is. 55:12). Faithfully obeying God’s commands brings “peace … as a river” (Is. 48:18). Continuing peace confirms we are becoming spiritually mature, fully sanctified by the “God of peace” (1 Thess. 5:23). Meditating on God’s faithfulness imparts “perfect peace” (Is. 26:3). Loving God’s Word prevents offense and imparts “great peace” (Ps. 119:165). Consistently yielding to Jesus’ lordship brings “abundance of peace” (Ps. 72:7), ensuring we’ll be “in peace” when He appears (2 Pet. 3:14). Ultimately, we and our children will “delight” ourselves in peace – forever! Thus, peace is a huge blessing.
Nothing is worth losing it. It kept Jesus tranquil through everything: long obscurity, public scandal, even the cross. And He’s passed it on to us.
Have you received His peace? Are you pursuing “the things which make for peace” (Rom. 14:19)? Is peace ruling your decisions, activities and controversies? Is it increasing, decreasing or absent? Follow its stabilizing guidance until the gospel, God and Son of peace establish you in the “way of peace.”

God Wants To Know You

“God Wants to Know You!” by Robin McMillan, Fort Mill, SC

The Lord isn’t satisfied with knowing about us. He wants to really know us. The following verses have captured my attention in a new way:

Not everyone who says unto me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’(Matthew 7:21-23).

The Lord makes a distinction between those who know Him and move in His power and those He knows personally. We need to be in both categories. It is important that we move in the power of the Holy Spirit so people can be set free and know the Lord. But, we can’t let that expression of knowing Him substitute for Him knowing us.

There is a difference in God knowing everything about us and God knowing us personally. Hebrews 4:13 says that “…there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” God knows everything about us, but does He experientially know us? He obviously distinguishes between knowing facts about us, even the secrets we have, from actually knowing us in an intimate way. The word intimacy has been loosely translated “into me see.” He wants to have personal experiences and communications with us. We need to let Him see into us in that we communicate to Him who we are on ever-increasing levels.

Consider the account of the Lord visiting Abraham and His concern about Sodom and Gomorrah:

“And the Lord said, ‘Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know'” (Genesis 18:20-21).

Even though the Lord knew the condition of Sodom and Gomorrah, He wanted to know in a more personal way, so He went to experience it Himself. It is not enough for our God to know about things. He wants to have relationships with people in every area of life so that He can know them personally.

Jesus is our access point into the Kingdom of God. Could it be that we are the personal access points, the doors if you will, of God’s access points into the world? He is our door up and we are His door down into the very affairs of life! Look at it this way: A property owner may rent a house to someone. By doing so he limits his access to the property by virtue of the terms of the lease. Though he owns the property, He can’t barge in at will. I know that God owns everything by virtue of creation, but He has chosen to limit His access to all things human by the authority He gave humans.

Verses in Song of Solomon 2:14 reveal the Lord’s profound desire to know His people intimately:

“…Let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.”

We are most clearly identified by our voice and our face. Your face speaks of letting the Lord really “see” who you are. Your voice has the ability to tell the Lord who you are. He says that your face is lovely. Let Him see it. He says your voice is sweet. Let Him hear it. Tell Him who you are.

Have You Told Him?

What if the Lord only knew you to the degree you intentionally and audibly told Him about yourself? How well would He know you? Have you ever intentionally told Him who you are? One reason we don’t is that we allow the truth that “He knows everything” keep us from letting Him know us in a deep way.

I have known the Lord over 45 years. But recently, my personal relationship has blossomed in a way I have always wanted. It is happening as I have chosen to tell Him who I am as though He knows nothing about me. The remarkable result is that He has begun to speak into my life in ways I didn’t expect. I realize that as I open up to Him in that way I am giving Him a more specific context to communicate with me.

I have said things like, “I was born on January 10th, 1951, in Anderson, South Carolina, while my dad was the football coach at Erskine College…” At one point in this new relational process, I began to tell the Lord about parts of my past that I had been ashamed of. Then I said, “But then You’ve never felt ashamed because You’ve never done anything to be ashamed of!” He responded to me, “That’s not true, Robin. I felt ashamed on the Cross!” His response startled me, but then I remembered the verse in Hebrews 12:2:

“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

I understood the concept from my years of reading these verses, and could quote it verbatim, but it never really struck me that Jesus truly felt ashamed. Then the Lord told me that He needed to feel ashamed so that He could profoundly sympathize with those who felt ashamed. Who could not love this Jesus! Then He told me that in the Cross He did something so wonderful that if a person fully understood what He had done for them they would never need to feel ashamed again. He put everyone’s shame to death in Himself as He died on the Cross. He paid that price, too.

Now It’s Your Turn

I know so many people who have suffered terribly destructive things in this life. Perhaps you are one of them. Many have asked Him for help and deliverance, but how many have actually told Him what happened? Tell Him your story. Open up your heart and your mouth and tell Him who you are. If you do, He may very well comfort you in ways you’ve never expected. Let Him see your face. Let Him hear your voice. For He says, “Your face is lovely and your voice is sweet.”

Robin McMillan
Senior Pastor, Queen City Church
Robin McMillan Ministries

Pastor Brenda concludes her series on the Authority of the Believer with her message titled “The Power of Our Words.”

The Power of Our Words

I Am Able

A daily devotional from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

I am able to do beyond all that you ask or imagine.  Come to Me with positive expectations, knowing that there is no limit to what I can accomplish.  Ask My Spirit to control your mind, so that you can think great thoughts of Me.  Do not be discouraged by the fact that many of your prayers are yet unanswered.  Time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me in the dark.  The more extreme your circumstances, the more likely you are to see My Power and Glory at work in the situation.  Instead of letting difficulties draw you into worrying, try to view them as setting the scene for My glorious intervention.  Keep your eyes and your mind wide open to all that I am doing in your life.

Ephesians 3:20-21; Romans 8:6; Isaiah 40:30-31; Revelation 5:13

Relax in My Healing Presence

A daily devotional from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Relax in My healing Presence.  As you spend time with Me, your thoughts tend to jump ahead to today’s plans and problems.  Bring your mind back to Me for refreshment and renewal. Let the Light of My Presence soak into you, as you focus your thoughts on Me.  Thus I equip you to face whatever the day brings.  This sacrifice of time pleases Me and strengthens you.  Do not skimp on our time together.  Resist the clamor of tasks waiting to be done.  You have chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from you.

Psalm 105:4; Luke 10:39-42

Step Across the Faith Line

A daily devotional from Kenneth & Gloria Copeland’s Faith to Faith

STEP ACROSS THE FAITH LINE

“And being not weak in faith, Abraham considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.” (Romans 4:19-20)

In the years I’ve spent living by faith, there’s something I’ve learned to do that helps me receive from God in the toughest situations.  It’s something I call stepping over the faith line.

A faith line is what you need when you want God to do the “impossible” in your life.  It’s what you need when you want to be firm in your faith and yet you keep wavering back and forth between your circumstances and God’s promises – believing first one, then the other.

It’s what can make you like faithful Abraham.  You know, Abraham had natural facts to deal with just like we do.  He knew there was no natural way for God’s promise to him to come true.

Yet the Word says Abraham considered not his own body.  In other words, Abraham ignored the natural evidence around him and believed only God’s promise.

Somewhere he stepped across the line of faith.

He made an irreversible decision to go with the Word of God.  He made a final commitment.  He chose to step past the point of no return.  And if you and I are ever going to see God do the impossible in our lives, we’re going to have to do the same thing!

How do you draw that faith line?

Begin with the Word.  Search the promises of God and purposefully believe what He said, and is saying, about your need.  Meditate on those promises until faith rises in your heart.

Then draw the line of faith.  Draw it in your mind and heart.  Draw it across the floor in your prayer room.  Say, “In the presence of God, in the presence of all the angels in this room, and in the devil’s face, I am stepping across the line of faith.  From this moment on, I consider this matter done.  From this day forward I give God the praise and the glory in the Name of Jesus.

From that moment on, speak only as if your miracle has already happened.  Turn your back on the problems, on the doubts, and turn your face toward Jesus.

God will do the impossible in your life.  Dare to step across the faith line!

Scripture Reading:  Romans 4:13-21

Created to Praise

A daily devotional from Kenneth & Gloria Copeland’s Faith to Faith

CREATED TO PRAISE

“Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.  Praise ye the Lord.”  (Psalm 150:6)

We’re created to praise God.  Some people don’t know that.  When the praise service starts, they sit back and say, “I’m not comfortable with all that singing and shouting.  I guess praise is just not my thing.”

Yes, it is!  According to the Bible, if you breathe, you were meant to praise.

And don’t try to slip by with saying, “Well, I have praise in my heart.”  That’s not enough.  The Word says you need to have it in your mouth as well!  (Ps. 34:1) Psalm 132:9 says, “Let thy saints shout for joy.” You can’t shout and be quiet at the same time.

When you first begin to truly praise, it may seem awkward to you, but if you’ll keep it up, it will become a way of life.  Why?  Because praise causes the glory of God to manifest in your life.  It causes you to walk in the light of His countenance (Ps. 89:15).  It will start a revival inside of you!

“But, Gloria, if I start to praise like that, people will think I’m some kind of fanatic.”

Well, good!  Did you know that every revival in history has been started by people the world considered absolute fanatics?  God does things differently than the world.  So when you set aside your inhibitions and start letting His Spirit operate through you, you’re going to look strange to those who are strangers to His ways. . .but you’re going to look wonderful to the Lord!

And, by the way, don’t just think of praising Him in the congregation.  Praise Him in your own private prayer time and throughout your day.  Learn to maintain an attitude of praise and thanksgiving.  When praise becomes natural to you in your own private life, it won’t be difficult to praise Him in the midst of the congregation.

Are you longing for a revival of God’s presence in your life?  Are you tired of just hearing about the glorious manifestations of His power in the past?  Then open your mouth and your heart and do what God has created you to do.  Praise!

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 150

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