Peace and Joy

John 14:27
“…Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…”
John 15:11
“…these things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full…”

In these verses above, Jesus tells us that His joy is in us when we keep His commandments to love one another and glorify the Father. He also tells us that if we believe in Him that we will prove it by our works. And through these works the Father will be glorified. Jesus also tells us where His joy comes from; it is in us when we “bear much fruit”(Jn 15:8). Don’t just say that you are a Christian, prove it! Not to God, because He already knows the condition of your heart. We are not saved by these works, but rather the world will see them and perhaps someone will be saved “because” of them. In this the Father is glorified and this is the joy of Jesus!
Do you say that you love Jesus, yet you walk around with the weight of the world on your shoulders?
Do you say that you love Jesus, yet you walk around negative and judgmental?
Do you tell the world that Jesus loves them and that He saved you, yet you go about playing the victim of this world and your circumstances?
I tell you this, THIS IS NOT THE JOY, LOVE, WORKS OR FRUITS OF JESUS!!!!!!!!!
What is this joy that Jesus speaks of? It is being of good cheer and having a gladness of heart. This is a dying and doubtful world, prove to them with your actions not your words that the God that you serve, the God that you tell them has saved you and will save them is a God that is of good cheer. Nobody is attracted to a person that is down and negative, nobody. So why would a world that is downcast already be attracted to a God whose followers are downcast and broken? They won’t be!
John 15:8 “By this my Father is glorified, THAT YOU BEAR MUCH FRUIT AND SO PROVE TO BE MY DISCIPLES!”
Now all you fellow women out there that have “born” a child naturally can attest that to “bear” anything is hard, painful work. Why should bearing fruit for God be any different?
I think the “church” has lost sight of this very important part of scripture. We have preached for so long that it is not your works that save you. As true as that is, we have taught it for so long that we are now a body that takes and never gives. We sit as a body and complain about this issue and that. We sit on high and pass down judgment upon this group and that group. We preach, but have no love! We are annoying gongs going off in this world! Turning people away from God rather than to Him!
Jesus gave us these commands to follow:
Love one another.
Glorify the Father.
We know that this means that we are to love everyone, not just the people that we want to. But I must say here, please do not be fooled into thinking that this love that Jesus tells us to have is the love that the world speaks of.  This love is “Agapo” NOT “Agape”! Agapo indicates a direction of the will and finding one’s joy in anything. (This is the translation from the Lexicon). It symbolizes God’s love for us, and our love for God. The Lexicon goes on to say that Agapo and NEVER Agape is used towards our enemies. (Agape means love with compassion.)
So what exactly does that mean for us in everyday life? It means that we choose to be good and decent and kind and hospitable to everyone and finding joy in it!
Why?
Because it glorifies the Father and that is the joy that Jesus promised to give you!
Jesus said He left His peace “with” us; that He gave His peace “to” us. What is this peace? It is rest and the end of strife. Look, I know that this world is tough and that you face trials and hardships every day. There are some days that are harder than others to stand at all, let alone stand “for” something. I know, I have lived it and still do. But this one thing I will tell you, this one thing that I know for sure….t

Your Light Must Shine

Your Light Must Shine (Photo credit: Fr. Stephen, MSC)

hat if I let God be the center of everything in my life; the good and the bad, THAT GOD WILL WIN EVERY SINGLE TIME!
Each time I am faced with life’s many twists and turns and I choose to turn the other cheek, I am taking a rest from the strife that threatens to bury me alive. Each time I choose to direct my free will to love (Agapo) I am showing the world my works, therefore I am bearing fruit. I am not a branch that will be cast into the fire. Every time that I make one of these conscious choices, every time that I choose to bear fruit and follow the commands of Jesus I bring glory to the Father. And in this glory comes the peace and the joy that Jesus promised me…
As always, God Bless you till  we meet again…

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We All Fall Down

Overcome (All That Remains album)

Overcome (All That Remains album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arise and Shine

Arise and Shine (Photo credit: krenzynaline)

We all fall down, we have all been hurt, and we have all hurt others. We face trials and triumphs every day, some days are more trials than triumphs. We are sad and happy, lonely and overwhelmed by too much attention. We are human and weak with flaws. But we serve a good and faithful God. He is sure to keep us if we live for Him.
This has been a year of trials for my family and me; from the very first month of 2013 when I broke both arms and wrists; to this week being diagnosed with a brain disorder that may be causing seizures. I have had people that say they love me turn their backs when I needed them most. My youngest son has been diagnosed with medical conditions that will follow him the rest of his life. We have suffered huge financial setbacks. We have been the center of attacks both physical and spiritual.
But I want to share with you the blessings that have come from all these trials. I have been reunited with my father that I have been estranged with for 15 years due to my accident in January. I have set the example for my children how to overcome difficulties; as a result my daughter has reunited with her birth mother after a 3 year estrangement. My marriage has been exponentially strengthened due to the trials that we have been faced with this year. I have learned a deeper level of humbling than ever before. I have learned to lean on God in a way that I have never done before.
I will not say that it has been easy. And I will not lie and tell you that I have been successful 100% of the time. There are moments of unending pain that try to consume me, and I question whether or not God cares about my suffering. That is reality, as painful as it is for me to admit. But here I am, plugging away, day by day, serving a God who forgives me and sustains me for yet another day. He has a purpose and a plan for me, I just have to be patient and wait upon Him.
My reason for sharing this is to let you know that if you are suffering, if you are under attack; please hold strong to the One that died in your place. It is not easy, and there will be times when you will want to throw in the towel. But don’t, you have a choice. You can serve God whether you are on the mountain top or in the valley. He gives us the gift of a free will, we can choose to serve Him despite our current conditions or we can choose to follow our flesh; which is the way of the enemy.
There are far too many people that call themselves Christians that walk around with a chip on their shoulder. They are sour and their countenance shows it. Every word uttered shows it. They grumble, they complain. I tell you this, WE DO NOT SERVE A GOD OF SORROW AND DEFEAT; SO STOP ACTING LIKE IT! I know what it is to be broken, abandoned, used, abused and forsaken; but still I stand, by the grace of the God that calls me to His perfect plan. It is my duty and obligation to live up to His expectations for the life He gave me. I want to stand before the throne one day and hear Him say to me “Well done my good and faithful servant, welcome home…”

As always, God Bless you till we meet again…

"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and...

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.” – Isaiah 60:1 (Photo credit: QuotesEverlasting)

Sowing the Seeds of Peace

White Cala Lilies

White Cala Lilies (Photo credit: Roger Isabell)

 

Read James 3:18

 

The seed pod of milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

The seed pod of milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I struggled this weekend with this question; “If I sow seeds in a peaceful way, but I do not “feel” the peace within me does it mean that the fruit will not be righteous? Does it still count as me making peace?” I asked God if that made me a hypocrite. This led me to James 3; now my understanding here is that hypocrisy comes when we “pretend” to do something. I didn’t pretend to sow the seeds in peace; I actually sowed seeds in peace. I didn’t fake this peace, I want this peace, but none the less I did not “feel” the peace in my heart.
It’s hard for someone to be hateful to you when you come with an olive branch, (note that I did not say impossible), but hard. I know all too well what it is to “make” peace, but not “feel” peace. It’s hard, one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. I am a person who believes in justice and accountability. Sometimes this gets in the way of making peace for me. I don’t purpose that I have all or even a fraction of the answers. What I do know is that even if I don’t “feel” at peace with the seeds that I am sowing;  I am doing the right thing because I am not following my flesh but rather I am following the example that Jesus left for me.
The outcome that we are looking for when we sow seeds for God is righteousness. We know this because that is what this verse says. It tells us what the “fruit” of the seed is. How are we to “sow” the seed? In peace. And how can we do that? By “making” peace.
What does it mean to “make” peace? The word making is an action, it means to develop or evolve. Peace doesn’t just happen; we “make” it happen. We do this when we choose to overlook the sins of others, we do this when we choose to forgive, and we do this when we choose to do the right thing even when it doesn’t “feel” right to our flesh.
If we look at the 5 verses preceding this one it tells us what wisdom is and isn’t. Wisdom is the ability to be able to regulate circumstances in prudence towards others. If we “make” peace but we do it for selfish reasons than the fruit of that seed will not be righteousness. If we make peace because we are jealous in our hearts the fruit will not be righteousness. We make peace when, despite how we feel about someone or some circumstance, we do what Jesus would do.
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…