DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-08-03
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Philippians 4:4-7
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)
BIBLE TEXT: 4 Most of all, friends, always rejoice in the Lord! I never tire of saying it: Rejoice! 5 Keep your gentle nature so that all people will know what it looks like to walk in His footsteps. The Lord is ever present with us. 6 Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. 7 And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.
OBSERVATION: When flying in an airplane, I am at peace when I see the pilot and flight attendants at peace. No matter how rough the water might become when traveling on a boat, there is hardly a need to panic if the captain is calm, cool and collective. When you tell friends not to worry, because you are praying for them, you might lose their confidence in the One in whom you are praying, if you lose total control at every little announcement by your doctor or nurse. I believe that there are good reminders in our Scripture today that reminds us that our Lord is always with us, so we have no reason for alarm. His peace is there for us, and in us!
APPLICATION: As I read today’s Scripture I was reminded of all the stress that people are going through these days, and perhaps you are as well. It could be financial stress, since most employers had to close their doors during the height of COVED 19; you may also be stressed over loved ones that may have encountered this dreaded virus; or you may be living in fear of a hurricane or weather condition threatening to impact your area. Whatever it is, I believe that you may be desperately hoping for peace in some form, to help calm your nerves, and be of help to others who are live in fear. If you are anything like me, you probably have times where you want the television off, as the added stress from all that is being reported in the news, feels like it could easily take us over the edge! But Paul was not talking about stress to his parishioners. He was teaching them to be gentle with everyone, and I don’t believe for a minute that Paul meant that we should allow others to run over us if they have no one else to take advantage of them. Instead, I believe that love causes us to act with others just as we would with mom, dad, siblings or a spouse. We give in for, and overlook, their weaknesses, instead of taking offense and lashing out at them. Because we have the love of Jesus living inside of us, His Holy Spirit strengthens us and gives us grace to love others in spite of their selfish attitudes and ungodly attacks on others for no reason. This means that we are willing, and will try in every way, to love others because Jesus loved us even when we were unlovable and deep in sin. Further, Paul asked that we seek God’s face in prayer when we struggle with something or someone. Remember, He’s our Rock and our Provider. He knows all things and loves everyone, so if we are struggling with any of this, we should look to the One who controls it all. I believe that our greatest takeaway today is that the ‘peace of God’ is with us, but because this comes at the end of Paul’s instructions, I believe it means that we could calm our fears and know that God’s peace is with us as we depend on Him and allow Him to be the God over all our anxieties and stress. Friends, for as long as we try to ‘hold the wheel’ and take control over our problems, God will probably allow us to mess up. Won’t you join me today in committing ourselves fully to God, our awesome, all-powerful God, so that He could ‘have the wheel’ and lead us gently on through this challenging life? You see, I believe that as long as we keep trying to take over, we are showing that we do not trust God and we feel like we could do it better. If we say that we trust in God and depend on Him, yet we do not show that the power of God controls us and gives us confidence to trust in Him, then others will soon conclude that they want something a whole lot more stable and/or confident. Friends, I need peace and I believe that you need peace amongst our storms of life. And unless we trust fully in the God of peace, this world will eventually suck us into it’s awful grip. As children of God, we must seek His face to help us overcome!
PRAYER: As I pray dear Lord, I am humming that song ‘The Lord bless you and keep you, make His face shine upon you and give you grace. Amen, Amen, Amen’. Lord, I know You are very capable, please work on my friends and I to surrender our stubborn lives over to You and allow Your peace to envelope us. Not only do we owe this to You Lord, but also to our family and friends who needs this from us also. If we are filled with You and Your grace, and Your peace, then Your gentleness, Your peace, Your love and Your power will exude from us, and the world will know for sure that You’re alive and well. Please keep us in Your grace, and please help us to be accountable to all those we come into contact with, who tests everything we say or do. You are alive and well, may they see evidence of it in every aspect of our life. May our lost and dying world be drawn to You oh Lord, and may we be an influence for that, not a stumbling block. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!