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Monday, December 3, 2018 Third Day of Advent: The Gift of Peace

 John 14:27 NKJV: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.”

The gift I unwrapped this morning is the gift of peace. What a wonderful gift! Who among us can’t use more peace in these days of uncertainty?

The type of peace Jesus is speaking of in John 14:27 is not a “surface” peace where everything looks great on the outside but on the inside we are a complete wreck. No, this peace takes root in our heart and flows to every aspect of our life—emotional, spiritual, mental and physical.  No matter what happens, God’s peace never leaves us.  It is a peace the natural mind cannot comprehend. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7 NKJV)

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV) How do we obtain His peace? We have to get to know Him, personally and intimately. We must spend time with Him, listening to His voice, basking in His love. We can’t expect to have a deep and intimate relationship with our spouse if we don’t spend time with him/her. The same is true of God. Trust must be built and this, too, requires that we spend time with Him.we can’t build trust if we don’t spend time with God. As we learn that His love is unconditional, that He only wants the best for His children, we begin to know him and realize that we can trust Him with everything and every person in our lives. We learn and comprehend that He knows what is best for us. Once we have that knowledge, we can let go of that situation(s) that worries us and trust God to deal with it. When we surrender that situation to Him, His peace will immediately flood our heart, mind, and soul.

When we are walking in God’s peace, what do we display to those we meet? When our family, friends, coworkers, and strangers see us, there is peace and contentment on our faces. There is a smile on our face, our eyes are twinkling and joy radiates from us. People can’t resist wondering what’s so different about us. And if they don’t have that peace and contentment and joy, they will want to know how to get it. This is how we can witness of Jesus without saying a word. He is there on our countenance and in our hearts.

One of my favorite hymns is ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” Read the words and meditate on how trusting Him give you perfect peace.

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just to take Him at His Word;

Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Refrain

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

Refrain

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end. *

 

Refrain

*Words: Louisa Stead, 1882

Music: William Kirkpatrick, 1882

 

Abba Father, Help us to trust You with all of our life. We give you those situations that concern us this morning and we ask that You give us peace. Thank You that You stand ready to help when we ask and You are faithful to complete those things that concern us. We love you, Father. Amen.

 (c) Edwina E. Cowgill

 

Birth of Jesus, unforgiveness

Sunday, December 2, 2018 Second Day of Advent: The Gift of Vision

 

 “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets; that he may run who reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV)

Another translation of this verse says it this way: “Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others.”(The Message)

This verse makes it very plain that God has a vision, not just for the Body of Christ, but also for you and me.  If this verse is not proof enough to persuade you, here’s another one that is more specific in meaning: “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.” (Jer. 29:11) If there has ever been any doubt in your mind as to whether or not God has a plan for your life, you can banish that doubt now.

God gave Mary a vision – she was to be the mother of the Savior of the world. Put yourself in her place. Just imagine how she felt. Awestruck? Afraid? Nervous?  Can you see this young teenager in your mind? What would you do if an angel of the Lord appeared before you to give you God’s vision and plans for you? Would you agree? Or would you look around the room to see who the angel was speaking to because, surely, it’s not you. But it is you. You are the only one in the room. He loves you enough to want only the best for you.

When Mary questioned the angel who brought the news, she was not doubting—just curious. “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34). The angel explained to Mary that it would be by the Holy Spirit and went on to say, “For with God, nothing is impossible.” (vs. 37). Mary accepted God’s vision for herself: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be done unto me according to your word.” (vs. 38) She never doubted, never questioned whether or not the angel had visited the right person. She believed and moved forward in the vision.

God gave Jesus a vision. He was to be the Savior of the world. He was to live on earth as God-made-man for 33 years, die on a cross for the sins of the world and rise again in three days. Jesus didn’t balk, protest or do anything that would have indicated a lack of obedience. He went willingly into cities and countries preaching the gospel of Christ. He went willingly to Gethsemane. He went willingly to Golgotha and He went willingly to the grave. But God’s vision for Jesus did not end at the grave. Three days later, the vision continued as Jesus rose from the grave, triumphing over death, and the vision was completed as Jesus ascended into heaven.

God has a vision for YOU.  If He has shown you that vision, be obedient and walk in it. If He has not shown you the plans He has for you, ask Him to share it with you. In His time, He will show you His vision and it will be better than anything you could ever ask for or think.

Abba Father, thank You for the vision – the plan – that You had for Mary and for Jesus. Thank You for the vision You have for each one of us. I pray that You will give us courage and help us to walk boldly in that vision with confidence in You and Your plan for our lives. Amen!

(c) 2018 Edwina E. Cowgill

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Day Two: The Gift of Vision

 

The Gift of Vision

“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets; that he may run who reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV)

Another translation of this verse says it this way: “Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others.”(The Message)

This verse makes it very plain that God has a vision, not just for the Body of Christ, but also for you and me.  If this verse is not proof enough to persuade you, here’s another one that is more specific in meaning: “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.” (Jer. 29:11) If there has ever been any doubt in your mind as to whether or not God has a plan for your life, you can banish that doubt now.

God gave Mary a vision – she was to be the mother of the Savior of the world. Put yourself in her place. Just imagine how she felt. Awestruck? Afraid? Nervous?  Can you see this young teenager in your mind? What would you do if an angel of the Lord appeared before you to give you God’s vision and plans for you? Would you agree? Or would you look around the room to see who the angel was speaking to because, surely, it’s not you. But it is you. You are the only one in the room. He loves you enough to want only the best for you.

 When Mary questioned the angel who brought the news, she was not doubting—just curious. “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34). The angel explained to Mary that it would be by the Holy Spirit and went on to say, “For with God, nothing is impossible.” (vs. 37). Mary accepted God’s vision for herself: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be done unto me according to your word.” (vs. 38) She never doubted, never questioned whether or not the angel had visited the right person. She believed and moved forward in the vision.

God gave Jesus a vision. He was to be the Savior of the world. He was to live on earth as God-made-man for 33 years, die on a cross for the sins of the world and rise again in three days. Jesus didn’t balk, protest or do anything that would have indicated a lack of obedience. He went willingly into cities and countries preaching the gospel of Christ. He went willingly to Gethsemane. He went willingly to Golgotha and He went willingly to the grave. But God’s vision for Jesus did not end at the grave. Three days later, the vision continued as Jesus rose from the grave, triumphing over death, and the vision was completed as Jesus ascended into heaven.

God has a vision for YOU.  If He has shown you that vision, be obedient and walk in it. If He has not shown you the plans He has for you, ask Him to share it with you. In His time, He will show you His vision and it will be better than anything you could ever ask for or think.

 

Abba Father, thank You for the vision – the plan – that You had for Mary and for Jesus. Thank You for the vision You have for each one of us. I pray that You will give us courage and help us to walk boldly in that vision with confidence in You and Your plan for our lives. Amen!