Poem: You asked me for peace

Poem: You asked me for peace
August 31, 2017

You asked me for peace.
Your request left me perplexed.
Before asking me,

To read the rest of the poem, please go to the original site:

Source: Poem: You asked me for peace

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Jeremiah 29:7 Praying For The Enemy

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. Jeremiah 29:7

Going into exile was a difficult thing for the Israelites of Judah to do. As they are going into exile, God now tells them to settle in and serve their enemy. Then on top of that God tells them to pray for their enemy to prosper. His reason for praying for the enemy to prosper is that if the enemy prospers, so do the Israelites.

Praying for the enemy is something many Christians have no problem doing. However, it is how they pray for the enemy that is different. It is common to hear a Christian pray for his enemy that God would strike them down, or remove them. The focus is to change that person, so that one can have a better life. The problem with this type of prayer is that it is totally self-focused.

Years later Jesus would tell all believers to pray for their enemy and bless them, not curse them. Praying for the prosperity of your enemy is a blessing upon them. Doing this shows the enemy the love of God, not the hatred of people.

Not blessing your enemy will fall back on you in the same way. If the economy of everyone around you is failing, your economy will also fail. If there is no peace with everyone around you, then you will not have any peace either. If there is poverty all around you, then you will also have poverty.

No person can have peace or prosperity completely alone. It takes a community to have either. There will always be some in your community that will be your enemy–those who do not follow Jesus. If they do not prosper, you cannot prosper.

Along with physical prosperity, every person needs to know the love of Jesus. If you are praying against them and for their downfall, where is there any love in that? How will they know the love of Jesus, when all they see is hatred?

You may not always agree with your enemy, but you can pray for God to bless them and draw them closer to Him by His love and care. It is His kindness that will draw them to Him.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for your enemies; that you will show God’s love to your enemies; that you will be able to pray God’s blessings on your enemies; and that many will come to know Jesus through the love you show them.

Be Ready, Without Fear

hurricane harvey

Over the last few weeks weather has played havoc on the lives of many people in the United States and several island countries nearby. Two major hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, have hit the coasts and created a lot of damage.

damages harvey

The first hurricane, Harvey, hit land only a few hours from where I live in Texas. Houston, itself, is only about 1 1/2 hours from my place. I had many friends who live in some of the coastal cities and the Houston area that were hit very hard. Several completely lost their homes, others had their homes completely flooded out. It was a very bad storm.

flooded homes

During the last 2-3 days before the hurricane hit, people started running to the stores to purchase food and water. In the days before, till several days after the hurricane, many of the shelves in the store were bare. As fast as the stocker could pull water off a cart and put it on the shelves, the water was snatched up and purchased by someone.

bare shelves

Along with the shelves becoming bare of food and water, there was a run on gas. People quickly ran to the gas station to fill up. This occurred even more, once they heard that the oil refineries were broke down. There was a great fear of a shortage of gas. Gas and food prices started to rise in the fear.

Even now, after a week of Harvey being gone, there are gas stations that shut down nightly because they are out of fuel. People are still lining up at the stations to get gas. Talk is everywhere about the fear of the shortage of gas and prices going higher all the time.

I will not try to spiritualize the hurricane and say that God is judging America. He did not tell me that, so I will not say that either. It may or may not be true. God does use natural disasters to punish a nation. And there is sin in this world, so there are also natural disasters that will take a toll on human life.

What I do want to talk about is being ready without fear. Panic had risen in the hearts and minds of many people. This had caused the people to run to the stores and buy as much as they could, as fast as they could. This was all done out of fear and lack of preparation.

Many people live their Christian lives in the same way. They react to situations in their lives out of fear and lack of preparation.

Some negative situation happens in the life of a person and immediately he runs to God, crying out in fear and desperation for help. He then opens the Bible and scours it for verses of hope dealing with his situation. Prior to this situation, he never prayed, except at an occasional meal, or at church when the pastor asks everyone to bow their heads and pray, and he never opened the Bible, unless the pastor asked him to directly. The Bible sat on a shelf, collecting dust all week, until Sunday.

dusty bible

This is not a picture of someone who is ready. It is not a picture of someone who is prepared for whatever may come his way. It is only one of fear and desperation, just like those running to the stores to get food or gas during and after the hurricane.

2 Timothy 4:2 New International Version (NIV)

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

Paul had told Timothy to preach the word and be prepared at all times. Although Paul was talking about directly preaching to people the gospel message, it can be seen in preaching the Word of God to situations in your life.

As a believer you must study and know God’s word in your heart and mind at all times.

Psalm 119:11 New International Version (NIV)

11 I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.

Hiding God’s word in your heart and knowing it all times will keep you from sin. Running in fear is not trusting God. Not trusting God is a sin.

Time in Gods Word

The only way you can know God’s word and have it hidden in your heart is if you spend time in His word. The only way you can know God’s will for your life is if you spend time talking with God about it. And if you talk to God about it, you must listen to what He has to say.

God is a God of peace, not fear and panic. He is always in control of every situation in your life. Whether the situation is of hurricane size, or a bump in the road, God is still there with you. Know this before you hit that situation and you will have His peace and comfort in the storm. Spend time with God and His word, before life gets rough with a bad storm.

Do not place yourself in a position of running in fear to God’s word, drastically searching for some help. Know it before the time of need comes. Then you will be able to confidently go before God with your needs, knowing that He is there and in control. You will be ready for anything and not have any fear.

Prayer

Today as you think about this, please be praying for those affected by the hurricanes in Texas, Florida and any other states or countries in their path. Pray for their peace, protection, and restoration.

Jeremiah 14:14 False Visions And Delusions

Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” Jeremiah 14:14

As the people of Israel were being cast into captivity, there were many prophets who were proclaiming that God would come in and rescue them. They would say that God would bring them peace and give them back their land. Many were telling the people that they needed to fight against the invading nations and that God was on their side. All these things were being said because they believed that they were the nation of God.

God did not tell any of these prophets any of those words. The only prophet God was speaking to was Jeremiah and the words given him were much different.

Words like this are still spoken to this day. Speakers, preachers, teachers, and prophets all proclaim many things. There may be peace in America, or whatever nation you live in, but that is not the problem with a lot of the teachings that are occurring.

Many of the current prophesies or teachings are saying that God is accepting of sin. “Christian” leaders are now saying that various sins are acceptable in God’s sight and that God will not punish anyone for these sins. Words are said that if a believer accepts people in these sins, then God will love them and help them prosper.

God does not, now, nor ever has He, accepted sin or a sinful lifestyle as acceptable behavior. God is against all sin, regardless of political correctness or popularity.

These are the false visions and delusions that many people have. As a believer in Jesus, you must keep yourself focused on what God’s Word said from beginning to end. Do not allow yourself to deluded into believing that sin is acceptable.

God does love everyone who is living in sin, but He hates the sin. If one does not repent of the sin, there will be destruction in the end. If a nation lives in sin as a whole, there will be destruction in the end.

Who are you believing today?

God’s word?

Or the false prophets of today?

I pray today that you will know what God’s word says; that you will speak the true words of God; that you will walk in the truth of God; and that God will reveal the truth in the words people speak. 

Isaiah 57:1-2 A Reason To Be Removed

The righteous perish, and no one take it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. Isaiah 57:1-2

Death is something that most people have been around at least once or more times in their life. The older a person is, the more that he has seen death. As it occurs, often the question is asked, why?

Death is very hard on those who are still living. Those living are hurting from missing the loved one. Many go through struggles as to why the person had to die, especially when the person was very young, and maybe in great health.

It is even more difficult to see a person die young, who was a strong believer in Jesus and very active in being a witness. Looking at that person, others ask why God would remove that person because he was doing great work for God.

Although the reasons that God takes the life of a believer are as numerous as the stars in the sky and no one can fully understand the reason, Isaiah gives one good reason. That reason is to spare that person from evil, to give him rest and peace.

God knows the past, present and future of every person on this earth. He knows exactly what is going to happen to that person. As a human being, you do not know those things. you do not know how rough life will get for a person if he stays alive, but God does. God in His great wisdom and mercy will take the life of a person in order to spare them from a great evil.

Although as a human, you will miss the person, keep in mind where a dying believer will be when he dies. When a believer dies, he gets to go to Jesus and be at peace and rest for the rest of eternity. He steps into a world that is without pain, suffering or any evil.

As hard as it is to let someone go, let God’s wisdom prevail and let that person have the peace and rest God provides. Keeping a person here on this earth may be worse than the pain you are feeling in losing him. Trust God today and seek His peace and strength in your loss.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your life; that God will comfort any loss in your life; that you will know the joy of others going to heaven; and that God presence will be strong in your life.

Isaiah 52:7 Proclaim The Good News

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

People love to hear good news. A couple gets excited when they find out they are expecting their first child. A student loves to hear that he passed a difficult test. Fans get excited to hear their favorite team is going to the Superbowl. Voters love to hear that the person they voted for won the election. Soldiers and people love to hear that there is a peace agreement between two warring nations.

Good news is always great to hear, especially in a time when there is a lot of bad news going on all around. Turn on any news channel and one will probably hear ten bad things occurring for every one good thing.

Even in one’s own personal life, one can find a lot of negative things to talk about, if so desired. So hearing good news is what people desire.

Believers have some good news to tell, in fact, it is the best news of all time. The one thing that no person can overcome is death. It is a fact that every person will die. So telling some news that death can be overcome is the greatest news story of all time.

Death is overcome because God does reign. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, there was a peace agreement made between man and God. Salvation was purchased by the blood of Jesus for every person who believes.

As a believer you are the carrier of this great news. You are the messenger of the greatest news of all time. When you are walking through a store and see someone who looks like they could use some good news, tell him that God does reign and loves him and has salvation for him today. Be willing to proclaim that great news out loud to everyone you meet.

In a day where there is so much negative news happening, why won’t you go and tell someone the greatest news of all time? It may be the news someone is waiting to hear and needs to hear. In their eyes you will be beautiful with that great news.

I pray today that you will know the salvation God provides; that you will know that God reigns; that you will be bold in telling others about Jesus; and that you will proclaim to this world that God does reign.