Monday, February 29th

Monday, February 29th

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27

Praise the Lord! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands .... Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. Psalm 112:1, 6-8

The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident .... I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm 27:1-3, 13-14

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

Our focus this week is on the peace and confidence we have in Christ that delivers us from fear and its consequences. The world we live in brings our way a constant supply of things that militate against our being able to have and maintain the sense of well being we would like for ourselves. How often we turn to things that soothe our inner turmoil or things that numb us to what we feel and the things that make us feel that way. This is the kind of peace the world gives. Jesus says in the John passage above that the kind of peace he gives is a kind of peace the world cannot give. The peace of Christ does not merely soothe and numb. Jesus says that his peace will so change our inner state that we are no longer troubled or afraid.

Peace of mind and heart is Jesus Christ's gift to us. Yes, after his death, burial, and resurrection Jesus ascended back into Heaven and left his disciples behind. But very shortly after, the Holy Spirit came and filled the hearts and lives of his disciples. Ever since that moment everyone who receives the forgiveness of sins offered through Christ becomes a temple of the Holy Spirit. Scripture teaches us that Jesus Christ lives in and through us by means of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is present in our lives through the Holy Spirit and he delights to give us his peace and confidence.

Jesus Christ brings to us a stability of soul that allows us to have a sense of well being that resonates with a peace and confidence that the world does not know and can never give. Supernatural peace is Christ's gift to us for all the troubles, trials, and struggles we face. We must remember that Jesus never separates his peace from himself. Because he is present in our inner being, he can fill our minds and hearts with his gift of peace. Cultivating a close and abiding relationship with him makes all the difference. Read through the Psalms again and note the stability of mind and soul that God gives to those who turn to him and depend on him for it.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, I know a lot about what you want to do in and through my life. I confess that I have allowed you to do far less with me than you are wanting and waiting to do. Forgive me for my failure to let you flood my mind and heart with your supernatural peace. Forgive me for all my turning to substitutes instead of you. Show me very clearly and specifically what it is that keeps me from trusting you to make me no longer troubled or afraid through the gift of your supernatural peace. Here, I am Lord. I give myself to you for all that you are and all that you want to do with me.

(Because we had a surprise guest speaker this week, our Devotionals are borrowed from a previous series on Joshua)

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