So how do we experience peace?
Peace is more than the absence of war. It means tranquility, rest, and well-being. Peace comes from God and God is the God of peace. God is the source of our peace. So how do we experience peace?
1. Be made right with God. The one who has placed his faith in Jesus Christ is made right with God and can, for the first time, have real peace (Rom. 5:1).
2. Let the peace of Christ always be present in your heart. Peace of heart comes from Christ (Col. 3:15). So, when we give Christ first place in our life and live as He wants us to, He gives us peace of heart. As members of the body of Christ, this is our responsibility and privilege (Col. 3:15).
3. Fix your thoughts on the Lord and what is good. Those who trust in the Lord and turn their thoughts often to Him will have perfect peace (Isa. 26:3). And the God of peace promises to be with those who fix their thoughts on what is true and good and right, and on those things they can praise God for (Phil. 4:8, 9).
4. Confess your sins to God. One method God uses to keep us pure and in close fellowship with Him is to take away our peace when we sin against Him and refuse to confess it (Ps. 32). Before He will restore our peace, He requires that130 we confess our sins to Him. Then He will forgive and cleanse us from every sin (1 John 1:9).
5. Resist the devil James writes that if we submit to God and resist the devil he will flee from us (James 4:7). One of those times we should resist the devil is when he points his finger at sins that we have already confessed. Another time is when he causes us to have feelings of guilt that are so general we cannot identify the sin which must be confessed. The devil hates God's people and wants to destroy our peace of mind, so he falsely accuses. In Revelation 12:10, the devil is called the Accuser. Don't ever let him get away with accusing you.
Forget the past. Although God has forgiven and cleansed us of our sins, we have a tendency to remember and impose self-condemnation. But the Apostle Paul tells us that he learned to forget his past sins and present imperfections, and look to Jesus Christ and His promises (Phil. 3:12-14). If Paul, who claimed to be the greatest of all sinners (1 Tim. 1:15), was able to forget his past, then we should also be able to accept God's forgiveness and forget. The one thing to remember is that God is able to forgive and forget our sins (Jer. 31:34). "He has removed our sins as far away from us as the east is from the west" (Ps. 103:12).
We must embrace...
In 2 Timothy 3:13-15 Paul writes to Timothy, “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (NKJV).
Our world continues to devolve towards a valueless society. Anything that is upright and holy is viewed as narrow-minded and outdated. That which is sinful is glorified through media and legalized through legislation. There is a real temptation for the people of God to conform to the standards of the world. However, Paul’s instructions to Timothy are words each Christian should embrace, “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of...”
Although things are getting worse as time goes on, we know what to do. For many Christians, the challenge is not in knowing what to do. It is in doing what we know to do. We must remain faithful to the word of God. God’s word is effective, powerful, unchanging, and unfailing. Hang on to God’s word. Continue to study the scriptures and put into practice what you study. Don’t lose any sleep over what the evil and corrupt are doing; you just do what you know.
You know what to do, just do what you know. Forgive those who mistreat you. Pray for those who try to use. Take a stand against injustice and unrighteousness. Do everything in your power to live at peace with all people. Treat other people how you want to be treated. Love people even if they don’t like you. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and to not lean on your own understanding.
Children obey your parents in the Lord. Parents, do not provoke your children to anger. Singles, glorify God in your body. Husbands, love your wives even as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord. Continue in the things you have learned and have been assured of.
Your Third Eye
It has been said that “seeing is believing.” “If no one saw it, it didn’t happen.” “I would not have believed it unless I saw it with my own eyes.”
Eyesight is one of the most precious senses that we have. Most of the information that our brains process comes from what we see. We will remember what we have seen long after we have forgotten what we have heard. Proportionally speaking, our two eyes are relatively small compared to the rest of our body. Yet their contribution to our lives is substantial.
However, there is a third eye, which is far more valuable than the instruments that occupy the sockets just below our forehead. It is an eye that sees the invisible, believes the impossible and perceives that incredible. It is the eye of faith. And unfortunately, many of us are blind in our third eye. In 2 Kings 6:17 Elisha prays to the Lord in reference to his servant, “Open his eyes that he may see.”
One day Elisha’s servant steps outside and behold, an army has surrounded the city. The servant goes back and asks Elisha, “What shall we do?” Elisha says, “don’t fear because we have them out numbered.” Elisha knew about the power of God. His third eye was open to the presence of God.
While the servant is looking at the enemy surrounding the city, Elisha sees that the army of the Lord is surrounding the enemy. Elisha’s servant has good eyesight, but poor vision. He saw so well that it interfered with his spiritual vision.
We can spend so much time focusing on the enemy and looking at the opposition that we fail to see the army of the Lord. God has the hosts of heaven available to protect and serve His people. When you find yourself feeling outnumbered and defeated, pray “Lord, open my eyes that I may see!” Whenever you think that the enemy has you surrounded and outnumbered you, check your vision in your third eye
There is something within the human spirit that leads us to seek after the next big thing. We want to be impressed, wowed, and wooed. We want our athletes and entertainers to take it up a notch and do the seemingly impossible. This is not a new development. For thousands of years, people have had a desire for the spectacular. As we see in Luke 11, Jesus Himself had to face crowds who wanted more. Although Jesus had demonstrated His power time and time again, they wanted more. But if they didn’t believe all of the signs that He had already given them, then they were unlikely to believe even after His resurrection.
People often use a new year to refocus and reassess their lives. They are looking for greater in 2018. But even before 2018 arrived, something greater was here. The Kingdom of God has come upon you. Too many Christians are looking for what they already have and praying for what they already possess. You already have the greater that you need to make 2018 your best year yet. You already have greater resources so that you shall not want. You have greater wisdom so that you can thrive. You have a greater Advocate to fight your battle. You have greater promises that will be fulfilled.
Jesus said, “Something greater is here.” We should not be satisfied with something new or something different when God has called us to something greater. Make a commitment to greater because something greater is here. Demonstrate greater love. Do greater ministry. Practice greater hospitality. Live with greater joy. Walk with a greater purpose. Have a greater praise. The Savior has risen. The kingdom has come. God’s power is available. Something greater is here.
Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.