*Before getting to this week’s Bible study, I wanted to let you know I’m sharing my Wildflowers from Winter story at author Katie Ganshert’s blog today (Friday, April 27, 2012). Talking about how God brought good from past pain. Hope you’ll check it out: www.katieganshert.com/blog/
Cheating again this week. There were two powerful messages in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young this week that I’ve got to share. If you’ve not discovered this wonderful little devotion book, I highly recommend it. If you do have it, I’m sorry if this is a repeat; but if you’re like me, these messages can be read over and over without becoming old. Just for clarification for those who may not know, these devotions are written as if Jesus Himself is speaking. Along with the devotions, I will also be sharing related scripture. I hope you’ll take time to prayerfully read through both the devotions and scripture and allow God’s peace and love to flow over you.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“The steadfast of mind, O Lord, You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
(Jesus says) “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27
From Jesus Calling, Jesus says: Peace is My continual gift to you. It flows abundantly from My throne of grace. Just as the Israelites could not store up manna for the future but had to gather it daily, so it is with My Peace. The day-by-day collecting of manna kept My people aware of their dependence on Me. (Exodus 16:14-20). Similarly, I give you sufficient Peace for the present, when you come to Me by prayer and petition with thanksgiving. If I gave you permanent Peace, independent of My Presence, you might fall into the trap of self-sufficiency. May that never be!
I have designed you to need Me moment by moment. As your awareness of your neediness increases, so does your realization of My abundant sufficiency. I can meet your needs without draining My resources at all. Approach My throne of grace with bold confidence, receiving My Peace with a thankful heart.
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 5:16
(The Lord says) “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” Jeremiah 31:3
“I will rejoice greatly in the Lord. My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation. He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10
“Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men!” Psalm 107:8
Jesus says: I love you regardless of how well you are performing. Sometimes you feel uneasy, wondering if you are doing enough to be worthy of My Love. No matter how exemplary your behavior, the answer to that question will always be no. Your performance and My Love are totally different issues, which you need to sort out. I love you with an everlasting Love that flows out from eternity without limits or conditions. I have clothed you in My robe of righteousness, and this is an eternal transaction: Nothing and no one can reverse it. Therefore, your accomplishments as a Christian has no bearing on My Love for you. Even your ability to asses how well you are doing on a given day is flawed. Your limited human perspective and the condition of your body, with its mercurial variations, distort your evaluations.
Bring your performance anxiety to Me, and receive in its place My unfailing Love. Try to stay conscious of My loving Presence with you in all that you do, and I will direct your steps.
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39
Praise Jesus for the gift of His unfailing love and peace!
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Also, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to drop by my bungalow retreat, where I depict country-living, bungalow-style through words and pictures. This week’s photographic theme: Down By the Riverside.