Peace with God

Peace with God

Do you have peace with God?
What is peace with God?
Can you have the peace of God and not have peace with God?

Peace: a settled mind, an untroubled heart toward another, not being anxious in the presence of another, safety, feeling secure, to be at one

 

For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your minds by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister. Colossians 1:19-23

Peace of God

God the Father sent Jesus Christ His Son in the flesh to die on an old rugged cross so that you and I might be reconciled to Him. That reconciliation is possible only because of Christ’s death at Calvary. When we received His gift of reconciliation, we were given the peace of God.

Peace with God

But to maintain peace with God after salvation, we must continue in the faith grounded and settled. We have been given the peace of God, but we must remain in a right relationship with God to have peace with Him.

When a man and woman join themselves in holy matrimony (a covenantal relationship), they are given the blessing of the law in that they are married and are considered as one. They have the peace of that legal relationship as they build a house, make purchases, and enter into business contracts, etc.

However, just because they are married does not mean that they will always be at peace with one another. They must maintain the relationship.

They must work at keeping a right relationship with each other. They must walk together, talk together, dream together, and share in each other’s wishes and desires.

When one spouse grows cold in the relationship, it unsettles the other. Insecure feelings creep into the relationship. Hearts become troubled. They are still married, but they are not at peace.

However, when the two renew the relationship with each other, peace ensues. Insecurity leaves and their hearts are at peace.

It is the same in our relationship with God, our hearts grow cold at times. We move away from our relationship with Him. Our hearts soon become insecure and weary.

God woos us back into a right relationship with Him.

When we allow Him to draw ourselves back to Him, our relationship is renewed. We are at peace once again with Him.

Our conscience does not bother us when we feel His presence. We enjoy hearing His voice. We long to feel Him tug at our hearts. We have communion with Him daily. That is when we have peace with God.

Is your heart troubled?

Do you have the peace of God in a covenantal relationship (salvation)? If He came for you today, would you be ready to go with Him to heaven?

Do you have peace with God?

Is it okay if He interrupts your day with His presence?

Does the preaching of the Word of God bother you about any area in your life?

Is there anything that is hindering your relationship with Him? Confess those areas to Him and allow Him to cleanse you and to renew your fellowship with Him.

Yes, you can have the peace of God and not have peace with God.

But wouldn’t you rather have the peace of God and enjoy peace with God?

 

Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If not, you can experience the peace of God when you call upon His name and receive Him into your heart. 

Seek Him while He may be found.

Call upon Him while He is near.

Receive Him and be forgiven of all your sin.

Enjoy your relationship with Him.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Sovereignty of God and True Liberty

True liberty cannot be enjoyed by a people who do not recognize the sovereignty of Almighty God.

 

It is God and God alone who has absolute authority over the affairs of men.

The Institutions of Home, Church, and Government

It is God who rules in the Heavens and the Earth, who has created the Laws of Nature, and who has instituted the home, Church, and government as societal institutions under His authority.

 

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.”  Colossians 1:16

 

To protect these institutions, God gave laws governing the conduct of each.

 

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

“And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.” Genesis 9:7

 

Home

Mankind was to exercise dominion over the earth.

The responsibility of the institution of family is one of reproduction. The display of government in the home is also a reflection of God and His glory.

The rejection of God’s laws concerning the home is a rejection of not only God’s sovereignty but a rejection of God Himself.

 

“And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10:5-6, 8-9

 

Church

The Church (local body of Christ) as instituted by God has also been given an important role in society.

Under God’s direction, the Church is to provide moral and spiritual guidance.

It is also to give instruction and provision for worship and fellowship.

 

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18

 

In rejecting God’s sovereignty over the church, man is declaring himself to be sovereign.

The deception of a man’s heart will lead him to follow vain philosophies and traditions.

His unrealistic view of life will cause him to blame his environment, government, or other factors as the cause for the complications and consequences of his uncontrolled desires. He will not see himself as a sinner in need of a Saviour.

 

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” Romans 13:1-2

 

Civil Government

Not only did God institute the home and the Church, He also instituted civil government.

 

“For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Romans 13:4

 

Civil governments were instituted by God to restrain evil.

The law is a schoolmaster to show us clearly our sinful natures. That law is based on God’s natural laws and the laws or principles as given in His Word, the Scriptures.

God’s laws do not change according to man’s desires. They remain the same.

When man rejects God’s sovereignty in this area, he will create his own laws. Those laws will change as his desires change. He, therefore, will lose respect for present law and for those whose duty it is to implement that law.

Refusing to adhere to God’s laws, society will continue in a downward spiral. The continued lack of respect for godly authority will give way to ungodly authority and that society’s eventual downfall.

 

“But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” Colossians 3:25

 

True Liberty

True liberty comes as we subject ourselves to the commandments of God concerning the three areas He has instituted for society.

As families follow God’s principles for the home, families will be blessed. Wives and children will be protected.

As local churches follow God’s instructions for evangelism, worship, fellowship, and guidance, families and communities will grow stronger.

As civil governments and civil servants follow God’s mandate for the implementation and obedience to God’s unchanging standard concerning good and evil, society will be safer.

 

“He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” Proverbs 21:21

“And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:17

 

True liberty can be experienced by all men as they submit themselves to God’s sovereignty and divine will.

 

For further study in Colossians, a great resource is So, What's the Latest News: Messages from a Prisoner in Rome. This title is available from WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan.
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A Great Example of the “Preacher”

The apostle Paul was and is a great example of the “preacher.”

Paul’s Focus

After hearing of the establishment of the church at Colosse, his response, as recorded in The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians, was not to immediately begin making preparations for a series of sermons to be delivered, but rather his focus was on the spiritual needs of the body of Christ in order to further stabilize them and increase their knowledge and discernment of the things of God.

His first response was to get a “word” from God.

In Colossians 1, we see that the “word” he received began with a message of grace and peace. His response in seeking God continued as he did not cease to pray.

Paul’s Desire

Paul’s prayers revealed his desire for the Colossians — that they might be filled with the knowledge of [God’s] will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; and [t]hat [they] might walk worthy of the Lord.

Paul’s Duty

Paul obviously saw his main duty toward men as instructional.

He followed Christ’s example in that Christ set about training and developing disciples who would then take the gospel message to the world.

Paul was seeking to build saintly men who would further seek to train saintly men who would continue the pattern.

Paul’s Prayer

Paul’s letter to the Colossians is filled with instruction born not from Paul’s mind but from the mind of God. It was Paul’s prayer life that brought forth God’s Word that was revealed to the saints at Colosse.

The “preacher” is first and foremost to be a man of prayer.

His communication with God brings forth the “word” from God that is needful for his congregation, for it is God and God alone who knows what is in the heart of men, what message is needed to facilitate change desired by God, and Who is the only One that can give the wisdom and discernment needed to deliver that message.

When the “preacher” mounts the pulpit, his message conveys whether or not he has been in communication with God. In other words, a strong prayer life reveals the true “preacher.”

Paul’s example as a great man of prayer is the example of the “preacher” that is needful today.

Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. Colossians 1:29


The Character of Epaphras: “The Servant of Christ”

In The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians we read of a man named Epaphras. This man had traveled by unknown means to the city of Rome from the city of Colosse.

By stating unknown we are recognizing the fact that people in those days either walked or traveled by caravan long distances. However, we do not specifically know why Epaphras came to Rome. He could have come on business, been brought by Roman request, or have come particularly to seek out the apostle Paul for wisdom and direction.

Whatever his reason for coming to the capital of the empire, he did wind up face to face with the apostle during the time of Paul’s confinement.

We learn several things about Epaphras during this particular period as stated in the epistle.

A Saved Man

In Colossians 1:7 and 4:12-13 we learn that Epaphras was a saved man who served Christ.

His position in Colosse and the surrounding cities of Laodicea and Hierapolis was as a minister. Whether that was as the pastor of a church body or as a traveling evangelist or circuit preacher is of little consequence. He was definitely ministering and evangelizing the area.

A Faithful Man

The above verses also tell us that Epaphras was faithful.

Not only was he faithful to Christ, but he was faithful to those to whom he ministered. He spoke highly about the positive traits of the church.

Although by reading the Scriptures we can infer that he also spoke of conditions concerning the church. Those were spoken of only because of Epaphras’ desire for help in ministering and establishing the saints in their personal walk with the Lord.

A Positive Man

His conversation was as any minister’s should be.

He spoke of the love shown by the Colossians toward each other, their faithfulness to Jesus Christ, their reception of the gospel, and the fruit that was being displayed by the church. He also spoke highly of their love of spiritual things (Col. 1:4-8; 2:5). In no way was he negative of the members of the body of Christ where he served.

A Praying Man

We also see that Epaphras was a prayer warrior (Col. 4:12-13).

Scripture tells us that he was “always labouring fervently” in prayers. His prayers were not general; they were specific requests to God.  Those requests manifest to us his desire to see the church “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

His burden is further shown by his great zeal.

It is refreshing to hear a minister speak excitedly about his congregants and the growth that is being experienced by the individual members of the body.

Epaphras’s focus was on what was right about the church.

His concerns focused on what would help the church go further in their walk with Christ. He wasted no time in gleaning from Paul instruction that would help him further his ministry to these people.

A Standing Man

Epaphras is also mentioned in Philemon 23.  Here he is described as being a “fellowprisoner.”

Was he arrested while visiting the city, arrested while ministering in Colosse and then brought forcefully to Rome, or arrested later and brought back to Rome, we do not know. We only know his stand for Christ led to his imprisonment of some sort.

The mention of his name in Paul’s letter to Philemon lets us know that Epaphras remained faithful in spite of difficult circumstances.

Faithfulness is a character trait that each of us should covet especially in these times of uncertainly. Faithfulness, service, zeal, and prayerfulness should be the description of every saint’s character.


Bible Study Tools

Bible Study Tools

There are several tools that we may use to help us study the Bible; however, they are no replacement for the Bible itself.

One can study the Bible alone and with the aid of the Holy Spirit be successful in attaining knowledge and wisdom. Never underestimate the power of the Written Word.

Sometimes it helps to add some tools to help us get a job done faster. Those tools assist us as we work toward the goal of repair or correction or as we build on a new foundation or continue a construction project. Every mechanic needs a good screwdriver and every plumber needs a good pipe wrench.

Concordance

One tool that will greatly assist the Bible student is a concordance. A good study Bible will contain one in the back of the book. It will list a variety of words in alphabetical order and give references where those words are found in Scripture. However, this type of concordance is limited due to space.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

I personally use Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. There are many others but this is the one that I prefer.

It lists every word in the Bible and gives every reference where a particular word may be found. This is very helpful when you are trying to find a particular verse but can only remember a part of it or can’t remember the reference.

This particular concordance contains a Hebrew dictionary for the Old Testament and a Greek dictionary for the New Testament so that you can also find the meaning of any given word.

Bible Dictionary

Another useful tool is a good Bible dictionary. Some are called Pictorial Bible Dictionaries.

These give definitions of words, character studies, information on Bible places, archeological findings, etc. The pictorial ones obviously include many pictures of places and things. Use discernment with these as they are not a replacement for the Scriptures.

Bible Atlas, Bible Maps, Bible Handbooks, Commentaries

Other tools that may assist us are Bible atlases, Bible maps, Bible handbooks, and commentaries.

A good map can help us understand where a story took place, learn about the terrain of an area, and the distance one had to travel between locations.

Commentaries can give us another person’s insight on a particular scripture passage.

The Best Tool Is the Bible Itself

Just remember that these tools are available to assist us in our study not to become a replacement for our study of the Bible itself.  If there are any discrepancies, then we must not let these tools sway us from the truth of the Scriptures. Remember, God’s Word is truth and mankind is fallible.

May your knowledge of the Bible be increased and your skills in teaching others the Word be maximized as you put these tools in use in your daily Bible study time.


 

By the Will of God, Colossians 1:1

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God.”

Col. 1:1

Paul was called to be an apostle by the will of God.  It was not of Paul or of any other man’s doing. It was the calling of  God alone.

However, Paul did have a choice. He could accept God’s will or reject it. He accepted it and became the greatest apostle who ever lived.

Who are you called to be “by the will of God”? It will not be of your own doing or of any other person’s doing.

You also have a choice.

Will you accept or reject that calling?

If you accept, who knows where your path will end.

But God’s will shall have been performed, and for that, you will not be left in regret or wonder.


Join in the conversation:

Do you know God’s will God for your life?

Are you struggling with God’s will?

What encouragement can you share for those who are struggling in this area?


 

An Exercise in Prayer

Formulate Your Own Prayer with Paul’s Example

 

In chapter one of The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians, we see a godly example of prayer on the behalf of the body of Christ. This particular prayer grew out of a desire to see the Colossian brethren grow and mature in the faith.

As Paul and Timothy labored in prayer, their regard for the Colossians and their spiritual needs gave them purpose and direction.

Following the format of their prayer will aid us in praying for our beloved brethren.

  1. Give thanks to God.

Verse 3 begins with thankfulness to God for what He has already done in the lives of the believers.

2. Daily intercession and supplication is a must.

In verses 9-12, we learn that Paul and Timothy ceased not to pray.  They were committed to the task of prayer for the spiritual needs of others.

3.Pray specifically.

This was not a general prayer, but one with detailed petitions. We will discover what those petitions were as we do the exercise below.

4. Give thanks to God. In verse 12, these men began sharing their thankfulness to God and to their brethren for what God had and was presently doing in and through their lives.

 

1. What did Paul and Timothy desire for the Colossian brethren?

Paul and Timothy prayed and desired. Their desires became a list of specific requests.

List these requests given in verses 9-12 separately.

For example: a) that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding  b) that you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing c) that you would be fruitful in every good work, etc.

 

2. Add your own requests to the list above.

You may sense other spiritual needs of the individual or group that you are praying for. Add these to your list.

 

3. Use your list to form the body of your prayer.

After listing the specific requests, use your list to create a prayer. You may be specific for individuals, a spouse, or for your church family as a whole.

For example:

Lord, help me to pray for my brother (or sister) in Christ.  I pray that he would be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Help him to walk worthy of You. May he be pleasing in Your sight. May he be fruitful in every good work that he tries to accomplish. Increase his knowledge of You. Strengthen him with all might according to Your glorious power unto patience and longsuffering. Give him a joyful attitude and countenance.

4. Give thanks. Use the rest of the chapter to help you with your list of thanks.

Paul and Timothy recorded a list of things for which they were thankful to God. That list begins in verse 12.

You may use the rest of the chapter to make your own list of things for which you are thankful.

 

5. Use your list of thanks to form the ending of your prayer.

Don’t forget to give God thanks for the work that He is doing in the lives of those for whom you are praying and for the work He is doing in your life also.

I hope this prayer exercise has helped you to formulate your own prayer. However, no prayer is answered until it is prayed. So keep your prayer handy and use it to help you as you grow in your prayer life.