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Perfect Peace 7.25.14

PERFECT PEACE

BREAD

165 Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

Psalms 119:165 (NIV)

3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27 (NIV)

BUTTER

“A fixed, constant attention to the promises, and a firm belief in them, would prevent solicitude and anxiety about the concerns of this life. It would keep the mind quiet and composed in every change, and support and keep up our sinking spirits under the several troubles of life….Christians deprive themselves of their most solid comforts by their unbelief and forgetfulness of God’s promises. For there is no extremity so great but there are promises suitable to it, and abundantly sufficient for our relief in it.” Samuel Clarke

“Peace comes not from the absence of trouble, but from the presence of God.” Alexander Maclaren

“His love is unfailing, His Word unchangeable, His power ever the same; therefore the heart that trusts Him is kept in ‘perfect peace’…I know He tries me only to increase my faith, and that it is all in love. Well, if He is glorified, I am content.” Hudson Taylor

HEART SAVOR

• Perfect peace is the result of my trust in God and His precious promises. It is not found in my circumstances, places, people or things.
• The peace of God transcends all understanding and guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
• Jesus’ peace is not the paste gem variety the world offers – it is complete lacking nothing.

WORTHY OF NO GOOD

BREAD

1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good. 2 God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

Psalms 53:1-3 (NIV)

20 There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 (NIV)

16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” 17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

Matthew 19:16-17 (NIV)

9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Romans 3:9-12 (NIV)

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:23 (NIV)

BUTTER

“All disquiet of mind ariseth from our own lusts and unmortified tempers, which make the bosom like a troubled sea. And no settled calm shall we find till we have a single eye to God’s glory, and can count ourselves worthy of no good. Then we may draw comfort out of trouble, and learn to praise the Lord, both for what he giveth, and for what he taketh away; being sure that all things are working for our good, and tending to God’s glory, which he knows best how to promote; and that nothing but sin can make us unhappy and miserable.” K. H. Von Bogatzky

“While I regarded God as a tyrant I thought my sin a trifle; But when I knew Him to be my Father, then I mourned that I could ever have kicked against Him. When I thought God was hard, I found it easy to sin; but when I found God so kind, so good, so overflowing with compassion, I smote upon my breast to think that I could ever have rebelled against One who loved me so, and sought my good.” C.H. Spurgeon

In Surprised By Joy, C.S. Lewis paints a vivid description of what he found when he examined his own heart: “A zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of fears and a harem of fondled hatreds.”

HEART SAVOR

• There is nothing good in my flesh.
• All acts done apart from power the Holy Spirit are rubbish and will one day burn.
• The natural inclinations of my heart are evil.

Finish Well 7.21.14

FINISH WELL

BREAD

30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 19:30 (NIV)

13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you–guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

2 Timothy 1:13-14 (NIV)

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV)

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NIV)

BUTTER

“There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing to the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory.” Francis Drake

“This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness; not health, but healing; not being but becoming; not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it. The process is not yet finished, but it is going on. This is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.” Martin Luther

“Knowing that we are fulfilling God’s purpose is the only thing that really gives rest to the restless human heart.” Chuck Colson

HEART SAVOR

• Jesus finished well and through His power I must too. 4 “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5 (NIV)
• I fall into sin but I must pursue righteousness. It is a choice, it is of the will. I am not a robot divinely made to do this or that. By faith, I choose Him which includes His Way. I can trust Him as He always has my best interest at heart. 16 This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV)
• God has a plan for my life and desires for me to walk in it. It will always be for my best. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

True Truth 7.18.14

TRUE TRUTH

BREAD

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 (NIV)

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

2 Peter 2:1-3 (NIV)

BUTTER

“It is all too plainly apparent men are willing to forego the old for the sake of the new. But commonly it is found in theology that that which is true is not new, and that which is new is not true.” Robert Shindler

“The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others.
Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” A.W. Tozer

“We Christians too often substitute prayer for playing the game. Prayer is good; but when used as a substitute for obedience, it is nothing but a blatant hypocrisy, a despicable Pharisaism…To your knees, man! And to your Bible! Decide at once! Don’t hedge! Time flies! Cease your insults to God, quit consulting flesh and blood. Stop your lame, lying, and cowardly excuses. Enlist!” C. T. Studd

HEART SAVOR

• God’s Word is Truth. Sanctify me with the Truth Lord Jesus.
• I can rely on the Truth. Wisdom is always proved right by her actions. The wages of my fleshly way (sinful) is death.
• I should take everything I hear and put it through the sieve of God’s Word before I take it to heart and make it my belief. Like the Bereans who were of more noble character than the Thessalonians because they received Paul’s message and examined the Scriptures to see if what he taught was true. Seriously, what is man’s opinion?

EFFECTIVE KNOWLEDGE

BREAD

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:3-11 (NIV)

BUTTER

“What were we made for? To know God. What aim should we set ourselves in life? To know God. What is the eternal life that Jesus gives? Knowledge of God. What is the best thing in life, bringing more joy, delight, and contentment, than anything else? Knowledge of God. What, of all the states God ever sees man in, gives Him most pleasure? Knowledge of Himself.” J.I. Packer

“The colored sunsets and starry heavens, the beautiful mountains and the shining seas, the fragrant woods and painted flowers, are not half so beautiful as a soul that is serving Jesus out of love in the wear and tear of common, unpoetic life.” Faber

“Give me grace to surmount all difficulties, and to avoid everything that may prove a torment of conscience in the hour of death.” K. H. Von Bogatzky

“That is life. It’s composed of a million choices. And most of those choices seem insignificant, unimportant, unimpressive, and uninteresting. But character is developed when we continue to make the next, right choice. And character creates influence. And influence creates legacy. So if you want to leave an amazing legacy, just keep doing the next right thing. Four generations from now, people probably won’t remember your name. But someone you love will be different because of you.” Laura Black

HEART SAVOR

• Through faith in Christ and the Holy Spirit’s power I can participate in the divine nature and grow up in Christ.
• My choices will make my life.
• God’s amazing grace enables me to surmount all difficulties as I lean on Him Who is ever able. God desires for me to walk as Jesus did. This will always require choices even in the unimpressive and unimportant. It matters to God how I choose to live my life. I live my life for an audience of One.

Angry with Sin

ANGRY WITH SIN

BREAD

15 Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.

Amos 5:15 (NIV)

16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (NIV)

10 Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

Psalms 97:10 (NIV)

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Romans 12:9 (NIV)

BUTTER

“We do well when we are angry with sin, because of the wrong which it commits against our good and gracious God; or with ourselves because we remain so foolish after so much divine instruction; or with others when the sole cause of anger is the evil which they do. He who is not angry at transgression becomes a partaker in it. Sin is a loathsome and hateful thing, and no renewed heart can patiently endure it. God Himself is angry with the wicked every day, and it is written in His Word, ‘Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.’” Charles H. Spurgeon

HEART SAVOR

• God desires for me to love the sinner but hate the sin because the consequences of sin always devastate. God never winks at sin – rather it angers Him.
• God detests pride, deceit, the devising of wicked schemes and those who stir up dissension among brothers.
• I am to cling to what is good.

GOOD THE ROBBER OF THE BEST

BREAD

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

John 15:1-4 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Cut out that which seems good to invest in the best. It is the law of life: Early sacrifice for later bounty. It can be hard to prune good things that are blooming. It can be hard to remember why you are pruning. Because there’s a counter-intuitiveness to it, this plucking off certain life activities that will yield good fruit. Some might even think it foolish to pare back, when the bloom and gifting apparent; a good harvest inevitable. Yet it’s the pruning of seemingly good leaves that can grow a better life. To allow later seasons to yield the longed-for abundant crop. It takes courage to crop a life back — but it’s exactly the way to have the best crop of all. What seems like hard work that’s taking an eternity today — is exactly what may make the most difference in eternity.” Ann Voskamp

HEART SAVOR

• Not all fruitful branches need to remain for God to produce the most abundant fruit in my life. Though difficult, some “good” needs to go to make room for “better”. Pruning can ouch!
• For every “Yes” I agree to there is a sacrifice of “No” to something else.
• Jesus is the One Who bears fruit in me. I must listen to His “still small voice” as to what needs to go and what needs to be fanned into flames. I should never be simply satisfied in my faith walk – I should always be seeking to go “further still”.

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