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Friday, July 8, 2011

Peace Like a River Part II

Please read "Peace Like a River" Part I.

Firstly, there is peace in relationship.  Jesus replied to Nicodemus' question of how a man may be born when he is old, "Jesus answered, 'Verily verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again'" (John 3:5-7).  This new birth is our adoption as a child of God and the begining of our relationship with Him.  Our future is secured, as we are promised eternal life.  Our lives may now be lived in the peace that the cross has afforded us.  Our sins are washed away by His Blood and we have an open door to His throne of Grace.  Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for our sins and this sacrifice is payment in full for us, past, present and future, as we repent.  Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a second and essential event in order to live our lives in God's fullness. 

Consider the Apostle Paul, formerly Saul of Tarsus, he was a Pharisee and a murderer of Christians.  After his astonishing conversion on the road to Damascus, he was able to overcome great hardship and violence as he survived lack and imprisionment for the very cause that he once persecuted.  In the midst of these afflictions he wrote Philippians 4:12, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."  The peace that Paul experienced came out of relationship with Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  If you are a Christian, may I ask who your relationship is with?  Is it truly a relationship with Christ, or is it a relationship with a particular denomination or church?  Jesus is calling you to a deeper relationship with Him, not a building or a board of directors.  If you have never given your life to Jesus, I ask that you consider His plea as He knocks at the door of your heart.


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