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Friday, July 8, 2011

Peace Like a River Part I

“. . .Peace be still. . .” These words spoken by Jesus in Mark 4:39 as He calmed the wind and the waves are desperately needed in the hearts of humans in the midst of the storms in our lives. Even as Jesus calmed the storm, the disciples had lost faith. Mark 4:40 tells us, “And He said unto them, 'Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?'” The power of His presence in our lives gives us the supernatural ability to overcome seemingly impossible situations and emerge stronger and more faithful. If you have given your life to Christ, or if you have never made that decision, may I ask you a question? Do you have peace today, if so, where does this peace lie? Do you have confidence in Jesus Christ as your only source, or in your own ability? Perhaps your peace lies in a bank account or a relationship. I certainly hope that your peace does not lie in financial stability in this chaotic economic time. Jesus is challenging you today to examine your life and relationship with Him. Let us pray. Lord, please open our hearts to ourselves today; allow us to see the sins that block our relationship with You. The scripture tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 that, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Lord, in Jesus' name, please show us the idols that we have allowed to be before You. Please break them on the threshold, as the false god, Dagon, was broken in I Samuel 5:4. Lord, please cleanse us and fill us anew with Your Holy Spirit this day. Enable us to come to You in Spirit and in truth, so that we may receive Your peace as a precious gift. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Today's title is “Peace Like a River.” These famous words were penned by American lawyer Horatio G. Spafford in his 1873 hymn entitled, “It Is Well With My Soul.”

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

These words were written by Spafford at the tragic loss of his four young daughters in the sinking of the luxury liner the Ville Du Havre on November 22, 1873. His wife and they had been traveling alone aboard it. Upon Mrs. Spafford's safe landing, she cabled him these tragic words, “Saved alone.” The Spaffords had previously lost a son to scarlet fever and most of their worldly possessions in a The Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The peace that Horatio Spafford experienced that allowed him to cling to Jesus at thesd heart rending losses came from his deep relationship with God. He penned this hymn as he journeyed to England, his ship passing over the very area of the sea that his daughters had been lost in. True peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the condition of a heart committed to Jesus Christ. Isaiah 48:17,18 announces, “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea. . .”

We may find peace in God's love, mercy and Grace. I have a checklist of four areas of our lives to examine in our Christian walk. Please allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in repentance for any sin that may be blocking Him from flowing in your life. I liken this blocked state to a doorway that cannot be entered due to the clutter that is in front of it. The wonderful blessings of God are behind this door and due to our own willfulness and negligence the door is blocked by disorder. We must first remove the hindrances by repentance, and allow God to cleanse us of our sin, so that He may flow in our lives.

Please read subsequent blog posts for parts II through VI of this series. I pray that you are blessed.


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