Three Keys that Open the Floodgates of God’s Peace (Key #1: God’s Love)

Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Eph. 6:23)

There are three keys that will open the door to the peace of God that resides in our inner man. Once opened, this supernatural flood of God’s peace will keep our hearts and minds through Christ.

These three keys all have to do with having faith in God.

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22)

These three keys are: (1) having faith in God’s love, (2) having faith in God’s will, and (3) having faith in God’s righteousness.

Before God’s peace can fill us to the overflowing, there must first be room for it. This involves the removal of fear. This is the first key.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1John 4:18)

There is only one perfect love and that is the love that comes from God, for God is love.

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1John 4:16)

To have faith in God is to have faith in God’s love.

The Bible says that we did not choose God, but that God chose and called us. (John 15:16)

“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44)

We would not have even wanted to come to God and be saved if He had not put it in our hearts to do so.

The Bible says that while we were in our mother’s womb He saw us and chose us. He ordained how we would look and he fashioned us in the way that would please Him. (Psalm 139)

When we were ready, He put it in our hearts to desire Him and come to Christ, and now that He has us nothing can separate us from His love.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Rom. 8:35)

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Rom. 8:37)

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,” (Rom. 8:38)

“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:39)

God loves us no matter what!

God’s love is not based upon anything that we have or have not done.

God doesn’t love us because we read the Bible, attend Church, spend time in prayer, or give offerings. He’s pleased that we do these things, but that is not what causes Him to love us.

God doesn’t even love us because we have quit sinning and love Him, for the Bible says:

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)

God loves us simply because we exist.

“We love him, because he first loved us.” (1John 4:19)

He loves us because we are. Nothing can change His love for us. That’s what perfect love is. Nothing can affect it. Nothing can alter it. It does not change.

And it’s not a general, “love for all” kind of love. It’s a personal, intimate kind of love.

Before Christ died on the cross, God’s love was a love for all mankind.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

It was because of His love for all men that He gave His son, but now that His son has been given, God’s love for us is not only perfect but also personal.

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matt. 10:30)

Like a father admiring his child sleeping in the crib, our Heavenly Father looks upon us daily and counts the hairs upon our heads. He knows exactly what we will need before we even need it, and has prepared it in advance.

“Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matt. 6:8)

“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24)

He who knows the ending from the beginning is never surprised or unprepared, but has already solved the problem before it even appears.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1Cor. 10:13)

The first step in having God’s peace is to understand and believe in God’s perfect love for us, that nothing can change or alter it, and that it’s not based upon anything except for the fact that we are His creation.

Because of His love for us, God will do whatever it takes to preserve us. Knowing and believing this will drive away all fear from our hearts and will prepare us to be filled with the peace of God that passes all understanding.

Next- Three Keys that Open the Floodgates of God’s Peace (Key #2: God’s Will)

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Peace like a River and the Fruit of the Spirit

“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:”  (Isa. 48:18)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”  (Gal 5:22)

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Just as love is the opposite of hate, peace is the opposite of fear. In the same way that we can’t love and hate someone at the same time (James 3:12), we can’t have peace and fear at the same time. Peace is the absence of fear.

This doesn’t mean that we’ll never be afraid. Unexpected situations and circumstances will always arise that can cause us to be surprised and have sudden fear, or to be temporarily afraid.

But there is a place in Christ where the mind numbing, heart gripping state of fear cannot exist. This is when we are walking in the peace of God.

The apostles were a good example of this.

Before the Holy Ghost came on the Day of Pentecost, the disciples were always finding themselves in situations where they were fearful.

Whether it was a storm on the sea, the announcement of a child’s death, or the unexpected appearance of Christ walking on the water, Jesus was always reminding them to not be afraid.

“But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” (Matthew 14:27)

However, after the Day of Pentecost had come and the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost, they began to walk in a new found state of peace that only the Holy Spirit could produce.

This peace was so powerful that fear could not exist in its presence.

The night before Peter was to be executed, instead of being filled with fear and worry, he fell into a deep and peaceful sleep. The angel of the Lord had to slap him on his side to wake him up before he could miraculously remove his chains and rescue Peter from the prison cell. (Acts 12:6-7)

Paul and Silas also dwelt in this state of peace. After having been beaten and thrown into the dungeon for their testimony of Christ, they sang songs and hymns at midnight.

Their peace was so great that instead of escaping, they and all the prisoners continued to stay in their cells after God sent an earthquake to open all of the prison doors.

Upon witnessing this miracle of peace, the jailer and his whole household accepted Christ and were saved. (Acts 16:23-33)

This kind of peace was not only for the apostles, disciples, and the early church. The same Holy Spirit that indwelled them and produced this miraculous condition is the same Holy Spirit that comes and lives inside of us today.

“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:39)

The same river of peace that flowed inside the apostles is flowing inside of every believer today who has been born again and received the Holy Spirit.

However, there are many who have yet to discover the keys that will unlock the gate and allow the river to not only flow inside their spirit, but also fill their hearts and minds.

In other words, that this peace would not only reside within them, but would also be manifested in their lives.

Next- Three Keys that Open the Floodgates of God’s Peace (Key #1: God’s Love)

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The Peace of the Holy Spirit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”  (Gal. 5:22)

“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:” (Isa 48:18)

True peace cannot be found through diplomacy or legislation. It has nothing to do with worldly relationships or earthly possessions. It even has nothing to do with the end of violence and turmoil that may surround us.

There are many who believe that if their situation would only improve, then they would finally have peace. However, better circumstances only bring peace for a moment, for new problems always arise to replace the old ones.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

True peace comes from within, from our heart, the place where the Holy Spirit dwells.

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)

“(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:39)

The Lord told His people through the Prophet Isaiah that if they had only hearkened to His commandments then He would have given them peace like a river.

The word “hearken” in the Hebrew literally means to “prick up your ears” or “pay attention to”. Besides loving God and our fellow man, the greatest commandment of all is to hear or “pay attention to” the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in Him.

“While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Matthew 17:5)

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)

Once we have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and have received the Holy Spirit, then the indwelling Spirit creates within us “peace like a river”. It’s part of His “fruit” or His “produce”.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” (Gal. 5:22)

No longer do we seek to find peace in those things that are around us, but we seek and find peace from the Spirit within us.

That peace is like a river. It is ever flowing. However, if we never draw from it we will continue to thirst. That peace is like a fruit, but if we never eat of it, we will continue to hunger.

How do we draw from the river and eat of the fruit?

Next- Peace like a River and the Fruit of the Spirit

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True and Lasting Peace

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  (Php. 4:7)

“PEACE”.

Except for the name of Jesus, there is no other word in the English language that can calm and soothe a worried heart like that word. There is also no other word that can cause such a longing in our soul when we are without it.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)

Ever since the angel of the Lord proclaimed that message to shepherds abiding in a field, men have sought after “peace” like men dying of thirst seek for water.

There have been wars fought to obtain it, demonstrations held to demand it, and protests to bring attention for the need of it. Governments have sought to enforce it while neighbors and families have tried to keep it, much to no avail.

Genuine and lasting “peace on earth” apart from God will never happen.

The message the angel brought when he announced the birth of Christ had nothing to do with peace between men, but it was a message of peace and good will toward men.

Even Jesus declared that He came not to bring peace between individuals, but rather division.

“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:” (Luke 12:51)

Until Jesus Christ returns to earth and establishes His earthly Kingdom, there will never be lasting peace between men or between nations.

Although this may sound like dismal news, it only seems dismal to those who don’t know what real peace is.

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philip. 4:7)

There is an abiding peace so deep and full, that it cannot be understood. There is a peace that will find and keep us instead of our trying to find and keep it. There is a peace that enables us to remain calm, full of faith and hope, even though the world and our lives may be in turmoil.

It is the peace of God, and the Bible explains how we can receive it, dwell in it, and manifest it to affect the lives of all who are around us.

Next- The Peace of the Holy Spirit

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How Can I Prepare for the Return of Jesus Christ?

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”  (Mat. 24:44)

“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Gen. 5:24)

“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” (Heb. 11:5)

The Bible says that God has chosen you. It says that before you were even conceived in your mother’s womb, He knew you and He loved you.

God has also called you. He has called you to walk with Him, to be His bride, and to follow in His steps.

“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” (1Peter 2:21)

However, the Bible says:

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)

We cannot walk with God if we are not in agreement with God. We come into agreement with God when we know His Word and we submit our lives unto it.

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

If we are to walk with God, our attitude has to be, “If God said it, then I believe it. If it comes from Jesus, then I receive it. If God tells me or asks me, then I will do it.”

Anything less and it dishonors the Bridegroom.

In the Old Testament, when a man chose his bride he gave gifts unto her as a token of his love and commitment. The gifts were also a sign that He would return for her. We do the same thing today with the giving of an engagement ring.

Jesus also honored this tradition in the New Testament.

“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” (Eph. 4:8)

Whether they are salvation and forgiveness, His Spirit, His word, or His grace; whether they are the abilities to preach, teach, give, govern, or help; whether they are spiritual gifts or spiritual fruit; they are all given by God and they are for His honor.

We honor Him by accepting them, cherishing them, and adorning our life with them.

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:2)

When Jesus returns as a Bridegroom for His Bride, will He find us walking in agreement with Him?

Will He find that we have accepted everything that He gave His life for?

Will He see that not only have we received every gift that He purchased with His own blood, but that we have adorned our life with them for all the world to see?

Will He find us following in His steps, doing His works, and obeying His Word?

If He does, then we will be as a “bride adorned for her husband.” We will be His bride “not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing” and He will catch us away to the “marriage supper of the Lamb.”

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” (Rev. 19:7)

“And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Rev 19:8)

“And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” (Rev. 19:9)

Until He returns and we are called, we can be assured that He will walk with us and preserve us in these last days, so that we too will hear those wonderful words,

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.”

The choice is ours to make.

Next- True and Lasting Peace

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What God Expects Us to be Doing in these Last Days (Part 3: Works)

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  (Mat. 5:16)

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12)

“And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:” (Rev. 2:26)

Not only does our walking with God in the last days involve our faith and lifestyle, but it also involves the works that He has called us to do before His return.

“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9:4)

There are those who might say, “God never called me to preach or teach. I don’t believe that He has called me to work for him.”

Perhaps you may not be someone that God has called to stand before a congregation, or in front of a classroom, or to go to a foreign country.

Nevertheless, we as believers have all been given a job and works to do.

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,” (Eph. 4:1)

In our English language today, the word “vocation” means our job or livelihood. In the original Greek the word translated “vocation” means an invitation or a calling.

Before we can understand what the works are that God has called us to do, we must understand what they are not.

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14)

Dead works are those religious works done in the name of God for the wrong reason.

“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” (John 6:28)

“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:29)

The night before Jesus spoke these words, He had multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the multitude, and now they had awoke hungry and came looking for Him to feed them again.

Jesus knew their hearts and told them that the only reason they sought Him was for the loaves and fishes to feed their hunger, not for the words which He had to say.

Their reply was to ask Jesus how they could do the works of God. Their meaning was that if they knew how to multiply loaves and fishes then they would not have to seek for Him to do it.

Jesus said that the work of God was to “believe on Him” whom God hath sent. The word “believe” in the Greek means to “entrust” or to “commit”. It does not mean to have a “head knowledge” of something, but it means to totally commit and entrust one’s life to what we believe in our heart.

Dead works are works done for the wrong reason. The works of God are birthed in faith and love.

“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (James 2:18)

One group believes that by witnessing they will receive a better resurrection. Another believes that by having a large family they will obtain favor and a better place with God. Some believe that by repeating certain prayers it will earn God’s forgiveness. Then there are those who believe that perfect church attendance, tithing, praying, helping the needy, or visiting the sick will prove their devotion to God and to others.

These are all works done for the wrong reasons. They are all works done to obtain something. Whether it be to obtain something from God or to obtain something from others, they are all dead works.

“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” (1Cor. 13:3)

The only works that please God are those works done out of love and faith. We don’t do works to obtain God’s love and acceptance, but we do works out of gratitude because of God’s love and acceptance.

“We love him, because he first loved us.” (1John 4:19)

Works done out of love and faith are the works that please God. These are the works that will remain. These are the works that will endure the last days.

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1Cor. 3:11)

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;” (1Cor. 3:12)

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1Cor. 3:13)

“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” (1Cor. 3:14)

Every work that we do shall have eternal ramifications, whether it be for the good or the bad.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2Cor. 5:10)

Just as God desires that Jesus Christ be revealed in every aspect of the Word of God, He desires that every aspect of our life be a reflection of Christ.

Whether it’s being a parent, a guardian, or a spouse; whether it’s being a student, an employee, or a worker in a church or ministry; or whether it’s just deeds we do to help our fellow man, it all needs to be built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ.

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Col. 3:17)

The works done out of love, compassion, and faith are the works of gold, silver, and precious stones. When built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, they shall abide the fiery trials and endure unto eternal reward.

The works done for pride, duty, gain, or for any other carnal reason are the works of wood, hay, and stubble which shall be consumed by the fire and cause the doer to suffer loss.

“In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:” (Eph. 2:21)

“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:22)

We are God’s building, the temple of the Holy Ghost, built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. If we build our building with works of faith and love that glorify God, then we will walk with Him and our building will endure the perilous times of the last days.

Next- How Can I Prepare for the Return of Jesus Christ?

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What God Expects Us to be Doing in these Last Days (Part 2: Lifestyle)

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”  (Heb. 12:14)

“That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:27)

Another area of our life in which God has given us talents to trade with or to be occupied with is the area of our lifestyle.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:” (1Peter 2:9)

The Bible tells us that we are a chosen generation. As the prophets of old prophesied of the coming of Christ and the Church age, they longed for the time yet to come which they prophesied of.

“Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:” (1Peter 1:10)

“Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1Peter 1:11)

The Holy Ghost would come upon them and fill the Old Testament prophets with the power to prophesy and do great works for God. They knew the Holy Ghost as the Spirit of Prophecy but not as the Comforter whom Jesus said the Father would send.

The Bible teaches that they were men no different than us, with similar emotions and passions.

“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.” (James 5:17)

Moses was a man prone to anger, and because of it he struck the rock in the wilderness after God had told him to speak to it for water. He was denied entrance into the Promised Land because of his disobedience.

Elijah became depressed and hid in a cave.

David lusted after another man’s wife and plotted her husband’s death.

Elisha’s pride was hurt and he caused the death of taunting children.

They knew the power of God for miracles but not the power of the indwelling Spirit who changes men’s hearts and desires.

We long for their time and the glory that God received because of the power and miracles they performed. However, they longed for our time and the glory that God receives in a changed life.

We are a chosen generation. We have been given the indwelling Spirit of God who shall never leave us nor forsake us. We have been given the power to change our lives and be a holy people different than the rest of the world.

We have been given the power to resist temptation and put away sin.

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” (Rom. 6:12)

We have been given power over addictions and habits.

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1)

We have been given power over our carnal lusts.

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Rom. 8:13)

We have been given power over our emotions.

“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” (Eph. 4:26)

You are the chosen generation that knows the salvation of God and has His indwelling Spirit. He has chosen you to be kings and priests with Him. He has also called you to be a holy nation.

We know a nation’s location because of its geographical borders. The borders may be rivers, or mountain ranges, or lines marked by signposts. Whatever they may be, they separate that particular nation from all others.

The border that separates our nation from all others is the godly and holy lifestyle which the Holy Spirit empowers us to live.

When the rest of the world sees us have peace and faith in the midst of perilous times, when filthy language and cursings fill their daily conversation but they hear us refrain from sinning with our tongue and speaking evil, when they feel the need to escape by yielding to every carnal desire, yet they see us hold fast to our faith and refuse to partake of things contrary to our beliefs;

Then God is glorified among them and they have hope that there is a better way.

They see not a hypocritical Church that says one thing on Sunday but lives in the same manner as they do on Monday. They see a “glorious church” not having “spot or wrinkle”.

This is the Church that Jesus is coming back for to be His Bride.

The Bible tells us clearly what God considers to be sin. The Holy Spirit convicts us as to what is right or wrong.

It is time for us to make a decision and a commitment to obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit, to choose the right over the wrong, and the godly over the worldly in everything we do.

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1Peter 4:17)

Next- What God Expects Us to be Doing in these Last Days (Part 3: Works)

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