THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: How to Have Full and Continual JOY

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)

The manifested presence of God and the fullness of His joy are found in doing the will of God.

That wonderful joy that we first felt when we accepted Christ and were born again, the exhilaration we experienced when we realized that all of our sins had been forgiven and we were saved, and the rhapsody that filled our hearts when our names were penned in the Lamb’s Book of Life were all created in us because we obeyed the Lord.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” (Acts 3:19)

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”  (John 3:17)

The glorious joy that we experienced when we were first filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues was because we were obedient and obeyed the Lord.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  (Acts 2:38)

Ever since then, every time that we have experienced that momentary fullness of joy has been a direct result of our obedience to Christ and His Word.

There have been times that we were glad when our prayers got answered.

There have been times that we were relieved when God’s deliverance came just at the right time at the last moment.

But the times that we experienced real fullness of joy were those times that we obeyed the Lord and experienced the results of that obedience.

Perhaps it was the time that we experienced victory after finally yielding to the sweet conviction of the Holy Spirit and putting away a particular sin, habit, or weight that was hindering our walk with Christ.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”  (Heb. 12:1)

Perhaps it was experiencing God’s faithfulness as we answered the gentle call of the Holy Spirit to be a vessel for His glory and we preached, shared, or taught the Word of God and saw lives changed by His power.

“For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”  (Mat. 10:20)

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”  (Isa. 55:11)

“Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.”  (Psalm 18:35)

Or perhaps it was the joy we felt when we shared our testimony and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with someone and they accepted Christ because of it and were saved.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”  (Rev. 12:11)

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”  (Prov. 11:30)

Whatever the case, obedience to God and His Word results in God’s miraculous fulfillment, the manifested presence of God, and the fullness of the joy of the Lord.

Being determined to live our lives continuously in obedience to the Will and Word of God will open the floodgates to the fullness of joy that already resides in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

Continuing in daily obedience brings continuing in daily fullness of joy that will abide and never leave.

There is no special way to pray, no verse to memorize, no Scripture to quote repeatedly that will miraculously manifest the joy of the Lord and its fullness in our lives.

There is, however, faith and godly works.

Faith that comes by hearing the Word of God and obedience to fulfill His Word that we hear.

Throughout these few blog posts we have looked at Scriptures that explain what the “joy of the Lord” is.

We have seen that joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit and that if we have been born again the Holy Spirit dwells inside of us.

His peace, His faith, His joy and all the fruit of the Spirit flows inside of us like a river.

However, for various reasons we lose access to that flow and the manifested “fullness of joy” ceases to be present in our daily lives.

We have seen that the devil wants to keep us without joy and without strength, and we have seen what the Bible says we must do to behold the manifested presence of God and the fullness of joy in our lives.

We have seen that if we have faith in God’s Word and we are obedient to do the things that He has called us to do, then we will behold God’s presence as He brings His will to pass and we will experience the fullness of joy that accompanies His presence.

We will spiritually live our lives daily in Christ, at the right hand of God, being conscience of His presence and filled to the overflowing with His joy.

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”  (Psalm 16:11)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

Advertisements

THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: JOY Lost and JOY Restored

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” (Psalm 51:12)

How do we restore our access to the fullness of joy that is in the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ?

The first step is to make sure that we are dwelling in the manifested presence of God.

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”  (Psalm 16:11)

Jesus said that He would never leave us nor forsake us.

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  (Heb. 13:5)

However, He also said that two cannot walk together unless they are agreed.

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

We must determine in our hearts to live our lives in agreement with the will and Word of God.

Once we have made the decision to remove from our lives all of the things that we know are displeasing to the Lord and we begin taking the necessary steps to do it, then we can trust that the Lord will begin to manifest His presence in our lives.

 Since the Bible says that Jesus is the Word of God, then if we continue in His word we will also continue in the presence of God.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  (John 1:14)

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” (John 8:31)

When we ask the Lord daily to fill us with His Spirit, to be filled with the Holy Ghost, then we are opening the door to the manifested presence of God.

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Eph. 5:18)

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  (Acts 2:4)

If we will draw close to God then He has promised that He will draw close to us.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”  (James 4:8)

We draw nigh to God in humbleness with daily prayer and worship.

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”  (James 4:6)

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”  (Psalm 100:4)

The Bible teaches us that all of these things open the door to the manifested presence of God, and the manifested presence of God is where we will find the fullness of His joy.

The Bible tells us that the righteousness of God also brings joy.

“He shall pray unto God, and he will be favorable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.”  (Job 33:26)

The Word of God tells us that we have no righteousness of our own, but that when we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, God transfers His righteousness unto us.

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”  (Isa. 64:6)

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  (2Cor. 5:21)

To understand this and really believe it can also release the fullness of joy in our lives.

To really believe that no matter what mistakes or bad decisions we make can change the fact that we are righteous in the eyes of God, and that nothing we could ever do can stop God from loving us should make us realize that we are always in the presence of God and able to have fullness of joy.

“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, 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. 8:38-39)

When we genuinely believe that we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ and that nothing can separate us from the love of God, then we can be secure in the fact that God will do whatever is necessary to keep us, protect us, and provide for us.

“For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.”  (Deu. 4:24)

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  (Luke 12:32)

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”  (Rom. 8:32)

This also includes His correcting us when we err and begin walking a path that leads away from Him.

“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”  (Heb. 12:6)

He chastens us with His Word and scourges us with the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. It is only because He loves us so that He goes to such great lengths to keep us from departing from His presence.

This security we have in His love and righteousness also provides for the fullness of His joy.

“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.”  (Psalm 5:11)

“To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!”  (Psalm 21:1)

“Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”  (Isa. 12:3)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: The Purpose and Priority of JOY

“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” (1John 1:4)

The Bible has said that God will give us the desires of our heart. However, it is a promise contingent upon one thing:

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”  (Psalm 37:4-5)

The promise requires that we first “delight” ourselves in Him.

How to “delight ourselves in the Lord” might seem confusing until we find out what the word translated “delight” actually means.

The Hebrew word that is translated “delight” actually means “to be soft or pliable”.

In other words, the Scripture here is telling us that if we will allow ourselves to be “soft” or “pliable” in the hands of the Lord then He will give us the “desires” or “requests” of our heart.

That is why the next verse says, “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”

The present “request” of our heart is to regain access to the joy of the Lord that resides in our spirit. The place to begin is to allow ourselves to be “soft and pliable” in the hands of God.

In the eighteenth chapter of the Book of Jeremiah, we read of the potter and the clay.

“The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.”  (Jer. 18:1-2)

“Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.”  (Jer. 18:3-4)

“Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.”  (Jer. 18:5-6)

The Bible says that as the clay is in the hands of the potter, so are we in the hands of the Lord.

If the clay is hard and resistant to the potter’s will, then it is difficult for the potter to make it into the vessel that he wants.

However, if the clay is soft and pliable then the potter can mold it into the vessel of his desire.

How can we be soft and pliable in the hands of God? By submitting our will to His will and not resisting Him.

This is done by knowing His will for our lives and desiring or requesting the same things for ourselves that God wants.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”  (1John 5:14)

“And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”  (1John 5:15)

The only way we can know what His will is for our lives is to read it.

It is called “The New Testament”.

And the only way that we can know God’s direction for our lives is to hear the still small Voice of the One who authored The New Testament.

One of the things that we read in The New Testament is that it is God’s will that our joy be full.

“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”  (1John 1:4)

Our joy is full when His joy is fully manifested in our lives and not hidden deep in our spirit.

Why is it so important to God that His children walk in the fullness of His joy?

His joy gives us strength.

“Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”  (Neh. 8:10)

Without His joy we have no spiritual strength.

Joy results in dedication to the Lord.

“And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy,” (Ezra 6:16)

The Old Testament House of God, the Temple, was symbolic of the New Testament spiritual house of God.

“But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”  (Heb. 3:6)

With the joy of the Lord we dedicate our house, our bodies, to the Lord and when we walk in fullness of joy it empowers us to walk in that dedication.

The manifested joy of the Lord glorifies God and encourages others to do the same.

Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.”  (1Ch. 29:9)

The joy of the Lord delivers souls.

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”  (Psalm 126:5-6)

When our joy is full it causes us to want to sow the Gospel seed in others, to reap and bring a harvest of souls into His kingdom so that they may also have the joy of the Lord.

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”  (1Cor. 3:6)

The joy of the Lord brings victory over the enemy.

“And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.”  (Psalm 27:6)

These are the reasons why Satan wants to steal your joy and these are the reasons why we should be willing to do whatever is necessary to restore our access to the manifested joy of the Lord and walk in it.

The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.”  (Isa. 29:19)

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”  (Psalm 51:12)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: The Everlasting JOY of the LORD

“Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” (Isa. 51:11)

The Bible teaches that there are psychological and physiological feelings that imitate spiritual attributes.

For example, there is worldly sorrow and there is godly sorrow.

“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”  (2Cor. 7:10)

Godly sorrow is being sorry that we have done wrong and offended a Holy God. Worldly sorrow is being sorry that our schemes did not succeed or that we got caught.

One leads to forgiveness and life while the other leads to death.

There is a worldly type of peace that anyone can have when things seem to be working out and everything is going well in their lives.

Then there is the type of peace that only comes when we know that we have a right relationship with God and He is divinely in control no matter what the circumstance.

One is fleeting and only lasts until trouble comes while the other is produced by God’s Spirit and flows in us like an unstoppable river.

“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:”  (Isaiah 48:18)

There is a worldly love for things and others that endures only until whomever or whatever we supposedly “love” becomes a disappointment. Then there is the love that comes from God, birthed in us by the Holy Spirit, which never fails.

 “Charity (Christ-like love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth…”  (1Cor. 13:4-8)

For every godly attribute or fruit of the Spirit there is a cheap worldly imitation.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”  (Gal. 5:22-23)

“(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth…)” (Eph. 5:9)

So it is with the joy of the Lord. Happiness is just a temporary imitation of the unending joy that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

 When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are forgiven and cleansed from all sin. Our sins had separated us from God, but now God has made us to be the righteousness of God in Christ and we have entered into His presence.

Not only does God forgive us and make us righteous, but He sends the Holy Spirit to live inside of us and empower us to become the children of God.

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”  (Rom. 8:9)

When the Holy Spirit comes, not only does He bring His power to change us and enable us to do the will of God, but He also manifests His fruit so that others might behold Christ in us, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:27)

The Holy Spirit has said that He would never leave us nor forsake us. (Heb. 13:15) He is always within us.

The Holy Spirit never changes. He has not diminished. His power and fruit is still the same and ever present. His peace and joy is always inside.

That same joy we experienced when we were born again and first stepped into His presence has never left. It still flows in us like a river.

However we do not experience it because we lose access to it.

How do we lose access to the joy, peace, and faith that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? How do we regain access so that this fruit is manifested in our lives on a daily basis?

The first step is to not settle for the imitation, but to crave the genuine article.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”  (Psalm 37:4)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: What is True JOY?

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)

Over two thousand years ago the angel announced that God was going to bring great joy to all people through the birth of His Son Jesus Christ. Everyone since then who has accepted Christ into their hearts knows that this promise has been kept.

However, we seldom see this joy in the believer’s life on a daily basis. That genuine joy that was experienced upon salvation often gives way to something less. Many times what we think of as joy today is a cheap imitation of the real thing.

We use words like “humorous” or “funny” when things happen that make us laugh or give us a smile. However, when the “funny things” are over and forgotten the feelings also go away because they too are only temporary.

We use words like “happy” or “glad” to express the way we feel concerning a particular situation but these feelings also fade away.

And then there is real “joy”. Although often misused, the mere word makes us think of something deep and abiding, not lighthearted and temporary. Something once had but now longed for.

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”  (Psalm 16:11)

This is especially true when we think of the Biblical type of joy that the Bible says only God can create. This is the “fullness of joy” that every true believer experiences when they first step into the presence of God upon salvation.

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” (1Peter 1:8)

The word “glory” in this particular Scripture literally means “honor”.

In these two verses alone we see that this joy from God is a joy which words cannot describe (joy unspeakable), that fills us to the overflowing (fullness of joy), and that receives honor (full of glory).

 Sadly to say, not many Christians today receive honor for their joy. On the contrary, Christians are often characterized as stern, grim faced individuals whose worship is like a funeral and whose lives are filled with “woe is me”.

The once indescribable joy that filled our lives to the point where others beheld it and honored God has now faded to a distant memory.

Exactly why did the joy wane when our faith in God continued? How do we retrieve it back? And more importantly, how do we keep it?

In the next few blog posts we will see what the Bible teaches about the joy of the Lord, how we can walk daily in it, and why the devil wants to steal it from us.

To walk daily in real joy will cause us to dwell in the pleasures that are at God’s right hand and live our lives far above the worldly situations that Satan would use to rob our peace and steal our joy.

The world needs to see that there is a way of escape from the evil that is present today. They need to behold the joy of the Lord in us and be drawn unto Him.

“Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:” (Gal. 1:4)

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: The Priority and Purpose of Peace

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (1Peter 3:15)

We are living in a time when the world is filled with fear and turmoil. Financial institutions and systems are failing. Governments are unsure of what to do.

We are witnessing political upheaval around the world. Natural disasters are increasing at an alarming rate. Crime rates and inhumane acts are on the rise.

We are living in a time spoken of by Jesus Christ long ago.

Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”  (Luke 21:26)

According to the Word of God, it will get worse before it gets better.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”  (2Tim. 3:1)

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”  (2Tim. 3:13)

Alcoholism and drug addiction have reached epidemic proportions as men try to escape from the bad news and turmoil that surrounds them.

Multitudes have turned to religion after realizing that the momentary relief the world has to offer is not the answer.

Sadly, often times they leave the religious services feeling worse than when they came.

Possibly now more than ever before, men need the peace of God that comes through Jesus Christ. Dismayed by vain religion, the peace they see in us may be the most powerful sermon they will ever hear.

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

As much as we want to experience the peace of God in our life, our Heavenly Father wants us to have it even more than we do.

His desire for our peace is twofold. First, that we would be free from fear, worry, and anxiety for our own sakes.

“Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.”  (Psalm 35:27)

Secondly, that the world would see in us the manifestation of the one thing that cannot be found anywhere in all of creation except in the Lord Jesus Christ:

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”  (1Peter 3:15)

 How can anyone know that we have hope within us? Hope is invisible:

“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?”  (Rom. 8:24)

They know that we have hope because of what they do see. They see the peace that we walk in while other’s hearts are failing them for fear.

And when they ask us the reason for what they see, we are able to share with them our faith.

They will know the faith that we share is real because they have witnessed the proof of the Holy Spirit within us. The river of peace has flowed out from us and touched their lives.

 “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.”  (Isaiah 32:17)

Lives will be changed for all of eternity, and we will have the added peace of knowing that by choosing to walk in peace, we have made an eternal difference.

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: Peace and Righteousness

“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” (Isa. 32:17)

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  (2Cor. 5:21)

The last key in opening the floodgates to the river of God’s peace is having faith in the righteousness of God.

When difficult times arise and it seems as if our prayers are not being answered, we often feel that it’s because we have not been holy or righteous enough. We feel that we do not deserve the blessings and the peace of God that we have asked for.

That statement is absolutely true!

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”  (Isaiah 64:6)

In our own selves, we could never be righteous or holy enough to deserve the blessings and the peace of God.

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”  (Rom. 3:10)

Someone might say, “I know that before I became a Christian I was a sinner and unrighteous. But even since becoming a Christian, I have failed the Lord so many times that I don’t see how the Lord could ever reward me with anything.”

As long as we believe that we can never have the peace of God because of our mistakes and our failures, then we will never have it.

Many Christians mistakenly believe that since God forgave them of their sinful past, now He expects them to be perfect. However, the Bible says:

“If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”  (1John 1:10)

The Apostle John used the word “we” because he was speaking to fellow believers.

 God does not expect us to be perfect, but He does expect us to strive for perfection!

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  (Rom. 8:1)

The night before His crucifixion, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet.

“After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”  (John 13:5)

When Jesus came to Peter, Peter told Jesus that he would never allow Him to wash his feet. Jesus said to Peter that if he didn’t allow Him to wash his feet, then he would have no part with Him.

Peter replied,Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.”

“Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.”  (John 13:10)

Jesus was using the example that even though a person has bathed, their feet might still get dirty as they walk around the dusty street in sandals.  They don’t need to take another bath; they only need to cleanse their feet.

So it is spiritually as we live in this sinfully filthy world.

God understands that as long as we are in this present world, we are susceptible to temptation and failure.

There is a difference between those who turn from the faith and return to their old lifestyle, and those who stumble but get back up again and continue to follow the Lord.

Those who turn from the faith and return to their old lifestyle are compared to a pig returning to the mud:

“But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”  (2Peter 2:22)

Those who stumble or fail but get back up again are called the “just”:

“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”  (Prov. 24:16)

God has provided a cure for our failures through the blood of Jesus Christ.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  (1John 1:9)

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”  (1John 1:7)

Just as Jesus washed the dust and dirt that clung to the disciples’ feet, He will wash from us the stain of sin that clings to us when we yield to the temptation of the world.

When we repent and ask for God’s forgiveness then we are striving for perfection and there is no condemnation.

As the Heavenly Father looks upon us through the blood of Christ that has washed away our sins, He does not see our “imperfections”, but He sees us “perfected in Christ”.

“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”  (Heb. 10:14)

God’s willingness to hear and answer our prayer has nothing to do with whether we have or have not stumbled in our Christian walk. His deliverance from our troubles and His blessings upon our lives are not a reward to us for how good we have been.

His blessings are a reward given to Christ because of His obedience. He gives them to Christ by giving them to us.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”  (Eph. 1:3)

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:”  (Eph. 1:4)

Having faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and believing that God will hear, answer, and bless us based solely on how righteous and perfect Jesus is, will turn the last key and open the floodgates to the river of God’s peace that will keep our hearts and minds through Him.

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices