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

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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

THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: Living Daily in God’s Peace

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

Fear is not the only thief that can rob us from having God’s peace. Worry and anxiety can also fill our thoughts and leave no room for the peace of God.

We worry and become anxious over situations in our life when we’re unsure that things are going to work out for our benefit. We ponder all of the possibilities and fear the worst.

It’s not a matter of believing whether God can hear our prayer and give us what we ask, but it’s a matter of being unsure whether it’s His will to do it.

If having faith in God’s love is the first key to opening the gate and releasing the flood of God’s peace in our life, then having faith in God’s will is the second.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  (Rom. 8:28)

We must not forget that we didn’t choose God but that He chose and called us. We must not forget that we love Him because He first loved us.

Worry and anxiety grip our hearts when we lose our intimacy with God. Lack of fellowship and communion with Him causes us to lose sight of His will for our lives.

God has a purpose for our lives. He called us because we are unique and He has a plan and a will for us.

“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification…”  (1Thess. 4:3)

The word “sanctification” simply means “to be set apart”. In the Greek it means “the state of purity.”

In other words, He has called us out of the darkness of the world and has “set us apart” so that He may work in our lives until He brings us into this purity or “perfection”.

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”  (Col. 1:13)

God will not allow anything to interfere with His will being done in our lives to make us pure. No matter what arises in our lives to try and hinder us and pull us down, God will work everything out and overcome it so that in the end our lives will only be better.

It’s God who will work all things together for our good in order that He may purify us and bring us into perfection.

One example of this Biblical truth is the Old Testament story of Jacob and Joseph in Genesis chapters thirty seven through forty five.

Jacob had twelve sons but he favored Joseph above the rest. God had revealed to Joseph through his dreams that one day he would rule over the rest of his family.

Because of their father’s favoritism and Joseph’s dreams, his brothers sold Joseph into slavery and he was brought into Egypt.

Joseph was bought by an officer of Pharaoh named Potiphar and was placed over his household. After a period of time, Joseph was accused of a crime he didn’t commit and was placed in prison.

Joseph was given charge over all the prisoners and his gift for interpreting dreams became known. Joseph remained in prison for two years before his ability to interpret dreams was made known to Pharaoh.

God gave Pharaoh two dreams in one night that dealt with the future of Egypt. When Pharaoh’s magicians couldn’t give the interpretation of the dreams, they called for Joseph.

God revealed that there was going to be seven years of plenty throughout Egypt and then seven years of terrible famine. Joseph advised Pharaoh that he should build storage cities for grain and store up against the famine.

Pharaoh saw the wisdom and favor of God in Joseph and appointed him to oversee it. Joseph was made second to Pharaoh and ruled over all of Egypt. During the famine, all who needed food had to appear before Joseph.

From the time that Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery until the time that Pharaoh placed him as a ruler over Egypt, Joseph never lost his trust in God or his faith that God would fulfill His promises.

No matter what befell him that seemed contrary to the will of God for his life, he never became anxious or worried. Joseph never lost his peace.

Jacob, on the other hand, was a different story.

Joseph’s brothers had lied to their father and convinced Jacob that Joseph had been killed by wild beasts in the wilderness.

As the famine became severe, Jacob heard there was food in Egypt and he sent his oldest sons there to buy grain. When they arrived in Egypt, they were brought before Joseph, but the years had changed Joseph and his brothers didn’t recognize him.

Joseph decided to test his brothers, so he kept his brother Simeon as ransom and told them not to return again until they brought their youngest brother Benjamin with them.

Jacob refused to let them return back to Egypt with Benjamin. Eventually the famine became so severe they were faced with starvation, and that’s when Jacob resigned himself to the situation and made the statement:

“And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.”  (Gen. 42:36)

Jacob had come to a place where all he could see were the troubles and circumstances that were around him. He had forgotten the promises made by God to his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham.

Jacob had forgotten the will of God for his life. He forgot that God had promised Abraham that through him and his children their descendants would become as the stars in the sky for multitude. He had forgotten they were to become the nation and the people of God.

All Jacob believed now was that “all these things are against me” and they were at the mercy of a cruel and ruthless Egyptian ruler.

While Joseph never lost his peace through all of his tribulations and continued to have faith in God’s will for his life, Jacob had forgotten the will of God for him and his family and had allowed his heart to be filled with fear, despair, and anxiety.

The brothers took Benjamin and returned to Egypt. Once there, Joseph revealed himself, forgiving and convincing them that God had allowed all of these things to happen in order that they might be preserved and delivered from the famine.

They returned home to get Jacob and brought him, their households, and all their possessions back to Egypt where they grew and became a mighty nation.

Even when it seems that things are working against us instead of for us, God’s love and will never changes (Rom. 11:29), His thoughts about us cannot be numbered (Psalm 139:17), and they are always for our good and not for evil (Rom. 8:28).

So often we wonder if the specific choices we make are in agreement with the will of God for our life. We want God to speak audibly or show us a sign that we are making the right decision.

“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)

The word “will” in this scripture literally means “purpose” or “decree” in the Greek. The decree of God is His written Word. If the choices we make are not contrary to the written Word of God, then we are in agreement with His will.

If our choices do not compromise the will of God for our “sanctification” but rather continue to lead us closer to Him in the direction of “holiness” and “purity”, then we are making choices according to His will.

And finally, if the choices we make give us peace in our hearts, then we are doing the will of God.

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit…”  (Rom. 8:16)

Satan can appear as an angel of light. (2 Cor. 11:14) He can even attempt to imitate God’s voice and try to deceive us. He can cause visions, dreams, and signs. He is called the “tempter” and can try to tempt us to go against the will of God for our lives.

But he cannot imitate the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

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

No matter what problems arise that seem to contradict the promises and blessings of God, we must continue to have faith in His love and in His will if we are to walk in His peace.

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

God loves us so much, that if in an honest and true heart we are about to make a decision contrary to God’s will, He is well able to stop us and show us the right way. He is God. Trust in 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

THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: Receiving God’s Peace

“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.

 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.

 

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: True Peace

“And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” (Luke 24:36)

“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.

“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?

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: Walking in the Spirit

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16)

Since the beginning of the early Christian Church there have been many different doctrines and beliefs as to what it means to “walk in the Spirit”.

The same holds true today.

Satan does not want you to discover how to walk in the Spirit.

At the very most he would like to see you fall in your Christian walk, give up, and turn from the faith.

At the very least he would like to see you continuously stumble and falter so that your faith would be weak and ineffectual.

Before we establish our belief as to what it is to “walk in the Spirit”, let us see what it is not.

First, “walking in the Spirit” is not how you dress or how you look. Although how you dress and look might reflect the way you think, it will in no way empower you or create in you the ability to “walk in the Spirit”.

“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”  (1Sam. 16:7)

Walking in the Spirit is not being so “heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good.”

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”  (Matt. 5:13)

It is not belonging to a certain Church, or denomination, or group. It is not how many times a day you pray, or fast, or read your Bible, or attend service.

What is “walking in the Spirit?”

First and foremost, walking in the Spirit is a choice.

It is the determination to reject the world and the flesh and choose what we know to be God’s will according to His Word.

It is then allowing and trusting in the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us to walk in that righteous choice.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”  (Gal. 5:16)

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”  (Gal. 5:17)

“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”  (Gal. 5:18)

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,” (Gal. 5:19)

“Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,” (Gal. 5:20)

“Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”  (Gal. 5:21)

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

“Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”  (Gal. 5:23)

“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”  (Gal. 5:24)

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”  (Gal. 5:25)

The Bible tells us:

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  (Rom. 10:17)

It is our belief that the Scriptures you read will create in you the spiritual hearing to have faith to repent of all sin, receive forgiveness, crucify the flesh, reject worldliness, resist the devil, pick yourself up, turn around, and walk in the Spirit to do the will of God.

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


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