Jesus Calling: November 18thCome to Me, and rest in My Peace. My Face is shining upon you, in rays of Peace transcending understanding. Instead of trying to figure things out yourself, you can relax in the Presence of the One who knows everything. As you lean on Me in trusting dependence, you feel peaceful and complete. This is how I designed you to live: in close communion with Me.
When you are around other people, you tend to cater to their expectations -- real or imagined. You feel enslaved to pleasing them, and your awareness of My Presence grows dim. Your efforts to win their approval eventually exhaust you. You offer these people dry crumbs rather than the living water of My Spirit flowing through you. This is not My way for you! Stay in touch with Me, even during your busiest moments. Let My Spirit give you words of grace as you live in the Light of My Peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Additional insight regarding Phillippians 4:6-7: Imagine never worrying about anything! It seems like an impossibility; we all have worries on the job, in our homes, at school. But Paul's advice is to turn our worries into prayers. Do you want to worry less? Then pray more! Whenever you start to worry, stop and pray.
Additional insight regarding Philippians 4:7: God's peace is different from the world's peace (see John 14:27 - "I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid."). True peace is not found in positive thinking, in the absence of conflict, or in good feelings. It comes from knowing that God is in control. Our citizenship in Christ's Kingdom is sure, our destiny is set, and we can have victory over sin. Let God's peace guard your heart against anxiety.
John 7:38 (NIV)
38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
Additional insight regarding John 7:38: Jesus' words, "come and drink" alluded to the theme of many Bible passages that talk about Messiah's life-giving blessings (Isaiah 12:2-3; 44:3-4; 58:11). In promising to give the Holy Spirit to all who believed, Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, for that was something only the Messiah could do.
Ephesians 5:18-20 (NIV)
18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Additional insight regarding Ephesians 5:18: Paul contrasts getting drunk with wine, which produces a temporary "high," to being filled with the Spirit, which produces lasting joy. Getting drunk with wine is associated with the old way of life and its selfish desires. In Christ, we have a better joy, higher and longer-lasting, to cure our depression, monotony, or tension. We should not be concerned with how much of the Holy Spirit we have but with how much of us the Holy Spirit has. Submit yourself daily to his leading and draw constantly on his power.
Additional insight regarding Ephesians 5:18,19: The effects of alcohol are obvious, but what happens when we are under the influence of the Holy Spirit? In these verses, Paul lists three by-products of the Spirit's influence in our lives: singing, making music, and giving thanks. Paul did not intend to suggest that believers only discuss religious matters, but what we do or say should be permeated with an attitude of joy, thankfulness to God, and encouragement of others. Instead of whining and complaining - which our culture has raised to an art form - we are to focus on the goodness of God and his mercies towards us. How would others characterize your words and attitudes?
Additional insight regarding Ephesians 5:20: When you feel down, you may find it difficult to give thanks. Take heart - in all things God works for our good if we love him and are called by him (Romans 8:28: "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."). Thank God, not for your problems but for the strength he is building in you through the difficult experiences of your life. You can be sure that God's perfect love will see you through.