God Tells Us What to Think About in our Minds (TMF:655)

Peace to Live By: God Tells Us What to Think About in our Minds (TMF:655) - Daniel Litton
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       And while we shouldn’t be thinking about wrong thoughts, we are clearly told by God what we should be thinking about. Paul told the Philippians, “And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about” (Philippians 4:8, TLB). Now, we shouldn’t complicate this. We can think about anything that is good. We can admire the beauty of nature, good things that other people do, and even dwell on great truths in the Bible. We can thank God for the good things he has done in our lives, and the good he is currently doing. Whatever we want think about is fine, but it needs to be good things and not negative, worrisome, or evil things.

Trusting in God Will Give Us Peace in Our Lives (TMF:654)

Peace to Live By: Trusting in God Will Give Us Peace in Our Lives (TMF:654) - Daniel Litton
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       Let’s remind ourselves of what Solomon told us in Proverbs: “If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success. Don’t be conceited, sure of your own wisdom. Instead, trust and reverence the Lord, and turn your back on evil; when you do that, then you will be given renewed health and vitality” (3:4-8, TLB). Indeed, our trusting in God will produce peace in our lives. We trust God by putting him first in life, first in every decision that matters. When we do this, we will have peace because we will know we are in being pleasing to God and doing the right thing by putting him first. And when we put God first, we know there is nothing to worry about (see Matthew 6).

We Gain Peace by Yielding Our Minds to the Spirit (TMF:653)

Peace to Live By: We Gain Peace by Yielding Our Minds to the Spirit (TMF:653) - Daniel Litton
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       If we look at the fruit of the Spirit, the things that the Holy Spirit wants to produce in our lives, we will see peace listed there. Remember the verse in Galatians? It says, “When the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace…” (5:22, TLB). So, when we live our lives yielding in our minds to the Spirit—thinking right thoughts, and not thinking on wrong, evil, or misleading thoughts—we will have ‘peace’ growing in our internal thoughts. This will make life more enjoyable for us, as Christians, because we will have clearer and cleaner minds, all the while being more pleasing to God in our thought-life. God’s commands are good for us; they lead us into a more fulfilling life, and the case is no different here.

Choose to Let the Peace of Christ Rule in You (TMF:652)

Peace to Live By: Choose to Let the Peace of Christ Rule in You (TMF:652) - Daniel Litton
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       Point number three is: Choose to Let the Peace of Christ Rule in You. Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of heart that comes from Christ be always present in your hearts and lives, for this is your responsibility and privilege as members of his body. And always be thankful” (TLB). As I mentioned earlier, just because we have ‘peace’ from God does not mean that we always use it, practice it, or let it rule in our minds. Indeed, as we learn to combat wrong thoughts that come into our minds, getting rid of anything that doesn’t belong there, we then experience more and more peace. So our peace that we cultivate into our minds will actually then cultivate in our lives. We will have better attitudes about ourselves, and better attitudes toward others as we treat them better. Our peace will make us feel like being better people. We won’t be so down trodden that we don’t feel like doing anything, but we will want to live life to its fullest extent. Indeed, as Paul just said, we have a “responsibility and privilege” to let peace flow in our lives.

True Peace Doesn't Come from Following Rules (TMF:651)

Peace to Live By: True Peace Doesn't Come from Following Rules (TMF:651) - Daniel Litton
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       Nobody is exempt from experiencing it or disqualified. You see, we don’t gain peace in our lives, in our minds, by following rules in order to please God in Heaven. That’s a works-based religion. If you’re living that way, the good feeling you get when you do seemingly ‘good’ things is a prideful feeling—and isn’t based in true peace, true acceptance. To be sure, the Bible says, “But now God has shown us a different way to heaven—not by “being good enough” and trying to keep his laws, but by a new way (though not new, really, for the Scriptures told about it long ago). Now God says he will accept and acquit us—declare us “not guilty”—if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like” (Romans 3:21, 22, TLB). So, peace with God can belong to anybody.

Anyone Can Gain Peace with God through Jesus (TMF:650)

Peace to Live By: Anyone Can Gain Peace with God through Jesus (TMF:650) - Daniel Litton
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       As Paul said also, “And so we should not be like cringing, fearful slaves, but we should behave like God’s very own children, adopted into the bosom of his family, and calling to him, “Father, Father” (Romans 8:15, TLB). Perhaps your issue today is that you don’t have a personal relationship with God. Perhaps you feel far away from him, and you know there are things you're practicing in your life, things you know are not pleasing to God, that make you feel separated from him. You can also share in this peace that I am talking about today. Anyone can. Nobody is exempt from experiencing it or disqualified. You see, we don’t gain peace in our lives, in our minds, by following rules in order to please God in Heaven. That’s a works-based religion. If you’re living that way, the good feeling you get when you do seemingly ‘good’ things is a prideful feeling—and isn’t based in true peace, true acceptance.

Our Peace Comes from Jesus' Sacrifice, Part 2 (TMF:649)

Peace to Live By: Our Peace Comes from Jesus' Sacrifice, Part 2 (TMF:649) - Daniel Litton
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       Christ’s death and resurrection is everything for us, as Christians, since it gives us a good and righteous standing with God. We now know that, “if we confess our sins to him, he [God] can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong” (1 John 1:9, TLB). It is true that for those of us who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior in life—for those of us who are in personal relationship with him—we have more than just a righteous legal standing: again we have peace with God because of Christ’s death and resurrection. Indeed, the Apostle Paul noted in Romans, “So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us” (5:1, TLB). Actually, we had to have ‘faith’ in God by trusting in his Son for the foreignness for our sins, the wrong things we’ve done in the past against God and other people. But our ‘faith’ is our assurance of a right standing with God (see Hebrews 11:1).

Our Peace Comes from Jesus' Sacrifice, Part 1 (TMF:648)

Peace to Live By: Our Peace Comes from Jesus' Sacrifice, Part 1 (TMF:648) - Daniel Litton
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       Point number two is: Our Peace Comes from What Jesus Did for Us. Colossians 1:19 & 20 says, “It was through what his Son did that God cleared a path for everything to come to him—all things in heaven and on earth—for Christ’s death on the cross has made peace with God for all by his blood” (TLB). Without Jesus’ accomplishment on the cross for us, which he did on our behalf, none of us would even be able to approach God. But because of what Christ did, by dying on the cross in our place, he has paved the way for us to be chosen by God, both sons and daughters, a people acceptable to him. As it is written elsewhere, “Now we can come fearlessly right into God’s presence, assured of his glad welcome when we come with Christ and trust in him” (Ephesians 3:12, TLB). Christ’s death and resurrection is everything for us, as Christians, since it gives us a good and righteous standing with God.

We Have a Solid Foundation of Peace in Jesus (TMF:647)

Peace to Live By: We Have a Solid Foundation of Peace in Jesus (TMF:647) - Daniel Litton
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       We have a solid foundation in Jesus, one that stands firm in peace no matter what happens in our lives. We can always have peace in the one simple fact that Jesus is always with us. The Bible says that, “For God has said, “I will never, never fail you nor forsake you.” That is why we can say without any doubt or fear, “The Lord is my Helper, and I am not afraid of anything that mere man can do to me.” Bottom line is that no matter what kind of situation we find ourselves in during our lives, we know that God is always with us by our sides. No matter if even everyone in the world were to abandon us—our family, our friends, a spouse, people at work—there is always one thing that is true. Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20, TLB). We don’t have to fear the unexpected disruptions and disappointments that come in life because we have God by our side. He knew they were coming, and he will see us through them. We can keep out peace if we so choose, and let him worry about our problem.

Jesus Has Told Us Not to be Worried or Afraid (TMF:646)

Peace to Live By: Jesus Has Told Us Not to be Worried or Afraid (TMF:646) - Daniel Litton
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       It is interesting when you read John 14:27 that Jesus tells us not to be troubled, or worried, and not to be afraid, or fear. Remember the famous phrase spoken by President Franklin Roosevelt at his first inaugural address? He said, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” And really, that statement is true for the Christian. Our peace is not based on our external circumstances that occur in our lives, but our peace is grounded in Jesus. It’s like when Jesus said, “Though the rain comes in torrents, and the floods rise and the storm winds beat against his house, it won’t collapse, for it is built on rock” (Matthew 7:25, TLB). We have a solid foundation in Jesus, one that stands firm in peace no matter what happens in our lives. We can always have peace in the one simple fact that Jesus is always with us. The Bible says that, “For God has said, “I will never, never fail you nor forsake you.” That is why we can say without any doubt or fear, “The Lord is my Helper, and I am not afraid of anything that mere man can do to me.”