Peace Keeper #4- Being Thankful & Content, Part 1 (TMF:715)

Peace to Live By: Peace Keeper #4- Being Thankful & Content, Part 1 (TMF:715) - Daniel Litton
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       Number Four: Focusing on what we do have, not on what we don’t have. “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13, ESV). We all have many things to be thankful for, no matter who we are. Cultivating and having this type of mindset keeps peace in our minds. Not realizing the things that we already have, and instead focusing on what we don’t have, makes us more and more greedy to get what we probably don't even need. It’s not that buying new things is bad, it’s when obtaining them overtakes your drive for life that you are too zealous for it, and it will take away your peace of mind. Again, wanting your life to be different is not wrong, but don’t want whatever it is so bad that it, in turn, sacrifices the goodness and joy of today. God wants us to enjoy our lives as they are right now.

Peace Keeper #3- Following Our Hearts, Part 2 (TMF:714)

Peace to Live By: Peace Keeper #3- Following Our Hearts, Part 2 (TMF:714) - Daniel Litton
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       We don’t have to have all the facts about something before making a decision. When we don’t follow our hearts, we lose our peace, and we live a life that isn’t as fulfilling as it could have been. All of us, at one point or another, have attempted to justify our actions by using logic, by thinking things through in our heads when we know that the thing we are thinking is not what is in our heart. It is important, though, that we don’t do this, because it takes away peace of mind. Following logic is operating like a piece of machinery, or like a robot; there is no love in the equation. Sometimes it is hard to make the ‘right,’ heart-felt decision about something. God may be calling you today to start or be involved in a certain ministry, but perhaps you have justified your way out of it by saying to yourself you don’t have the money or the time that it will take to fulfill it. Or, maybe you have said to yourself that you’re not good enough. You may have talked yourself out of it, but you know, deep down, that that is what is in your heart and what God is calling you to do. Well, you need to follow your heart and forget what you mind is telling you. If you will do what is in there, God will take care of the rest.

Peace Keeper #3- Following Our Hearts, Part 1 (TMF:713)

Peace to Live By: Peace Keeper #3- Following Our Hearts, Part 1 (TMF:713) - Daniel Litton
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       Number Three in my list of peace-keepers: Following what is in our hearts, and not logic in our minds. “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment” (Ecclesiastes 11:9, ESV). Now, when I am talking about following your heart in matters, I’m not saying you should follow your heart when the decision clearly violates God’s Word. Indeed, we all have sin in our hearts, and we should never follow something from our hearts that we know is sinful. But in matters where God gives us choice—freedom to choose what we wish—we should do what is in our hearts versus what may seem logical in our minds. God wants us to have a right heart attitude, to be obedient from the heart, like Romans 6:17 and 10:9 state. We should have a sincere heart, and do the will of God from our hearts, as the Apostle Paul told bondservants in Ephesians 6:5 and 6. Paul told Timothy, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5, ESV; see also Hebrews 10:22).

Peace Keeper #2- Having & Using Faith, Part 3 (TMF:712)

Peace to Live By: Peace Keeper #2- Having & Using Faith, Part 3 (TMF:712) - Daniel Litton
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       Times are going to come in our lives when it’s time to make a choice. And if we want to have a peaceful mind, it is important that we are making the right choices when the time comes. God says to us, ““But all who listen to me shall live in peace and safety, unafraid” (Proverbs 1:33, TLB). Sometimes we need to take a step of faith in a certain direction, a direction that we feel God is leading us in. This can be much harder done than said because we are a people that likes to have all the answers. We like to consider every aspect of a situation, every intricate part of it, and then act from there. The problem with this kind of thinking is that, first, we cannot always know all the answers, and second, sometimes God asks us to step out, to make a choice, when there are great unknowns. It is true that we sometimes have to act, and then wait to see what happens to know if we were right in making our decision. But, we can be sure that if God is leading us to do it, we know it will be right in the end.

Peace Keeper #2- Having & Using Faith, Part 2 (TMF:711)

Peace to Live By: Peace Keeper #2- Having & Using Faith, Part 2 (TMF:711) - Daniel Litton
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       It is true that problems are definitely going to rise in our lives, no matter who we are. A lot of people think that the richer you are, for instance, the less problems you have. But nothing could be farer from the truth! The rich have more to worry about (see 1 Timothy 6:6-10). So, money isn’t the answer to a peaceful life without problems. As I read in the verse in Proverbs, God wants us to listen to him. When we follow God Word in our lives, we have less problems. But nonetheless, the problems that do come into our lives, of which we have no control of, we can still face with confidence because we have faith and trust in God, knowing that he is in control of all things and that nothing comes to us without his allowing it to come. That includes relationship problems, money problems, health issues, satanic attacks—everything. As the Apostle Paul reminds us, “But the Lord is faithful; he will make you strong and guard you from satanic attacks of every kind” (2 Thessalonians 3:3, TLB). And he also said in Romans, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31, ESV).

Peace Keeper #2- Having & Using Faith, Part 1 (TMF:710)

Peace to Live By: Peace Keeper #2- Having & Using Faith, Part 1 (TMF:710) - Daniel Litton
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       Number Two: Having faith and taking leaps of faith when necessary. “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead” (Hebrews 11:1, TLB). A lot of people in our world today are pessimists. Most of the time, they just don’t think the best, or good will happen. And then there are those who call themselves the realists. These are the people who say there are neither optimistic or pessimistic, but that they see things in a realistic light. I am confident to say today that God wants us to optimists, to be full of hope. We cannot have faith if we are pessimists or realists, but only if we are optimists. Saying, “Well, its possible this could happen, and it may or may not happen” is not being hopeful. That’s a realist’s attitude. The best thing to say is, “I believe that the best is going to happen and that everything is going to be good.” That’s a hopeful attitude. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 8? He said, “let it be done for you as you have believed” (ESV). Now, that’s optimistic and having faith!

Peace Keeper #1- Communing with God, Part 3 (TMF:709)

Peace to Live By: Peace Keeper #1- Communing with God, Part 3 (TMF:709) - Daniel Litton
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       God always answers our prayers when we have a need. Generally speaking, there are typically three answers that he provides. Yes, no, and often times “wait.” We love the first answer, but not so much the latter two. If we are going to keep our peace while we are waiting on something, we are going to have to spend time talking with God, and trust him as we wait. Again, this can be very difficult when the thing we desire is impressed greatly on our hearts. But our trust in God will overpower the desire to obtain whatever it is that we want. We exercise ‘faith’ that God will provide what we want and need at the right time. God does give us what we want a lot of times; you know that, right? He is our loving Father, and just as parents often give their children the desires of their hearts, so God will often give us the desires of our hearts. The problem is, many don’t believe that, and therefore, do not obtain because they do not believe. No one can serve two masters. Either we will hate the one and love the other, or we will be devoted to the one and despise the other (see Matthew 6:24).

Peace Keeper #1- Communing with God, Part 2 (TMF:708)

Peace to Live By: Peace Keeper #1- Communing with God, Part 2 (TMF:708) - Daniel Litton
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       God gives us the strength we need to live out each day of our lives. As David said in the verse I read a little bit ago, the strength God gives us then encourages us as we go about the day. Remember the famous verse which says, “I can do all things through him [Christ] who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, ESV). Indeed, of all the things we need on a daily basis, God’s strength is of primary importance. When we live our lives out, not everything always goes the way we want it. And we see sin and suffering all around us; we don’t have to look very far. Therefore, Christ’s strength is critical for us, and we get this through having a continual conversation, ongoing throughout our day, with God. The writer of Hebrews reminds us, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, 7, ESV).

Peace Keeper #1- Communing with God, Part 1 (TMF:707)

Peace to Live By: Peace Keeper #1- Communing with God, Part 1 (TMF:707) - Daniel Litton
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       Number one in my list of peace keepers: Staying in conversation with God on a regular basis. “When I pray, you answer me and encourage me by giving me the strength I need” (Psalm 138:3, TLB). Prayer is so essential to living a good life. Paul told us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, ESV). The practice of continual conversation with God is so important to have a good day. I have found that on days of which I went about my day without adequate prayer, I find myself suffering in not too long a time. The sole purpose for our existence is to be in a relationship with God. After all, that’s why he created us so that he could be in fellowship with humans who willingly want to be. We, as humans, want to be loved, and God also wants to be loved. When we spend time in prayer with our Heavenly Father, it starts our daily tasks off on the right note. It gets our minds in the right place so that our thoughts will be flowing in the right direction. God gives us the strength we need to live out each day of our lives.

Solomon's Keys to Living a Peaceful Life (TMF:706)

Peace to Live By: Solomon's Keys to Living a Peaceful Life (TMF:706) - Daniel Litton
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       King Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes the keys to living a peaceful life. Indeed, he himself during his lifetime had considered many of the ways of this world, and tried and experimented with different things in order to try and find the meaning of life. What he concluded was the following: “Well, one thing, at least, is good: It is for a man to eat well, drink a good glass of wine, accept his position in life, and enjoy his work whatever his job may be, for however long the Lord may let him live” (Ecclesiastes 5:18, TLB). So, from this verse two key things stick out, and that is enjoying life as well as being content with what we have been given. The Apostle Peter, in his first epistle, cites Psalm 34:12 through 16, and tells us: “For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:10-12, ESV).