The YouTruth in John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Jesus spent a lot of time encouraging His disciples as the time of His death on the cross drew near. They were afraid of what would happen after Jesus was no longer with them. They had trouble making sense of it. The last thing they felt about the whole situation was peace.
Have you ever been wanting for peace in your life? Does your life seem chaotic and out of control at times? Is now one of those times? If you answered, “Yes,” to any of these questions (and I suspect you answered, “Yes,” to at least one of them), Jesus’ words to His disciples above are words He intends you to hear too.
Peace in life is such an elusive thing if you try to secure it by the world’s means. Worldly peace requires particular circumstances—quiet, security, favorable surroundings, the kind words of those around you, and so on. Jesus knows that you usually cannot control any of these things, just as He knew His disciples couldn’t back in the day. So Jesus does not give you peace as the world gives, and you can praise God for that! His peace originates in eternity, rockets into this world, penetrates through all of the world’s chaos, and takes up residence in your heart. What results is a heart free from fear and trouble, regardless of what the world surrounds you with.
Jesus left this peace just for you. Go into today knowing that this peace has made the trip from heaven and, with pin point accuracy, has landed square in the middle of your heart.
The YouTruth in 2 Corinthians 9:8
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
In this passage Paul teaches about two attributes of God, one that is fairly obvious and one that can be a bit hidden.
First, you hear about God’s ability. God is able to bless you abundantly. This is good news, indeed! God’s ability to bless you is unequaled! Those who have chosen a personal relationship with God draw themselves into direct contact with all of God’s abilities. That might cause you to infer that, as a Christian, you can sit back and gorge yourself on His non-stop blessings. It doesn’t take long to figure out that it doesn’t work this way. So, what does this say about God’s ability? Is He not as able as we are led to believe? No, that’s not it at all. The rest of this passage reveals the other attribute at work here—God’s will.
God’s will is that you “will abound in every good work.” Therefore God’s abundant blessings are designed to be an abundant means to that end. When blessing are not forthcoming, it is never evidence of God’s inability to bless you, but His unwillingness to bless you. The function and purpose of God’s blessings is to equip you to be the loving hands and feet of Jesus in this world. If you are engaged in this work, in accordance with His will, then He will purposefully bless you. In the abundance of these blessings, you will never be without what you need to do incredible, otherworldly good works.
Abound in good works today and experience God’s unequaled ability to abundantly bless you.
The YouTruth in Galatians 4:6-7
“Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
When you were born into this world, you entered it as a loved, cherished, creation of God. That’s no small thing! And yet, it is. Because, when you give your life to Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, you are elevated to the status of a member of God’s family. This is huge because your status as beloved creation is enslaved by the temporal, destructive nature of our broken world, whereas your status as a child of God breaks free of those shackles and reaches into eternity.
But it gets even better! As a child of God, you also share in the inheritance that is due to each of God’s children. Now, your earthly parents may accumulate enough assets that they can pass some on to you (and your siblings) when they die. The reason they leave an inheritance is that they can’t take the temporal assets they accumulate into eternity with them. Those assets are stuck here on Earth. God’s inheritance is fundamentally different. It is an eternal inheritance that you receive once you proclaim Him as your Savor and Lord and you can take with you into eternity. It is an inheritance of endlessly valuable love, grace, peace, and hope. It won’t run out no matter how fast you spend it here on earth. It won’t run out no matter how many people you share it with. And when you enter eternity, you’ll find you have no less of it than when you started. It doesn’t get any better than that!
So see today as a “break free” day with your pockets full of His inheritance. (A little hint: your pockets will be overflowing, so spread His inheritance around!)
The YouTruth in Romans 12:1
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
Worship can have many components and styles—singing traditional hymns or contemporary praise songs, silent prayer or reciting the Lord’s Prayer, liturgical responsive reading, reciting creeds, sermons or messages, audio-visual aids. There is one component that is often overlooked—sacrifice.
Paul cites that offering our bodies as a living sacrifice is true worship. Does that mean that all of our usual forms of worship are untrue and unpleasing to God? No, of course not. But what it does mean is that sacrifice must be included in the mix or none of the rest of it matters.
Corporate, Sunday-morning worship is a vital part of a life of faith, so much so that God designated a Sabbath day each week during which we are commanded to worship and rest. Without a Sabbath for this purpose, we are ships without a mooring, we are wanderers without direction. But Sunday worship that does not launch us into six days of sacrificial living, is not worship at all. The two must go together.
Remember that the key word is sacrifice. You know your Sunday worship is effective when Monday through Saturday contain regular instances of forgoing self-interest, experiencing inconvenience or even suffering at times, to love and help others in Jesus’ name.
Be a “sacrificing worshipper” today! (Don’t forget to go to church and worship next Sunday, too.)