PEACE

If you’re already a follower of Jesus, here’s the help I promised you on Sunday.

Establishing PEACE w/ God doesn’t mean your life will be free from conflict.  Jesus said in this world you’ll have problems, but He will help you overcome them. (John 16:33)

Some of you have been following Jesus for a while, but you don’t have a sense of PEACE in your daily life.

How do you connect with God in such a way as to have peace on a consistent basis?   I don’t have a checklist or formula, but here’s an important key:

To establish consistent peace, you need to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

In Andy Stanley’s book Enemies of the Heart he says to get a changed heart requires effort; sometimes this includes pain and always some discomfort.   In other words, it requires establishing some new habits that may be out of our comfort zone.

Peace is one of the things God develops in us as we submit to Him & depend on Him daily.

Galatians 5:22 calls peace a fruit of the Spirit.   Fruit can’t grow if it’s disconnected from the vine. Peace can’t grow in you if you don’t stay connected to Jesus which takes spiritual disciplines. (John 15:1-8)

We establish PEACE with God when we put our faith in Jesus Christ.  We experience PEACE in life when we grow in our faith and our understanding of who we are in Christ.

There are times I struggle with peace, but when I’m consistent in my spiritual disciplines & remember who I am in Jesus, I experience peace.

A few things that have helped me with my spiritual growth & peace follow…

Every day I need to draw near to God and ADMIT MY NEED.    To become a Christian (follower of Jesus) you had to admit your need for Jesus and make the choice to trust Him.

Now He wants you to grow in the same kind of trust & dependence daily that you exhibited when you put your faith in Him.   You don’t get saved again; you exercise your faith in Christ on a daily basis by depending on Him.

ISAIAH 26:3 NCV says: You, Lord, give true peace to those who depend on you, because they trust you.

I also need to CONNECT WITH JESUS.   I believe the secret to Jesus power, courage & peace was His connection with God the Father.

MARK 1:35 CEV   says:  Very early the next morning, Jesus got up and went to a place where he could be alone and pray. 

One of my life verses has become Psalm 46:10

PSALM 46:10 Msg “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”

When I stop long enough to connect with Jesus & take a long loving look at God, I grow in peace because I remember…

  • I Am Eternally Loved (I don’t have to perform)
  • I Am Completely Accepted because of Jesus
  • I Am Highly Valued because I Belong To God
  • I Am Totally Forgiven (not condemned)

What helps me strengthen my connection with Jesus?   PRAYER.

Honest conversation with God where I talk & listen helps develop PEACE.  I’m good at talking, but I’m still learning to listen which takes time, stillness & quiet.

PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7 CEV  reminds me…Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.

ENGAGE WITH GOD’S WORD.  To have consistent peace, I need more than a casual or occasional reading of God’s Word.   It means I spend consistent time studying it, reflecting on its truth and applying it in my life.

PSALM 119:165 NIrV  says: Those who love your law enjoy great peace.  Nothing can make them trip and fall.

These two disciplines of prayer and time in the Scripture will make a huge difference in you, but sadly – very few people practice them.

It’s like going to the gym. Some people give up when they don’t see immediate results, but for those who stay with it – results happen.  I’d encourage you to consistently get in God’s Presence and Connect With Jesus through prayer and His Word (the Scripture).

Jesus promised His followers He would be nailed to a cross and three days later rise from the dead.  He kept His Promise!

In John 14:27 NLT Jesus said:  “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.  

Jesus promised to give us PEACE & He Keeps His Promises…

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have four grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Lead Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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