“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 (NIV)
Jesus is comforting and preparing His disciples, explaining that He will not be with them much longer. His words are ones of reassurance, strength, support, and hope for the disciples and us. Jesus shares his grace and promises us peace. We may have troubles, but His peace, a peace that surpasses all, understanding is always with us. Jesus’ died on the cross, overcoming the authority of Satan. He delivered us from the domain of darkness. So take heart for Christ, died for us, paid the price, and overcame the world.
Are you relying on your abilities or faithfully taking heart in Jesus’ victory?
Prayer; Jesus, our rock and redeemer, we thank You for Your sacrifice and love for us. Teach us to reach out to You and rely on Your strength during times of trouble. Help us to let go of our problems and learn to dwell in Your peace. Jesus, let us take heart and realize that You have overcome the world. Like the strong, beautiful petals of the native sunflower, let us be strong in faith and rest in your beautiful peace. In Your holy name. Amen
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17 The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
Isaiah 32:17 (NKJV)
Righteousness is the character of God, shown in the perfect holiness of Jesus. To be righteous is to live in a way that is acceptable to God, the following of His Word, and acceptance of His path. It is a heart transformation, a trust in heavenly things rather than worldly things. When we trust and accept God’s way, we achieve inner peace and quiet confident assurance in His promise of life everlasting.
17 And the effect of righteousness will be peace, And the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever.
Isaiah 32:17 (AMP)
When you need peace do you reach out in prayer; do you rest in God in quiet assurance?
Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, help us to grow in righteousness and become more like Christ. Lord teach us to be open-hearted, to love one another as You have loved us. Help us to grow in faith, compassion, and peace. Let us learn to rest in Your quiet with peace and confident trust forever. Like the lovely open peony, let us open our hearts and spread your Word with love. In Jesus’ holy and loving name Amen.
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9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
John 15: 9-11 (NIV)
Allowing Jesus into your life, following His ways, and giving Him your burdens, brings joy to your life. Jesus did not want His followers to live in fear; He wanted them to rely on Him, to receive His peace, love, and joy. Jesus wants us to lighten our burdens by turning them over to Him. When we let go of fears and worries and take time to be still in His presence, it opens our hearts to His way. Having faith, trust in Jesus lightens our mind, calms our day, and brings us joy.
Do you let temporary problems and struggles steal away your eternal Jesus given joy?
Prayer; Jesus, our Shepherd, and Redeemer, teach us to give our burdens and fears to You. Lead us on the path of righteousness and guide our way. Help us to embrace your teachings and grow in faith. Like the glorious open flowers of the water lilies, reach upward toward the sun, let us be open-hearted and reach upward toward You, Jesus, and live in joy. Amen
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11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke 2:11-14 (KJV)
An angel announced to the shepherds watching their sheep by night, the birth of Christ the Lord. Then a multitude of heavenly hosts appeared praising God with glory; He gave His Son to be our Savior. The angels were worshiping the birth of Christ, the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in the manger. God’s goodwill and love gave birth to the Savior, the Prince of Peace, to bring peace for all. Gloria in Excelsis Deo is Latin for “Glory to God in the Highest.” Let us remember to worship our Father in heaven and let our hearts focus on the gift of Jesus, our Savior.
Christmas Carol –Angels We Have Heard On High – Lyrics written by James Chadwick fit to the French tune – Gloria
Angels we have heard on high Sweetly singing o’er the plains And the mountains in reply Echoing their joyous strains Gloria in excelsis Deo! Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong? What the gladsome tidings be? Which inspire your heavenly songs? Gloria in excelsis Deo! Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Come to Bethlehem and see Him whose birth the angels sing; Come, adore on bended knee, Christ the Lord, the newborn King. Gloria in excelsis Deo! Gloria in excelsis Deo!
But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.
1 Peter 3:15 (NET)
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
When we revere Christ as Lord in our hearts, we honor Him and give Him glory. We acknowledge Him as our God, our protector, and our hope. With actions, confidence, and strength, our hope is visible to others. Which causes people to inquire, from where our hope comes? With patience and respect, we explain, our hope comes from the Lord!
In your actions and deeds, are you exhibiting Christ as Lord in your heart?
Prayer: Our heavenly Father, we thank and praise you for the hope you give us. Help us to open our hearts to You, and our actions to show You, Lord, in our hearts. As the open lily blossom shines in the sun and reflects the shadows of its stamens, let our hearts shine with Your love, and our actions shadow and reflect Christ. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.
LUKE 1:78-79 (NIV)
In Luke, Zachariah prophesied about his son John the Baptist and Jesus “The Rising Sun.” In different versions of the Bible, Jesus is called the “Sun of Righteousness,” “Heaven’s Dawn,” and “Dayspring from on High” all terms to describe the light that Jesus brings into the world. God, in His great and tender mercy, gives us Jesus. He is the light shining on those in darkness, a guide to our feet showing us which way to go, and illuminating our path to peace. Jesus leads us to spiritual peace here and eternal peace in Heaven.
When you are surrounded by confusion and unrest where do you go for peace? Jesus, “The Rising Sun,” is waiting for your call.
Prayer: Our tender and merciful Father, we thank you for the gift of light, Your Son, “The Rising Sun,” Jesus. He shines, light into our dark places, and leads us through the shadow of death, guiding our feet on the path of peace. Like the agave, and impatiens flowers highlight and brighten a pathway, teach us to brighten our surroundings by shining Your light, highlighting the path toward peace. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Psalm 37:7 (ESV)
To be still in the Lord, to rest in Him, trusting His love. To be content and wait quietly, patiently, giving Him our anxious thoughts. Being secure in faith, realizing God is listening to our prayers, and being content relying on His timing. Understanding that the Lord has plans for us, to prosper us, plans to give us hope and a future. Knowing His justice will shine brightly like the sun.
When current events and the news are overwhelming, do you take time to be still before the Lord?
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to be still, and to rest in Your love. Teach us to learn to be patient and to give You our anxious thoughts. Like the water lily blossom is still, reaching upwards, soaking up the sun help us to turn our face toward You soaking up Your light and love. Our Father, we thank you, for being our refuge and strength, and our ever-present help. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 (NIV)
To let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts we need to have and maintain a relationship with God, to have a thankful, loving heart toward God a sense of unity with Him and our neighbors. To have faith in the Lord, His Word, and to trust Him always. It is an open door a choice for us to decide often moment to moment which path, to embrace ours or the Lord’s. His peace is always available.
In life, we are faced with numerous choices daily and often are stressed out looking for peace. Where do you turn to when you are confused or making decisions and need peace? Does the peace of Christ rule in your heart?
Prayer: Our heavenly Father, we praise and thank you for your love, patience, and forgiveness. Teach us to turn our faces and hearts toward you to follow Your path and to find the peace of Christ. Like the white blossom of the iberis grow close together, teach us to draw close to each other, and grow in compassion, love, and peace. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
The trillium plant with its leaves in groups of three
reminds me of the Holy Trinity. The
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Father who created us and loves us, the Son died for us to redeem
us, and the Holy Spirit who dwells in us as our helper and guide.