Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Take a fruit break today (and every day).

Galatians 5:22-23

King James Version (KJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

John 14

King James Version (KJV)

14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Philippians 4:6-9

King James Version (KJV)

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

We live in a truly messed up world. We live at a very fast pace. We're going to work, to the store, to the doctors, and to kids concerts and practices. We have to fix our cars, our hair, our families, and our lives. We're always going and going. 

Is it any wonder that our stress levels are up, our families are in turmoil, and and our hearts are under tremendous pressure? We worry about everything and have peace about almost nothing. As a result, we scream at our families, rather than talk to them. 

Our lives seem to be built around overcoming one obstacle after another. It's crazy. What's a Christian to do in this overwhelming world?

First, take a cue from Jesus. Every time he started his day (and many times during the day and at the end if his day), Jesus prayed. Yes, Jesus was (and is) God in human flesh. But his flesh was still human. In order to make it through the day, perform the ministry he had to do, and overcome the enormous obstacles that were set before him, he had to pray.

The scriptures say that "(we) can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth (us)." (Philippians 4:13) The flesh of Jesus knew he had monumental tasks ahead so he started each day in communion with the spirit of God. We should to. If we are to make it through the many challenges that beset us each day, we need to stay in close contact with the spirit of God.

In fact, we need to do as Paul wrote and "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thes. 5:17) Whatever may come our way, we need to pray before, during, and after. If we don't, we will inevitably fail.

Jesus also tells us to "let not (our) hearts be troubled." In other words, it's a choice. We can either worry ourselves to death trying to figure out how to fix the problems we face, or we can remember that Jesus is in control.

"In everything by prayer and supplications...let your requests be made known to God," is what we need to do. We need to ask him for direction and then follow through with the actions that are required for us to do to play our part. 

Finally, we need to keep our mind and hearts focused on "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

The more we keep our minds and hearts on God and good things, the less stress we will have in our lives. When we dive off into ungodly entertainment and activities, then we are much more easily discouraged and stressed. It then becomes a viscous and counterproductive circle.

The more we worry, the more stress we have. The more stress we have, the more we dive off into entertainment (be it books, movies, games, websites, alcohol, etc) to escape our troubles. The more we try and escape and don't face the problems, the worse the problems become. The worse the problems become, the more we worry- and the process begins all over again.

Let us stop the rat race, get off the wheel, and seek God and his righteousness. If we will, then "the God of peace shall be with (us)." Then, it won't be so hard to deal with life. And we will develop part of the fruit of the spirit that he so wants to develop in us- HIS peace.

May the Lord help us ALL follow this advice in our lives. In Jesus name!