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CAT | Receive Your Christ Peace

Ps 5:11 Let them ever sing and shout for joy. (AMP)

We’ve been looking at Rom 14:17 The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. We saw that righteousness triggers peace and peace triggers joy. Today we will look at joy in our lives.

Righteousness, peace and joy are the birthright of every Christian. Therefore, the natural state of our being on a daily basis should reflect righteousness, peace and joy. Our righteousness comes from Christ (2 Cor 5:21). As we stand in this righteousness, it triggers peace, and when we are at peace, it triggers joy.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). It means to be cheerful, be glad, a calm delight. Joy expresses itself when we have an awareness of who we are in Christ. We have a calm delight, a sense of security, victory and trust in the Lord. This calm delight turns to shouts of joy when we praise the Lord. We rejoice (joy) in Him for all He has done for us and continues to do.

Joy has been given us to counterract the negative feelings of fear, worry and stress. Neh 8:10 Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  (NKJV). On this day, the people of Israel were experiencing worry, hurt and remorse because they had an awareness of their sin. Nehemiah said to them, “Don’t be sorry, rejoice in the Lord and it will lift your spirits and make you strong”. Immediately the people’s countenance changed and they began to rejoice and experience the joy of the Lord.

For us Christians, when we have a revelation that all our sins are forgiven, that our God loves us with an unconditional love, that we are always accepted in His presence, that there is no more guilt and condemnation but only peace – this sense of FREEDOM will always cause us to rejoice in the Lord and will release the strength of God into our lives on a daily basis.

This strength becomes a shield of protection against the stress of modern living.

We must remember that God has given us everything we need to live in the midst of such pressure. If we are not doing so, we should stop and ask the Holy Spirit what we need to change in order to experience righteousness, peace and joy as a daily experience of Christ.

Meditation Point: Am I able to rejoice (joy) in God in the midst of pressure, stress and difficulty (Jam 2:2-4).

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Prov 27:19 Just as water mirrors your face, so your face mirrors your heart. (TM)

In the last Blog I looked at how right standing with God leads to peace. Let’s now look at how that peace is released into our lives.

In the photo above, the country side is reflected by the surface of the water. It’s surface, so still, it has become like a mirror. It’s the same with our heart. When our heart is at peace, it is reflected in our face. When people die, it is often remarked that their face shows great peace. Their worry lines and frowns disappear. Why is this?  Because their spirit (character) which carries worry and stress, is no longer there (Jam 2:26).

Now we are in Christ, we don’t have to wait until we die to reflect His peace in our countenance. It was Christ in the boat on Galilee (MK 4:35-41) that spoke to the storm, “Peace, be still”. That same Christ lives in our hearts today and will do the same for us as we exercise our faith and trust in Him (v40).

All we need to do is cover the bases of who we are in Christ.

Example 1: The newspaper headline screams out, “Country on verge of bankruptcy”. Worry and fear grip our heart, until we remember what Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow” (Mt 6:34). As we put our trust in Him, the waves of worry and fear subside and we know peace in the midst of the storm.

Example 2: We suddenly realise the mistakes we made in raising our children. We were lax in discipline, ploughed them with things instead of time, picked on their mistakes and failures and never told them we loved them.

We are now consumed with guilt, regret, remorse and self recrimination. Rom 8:1 comes flooding into our heart. There is therefore NOW (present continuous tense)NO (not one thing) condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.We take hold of this promise and resist all guilt and condemnation until peace is restored to our hearts.

We also take hold of Rom 5:20 Where sin abounds, grace did much more abound, and we say, “Father, I now give my mistakes to You and ask Your grace to come in and swallow them up. I also ask You to bring healing and restoration between myself and my children and I rest in You”. Again, peace is restored to our heart.

It is the peace of Jesus Christ which is the true healing power for our mind, will, emotions and body. It is this peace which is reflected on our face and which speaks to others of God.

Meditation Point: Jesus, help me by Your grace to always stand on Your promise, not  be worried about tomorrow, that my heart, face and life will speak peace to a world in turmoil.

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Isa 54:14  In righteousness you shall be established. (NKJV)

As noted in my last Blog, the Biblical order to receiving peace, is found in Rom 14:17 For the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

This order cannot be tampered with – we can’t have joy, peace and righteousness or peace, joy and righteousness – NO – it must be righteousness, peace and joy. One triggers the operation of the other. To have peace, we must first have righteousness. To have joy we must first have righteousness and peace.

So let’s look at the first word: righteousness. Why does this come first. Isa 54:14 says we are to be,established in righteousness’. God’s character is 100% righteous, therefore, to be accepted by Him, we too must be 100% righteous.

Under the Old Covenant, no man or priest could go into the Most Holy Place of the Tab of Moses. if they did, they would immediately become burnt toast (dead). Even the High Priest would tremble with fear knowing that if he wasn’t attired with proper garments and the correct approach to God, He too would suffer similar consequences.

The priests would tie a rope around his ankle so that when he entered the Most Holy Place, if they couldn’t hear the bells tinkling on the bottom of his garment, they knew he would be dead and would pull him out by the rope.

All of this because under the Old Covenant, man couldn’t be sure of his holiness,couldn’t be sure he was 100% righteous.

Herein lies the difference: under the O.C. man had to earn his righteousness by obeying the law. Under the N.C. man is given righteousness as a free gift by grace.

Phil 3:9 That I might be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; (NKJV)

Under the New Covenant, God has made us fully 100% righteous in Christ.

2 Cor 5:21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  (NKJV)

Heb 4:16 tells us we can now come boldly (the opposite of fear) unto God’s throne of grace. And because we are righteous we are assured of these things:

1) We are totally forgiven all our sins: past, present & future.

2) Christ’s blood has cleansed us from all unrighteousness.

3) We are fully accepted by God.

4) We can receive the fullness of His love.

5) We can receive the fullness of His peace.

6) We are fully pleasing to Him at all times.

7) He will never, judge us, condemn us, accuse us, withdraw from us or become angry with us, even when we sin or fail.

All these facts added together, show us that our security and identity, establish us in righteousness. We have right standing before the Father because we are righteous in Christ.

Meditation Point: Rom 8:29-30 For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like his Son, and having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory.  (NLT)

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The Scripture above shows the sequence and progression of God’s work in our lives. This sequence is found throughout the Scriptures. Compare these verses:

Ps 85:10 Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.  (NKJV)

Isa 32:17 The work (fruit) of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.  (NKJV)

Heb 7:1-3 For this Melchizedek, King of Salem, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “King of righteousness,” and then also King of Salem, meaning “King of peace.”  (NKJV)

Paul the Apostle finally draws it altogether with Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

These Scriptures show us that there is a sequence and a  progression to releasing God’s peace in our lives.

1) First we are to be established in righteousness.

2) Righteousness triggers the flow of peace.

3) Peace triggers the flow of joy.

This sequence and progression, received and acted upon will completely revolution our lives and bring about the victory and freedom that many have been searching for, for a long time.

In my next Blog, I will start with Point No1 – how to be established in God’s righteousness.

Meditation Point: Father, open the Scriptures to me in new ways. Ways I have never considered before. Meet the need for my heart’s cry to experience your deep abiding peace.

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Col 1:20 Having made peace through the blood of His cross. (NKJV)

The above Scripture shows that Christ was a peacemaker not a peacekeeper. Let’s remind ourselves how this took place.

It was mankind (Adam) who broke the peace with God, not God with man. Since that time, man has always been in rebellion and enmity with God Rom 8:7  The carnal mind is enmity against God KJV.

Dic Def: ENMITY – hostility, hatred, war, suspicion, rancour.

In spite of this, God knew that man wanted peace to be restored, but because of his sin nature, was incapable of change. That is, however much he wanted peace with God, deep down, there was an inbred hostility towards Him.

Rom 5:20 But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. (KJV)

If peace was to be restored, It would have to be God who took the initiative. So God, in an act of pure grace, sent His Son to die on a cross in order to make peace. God’s master plan was enacted thus:

1) Instead of man having to be punished for breaking the peace, God took out His full judgement and fury upon His Son Jesus. Isa 53:5 The punishment that brought us peace was upon him (Christ), and by his wounds we are healed.

2) By receiving Christ into His life, the Holy Spirit heals man by taking away his sin nature and replacing it with a righteous nature. This righteous nature enables man to make peace with God (Isa 32:17, Rom 14:17 ).

3) This peace that God has made with man is an eternal peace that can never be broken. Why? Because God made His peace with Christ who is man’s representative, and Christ as a man is perfect and will never break that peace.

4) Because we are now, ‘In Christ’, every time God looks upon us, He always sees us in Christ. Therefore the peace we have with God is not based on what we have or have not done, it is based entirely on what Christ has done.

5) On the cross, God forgave man’s sin, past, present and future. Therefore, whenever man sin’s, he knows that sin was forgiven and cleansed away by the blood of Christ 2000 yrs ago. This is why, man can never break the peace between him and God.

In our next Blog we will look at how many Christian’s have still not received the fullness of God’s peace and how to maintain this peace in our lives.

Meditation Point: Am I living in the peace of God or is that peace broken by guilt, condemnation, shame and fear etc.

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Gen 2:16-17  But the Lord God gave the man this warning: “You may eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the Tree of Conscience-for its fruit will open your eyes to make you aware of right and wrong, good and bad. If you eat its fruit, you will be doomed to die.”  (TLB)

The word for peace in Greek is to, ‘set-at-one’ or ‘to join’. This is the peace that Adam enjoyed with God in the garden of Eden. They were so close in relationship, a razor blade could not pass between them.

But the moment Adam sinned, that oneness, that join, that peace was shattered and broken, and his conscience which had only registered good, now began to register bad. Guilt, condemnation, fear and shame began to operate in his life.

He knew that he himself had shattered the peace with God, and cowered in fear behind the trees awaiting the punishment that would follow - “You shall surely die” (Gen 2:17). But instead of letting the sword of Damocles fall upon Adam’s neck, God’s grace kicked in, He sacrificed animals on behalf of their sin and covered them with the skins (Gen 3:21).

Adam’s sin nature and sin consciousness now passed onto the whole future human race. His rebellion, his shaking the fist at God was now embedded in man; And as we saw in Pt 1 of this Blog, once man loses his vertical peace with God, he loses his horizontal peace with other men.

In fact, by Gen ch 4 Cain slew his own brother Abel out of jealousy, hatred and anger; And we see throughout 2000yrs of history there has been non-stop war, violence and division between the nations. Peace has been a fleeting emotion!

Suddenly, Jesus Christ is born and the angels announce, “Glory to God in the heavenly heights, peace to all men and women on earth who please him”. (Lk 2:14 TM).
But mankind have misconstrued this peace. They think that by working hard and seeking to understand each other, that peace can reign. What a myth!

NO – the peace Jesus came to bring cannot be earned, it can only be received, and only received by those who bow the knee in humility and surrender to God, to His Lordship, by receiving the work of the cross of Christ into their lives.

Christ came to be a peace maker not a peacekeeper, and He gave His life to join God and man together again. In our next Blog we shall be looking at Christ as, ‘Peacemaker’.

Meditation Point:  If Christ has made peace between us and God, have I received the fullness of His peace, or am I still plagued by guilt, condemnation, shame, rejection and fear etc.

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