His Covenant of Peace

I’ve quit watching the news. I don’t miss it, frankly. My husband and I used to watch the 6am news together in the morning’s while drinking our coffee and waking up to the day. But, it’s been several months now that we decided to just shut it off. It probably coincides with election season. Enough said.
 
Although it’s important to be informed, and aware of what’s going on around us, I found that being filled with the news first thing in the morningt robbed me of peace. The news is so often unsettling, negative, and disturbing. I do believe it is vitally important to be aware of what’s going on in the world, and to use that knowledge to PRAY.
So I do get my news, I just don’t start my day with it.
 
But, having said that, we have made the choice to start our day more peacefully. Have you noticed it doesn’t take much to drain our souls of peace? Some of us start our day off running the moment our feet hit the floor. And some, like me prefer to start out slowly with a half pot of coffee, and quiet music.
 
Once we move on with our day and go about our work at home, or away from home – little by little we deplete ourselves. We give to our kids and spouses, we give to our jobs, we give to our co-workers and friends.
 
Giving is all good. But if we give without taking the time to receive – we will find ourselves depleted and empty. Running on ‘fumes.’
 
I don’t know about you, but I don’t function well (at all) feeling depleted. When my reserves run low, everything, and everyone suffers for it.
 
But here’s a beautiful promise from the book of Isaiah 54:10 –
Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of PEACE be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
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Ahhh… take a moment… breathe in the promises of that verse. Let it soak in. Memorize it. Write it down on a sticky note. Highlight it. Circle the words that stand out to you. ❤
 
Though our lives or our world around us be shaken, His unfailing love CANNOT be. His promise of peace CANNOT be removed from us. When we put our full faith and trust -confidence and hope in the person of Jesus, we are unable to be robbed of the peace that only comes from Him. The world around us may offer a temporary peace or sense of well being – but it is so often fleeting and completely dependent on circumstances. But the peace of God that transcends all human understanding is eternal. It lasts and cannot be removed.
 
Claim it today. Own it. Trust in it. CLING to it. I know I have had to tighten my grip on MANY occasions in my life and struggles. But even in the darkest of days, I never doubted His love. I may have held Him at arms length at times, but I always knew to the deepest of my core that He loved me.
 
Do you ever feel robbed or depleted of peace? By looking honestly at where or from whom we seek peace, we may find that we are seeking in the wrong places. It’s ok – we can change course so easily. I have had to switch course many times… Our God is so very patient with us, isn’t He?
 
Today, I am wishing each one of us peace and the assurance that He loves us with an everlasting, unfailing love that will not, and cannot be shaken.
 
Blessing’s on your day, friends!
 
Allison

Knock Before Entering

1 Corinthians 13:5 – Love is not rude.

In his book “A Love Worth Giving” Max Lucado writes,

“Jesus always knocks before entering. He doesn’t have to. He owns your heart. If anyone has the right to barge in, Christ does. But He doesn’t. That gentle tap you hear? It’s Christ. “Behold I stand at the door and knock.” {Revelations 3:20}. And when you answer, He awaits your invitation to cross the threshold.”

Behold I stand at the door and knock.

Let’s just sit on that for a bit… Our Savior Jesus, is no steam roller! He certainly could come rushing in, but he doesn’t. He quietly, gently knocks and awaits our answer. He knows that we are much more willing to answer the door when it’s a gentle tap, rather than a loud and forceful pound.

The Greek word for rude means: shameful or disgraceful behavior. I don’t know about you, but those two words are not words I’d like to be referred to as. Shameful. Disgraceful. They are powerfully descriptive words aren’t they? Sometime throughout our lifetime, I bet we’ve all used either of those 2 words. What memories are conjured up when you read them? Probably not very pleasant ones.

Years ago, when I was preparing for an over-seas mission trip, part of my training involved cultural sensitivity training. As visitors to a foreign country, we were essentially going to be ambassadors for the United States, and as missionaries, we were also ambassadors and representatives of Jesus Christ. The lessons I learned in that training have stayed with me throughout my life, and have helped me in many ways. Having cultural sensitivity is an asset when traveling in a foreign country, but it also applies right here in my every day life.

Recently, I was having major technology and computer software issues at my business. I was beyond frustrated, and frazzled. I had spent hours and hours on the phone with tech support, on hold, and being transferred multiple times from tech to tech, and department to department. To say I was at my wits end was an understatement.

Only by the grace of God was I able to stay calm. But, let me tell you, when I made a conscious effort to be kind, patient, and friendly, the level of customer service went up, and up, and UP. Being kind is so worth it! I not only got help with my computer problems, but I was even able to share my faith with a tech support woman in the Philippines!

God opens doors when we are open and willing.  Because I was kind, and respectful, this gal who was patiently helping me was willing to listen to me share my faith in Jesus. It was brief, but she was open.

My kindness in that instance didn’t mean that I wasn’t frustrated with my situation. I was definitely frustrated. But by not allowing myself to take out that frustration on someone else, it provided me with an opportunity to allow the light of Jesus to shine, and encourage her that day. Only God will ever know how that brief conversation impacted her life. But I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity. It taught me a very important lesson on how to treat people. Even strangers I will never meet in person, or see.

Being kind is so much better than being rude. Rudeness is not how we should represent ourselves, or our faith in a loving God.

We are ambassadorsfor Christ!

As Christians, we have the added responsibility and privilege of representing Jesus to others, rudeness cuts off any form of witness we could possibly hope to have. If we treat someone rudely and then expect them to be open to what we have to share about Jesus with them, the only thing that person will absorb is the fact that we are a hypocrite. I don’t know about you – but that word is not something I want attached to my name.

God calls us to a much higher standard than that.

Colossians 4:5-6 says: Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity. When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should.”

When we are kind, walls and barriers are torn down, and hearts are softened.  Kindness puts the other person as a priority over ourselves. Isn’t that just what God asks us to do? To humble ourselves before Him, and others, so that we can serve with pure motives and a joyful heart?

There aren’t many things in this life that we can control. But one thing we can is our attitude. Maybe we’re not perfect at it all of the time. But overall; we have control over how we treat others in our lives. Strangers or friends alike.

Romans 12:8 says: Do your best to live in peace with everyone.

Let’s just commit to doing our very best. Let’s be willing to allow God’s BEST to flow in and through our lives. He’s standing at the door of our hearts gently knocking.

What will your answer be?

Daily His,

Allison

 

Love is: KIND

1 Corinthians 13:4 – Love is: KIND.
Love is patient… love is KIND.

The world could use a little more kindness don’t you think? When I look around, or watch the news especially – man, I see a lot of Unkindness.

I’ve always believed there’s a difference between being ‘nice’ and being ‘kind.’ There are a lot of nice people in this world. They are polite, they say or do ‘nice things’ for people, and are generally agreeable people.

Kindness I believe comes from within your heart. I believe that kindness is a person’s nature, some are just are born that way. Not that you can’t be kind if you weren’t born that way – it may just take a bit more work.  

A nice person may ask someone “are you cold?” Whereas, a kind person would give that person their coat.

I know that many people use the 2 words interchangeably, but I always pause to think about it when I use the word “kind.” I’ve reserved it for a person, or an act of kindness that goes over and above just being nice.

To truly understand kindness, we need to look at God’s kindness to us. Think of how He has shown His kindness to us throughout history, and throughout our lives.

First and foremost; His kindness was shown by sending His Son Jesus to be the Savior of all time. He showed all of mankind mercy when we deserved none of it. He went over and above.

I did a little bit of research on the Greek (original) word for kind. This is what I found.

“The word “kind” is the Greek word chresteuomai, which means to be adaptable or compliant to the needs of others. The word “kind” portrays a willingness to serve and to change in order to meet the needs of others. This is completely opposite of selfishness and self-centeredness.”

Therefore:

“…Love doesn’t demand others to be like itself; rather, it is so focused on the needs of others that it bends over backwards to become what others need it to be.…”

If this is what Paul means when he says that love is kind, we must look into the mirror and ask ourselves: Do I become what others need me to be, or do I demand that others be like me? Kindness is always reaching out, thinking and focusing primarily on the needs of others. The person walking in agape love adapts to those around him in order to touch them, help them, and impact them in a meaningful way.”

What does kindness DO?


Romans 2:4 says – “…the kindness of God leads you to repentence.” I can completely relate to this verse. Because of God’s unwavering kindness to me when I was doing nothing but pushing Him away, I was led back to Him. His kindness is hard to resist! Believe me, I tried. It’s exhausting. He pursues us with kindness.

Of my 3 children, I have one in particular who is kind. She is my youngest, Jenna. She is gentle, soft spoken, and truly kind. It comes from within. She doesn’t have to think about it – it is just WHO she is. She doesn’t require attention for her kindness, she just does it. She is a wonderful example to me of someone who is kind. {I wish I was more like her!}

The most difficult part of Godly kindness is being kind to our ‘enemies.’ It might be pretty easy to be kind to those we are close to, and love dearly. But kindness to people who are unkind to us is quite another story.

Being kind to those who are UNkind to us, is when our ‘kindness quotient’ becomes really clear!

Remember these verses:

~ Luke 6:35 – Because He is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin.

~Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Blessings to you!

Daily His,

Allison