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Thursday, June 03, 2010

I am doing a personal study of Philippians, a letter of joy from Paul while he is in prison. Going through the study, and breaking it down to see the grace and peace and even joy through his circumstance.

One of my questions is to define grace and peace.
Grace is getting something you do not deserve, receiving God's unmerited favor.  That is easy to just say and not grasp the true meaning.  That means every breath I take is due to God's grace.  That means that as I wake up in the morning, it is by grace that I even have life.  God's grace is that I have a husband who is committed to me and I am committed to him. God's grace is that we are believers and won't walk out on each other when a problem arises like the world suggests. Grace is having hope in the future.  Grace is that we can be assured that no matter how awful our trial may seem at the moment, it has been allowed and permitted into our life by a holy and loving God to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. 
Grace is knowing that he hears our desperate pleas and He will answer! 

How do you define peace? The dictionary defines peace as "an absence of of war".  Christian peace is something a bit more!  It is how we relate to others, primarily how man relates to and with God.  When this relationship is restored, we experience the true peace that surpasses all understanding. (Phil 4:7).  We establish this relationship through the birth, life, sacrificial death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus (Col 1:20). 
True peace is a feeling of inner quietness, calmness, or sanctity which is unhindered but which should be used in the elimination of discord, to promote harmony and to serve as a shield to sustain and strengthen us in and through difficult times.  (Ephesians 6:11)

How do you define your own personal grace and peace? Are you joyful because of your circumstance or in spite of your circumstance?  Is your joy tied to a relationship, a job status, clothing, trips, money? Or are you filled with Christ's joy through ALL circumstances?  Paul wrote from prison filled with joy to encourage others.  God has a plan for YOU in and through all your circumstances, have confidence in God's work and power through you!

I wrote these quotes down from a recent sermon and wanted to share them with you, it sums this up so well...
  • Don't have a pity party, have a praise party
  • Sometimes amazing looks like a maze, be faithful and you will find your way.
  • Trust God even when you cannot trace Him!
  • and lastly Happiness is a CHOICE, REJOICE in the Lord!

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