Seeking Peace

Yesterday at Asbury, we talked about how peace is not a concept that is not able to grasp, nor is a circumstance that change. Peace is a person – Jesus Christ. Peace doesn’t come through these things; peace comes through our relationship and our walk with Jesus.

I was thinking about that today when I was reading some of today’s suggested readings, and I read Psalm 34. Listen to what it says in 11-14:

Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

img1The things of faith, the things of peace in our lives really aren’t complicated to understand. They really aren’t.

They can be just really hard to do at times (at most times!). Today, the Psalmist talks about peace. And this is his suggestion to us today.

Keep your lips from evil. Turn from evil. Do good.

In other words, watch what you say. That’s a consistent Biblical command. Our words can do great harm or great good. It’s up to us, based off how we used them.

Turn away from evil. Don’t go looking for trouble. Seriously. Trouble will find you; temptation will find you. It will. Don’t go trying to find it. Stay away from things that you are that are wrong.

Do good. The quickest way to change our perspective, to changer our attitude is do something good for someone else. Serve someone. Give. Care. Be salt and light.

Seek peace. In others seek Jesus. For He is peace. Seek Him. Chase Him. Place your heart upon Him. Nothing else.

And in this, you will find life. See, not complicated to understand. We all know these things. But just hard to do. So, how do we do it?

We pray. We read the Word. We surround ourselves with those that help us be faithful. And keep doing these things. As we do them; as we seek; as we grow, find peace. We find strength. We find faithfulness. We find life.

Today, as you walk with Jesus, you will have more peace. Live out that peace with and before others. And as we do that, we will make a difference in our life and in the lives of others.

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Don’t Say That!

I heard someone say once, “if you have to say – I really shouldn’t stay this. . . then, you really shouldn’t say it!”

Our mouths have a way of getting us in trouble, don’t they?  When I was a kid, most of the whoopings I got where for my smart mouth. I’d have something that I just had to say, that I knew I shouldn’t say, but I just couldn’t help myself.

So I’d say it. And I’d get in trouble.  Like I knew I was going to. But, I just couldn’t help myself!

We all find it hard to control our mouth. I’ve joked that as I’ve been in ministry longer, I’ve got callous in my tongue from learning to bite it when I wanted to say something I didn’t need to.

But, we can rejoice, that we aren’t the first folks to ever deal with this problem.  Listen to what James writes today in James 3:

People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!

James reminds us that many have tried to tame the tongue, but it is a restless evil.  It’s so hard to hold it. It’s so hard not to strike back out of anger. It’s so hard not to respond to a cruel word.  It’s so hard to not respond tit for tat.  We just don’t know if we can.

On our own, we can’t. Through our own strength, through our own might, through our own power, we won’t be able to.  We just can’t do it.

But, through the power of God, we can.  Through His strength we can.  All things are possible through Him.

So, today, when you want to say it, whatever it is, stop. Slow down. And pray.  Ask for strength.  Ask for control. Ask for guidance.

God has given us our tongue to praise Him.  Not to tear others down.

Today, how will you use it?  Will you use it for good?  Or for evil?  We have a great power and a great responsibility.  Through God’s grace, may we use it right.