serenity

Serenity is Power

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” – 1 Corinthians 4:20 I want to look at the source of Jesus’ serenity — power. The Lord was able to be calm because He was connected to His Father, who created everything and everyone, and therefore knew how things were going to turn out! He was fully God but also fully human, so as much as He possessed the ability to change any situation, He practiced the disciplines that kept Him “plugged in” to the source of His strength. He spent a lot of time in prayer, He went to lonely places, and ultimately, He lived in the Father’s love, even while enduring the hatred of his neighbors. Although He was among people who should have known who He was and welcomed His good and miraculous deeds, the religious and Pharisetical spirits disliked Him. Even

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The Battle in the Boat

“He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.” – Luke 8:24 Most of you are familiar with the account of Jesus boarding a boat with His disciples, only to go to the back of the ship and take a nap. After He fell asleep, a storm suddenly arose and His friends woke Him up in a panic, certain they were going to die. Rather than getting hysterical, the Lord calmed the storm and rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith. While there are many lessons to be learned from this story, one of the most poignant was depicted by the dutch artist Rembrandt in his work, “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” in 1633. Hannah and I have a print of it hanging on our kitchen wall and every morning as I sip my coffee, I stare at

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Snoozing in the Storm

“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’” – Matthew 8:23-25 As a disciple of Jesus, it’s critical to consider how He lived his life and dealt with challenges and interpersonal interactions. I believe it is safe to assume that He was relaxed based on His personality and actions. Although His journey took Him to a variety of locations and He met a variety of people, some of whom were opposed to His ministry, He was at peace. He wasn’t frightened, stressed, or worried about what was going wrong. This is notably evident in Matthew 8 when He is said to have slept during a storm. The disciples are in Gennesaret, on

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Storms Lead to Reason to Rest

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 I want to inform you that you can be a peaceful person right now! Even if you’re busy preparing the Thanksgiving turkey or getting your home ready for guests, your soul needs to relax. Amid a storm, you may have peace of mind while still growing smarter, sharper, and closer to your friends and family — the key is knowing that you will get through! Today, I want to argue that it’s the storms of life that will lead you to serenity. The more time you spend with God, the more faith and confidence you gain in

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The Darkness of Deception

“For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.’” – 1 Peter 3:10 Did you know that the kingdom of darkness is based on deception? The devil’s domain isn’t built on hate (though it is hateful), and it isn’t built on violence either (even though it is violent). Lies are propagated and promoted by the enemy of our soul, especially in the lives of believers. Satan’s power in the world is exercised through luring Christians into some type of deception that prevents them from experiencing Jesus’ total love and reign. By accepting any form of dishonesty, no matter how seemingly harmless, a door is opened for the devil to enter. Let our yeses be yeses and our noes be noes, Jesus says. That is, He expects us to understand what we want to do and don’t want to

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A Peace that Overcomes

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 We’re down to the last two days of 2020, and while there are a few clear hallmarks of this year, I would say that fear has been an ongoing theme. This unfortunate fact has arisen out of many different circumstances — a pandemic, an unknown virus, and political unrest to name a few — but it’s been heightened and intensified by a constant stream of negative messages. Never in the history of our world have we been inundated with information like we are today, and while having instant access to the most up-to-date headlines can be a blessing, it also has some major drawbacks. A barrage of bad news preys upon the fear that inherently lurks in human

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