Pray for peace

Everywhere people are searching for peace.  Amidst the din of quarreling and confusion, fanned by the media, we are assaulted by bitterness and anxiety on every side.  There is little peace in America or in Washington, D.C.  And there is precious little peace in people’s hearts.

Let peace reign.

How do we find peace amidst the clamor?  The apostle Paul urged us to pray.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will keep your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:6-7)

Jesus is our peace.  In fact, before leaving this earth, He gave us His own heavenly peace. He did not want us to fear or worry.

“My peace I leave with you.  My peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.”  (John 14:27)

As children of God, His peace belongs to us.  It is His free gift to us.  Only God’s peace will dispel fear and worry, giving us quietness and confidence to go forward.

Our peace is heavenly, of divine origin, not earthly.  Our peace certainly does not come from our circumstances.  Peace does not mean that all our circumstances are rosy and everything is going our way.  Our peace comes from our close personal relationship with our Lord Jesus.  We know Jesus LOVES us and takes good care of us. We choose to trust Him always.

Our peace is not the absence of trouble.  Our peace is security in the midst of turmoil.  We are trusting God at all times to take care of us.  The Lord alone makes us dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8).  He is our provider, our protector, our good Shepherd. Read Psalm 23.  He does all things well.  He always has our good in mind.  We have everything we need.

God’s peace is not a warm fuzzy feeling you hope to get when all your problems are solved.  In fact, peace is not a feeling or an emotion.  Feelings are changeable and unreliable.  We cannot afford to allow our feelings to control us.  We must be led by the Spirit of God.  He is the Spirit of Peace.

The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

Our peace is not the lack of problems, but the God given ability to rise above our problems.  We can be calm and confident no matter what is going on around us. We can pray to God and ask His wisdom in overcoming our problems. He will show us what to do.  He will  make the way for us where there seems to be no way.  Next, we surrender all our problems to God and thank Him that He is answering our prayers. We leave our troubles safely in His hands. Then we rest in His peace, knowing He is meeting our every need.

God’s peace is a strong spiritual force that transcends fear and trouble.  Against the tide of this world that tries to overwhelm us, Jesus gives us peace and victory.

Jesus is our Prince of peace.  Release your problems and worries to Him.  Leave them there at His feet.  Receive His peace.  And rise above your circumstances.

Jesus, You are my Prince of peace. Please fix these problems for me, Lord.  Give me wisdom to overcome. Show me what to do.  I surrender all my problems to You.  Thank You for taking them from me.  Thank You for Your peace, which surpasses human understanding.  I rise above my circumstances and rest in Your heavenly peace. May Your peace reign in my heart and all across America, in Jesus’ Name.

 

Adapted from the upcoming book Living in the Glory by Patricia Morris, copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

Seven things I know about heaven

 

I have peeked into paradise.  Heaven has come alive to me.

My recent invitation to go home with Jesus has opened my eyes to the reality of heaven in new ways. (See my earlier blogs on my near-death experience.)  A spiritual place has now become very real to me.   Scriptures have new meaning.

Heaven is more than a hope or a promise.  It is real.  It is our forever home.  And God is expecting us soon….

Heaven is our home.  God called me “home” to heaven.  That means I belong there.  It is not a new or scary foreign place.   As Christians, we are God’s children, treasured members of His family.  We will feel right at home in heaven when we get there.

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.  (Hebrews 13-14)

Jesus calls us home.  You won’t find Buddha or Mohammed up in heaven calling you home.  Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth, the Most High God, our Savior forever.  He will call us home at the right time.

We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. (Philippians 3:20)

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The welcome mat is out.  Heaven is expecting us.  Jesus has prepared a special place for us there.  He has done what we could not do for ourselves.  He has made the way for us to enter in freely.  He has paid the price in full, giving His life as a ransom for us.   He has awarded us His own perfect right standing with God.  We are holy to the Lord.

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and trust also in Me. There is more than enough room in My Father’s home.  If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am.” (John 14:1-3)

There is no fear in going home.  Fear has no place in heaven.  Only peace and love. Heaven’s peace is like a magnet, drawing us in.  When our time comes, we will gladly leave the chaos and fears of earth behind us, to be caught up in the arms of Jesus, our Prince of peace.

Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. (2 Cor 5:8)

Heaven is closer than you think.  Heaven is not some faraway place.  It is right around the corner.  My own encounter with heaven came suddenly, unexpectedly, on a trip to the dentist’s office.  Your time could come suddenly, unexpectedly–on a routine trip to work or the grocery store.  You could be called home tonight…or tomorrow.  Jesus could return for us at any time.  We do not know the future or how much time we have left on this earth.  Be ready, prayed up and set to go!

“So you too must keep watch!  For you do not know the day or hour of My return.”  (Matthew 25:13)

Everyone is invited.  God invites everyone to make heaven their home.  But many have ignored or refused their invitation.  You have to RSVP.  You have to say yes!  It is your decision, your choice.  It does not matter where you have been or what you have done or what has been done to you.  Just accept right now your invitation to join the family of God.  Choose Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord, the Boss of your life.  His arms are open wide to you now.  Come home to the family of God.

See how very much our Father LOVES us, for He calls us His children.  And that is what we are!  (John 3:1)

Jesus is the way.  There are not many roads to heaven.  Just one.  Surrender your life to Jesus Christ.  Receive His BIG LOVE.  Receive His grace and blessings.

“I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father but through Me.”  (John 14:6)

 

All scriptures from The New Living Translation.

From victory to victory

The Christian life is an overcoming life.  A life of victory, not defeat.  Failure is not an option for us.  Yes, we will face a sea of challenges.  We may experience some temporary setbacks and delays.  But in the end we win.  You are a winner in Jesus.  You are more than a conqueror by His grace.  Overwhelming victory is yours through Jesus who LOVES you.

“In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer.  I have overcome the world  for you.” (Matthew 16:33)

Jesus warns us to expect trials and frustrations in this mixed-up godless world.  But He also says we can expect victory in these trials, as we put our trust in Jesus, the resurrected Lord.

The obstacles which our enemies hurl in our way can become stepping stones for us, as we leap over our troubles–from faith to faith, from grace to grace, from victory to victory, from glory to glory!

 

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“In all these difficulties, we are more than conquerors through Him who LOVES us.” (Romans 8:37)

 

Jesus has already overcome the world and its ways for us.  By His death and resurrection He trampled and defeated forever the power of sin, sickness and death. Now He imputes His victory to us as His family.  God has placed us into Christ, the anointed One.  So when He died to this world, we died with Him. When He was raised to new life, we were raised victorious with Him.

“Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4-5 NIV)

If you are a believer, you are a world overcomer. Dare to believe! For the Lord will do great things through you!

The way

Sometimes we think of death as a scary final experience. That’s how movies tend to show it. A big black hole.  Sad, dark and mysterious.  The end for us.  A time for mourning.

But when I suddenly confronted death face to face, to my surprise, I found I had no fear! Gazing into heaven, I found peace…profound peace and safety.

And where I had expected darkness, I found bright light and vivid colors!  Bold clear blue skies and beautiful golden grass. Things on earth were indeed fading into chaos and gray darkness. But heaven, by contrast, looked welcome to me.

The Holy Spirit invited me, “Patty, do you want to go home?  …It’s time to go home with Jesus.”

He called heaven my home.  As a believer in Jesus, as a child of God, I belong there. Heaven is a warm, safe, wonderful place reserved for God and His children.  The Bible says that we are not aliens entering into a foreign country–but God’s own beloved family, finally joining Him in glory.  God is our Father.  He rejoices to have us with Him forever. He has heaps of blessings stored up for us there.

Of course, heaven is not waiting for everyone who passes away from this life into the next. Many people choose to reject Jesus.  And by doing so, they reject heaven and its rewards.  Jesus loves every person, and He will give you many chances to change your heart toward Him.  But if you continue to reject Jesus on earth, He will allow you to face the consequences of your choice even on your dying day.  He will still love you.  But He will not stand in the way of your free choice to go your own way.

The Bible prescribes only one sure path to heaven–through faith in Jesus.  “Believe in Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household”  (Acts 16:31).  “I am the way, the truth and the life, Jesus said clearly.  “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Jesus is the only way. Choose Jesus.

If you believe in Jesus as the Lord your God, and if you have surrendered your life to Him, you need have no fear in dying.  You can rest assured.  You won’t have to pass any more tests or try to justify yourself to get into heaven.  Jesus has already paid the price for your free admission into heaven.  He paid for you with His own life.  He gave Himself for you.  Now you are saved.  You are not trying to get saved.  You are already saved. And heaven is your home, waiting for you.

When it is your time to go home, you won’t have to knock. The door is open. Just walk right on in.  Free and clear.  Welcome home!

 

Check out this fun video, or catch the lyrics at http://www.lyricshall.com/lyrics/Mavis+Staples/Dont+Knock/

 

Love story

So there I was–on my way to heaven, ready to cross the threshold to the other side. God’s peace was so inviting, so welcoming.  Crossing over would be easy.  Just relax and let go. There was no fear in going home to Jesus. The battle on earth, by contrast, was raging fierce and chaotic.  Heaven looked good to me.

Then I had the impression that my trip to heaven could be a brief one.  I felt sorry about leaving my husband Jim alone.  To encourage him, I declared desperately, “I’m coming back!  I’m coming back!”

With that, both Jim and the dentist realized that I was leaving.  Alarmed, they began to call me back, telling me to stay.  I paid no attention to the dentist, who seemingly could not believe this was happening nor that it could be his fault.  He told his assistant, who was praying, to call 911.

Jim grabbed my hands, praying.  He got in my face, up close.  He spoke my name.  I opened my eyes.  Everything had faded to gray now–except for Jim.   His face shone brightly with love.  He was not sad or fearful, as I expected.  But full of faith and love, he insisted that I stay with him.  Stay alive.  “Patty,” he repeated in my ear.  “I  love you. It’s not time to go.  Come back.  We need you.”

Focusing on his face, I was deeply touched by his love.  At that moment, we made a heart connection.  And I decided to stay on earth and fight for life with Jim.  Heaven would have to wait.

The EMTs arrived and found me mostly unresponsive.  They drove me to the hospital emergency room, where I was treated for severe allergic reaction to septocaine.  After several hours treatment, I was out of danger.   The doctor released me to go home (to my house) to continue my recovery.

When we got home, Jim and I began to sort out what had happened.  Still groggy from the drugs, I told him about God calling me home, seeing the portal to heaven and how Jim’s plea with me to stay had made the difference.  We both realized how close I had come to death and how merciful God had been to keep me alive.  Praise the Lord of glory!

Life is so precious, so valuable, so temporary.  We need to thank God for each and every day He gives us on earth, filled with His hopes and blessings.

As happy as I was to be alive and in my own home again, I still had to wonder if I had gone against God’s will for my life.  Had I made a mistake by not going to heaven, choosing life on earth?  I came to understand later that God in His wisdom had planned and orchestrated the whole event.  He had inspired Jim’s love, which anchored me to earth.  We were closer than ever before.

Jim’s love kept you alive yesterday.  I was ready to take you home.  You were ready to go.  But Jim’s love kept you breathing, fighting.

The power of Jim’s love saved your life,”  the Lord explained.  “God’s LOVE shining through Jim saved your life.  Remember, his face was golden, lit up by faith and love.

“All things are possible.   Only believe.  LOVE never fails.”

 

LOVE never fails.                               1 Corinthians 13:8

 

Sounds like heaven

An open door

 

“All will be well,” the Lord had promised me.

You cannot get a better guarantee than that.  And from the Guarantor Himself!  I had prayed this day through in advance.  And God had given me peace about it.  So I confidently climbed into the dentist’s chair for some repairwork to an old tooth filling. No problem, no worries, I told myself.   God would see me through safely.  I was in His hands.

I tried to forget that some twenty years before, I had experienced a severe allergic reaction to a local anesthetic at another dentist’s office.  Dizziness, trouble breathing, blue fingernails, etc…. The villain that day was carbocaine.  A dose of benadryl quickly turned most of my symptoms around.  The dentist called my husband Jim, who was able to drive me home, where I soon recovered.

Since then, Jim always accompanies me on dental visits–just in case the unexpected happens.

Now for the first time in twenty years, I was going to need another shot of local anesthetic.   This dentist was confident that I would have no problem with septocaine, a cousin of the first drug.  He minimized my history of allergy and made no provision for a possible bad reaction.  He had been my dentist for some twenty years, and so I trusted him.

But as he slowly, painfully injected the poison into my mouth, I knew something dreadful was happening.  I tried to stop him.  I murmured.   But I could not speak.   I realized that I was not breathing.  I reminded myself to concentrate and and make the effort to keep air coming in and out on purpose.

When he finally stopped the injection, I told him something was really wrong.  I could not explain.

“I apply the Blood of Jesus over me,”  I declared. “No weapon formed against me shall prosper!” (Isaiah 54:17).

My hand began to thrash about wildly beyond my control.  I was gasping loudly for air. Then I stopped breathing again.  The room grew dark and faded away.

I heard a voice say, “Home….  Do you want to go home?”

Yes, for sure, I thought.  I longed to go home to my pretty, safe, comfortable house, many miles away.   But I could not see a way to get there from here right now!

“It’s time to go home with Jesus,” the Holy Spirit told me.

Gradually I understood what He was saying.  I looked up and saw a portal to another place.  It was bright and colorful.  Blue skies and tall golden grass.  The sense of peace there was magnetic, drawing me in.  I was eager to escape the chaos of the battle on earth.  If God said it was my time to go to Jesus, I was ready to go.  Heaven looked welcome to me.

 

 

Jesus said, “I am the door.  If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”                                                          John 10:9

 

 

Photo by Cliff LeSergent/Alamy Stock Photo

Welcome home!

Welcome to you, my friends.  Welcome to the threshold of heaven.  May you be blessed in your journey.   God is so good to us, and the best is yet to come.

I pray for a spirit of wisdom and revelation to overtake you, in Jesus’ Name.