Posted in Daily Threads

The Big Picture

Getting the Big Picture

We have talked quite a bit about having God’s peace over the last few months. It has probably been the most talked about subject on Tapestry. That is because as Christians, I think lasting peace is where we often struggle. That is where I often struggle. God has given us a beautiful word-picture of Himself in His Word. God wants us to see His big picture and we can see that in His Word.

Peace seems so elusive in this world. Everyone is looking for it and few people seem to have it – if they do have it, it is not for long. So, how do we get lasting peace?

It is Not a Game

Lasting peace only comes from God, Himself. It is His and we have to get it from Him. It is not a cruel game He plays with us, but He does give us very specific instructions about how to have His peace. These instructions are scattered all through His Word and unlike His love, His peace is conditional.

There are many places in Scripture where He tells us how to have peace. In each place, it is worded a little differently and/or has details added or taken away. That is why we cannot grab onto one verse and just live by it for the rest of our lives. God’s Word is huge. It is multifaceted and from every angle, it may look slightly different, but it is still a detailed word-picture of God. We must know Him well to get the big picture. The more we know His Word, the more we will truly know Him and even be able to understand Him, as much as we can know Him. See Jeremiah 55:8-9.

Today’s Passage

Today, we are finishing up our time in Philippians 4:8-9. I hope you have gotten as much out of this study as I have.  I am so thankful for you guys and I am so very thankful for God’s Word!

Philippians 4:9 

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Let’s Get Started

As we look at Verse 9, think about the last couple of weeks on Tapestry. We have spent a good amount of time studying the teaching of Paul in Philippians 4. Paul is speaking here too so he wants us to do what he has taught us.

Know It

“What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me…”

What have we learned from Paul in the past few days?

Philippians 4:4-7

  • rejoice in the Lord
  • be reasonable
  • know that the Lord is near
  • trust God with what we are anxious about
  • trust Him with the outcome
  • be thankful
  • His peace guards our hearts when we do to things above

Philippians 4:8

We need to think about these things and avoid things that do not fit these criteria:

Whatever is – 

  • true
  • honorable
  • just
  • pure
  • lovely/loveable
  • commendable

If there is any/anything –

  • excellence
  • worthy of praise

So Much More

This is a very small part of Paul’s teaching for Christians. His letters fill literally hundreds of pages of God’s Word. God inspired him to write them and then God miraculously preserved these words over a couple of thousand years so that you and I could read them today! That is pretty amazing!

I listed Paul’s letters (books) in the post called Good Things.

Do It

“…practice these things…”

We cannot only know them, we must do them – practice them. We can do these things only as God gives us strength by the power of the Holy Spirit of God who lives in each Christian believer.

I know, I rattle off this list so easily, but believe me doing all these things consistently is a struggle for each and every single one of us. We may do one or two well because of our natural tendencies but each one will be accomplished in us when God brings us to that place in our individual journeys with Him. We just have to keep seeking Him and He will accomplish these things in us in His good time. The key is to keep seeking Him and keep cooperating with Him – knowing that He is working on us. His work will last, my friend, just like His peace lasts!

Have His Peace

“…and the God of peace will be with you.”

The ultimate reward of every Christ Follower is to live close to God Himself.

Salvation – When we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior and give ourselves to Him, our eternity in heaven with Him is secured. Also, as Jesus spoke of in John16:13, the Holy Spirit comes to live in you.

Sanctification – As we walk and seek and grow in our relationship with the Lord, we seem to get to walk closer and closer to Him. We know Him better and recognize His voice more easily as He speaks to our hearts. (See John 10:27) We are more and more aware of the Holy Spirit living in us and we know moment by moment that He is with us. As we grow we will glorify God and we will have His peace.

You will have His peace because you have Him right there with you and you will know it! God is never far away for a believer in Christ, it is only that our sinful actions and callous attitudes have made us less sensitive to His close presence. (See Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5)

Let’s Pray:

Lord, I thank You for Your beautiful Word! I thank You that You have made it a word-picture so that regular people like us can read and understand and apply it to our lives. Help us to know You, really know You. Please help us to do what You tell us to do so that we can know You and have Your peace. Please make us all what You want us to be. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.

Go Deeper Today: 

   John 1:1-18

 

 

 

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