Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 14, 2014 … “Rest In Peace”

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 14

  Devotional Song: Go to this link  – again today to hear an anonymous Southern Gospel quartet singing the famous 19th century Fannie Crosby hymn, Blessed Assurance, … reminding Christians where we find our peace in this life.

Highlight Passage #1 – NLT: Psalms 4: 8…  
8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; … for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Highlight Context - NKJV: Psalms, Chapter 4… GO TO THIS LINK … 

Reference Passage #1: Isaiah 26: 3 … [NKJV] … [One doesn’t have to die to find rest or peace.] …  
3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. 

Reference Passage #2: Hebrews 11: 6 … [NKJV] … [Faith is the key which unlocks God’s treasure chest of peace. ] …  
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 

Reference Passage #3: 1st Peter 5: 7 … [NKJV] … [Peter’s formula for finding peace in Christ. ] …  
7 … casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.

Reference Passage #4: Philippians 4: 6-7 … [NKJV] … [Paul’s formula for God’s peace. ] …  
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

  Reference Passage #5: Matthew 11: 28-30 … [NKJV] … [Jesus’ way of finding peace this side of heaven. ] …  
28 “… Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

My Journal for Today: When I use the phrase “REST IN PEACE,” doesn’t the first image it conjures in our mind somewhat like that pictured in the attached photo depiction? I believe that would be the case in the minds of most who hear or see the phrase, “rest in peace,” being used. And why is it that we so often correlate finding rest and peace with death? Is it because we think that the ultimate in rest and peace is only found in the after-life? What was it that the Apostle Paul wrote for Christians, … “ to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord;” … [see 2nd Cor. 5: 8] which certainly conjures accurate images of born-again Christians finding our ultimate peace by joining Jesus in the next life.

However, God doesn’t intend for us to ONLY be able to find His rest or His peace by dying. Because if that were the case, why not just cop out to the next life and forget Paul’s Romans 12: 1-2 exhortation to be “living sacrifices” as our worship of Christ. And from today’s devotional from Our Daily Bread, I’m reminded that King David, when he was feeling somewhat down-and-out, wrote a song [see the link to Psalms, Chapter 4] about seeking God’s rest and peace IN THIS LIFE, which is something God most certainly desires for all who believe in Him and seek after His peace in the here-and-now rather than to ONLY seek trying to find it – which we will – in the next.

And as I meditated on the matter, being drawn to the old, old hymn which Fannie Crosby wrote in 1873, Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine, a number of Scriptures, which I’ve memorized over the years, bubbled up out of my consciousness, reminding me that God wants me (and you) to find His peace in the here-and-now so that we can find His peace even when we’re under a lot of stress or pain because of the circumstances of life. I challenge you to read, study, and meditate upon the Bible passages above and to let God’s desire for us in this life to over-take us as He did for the prodigal child who came back to the Father from the pits of degradation and received His Father’s mantle of love and assurance [see Luke, Chapter 15].

And when you do, I’m sure you’ll feel the love which God has for all His living Saints when we choose to humbly carry our burdens to Him allowing the Father to give us His enabling and empowering grace so that we can find His rest and peace in the midst of our trials. Besides, God conveys His truth so much more clearly and powerfully than do I anytime.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I come to this place so often to find Your peace so that I can deal with my turmoil. And right now as I’m incurring a lot of physical pain after surgery, I’m so grateful to find Your rest when I so need it. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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