Peace, Perfect Peace! Isaiah 26:1-12

Text:  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 14:27.

Good morning, peace-filled Christian!  When the world all around you observes your state, they are presented with your peaceful standing in Christ Jesus, and are often smitten with a desire to possess such peace for themselves.  A redeemed sinner at peace with his/her God, is a real and powerful witness for Christ Jesus.  May you and I manifest such deep inner peace.

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds though Christ Jesus.(Philippians 4:6-7)

Everyone recognizes and places a high value on individual peace.  This is what my friend and fellow Pastor Miles McKee says on the subject:

“True and unimagined peace comes only as we understand God’s character. If we erroneously envision that God is always angry and frowning then we will never know perfect peace. If we falsely picture that we have to perform to gain His approval, then we will be in a continual uproar. If we mistakenly imagine that God, having purchased us by blood, will someday wither in His faithfulness and desert us, then we will be tossed to and fro by every circumstance. However, to enjoy true peace reigning in our hearts we need to be fastened firmly to the rock of the gospel and the revelation it gives us of God.”  (Miles McKee, The Wednesday Word 12/5/10)

Our Bible reading today has been selected from the prophet Isaiah in order to allow Old Testament Scripture to dovetail with New Testament Scripture - to further encourage faith in each of us as we seek to serve the Prince of true peace - King Jesus.  Glory to His Name!

The world and all its alluring activities cannot product or provide us with the ‘…peace which passeth all understanding…’, spoken about by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippian believers.

Christ Jesus, the Son of God, alone can provide such perfect peaceAnd He does!

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  (John 14:27)

Possession of such Supernatural peace is granted only when we subject our human, and carnal, will to the Lord God Almighty; repent from our sins; receive Christ Jesus as our personal Saviour; and seek to serve Him consistently. 

However, in order to retain the peace that Christ alone can give consistently - there is something we can actually DO, and do again, for ourselves.  We can seek to stay, or focus, or re-fix our thoughts on Christ, by reading the Bible and praying earnestly to God in sincere and genuine fellowship with Him.

“Thou (God) will keep him/her in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed (fixed) upon Thee; because he/she trusteth (trusts and continues to trust) in Thee.”  (Isaiah 26:3)

Only in continually focusing on the Lord God Jehovah, through Jesus Christ, can we mere sin-prone mortals, do anything to retain our God-given inner peace.  Learning about Christ Jesus, and seeking to continually fellowship with God in Him, encourages us to keep putting our full trust in Him.  By continually trusting Him more fully, we are assured of His perfect peace.

“Trust ye in the Lord for ever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength…”    (Isaiah 26:4)

The more we learn of Jesus, the Rock of our Salvation, the more we can fully rely on Him to bring us through whatever circumstances, no matter how humanly grave, we have to face from day to day in our lives.

Trusting in our own puny strength, fortitude, capabilities - is like putting our faith in sinking sands.  ‘The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust (it)..’

Trusting in the Rock of our Salvation, God the Son, Christ Jesus, we have a sure foundation of solid Rock in which to stand, and to regain our footing when we falter or fall into sin. 

“The Eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; and He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.”           (Deuteronomy 33:27)

Thought:  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you…”  Stand fast in Christ Jesus, Blood-bought Christian!  We shall not be moved!

God In Earthen Vessels? John 14:25-26

Text:  And I (Christ Jesus) will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (capital C), that he may abide with you (the true church) for ever; even the Spirit (capital S) of truth; Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye (believers) know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

John 14:16-17.

 Good morning indwelt Christian!  Being ‘…bought with a Price…’; ‘…the precious Blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot…’; you are not your own, but belong to Him that purchased your never-dying soul on the Cross of Calvary.  Praise God, we are fully Redeemed!

Throughout the world today, people pay large sums of money to build houses.  They take out mortgages, borrow finances, for one purpose - to build houses in which they might live.

The Lord Jesus Christ not only paid the great Price of our Salvation at Calvarys Cross - His own sinless Blood - but bought you and I who are saved for a purpose; that He might indwell us, in the Person of God the Holy Ghost.  

We are ’…vessels…’ recreated in Christ..., for God to dwell in.  What a privilege!

For we (the saved) are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  (Ephesians 2:10)

For though Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the FatherAnd are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone;in Whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.  (Ephesians 2:18-22)

We Christians have been purchased in Blood to be indwelt by God the Holy Spirit Himself!  We are the temple of the Living Lord God!

What?  Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost (God the Holy Spirit) which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with  a Price (the Blood of the Lamb); therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods.  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Are you experiencing great difficulties at this time, dear Christian?  Is your health, perhaps, failing you?  Are your friends, even Christian friends, betraying you or letting you down in some manner?  Are the debtors knocking on your door?  Is your home about to be repossessed by the bank?  Are you living in fear of your life; not knowing exactly where your next crust of bread for yourself and your family is going to come from?  Fear not!  You have an ever-present Comforter Who has promised never to leave you nor forsake you.  Hallelujah!  Our God is a very present help in times of trouble!

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea…”  (Psalm 46:1-2)

Not only has the Lord God promised to live within us, His true church; but has also promised to ‘…teach us all thingsbring all things to our remembrance. (V.26)  Praise God, we are tutored by God Himself!

After quoting some Scripture at a Bible Study - in order to give Divine Authority to what I had taught - one student later asked me, Doctor McClinton, how do you remember not only the proper Scripture to use, but also exactly where that Scripture is found in the Bible?  (Psalm 119:11)

Immediately I drew his attention to John chapter 14, and verse 26.  I then proceeded to expound the verse, break the verse down into smaller, more understandable phrases, and explain what the verse meant for both the Bible student and myself.

I emphasized the fact that, of myself, I could remember very little.  However, I could teach myself portions of Scripture and try hard to remember them when I needed to use them to minister unto others.  But that was not what I was doing; I was doing something else entirely different – I was trusting God.

I then broke the verse up and explained the fact that it was not what I had taught myself that mattered; nor was it anything to bring glory to myself.  I only remembered what God, the Holy Ghost, had taught me, and HE then brought what He had taught me to my remembrance when required to preach or teach the Gospel of Christ Jesus and Him Crucified.  Glory to the Lord!  Christian Bible Teachers have nothing that we haven't been first given from the hand of an infinitely gracious and generous Lord God.

Thought:  Study the Bible.  Let God bring His Word to your remembrance.  Exercise faith.  Open your mouthI will fill it…’

Obedience Receives Sight! John 14:21-24

Text:  He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them (obeys and continues to obey them), he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him/her, and will manifest (reveal) Myself to  him/her.

John 14:21.

 Good morning, Spiritually seeing Christian!  The Lord God has given you - by His free grace and Salvation - Spiritual vision; sight beyond the concept of the human eye; Divinely imparted vision indeed.  Praise God for Spiritual sight!

“…One thing I KNOW, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.           (John 9:25)

We all know the old worldly adage, Seeing is believing.  In other words, if we can see something clearly with our own eyes, then, and only then, will we believe it is a sure reality.

However, when the Lord Jesus saves a soul, He turns that worldly saying on its head.  Christ Jesus imparts Spiritual sight by granting us faith to clearly believe before we see.  Praise God it is so!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not (visibly) seen.  (Hebrews 11:1)

(For we walk by faith, not by sight)"  (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Our text for today teaches us that we Christians show our love to the Lord God by seeking to be obedient to His Commandments.  Our faithfulness is measured by our continual attempts to obey the Commandments of the Living Lord God, as written in Exodus 20:1-17; and taught by Christ Jesus.

Note that I say attempts to obey the Commandments…’, not our actual and total obedience to Gods Ten Commandments - for there has never existed a man or woman who could perfectly keep the Ten Commandments. Only the incarnate Lord Jesus could, and did. Praise His sinless Name! 

For we have not an High Priest (Jesus Christ) which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities (failings, falterings, fallings into temptation and sin); but was in all points tempted like as we are, YET WITHOUT SIN.  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  (Hebrews 4:15-16) 

If even one person was able to perfectly obey Gods Ten Commandments, Christ Jesus, the Son of God, would not have had to suffer and die on the Cross to save sinners!  (Romans 3:10)  (John 3:16)  Meditate on this!

But He was wounded for OUR transgressions, He was bruised for OUR iniquities; the chastisement of OUR peace was upon Him (on the Cross) and by His stripes we are healed (Spiritually forgiven and saved).  (Isaiah 53:5)

If you are a Spiritually regenerate (born from Above) Christian reading this Bible Lesson, without actually seeing the tangible reality of what I am saying with your eyes, you nonetheless believe my message with all your heart.  You have no doubts at all that what I am teaching you is Gods truth.  Right?

You do so only because God has given you and I faith to believe His word with our hearts - without having to see the reality with our eyes!  Unregenerate, unsaved, people cannot see or understand Gods realities in this manner.  Such profound realities are Spiritually revealed to believers only!

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of GodBut the natural man (the unsaved, unregenerate) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God (capital S!); for they are foolishness unto him/her; neither can he/she know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)

One of the disciples in our Bible reading for today, Judasnot Iscariot…’, asked the relevant question:  How is it that Thou wilt manifest (reveal, show) Thyself unto us (believers), and not unto the world (unbelievers)? (V.22)

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he/she will keep (be obedient to) My words; and My Father will love him/her and we will come unto him/her, and make Our abode with him/her. (V.23)

God dwells within the very essence of every true Christians heart.  How do we KNOW this fact?  Simple.  We believe by the faith God has given us.

Thought:  If you believe my message today, you prove to yourself that you possess vital Spiritual sight; you are a child of the Living Lord God indeed.  May this cause you and I to seek to be obedient to Gods Word.

God Dwelling Within Man! John 14:16-20

Text:  Who is he/she that overcometh the world, but he/she that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?  This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only (human substance), but by water and blood (the Incarnation, God in bodily form).  And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.  For there are Three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these Three are One.

1 John 5:5-7.

 Good morning, overcoming Christian!  In the midst of life, there is death.  Day by day, there comes upon you and me many terrible trials and tribulations.  Yet, though all of these testing times - we overcome!  What makes you and I such constant, overcoming, Christians?  Read on, my friend.

 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyedFor we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.  (2 Corinthians 4:8-11)

Todays selected Bible passage in our Journey In Johns Gospel reveals the answer as to how we can be overcoming Christians:  the Lord God Himself lives within us!  Hallelujah!  What an amazing situation!  God lives within mere mortals!  God within us cannot be defeated.  Glory to His Name!

I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth (continuous verb: lives, and continues to live) in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.  (Galatians 2:20)

The Lord Jesus, in todays short Bible passage, reveals this profound truth to His disciples; and through the written record of those faithful men in the Gospels, reveals it also to we latter-day Christian believers.

Come now, and let us reason together…”  (Isaiah 1:18)  The Lord loves reasoning Christians.  Let us reason this truth out together.

1.  We believe that Jesus Christ was, is, and ever shall be, the Son of the Living Lord God.  Right?  Okay.

2.  We believe that God the Father always listens to, hears, and answers, the prayers of His beloved Son, Christ Jesus.  Right?  Okay.

3.  We believe that God the Son, Christ Jesus, came into this world in human flesh to, at all times, obey the will of God the Father.  Right?  Okay.

4.  We believe that ‘…all the promises of God are yea, and in Him (Christ Jesus) Amen, unto the glory of God by us.  Right?  Okay

Now, with the above four fully persuaded beliefs in mind - let us read again our selected Bible passage.

The Lord Jesus in verses 16 & 17 states that He will pray to our Father in Heaven that He shall give us ‘…another Comforter…’, Who is God the Holy Spirit, and Who will ‘…abide with us forever; even the Spirit of truth; Whom the world cannot receive…”  Right?  Okay.

Therefore, IF we truly believe the above four theological principles, we know that Christs prayer to our Father in Heaven was both heard and answered in the affirmative by our gracious Lord God.  The Comforter, God the Holy Ghost, is poured out, not only amongst us since the day of Pentecost - but poured into our very being, when once we are Spiritually regenerated by Gods free grace,  ’…born again from Above…’         (John 3:3-8)  Praise God!

The latter part of verse 17 leaves us in no doubt at all concerning the above Divine truth: “…but ye know Him (God the Holy Spirit); for He dwelleth with you, AND SHALL BE IN YOU.  Hallelujah!  Emmanuel: God with us.  Amen?

The only truth we can conclude from the above Scriptural facts of our Christian faith is this: that we are Divinely enabled to overcome all of lifes trials, testings and temptations; all of our own fleshy weaknesses,  faults, and  failures, due to the Presence of the Lord God living within our mortal hearts - i.e. our inner essence and being. 

God promises: I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.       (Hebrews 13:5-6)

Is the valley of sorrow through which you walk today long and seemingly without light?  Is the burden you are called to bear - of profound grief, of illness, of heartbreak, of poverty, of dread - heavy and seemingly insurmountable?  FEAR NOT, Christian!

Thought:  The Lord, your God, is right there with you in all these things.  Trust Him to deliver you, not many days hence.  You are much loved by our God Who overcomes all things for us, ‘His people’.  (Psalm 27:1-7)