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Gift of Peace

“My peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 NKJV

Jesus’s peace does not mean having zero issues! His peace is a trust that allows you to rest, knowing God is for you even when there are issues. This peace is a gift. Like all other gifts, it only needs to be received and used.

Peace is a gift.  Trust is a choice.

Awe and Wonder

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
-Albert Einstein

Today I realized that I can be amazed every single day. Awe and wonder is literally a lifestyle choice. I can choose to look for and experience joy in the everyday. I can choose to expect miracles. I can choose to say, “Father God, what awesome and wonderful things do you have planned for us today?”

I am the only one who determines how I receive from God and perceive the world around me! Only I have the power to decide whether I embrace the awe and wonder of life or whine and complain about it. I am all powerful in how I choose to react.

I know the faith walk ain’t for sissies. Believing God when all the evidence points against it is difficult, especially when you’ve been hurt and disappointed. But that’s exactly the time to look for awe and wonder in your life. That’s when you need to choose to expect good!

Why do you think Jesus called those little bitty kiddos the greatest in Matthew 18?

Think about it? Little kids just believe, and they walk around amazed by everything they see. Everything is new and exciting. That’s exactly what childlike faith looks like. That is what pleases and impresses Jesus.

What if today you expected awe and wonder? What if you went around knowing that our Father has good surprises for you everyday, hidden amongst the ordinary and mundane? What if you truly believed God is for you and not against you? What if today you just believe that God loves you? What if you just received His love like a toddler being picked up and cradled by their daddy?

I will leave you with this…the Greek word “know” in Romans 8:28 actually means to see therefore to know. It is connected to the word optomai (op’-tom-ahee), which means to gaze at something with wide open eyes, as at something remarkable. It means to be amazed by what you’re seeing. This isn’t a factoid to put in your knowledge bank, it is something you witness and are blown away by.

“And we stare long in amazement,in complete wonder, that the Creator of everything loves us so much that He causes everything in our (those loving and living for Him) lives to work together for our good benefit.” Romans 8:28 Jill Translation

Setting Your Mind is Deliberate

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2

Since I have a very vivid imagination, the smallest thing can send my thoughts spiraling. When that small thing is negative, my world comes to a crashing halt. I get nothing accomplished. I get cranky. I don’t want to talk to people, and will send even my closest friends straight to voice mail. Not a good thing.

It is essential for me to be very deliberate about what I choose to meditate on. It’s why I start praying as soon as my eyes open. It’s why I seek God right away in the morning so that my day gets started with Him in mind. The days that I don’t are harder for me.

Colossians 3:2 tells us that we need to “Set our minds on things above”. To set your mind means to direct your thoughts to a thing, to seek, to strive for. Setting your mind is deliberate. It’s a choice. Just because a negative thought enters your mind does not mean that you have let it take up residence in your mind or throw it a party. You decide what to meditate on. To meditate just means that you focus your thoughts on something, i.e. setting your mind.

Make the decision to set your mind today because your perspective really is everything. How you see yourself today will determine your future.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right and pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8