Sunday Scriptures — Finding Peace In Christ

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Peace. Shalom. Pax. Paz. Paix. Solh. der friede. Tutkium.

There are many different ways to say the word Webster defines as freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility. The state of harmony characterized by the lack of violence, conflict behaviors and the freedom from fear of violence.

Be at peace. Hold your peace. Peace of mind. A moment’s peace. Peace and quiet. Peace and goodwill. Rest in peace.

How many of us strive for peace in our lives? We look for peace in our homes. We look for peace in our jobs. We look for peace in our neighborhoods. We desire the absence of conflict. The freedom from fear of violence. We long for things to be copacetic. Hunky-dory. Ducky. All right.

The apostle Paul told the people in Colossi true peace comes from allowing Jesus Christ to rule in our hearts.

When it feels as if our lives are disturbed to the point of falling apart, conflict surrounds us on every side, or people just can’t seem to get along … we need to throw out the anchor and ground ourselves in the truth of where we can find peace.

Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. It is in him alone we are able to find true, lasting peace. Peace the world can’t understand, but peace that takes away our fears nonetheless.

Maybe peace begins with always being thankful.

Where do you believe peace begins?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

[bctt tweet=”Jesus is the Prince of Peace. In him alone we find true, lasting peace. Peace the world can’t understand, but peace that takes away our fears nonetheless. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

This post originally appeared on Woven and Spun November 3, 2013.

Sunday Scriptures — Eliezer Prayed

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Today’s Sunday Scriptures post, Eliezer Prayed, is written by my writer-friend, Phyllis Farringer.

It was no small request. Abraham wanted his servant to find a wife for his son. The unnamed servant, probably Eliezer, (Genesis 15:2) would travel several hundred miles, find Abraham’s relatives, convince them he was on a legitimate mission, then convince one of them to return with him to marry Abraham’s son, Isaac. Oh my!

The story unfolds in Genesis 24. A quick reading could seem to indicate a series of convenient coincidences brought Eliezer to the right place. Eliezer arrives in Nahor, stops at a well and Rebekah shows up at just the right time to relieve his thirst and that of his ten camels. Rebekah just happens to be the granddaughter of Abraham’s brother. Her family welcomes him and offers him their spare room. The next morning Rebekah begins the long journey back to Canaan with this servant who had arrived a stranger.

A closer reading reveals the whole process was steeped in prayer. Abraham’s prayers are evident in the guidance he had already received. He knew where to send his servant to find a wife for Isaac, and he had confidence God would lead Eliezer (vs. 7). Eliezer’s prayer in vs.12, seems to pick up an ongoing conversation. When he finds success in his mission, and gives the Lord all the credit for leading him, it is clear he had been relying on Him since he saddled up the camels.

When we don’t know what to do, where to go, or how to proceed, the best course is to pray. God is faithful to lead, if we just ask Him. Step by step, He reveals His plans.

Amazing. Guidance, protection, provision–available just for the asking. So many times I have experienced God’s leading and provision just as I needed it. Daily, actually. In one of the bigger for instances, my husband received a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. The doctors suggested drastic measures, with an uncertain outcome. We didn’t know what to do. We wanted a second opinion, but didn’t even know where to go to get it. We prayed. God led us to that second opinion, and to a course of treatment that, we believe, ultimately saved my husband’s life.

Another time, our family was comfortably settled where we thought would be home for the rest of our lives. We began to feel an unexplained restlessness. We had no idea what it meant. We prayed. Over time, little by little, God led us to pick up and make a move across the country. He has since confirmed, repeatedly, it was the right thing for us to do.

On another occasion, reduced income and a limited budget disturbed my thoughts as I entered the grocery store. I prayed. I bought everything I needed to feed our family for the week, but at about half our usual grocery bill. All the right things were ‘coincidentally’ on sale.

The secret to Eliezer’s success–and any believer’s–is prayer.

Phyllis Farringer delights in proclaiming God’s goodness. Her work has appeared in various periodicals including Decision Magazine , Focus on the Family publications, and Christianity Today Bible Studies. She has also written for several compilations including Cup of Comfort for Moms and God Allows U-Turns. She and her husband live in North Carolina. They have two married children and seven grandchildren.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2).

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

[bctt tweet=”It was no small request. Abraham wanted his servant to find a wife for his son. The secret to Eliezer’s success–and any believer’s–is prayer.” username=”SandyKquandt”]

Sunday Scriptures — Fat Cows

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of Amos, the prophet calls the women of Israel fat cows. Not flattering, and definitely not something to say if Amos’ intent was to win the women to his way of thinking.

But Amos gave the women, and men, God’s words. Not his own. He was willing to offend with the truth of God if necessary. Amos was willing to face the fall-out from being the bearer of God’s truth.

If we picture fat cows in our minds, perhaps we see them mindlessly chewing their cud. Content with the way things are. Unconcerned with the events going on around them. Swishing their tails to keep the flies away.

It seems this may be the picture Amos painted of the women of Bashan. They were content with the way things were. Unconcerned with the events going on around them. As long as their husbands continued to bring them what they wanted, they were fine. Who cared about the oppressed, poor, or needy? Certainly not them.

This kind of thinking reminds me of a phrase I often heard in high school … oblivious.

Amos went further to pronounce God’s judgment upon such callous me-first thinkers. These women would be taken into captivity by fishhooks in their noses.

Harsh. But true.

The Assyrians captured the rich and royal upper class of Israel. They put hooks through their captives’ noses and lips and paraded them through town.

God’s commands call his people to be concerned for the poor. Jesus commands his followers to take care of those less fortunate than themselves.

It seems if we want to keep from being called a fat cow and led away by fishhooks, we need to open our eyes to those around us and be sensitive to the opportunities God presents us with to be his hands and feet in our corner of the world and beyond.

I sure don’t want God to call me a fat cow. Do you?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Listen to me, you fat cows living in Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy, and who are always calling to your husbands, “Bring us another drink!”

The Sovereign Lord has sworn this by his holiness: “The time will come when you will be led away with hooks in your noses. Every last one of you will be dragged away like a fish on a hook! You will be led out through the ruins of the wall; you will be thrown from your fortresses, says the Lord. Amos 4:1-3 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

[bctt tweet=”It seems if we want to keep from being called a fat cow and led away by fishhooks, we need to open our eyes to those around us, and be sensitive to the opportunities God presents us with to be his hands and feet in our corner of the world and beyond.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Sunday Scriptures — Return to God

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the fourteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Hosea, the prophet tells the people to return to God, petition God to forgive them for their idolatry, open their eyes to his truth, and walk along his path.

Good advice for us today, as well, wouldn’t you agree?

The people of Israel abandoned God and trusted in man-made idols. Hosea’s call was for them to abandon their idols and trust God.

We may look at people in the Old Testament with their idols and tell ourselves that’s them, not us. We don’t bow to idols made by man, but would we be correct in saying that?

Sure we may not have Asherah poles on high places, or statues of Dagon or Molech lining our streets, but what about those things we do idolize? Those things we put before God?

Possessions, family, jobs, self, wealth …

Hosea told the people to acknowledge nothing but God could save them. Not their military, not their country, not their leaders, not their wealth, not their leisure pursuits, not themselves.

He told them God promised to cure them of their idolatry and faithlessness when they turned from their idols to him. God’s love for them would know no bounds. He would remove his anger from them.

God promised his restoration would bring life and new growth. It would being peace and rest to the people. Once restored, life would bloom under God’s hand.

Hosea ended his book saying the wise and intelligent were the ones who opened their eyes to God. They were the ones who would understand God’s word and listen. They were the ones who would walk along God’s true and right paths.

The unwise were those who did not follow God’s path.

God’s promises are the same for us today. Despite how far from him we may have gone, he is willing to forgive and restore when we give up our idol worship and return to God.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

O Israel, return to the Lord, your God, for you have been crushed by your sins. Bring your petition. Come to the Lord and say, “O Lord, take away our sins; be gracious to us and receive us, and we will offer you the sacrifice of praise. Hosea 14:1-2 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

[bctt tweet=”God’s promises are the same for us today. Despite how far from him we may have gone, he is willing to forgive and restore when we give up our idol worship and return to God.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Sunday Scriptures–Grow the Seeds God’s Planted

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Many of us are familiar with the parable Jesus told of the sower in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew. We understand the seed to represent the Word of God in our lives. Some seed falls on receptive ears and those lives exhibit evidence of growth. Some seed falls on ears turned away and those lives exhibit evidence of the lack of growth.

Although it is the same seed, not all results are the same.

The same Truth, the same Word, goes out into the world, but the results differ depending on what each individual does with that Truth.

Each of us is responsible for tending the seeds planted in our lives, nourishing and watering them by digging deep roots into the soil of the Bible; to learn what God would have us do.

We’re not all the same. We won’t all produce zucchini or tomatoes, roses or gardenias, oaks or willows. Although what we produce may differ, God expects each of us to produce a bumper crop for him from what he’s planted inside us.

The seeds of truth in the Bible show us how to deal with adversity the proper way so we can grow from it, not wither under its heat. That same Word shows us how to deal with blessing by giving all the glory to God, not self. It shows us what is required … to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.

Growing the seeds planted inside takes effort. It takes diligence. It takes weeding out all the destructive things in our lives that threaten to choke the life out of the seeds God planted.

Sitting beside a healthy plant does not make another plant healthy. Each plant is responsible for its own growth.

What do you do to produce an abundant crop in your life?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

“Once there was a man who went out to sow grain. As he scattered the seed in the field, some of it fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some of it fell on rocky ground, where there was little soil. The seeds soon sprouted, because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it burned the young plants; and because the roots had not grown deep enough, the plants soon dried up. Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and choked the plants. But some seeds fell in good soil, and the plants bore grain: some had one hundred grains, others sixty, and others thirty.” Matthew 13:3-8 GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

[bctt tweet=”Growing the seeds planted inside takes effort. It takes diligence. It takes weeding out all the destructive things in our lives that threaten to choke the life out of seeds God planted. Sitting beside a healthy plant does not make another plant healthy. Each plant is responsible for its own growth. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]