Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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Life and Peace
Proverbs 3:1 My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; 2. for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.
Malachi 2:5 "My covenant was with him, one of life and peace, and I gave them to him that he might fear Me; so he feared Me and was reverent before My name.
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Godís covenant is an unbreakable covenant that was established so that His creation could once again have life and peace.
When Adam fell and became separated from God, he lost both Godís life and His peace.
Genesis 3:3 "but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, `You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' ''
Spiritual death is not a cessation of being, but separation from the life of God. Adam and Eve continued to exist, they did not physically die that day. Death was working in them, and it took nearly 1000 years for it to kill them. You either have the life of God or you donít, there is no middle ground in this.
Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
To say death reigned simply means death dominated man. He could not escape it.
God wants His creation to have His life. He went to great lengths to establish a covenant that could bring man back to the place where he could again have His life. This means that man would once again have Godís life, and because he had Godís life he would have the authority to walk in it in such a way as death could no longer have dominion over him.
In other words, he not only had Godís life infused into his very being, but he could walk in total victory over the very thing that had the power to destroy him. Death no longer dominates or has power over us.
Life and peace work together in order bring about Godís desired result. That result is for us to walk in dominion over the things that once dominated us. If you donít have His life you can not have his peace. The fear of death will dominate you. You can not have the peace of God until you partake of the free gift of life which comes by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 2:14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
15. and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
The power of death has been destroyed. We have been granted this life, and released from the dominion of sin, and the end result of that sin, being spiritual death.
My question is, are we as Godís children enjoying the life God has given to us.
I have come to believe that in order for us to walk in the benefits of Godís great redemption, we have to also walk in peace. They go together. If we are not walking in peace, we truly are not partakers of the benefits of the life God has given to us. What good is this great redemption and the wonderful benefits that come with it, if we are not partakers of it? God went to great lengths to reunite us. He wants us to partake of His free gift, and enjoy the benefits of being His children.
-- Living Bible
1 Timothy 6:17 Tell those who are rich not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone, but their pride and trust should be in the living God who always richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.
This would come as a shock to many Christians, but God wants us to enjoy His blessings.
Many Christians have the mindset that we are supposed to go through life torn and tattered, barely getting along. This does not sound like being richly blessed and enjoying life to me. Jesus saidÖ
John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
The word abundant means - (in the sense of beyond); superabundant (in quantity) or superior (in quality); by implication, excessive; preeminence:
The Amplified says it like thisÖ 10. The thief comes only to in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).
Jesus Himself said this. I trust Him to mean what He says, donít you?
Abundance is to have everything you need and then some. More abundant is more than that. Thatís hard to comprehend, but as the Amplified translation says; till it overflows. Thatís the kind of life God wants us to have. He wants His life to fill us up so completely and totally that it just overflows from us and blesses everyone else around us. Glory.
What an awesome God. As I so often say, we have a part to play in this.
Letís reread one of our opening ScripturesÖ
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Carnal means natural. Natural doesnít sound bad, but natural or carnal is earthly where spiritual mindedness is to think on the things of God. We are being told to do this. This is not something God can do for us. We have to make the choice to think Godly thoughts or Earthly thoughts. When the natural contradicts the things of God, we have to make a choice. Peace can only come when we make the correct choice. When we are in turmoil, we can not partake of the life of God. Peace and fear just do not coexist. We are told how to deal with this situation.
I have seen this over and over. It is a lesson I had to learn and I endeavor to teach others. Godís Word says to cast your care upon Him because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
A simple adjustment can put you on the road to victory. I didnít say it would always be easy, especially if you have a habit of thinking negatively. Habits have to be changed.
When we are full of anxiety and care, we are not walking in faith and trusting God. This is one of the biggest indicators. Itís sort of like the canary in the mine shaft. If we have no peace, it is an indicator that we are not walking in faith. When you truly trust God, you are not going to be worried and full of fear.
There is good news, this is a condition that can be changed. Do as the Word of God says and become spiritually minded. The spiritually minded Christian is not going to be full of fear and anxiety because he or she is not thinking on those things that allow fear and anxiety grow and be present. We know this because spiritually minded Christians have life and peace. If not, you are not spiritually minded. This may sound hard, and it is not meant to condemn, but to correct. We all have to make the necessary adjustments and do as the Word of God says, or we will continue to do the same things, and have the same results. The results can be changed. Some have a hard time believing this can actually happen. They have been living this way so long that they donít think anything about it, it seems like the normal way to be. God wants us to have a way of life and peace.
We need to continually monitor or judge ourselves and check up on ourselves. We have to ask ourselves this question, do I have peace? If the answer is no, then check on up on your thoughts. If your thoughts are constantly on the problem, then you have created a breading ground for fear and anxiety, and a place where depression can set up a stronghold. Begin the process of renewing your mind with the Word of God. We can replace our negative thoughts with thoughts that will be breading grounds for Godís life to work in us. You will gain more and more confidence as you begin to put these principles into practice. We have everything to gain and absolutely nothing to loose. I really like what the Apostle Paul said to the Philippian church at by the inspiration of the Holy SpiritÖ
Philippians 4:6 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.
8. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things.
God wants us to succeed, and has given us the instructions on how to do it. Letís take His instructions to heart and begin to allow Godís peace to keep us, and the end result will be life.
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.