How to have a …
August 16th, 2019
Sounds nice doesn’t it?
In a world that demands more and more of our focus. Social mores that say we have to have an array of things and if we don’t possess them, we might just as well crawl into a hole and never be heard from again. In a environment that consistently insists that we can’t be happy until we have obtained a level of status that our parents never imagined let alone achieved; a peaceful existence is effectively an unknown vague memory.
A peaceful heart is something that is imbedded in the pages of a novel about yesteryear. Perhaps one that didn’t have cars and phones. A time when talking to your neighbor involved seeing them face to face. A period when people worked hard for what they had, but regardless of what they had they were thankful to have whatever they acquired.
Sure, there were those with greed, but those were the dark reaches of society.
Surprisingly, that still exists today, even though most of us seldom encounter it, let along live it.
A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.
Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)
God wants peace in our lives. Turmoil comes in many colors and shapes, but none of them are healthy or what God intends for his Children. He desires for us a peaceful heart, optimum health given our circumstances, and a relationship with God that we value above all other things.
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
Colossians 3:5 (NLT)
Jesus told us to store up treasure in heaven, where corruption and decay don’t exist. He didn’t harp on the message, but He made it abundantly clear that seeking to gather things to ourselves was an exercise in futility; ultimately those things will disappear, and we will no longer draw air into our lungs and for what? So, our heirs can continue the cycle that put us in our graves?
It’s a matter of priorities
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6:33-34 (NLT)
If we place our focus on God, if our highest motivation is to follow Jesus, if we are obedient to the Holy Spirits direction in our lives, everything else falls in place. This isn’t to say that there won’t be struggles and life will be a bed or roses, but our hearts will be filled with both peace and joy.
But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 (NLT)
Jesus never said that rich people couldn’t make it to heaven and earning a good living isn’t a negative. Money only corrupts when money controls. Money is no different than any other possession that occupies preeminence over that which is God’s.
Samuel Truett Cathy was such a man of wealth and success, in the terms of the world. But he was a success in the eyes of God his Father as well. His highest motivation was not to grow Chick-fil-A from a small, hole in the wall, chicken joint into one of the most successful fast food restaurant chains in the world. Instead, Mr. Cathy’s primary motivations were to, serve God first, honor Him in his business, and to serve people.
It’s seldom you will walk into a Chick-fil-A restaurant and not be greeted by genuinely warm and friendly staff members. Most anyone can put on a good front but what sets the staff of this chain apart is that they genuinely are interested and eager to serve you, just as their founder Mr. Cathy was.
I don’t think I’ve seen a Chick-fil-A at lunch time without a line going all the way around the store; that’s not because they are slow by any means, it’s because they are flooded with eager repeat customers, who know what to expect from this legacy given us by Mr. Cathy.
I’ll stop there regarding this example, but there are others out there in the business world, who are disciples of Jesus Christ, dedicated to the Gospel, yet have shown us the example of how you can glorify God and make a profit.
So, just as Jesus told us, it is most difficult for a rich man to shed his earthly trapping to make it through the gates of heaven, we see that success, and following God with all our hearts are not mutually exclusive.
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT)
Paul illustrates the path to having contentment, peace and joy. He went through times when there wasn’t a lot, but yet God fulfilled his needs. We are blessed when our mind is on God and His service. Paul was a glowing example of joy in the midst of turmoil. That turmoil wasn’t within Paul but was all around him. Yet, this Apostle wrote the world in the fourth chapter of Philippians.
“I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
Therein, you’ll find “A Peaceful Heart”!
In His Grace!
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