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1.8 Devotions from the Book of Ephesians

What makes you anxious? …fearful? …nervous?

As we step into a new year, the daunting new season of presenting 8 shows in less than 6 months can make me anxious. Organizing summer camps and our summer show or thinking about scheduling and registration for next year can also make anxiety well up within me. It’s something I must consistently take captive to the throne of Christ!

As I read through Ephesians 2: 11-22 to prepare this week’s devotional, encouragement flooded over me. In verse 14, Paul said that “Jesus, Himself, is our peace!” How easily distractions and even the good works God has called us to do can cause our nerves to swell. It was only a moment ago we were singing our Advent and Christmas praises to Jesus, the ‘Prince of Peace’. Yet, as we step into the reality of our lives, we easily forget and begin to leave room for nerves, fear, and anxiety to rear their ugly heads.

Jesus came to give us peace both with each other and with our Heavenly Father. His work on the cross accomplished this wonder for us. But how do we then live as those who have been brought near to God? How do we tame the anxiety that rises within us?

The best answer comes from another of Paul’s writings to the Philippians, chapter 4, verses 4-7. These verses are a balm to my soul when anxiety arises within me. I love them.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.

The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. (ESV)

  1. First, rejoice always! Yes, always…that’s not easy to do but when we turn our eyes upon Jesus who is our peace, our situation becomes secondary when put in perspective to the One who holds all things together.

  2. Next, we are told to be reasonable. Sometimes that means preaching truth to myself and reminding myself of who God is. For instance, He’s planned the 8 shows for the upcoming season, He is faithful to complete what He has planned. When I praise Him and then remind myself of who He is then the next step is a treasured phrase…” the Lord is at hand.” Wow! He is with us! He never leaves or forsakes us!

  3. Then, we’re told to NOT be anxious about ANYthing. That seems like a tall order except the command doesn’t stop there, it goes on to say that in EVERYthing, with thanksgiving, we are to take all our anxious concerns to God through prayer.

  4. The result: God’s peace guards our hearts and our minds like a sentinel guards a castle in Christ Jesus. Remember He is our peace.

Let’s encourage each other to walk in peace this year.

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