During the past few days the LORD has been showing me some of the conditions of the Church and speaking to me of PEACE and the Fruits of righteousness. Never, can any of us modify our behaviors enough, to ever please God.
Peace is the fruit of righteousness. Once we truly understand the righteousness that comes by faith we will abide in peace. We cannot make ourselves righteous, nor can we make ourselves have peace.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1.
We are set apart by the finished work Christ did (He paid in his own body the price of our righteousness) by that final result, HIS righteousness produced the fruit of PEACE; To those who receive his sacrifice.
Once we understand this, such joy and peace we will know! The LORD wants PEACE to be our guide.
Do you have peace in your being today? Because of what the LORD did for us we can now have abiding PEACE, the fruit of Christ’s righteousness.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee,” Isaiah 26:3.
Self righteousness is what motivates religion, and legalism. Any activities and behavior modifications we do will never be enough. God meant it to be that way to prove to us when we finally burn out of doing fleshly works it was designed to prove to us we can never do enough. We finally come into justification and rest of faith.
Some of us struggle with mixture with the finished work of Christ, and our religious views. We have fleeting peace and wonder, why? We do great works we think we do for God, when in fact we are trusting ourselves, in making us right.
That my beloved, is self righteousness.
Religion never refreshes us, it keeps us in bondage and a gnawing feeling of never being good enough for Gods requirements. We may never say it to someone that way, but when we are alone and think about things, there is no peace and only frustration.
Religion is a task master, it demands that you do more and more, even like the example of the Egyptians telling the Israelites to work making bricks with no straw.
The work of the Cross could never be mastered by religion. Jesus became the fulfillment and sacrifice of all the law and works demand.
So we see if we have lost our peace, we need to find where we got off base because the FRUIT of righteousness is PEACE.
“And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace,” James 3:18.
“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever,” Isaiah 32:17.
As I have been studying, I noticed in many of Paul’s letters he wrote to the churches and he gave the same greetings. For example;
“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our LORD Jesus Christ,” Galatians 1:3.
Paul in his letters to the church, always made a point of greeting the church with unmerited favor and PEACE. The apostle that had been a religious zealot had an encounter on that road to Damascus that forever changed him. The LORD so changed him he was able to teach the law and now the fulfillment of it in Christ.
Lasting change can never happen in fear based religion, but when God changes your heart he isn’t demanding behavior modifications in self righteousness, but HIS perfect love cast out all fear for fear has torment. There is NO torment in Love. Fear and Love cannot exist at the same time. For those who have received the LORD we became sons of GOD.
God is a good God, he isn’t out to get you! He is for you and HIS interests is that your heart and mind be transformed by HIS great Love and that you abide in HIS everlasting PEACE. Even as Apostle Paul changed so dramatically from religion, to a love relationship, so we too, are being transformed from glory to glory by HIS great Love.
As the LORD leads us in PEACE and Grace, there are so many we meet and like Paul’s greeting, let us remember the nature and character of GOD and share with others the love, peace and freedom we enjoy in Christ. The believer’s need to see it active in us, but more importantly, the world needs to see it active in us! Amen?
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” John 14:27.
In HIS Grace and Mercy,
~ Sherry Edwards Mackey