Tag Archives: God’s peace

David’s Prayer for Peace (No. 11 of the Series “Prayer: What Difference Does It Make?”)

Today’s message summary of October 15, 2017 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:

Psalm 4:1-8

For the choir director: with stringed instruments. A Davidic psalm. Answer me when I call, God, who vindicates me. You freed me from affliction; be gracious to me and hear my prayer.  How long, exalted men, will my honor be insulted? How long will you love what is worthless and pursue a lie? Selah. Know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call to Him. Be angry and do not sin; on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still. Selah. Offer sacrifices in righteousness and trust in the Lord. Many are saying, “Who can show us anything good?” Look on us with favor, Lord. You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and new wine abound. I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, Lord, make me live in safety.

During our days, we often face emotional distress, and it can cause us to lose out on a good night of rest.  Even I have had nights like this.  Perhaps you have had these, as well.  They may be relational or financial, and they may even be spiritual.  There is no true rest unless there is a relationship with Jesus Christ.

David, in his prayers, is showing us a pattern to model where he was praying in the morning, throughout the day, and into the evening.

Be aware that Psalm 4 was relevant to David and his people, and it is relevant today.  Psalm 4 shows that in our prayers, only God can provide to us long-lasting peace.

Verse 1 of Psalm 4 represents when David speaking to God.  Verses 2-6 has him speaking to men and admonishing them, and the last two verses speak again to God in prayers for peace.  He prayed with intensity, and his prayers were clear in petitioning God for answers.  He prayed in such a way that he made sure that God heard him.  He prayed with a burdened heart, and he experienced peace that would allow him to rest.

David understood that he was not delivered from his circumstances under his own merit or righteousness. He understood that he was being delivered because of God’s righteousness alone.  Your own good deeds are worthless without the grace of God and your own obedience and faithfulness to Him.

David experiences relief when He is assured of God’s presence.  God provides the relief.

In Psalm 3, there is a reference to David’s prayer to God for protection from his son, Absalom. He did not fear those who opposed him, but he, nonetheless, appealed to God for help in overcoming them.  His admonishing of the people in Psalm 4 was directed to the people in a similar way.  God is still the source of his protection and his mercy.

2 Samuel 16:5-14

When King David got to Bahurim, a man belonging to the family of the house of Saul was just coming out. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he was yelling curses as he approached. He threw stones at David and at all the royal servants, the people and the warriors on Davids right and left. Shimei said as he cursed: Get out, get out, you man of bloodshed, you wicked man! The Lord has paid you back for all the blood of the house of Saul in whose place you became king, and the Lord has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. Look, you are in trouble because youre a man of bloodshed!

Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and remove his head!

The king replied, Sons of Zeruiah, do we agree on anything? He curses me this way because the Lord told him, Curse David! Therefore, who can say, Why did you do that?’” Then David said to Abishai and all his servants, Look, my own son, my own flesh and blood, intends to take my lifehow much more now this Benjaminite! Leave him alone and let him curse me; the Lord has told him to. Perhaps the Lord will see my affliction and restore goodness to me instead of Shimeis curses today. So David and his men proceeded along the road as Shimei was going along the ridge of the hill opposite him. As Shimei went, he cursed David, threw stones at him, and kicked up dust. Finally, the king and all the people with him arrived exhausted, so they rested there.

David knew that he faced enemies and there was a public display of this contention.  He knows that the opposition he experienced from Shimei was allowed by God in spite of his being anointed as the country’s future king.  It was a reminder to David to seek the Lord for guidance in the midst of his affliction, and it is also a reminder to us to remain prayerful of those who may be going through a struggle, and to not pursue any condemnation.

Our posture towards those who speak falsehoods against us (Psalm 4:2), as it was for David, is to remain focused on Him as the righteous Judge and is the true mediator who separates those who trust in Him with those who have nothing to do with Him.

Proverbs 15:29

The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.

Do you recognize that God knows you, as a distinct child of God, and that he hears your prayers?  He does not want you to wallow in your own sin from unchecked anger (Psalm 4:4).  He does give those who are opposed to you to repent from evil and do what is right and proper.

Absalom, David’s son, tried to appear to others as righteous when, in fact, he was using deceit to plot against David (2 Samuel 15:1-12).  Even today, such behavior will not be viewed as honorable by God, and anything good accomplished in this way is nothing more than “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

Psalm 51:16-17

You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;

you are not pleased with a burnt offering.

The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.

You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.

David’s prayer in the final verses in Psalm 4 was a prayer for peace in spite of his enemies.  This attitude is crucial within our Christian walk.  There should be a joy in the heart of the believer that goes beyond the blessing one receives (Psalm 4:7).  There is joy in your fellowship with the Lord.  Nothing in this world will give you peace if has nothing to do with Jesus Christ (and certainly not worldly successes).

If you do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will not have at this time, or in the future (the afterlife), any peace.

Isaiah 26:3-4

You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You. Trust in the Lord forever, because in Yah, the Lord, is an everlasting rock!

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God’s Testimony (1 John 5:1-12)

If we are honest with ourselves, we know that it is very difficult to love one another. Yet, in the books of 1 John, John reiterates the importance of each of us, being born again, to love one another. It is difficult in that we need to remind ourselves that salvation is the work of God and God alone, and that it is a gift that we are to receive. It is about trusting in God and not in the flesh.

When we love one another, it is a work of the living God (Matthew 16:15-17). Everyone who believes this is born of God, and believes in Jesus Christ (1 John 5:1). Your love for God should extend to the children of God, our family, namely, the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). We know we love God because we love one another, and we are also attentive to what God would have us to do in loving Him (1 John 5:2-3). Loving one another, often times, means putting aside differences and recognizing the good and the bad within interpersonal relationships. Love, being from God, helps us to overcome all of these things that may occur. Forgiveness, for example, is born out of love.

To love God means that we are to keep His commands (Psalm 19:7-11, 119:45; 1 Corinthians 7:19). When we follow God’s commands, no matter what they are, we are trusting the Lord and believing that we can overcome what our eyes may see and our ears may hear in those difficult circumstances. As you follow through with God’s Word, you may not see how it is working in the beginning, but He eventually gives you the understanding that gives you the confidence to continue to work through Him and have greater faith and trust in Him and His Word. Keeping God’s commands is what really matters (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

All who are born again overcome the world (1 John 5:4). We do this by our faith in Jesus Christ (1 John 5:5). It is our relationship with God through Jesus Christ that allows us to continually overcome what comes against you (John 16:33; 1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 2:14). As you believe in Jesus Christ, you are victorious over whatever the world has to offer. He will continue to bless you and respond to your prayers and petitions in your obedience to Him. We need to keep in mind that it is not our efforts, but God’s efforts, that lead us into battle against the world. There is a mighty testimony to those who don’t know the Lord in that they see your actions and behavior as you go through difficulty because they know that you follow Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ–He is the One who came by water and blood; not by water only, but by water and by blood. And the Spirit is the One who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water, and the blood–and these three are in agreement” (1 John 5:6-8). The visible testimonies of Christ were his water baptism (John 1:31-33) and by His shed blood. Jesus dealt with the sins of men and carrying its burden. The priest washed himself before entering the temple or into ministry. Jesus steps into the sinner’s place, and takes on the burden of sin as if it were His own as a sacrifice (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2, 4:10). Of the three things that give testimony, the Holy Spirit is the living witness and testimony in all who follow Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:20, 3:16; Romans 1:4; John 14:17). The real testimony is in the heart of the believer, because the Holy Spirit dwells within the believer and is prominent in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ (1 John 5:9-12). Man has given testimony of who Christ is (John 19:35, 20:30-31), but even with those testimonies and the good news, the testimony of the Holy Spirit of the presence of salvation that you have through the belief in Jesus Christ is even greater. The real testimony comes from the heart…a changed heart from where you once were because of your faith and trust in Christ (1 John 5:10-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:15-16).

Eternal life is revealed in the person who loves Christ (2 Timothy 1:12; Galatians 2:20). The unbelievers, in contrast, who call God a liar has the truth directly in front of them (2 Corinthians 3:2-3). “Therefore I am informing you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus is cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). No one can truthfully declare that Jesus Christ is the head of his or her life without the presence of the Holy Spirit.


Sunday School Today: What Really Matters To God

In the book of Luke in chapter 15, Jesus heard the complaints of the scribes and the Pharisees when He took the time to speak to and fellowship with the known sinners of the town and the tax collectors. “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them! (v. 2)” In response to their comments, Jesus wanted to make it very clear that, unlike the religious leaders of the day, He does not play favorites over those who follow the Lord and those who do not. The three parables of lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son (the prodigal son) show that it is God’s desire is for everyone–every human being that He created–to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:3-4). The three parables go beyond expressing God’s love and concern for the lost (those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ). God not only pursues the lost, but He also desires a loving relationship with believers that have fallen away from Him even though they know the truth. The parable of the prodigal son reflects a young man who was raised with the knowledge of who God was because, when things turned badly for himself, he immediately asked for God’s forgiveness and mercy (Luke 15:18-19). To ask for forgiveness while declaring yourself to be “no longer worthy to be called your son (v. 19)” implies that there was already a place of standing and fellowship within the family. God graciously forgives us once He sees a change of heart and a spirit of remorse when we ask for forgiveness. God is so loving and gracious that He gives us the peace that we seek almost immediately when our heart and mind turns from sin and focuses on Him. Yes, heaven rejoices for the return of the believer who had fallen away. A changed heart for Jesus means that, once again, God can use that individual for the Kingdom of God! That’s a good reason to celebrate, and it is reassuring to know that God loves us so much that He will seek us out until we finally acknowledge His presence.