Monday, March 11, 2013

Unlock the Box

Sorry about being absent on Friday. Still adjusting to my new work schedule.
Everything is going great, though, here in the Redneck Riviera – so it’s called and free from the intent to offend. (I kind of like it, actually). One awesome thing is we have already found a church to attend. The pastor is a phenomenal teacher – and this week I’d like to pass on a tidbit from the first sermon I heard from him.
We read the verse: For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17.
Goodness, or ‘righteousness’ in other translations, is the gift from God when we believe in Jesus. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit produced as we spend time with Him.
But peace… in this world, it seems elusive and out of reach. Yet, this verse tells us we have full access to peace because it is the essence of the Kingdom of God, of which we are part.
So why aren’t we more peaceful and why aren’t we the ones to bring peace to the party?
The pastor described the key to peace as… well, a key. Two keys, actually. The treasure, peace, is ours, but it is so valuable, it is as if it is in lockbox – the kind at banks where people keep their most prized possessions.
What does it take to access your lockbox?
First, your name needs to be on the list. If you’ve trusted Jesus as your savior, you’re on the list.
Second, it requires two keys to be turned at the same time. The keys have been given to us to unlock peace, and those keys are praise and worship.
Ever wonder why a really good song just makes you feel better? That’s the tip of the ice burg. Singing praises, or speaking them if you are tune-shy, aimed at the Most High focuses your thoughts on the Prince of Peace, unlocking the limitless storehouses of peace promised to us in His Word.
Try it. These keys will turn in that lock. It works.
The really cool thing, I think, is that we don’t have to go anywhere special to use the keys. I mean, the ‘bank’ in this analogy is not a church building or some sort of sacred temple – the bank in this situation is our own hearts. And the peace is already there because Jesus, the Prince of Peace, already lives inside via His Holy Spirit. But our hearts get distracted, jaded, wounded, tired – and those things disguise and lock away peace from our consciousness and ability to feel it and apply it to our lives.
Cue – praise and worship – the keys.
Always available. Always with us.
Here’s a song to get you started turning that key, unlocking the peace we’ll sure need to start off this week. Sure, it's ten minutes long, but #1 - it's an AWESOME song and #2 - it's been a while since some of us have used the keys and we have at least ten minutes of rust over the lock. The treasure is well worth those ten and many, many more. Agreed?
Happy Monday, Dry Ground friends!
(photo by yours truly)