Surpassing Peace

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Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:7 (NLT)

Overburdened by worry. You’re not where you envisioned you would be at this point in your life. Maybe you were passed over for a promotion. It could be that your home which was once peaceful is now chaotic. Perhaps you no longer have the means to return to school as you always planned. A loved one may be suffering from a disease such as cancer or diabetes. Suddenly, imagining the future seems to snuff the light in you and extinguish your motivation and hope.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word ‘worry’ as “to feel or cause to feel troubled over actual or potential difficulties.” In our text, the Apostle Paul offers us a cure to the distressing emotion of worry. A cure which is simply…contentment in ‘every’ condition of life (Philippians 4:11-12). Yet, this contentment can only come through living in Christ Jesus and allowing him to live through you. For hasn’t he given you the gift of eternal life when you trusted him as your personal Savior?

Have you forgotten that life on earth is training ground for eternity in Heaven?

Of course, there will be none of that which we are confronted with here but there will be unending worship and bliss in the Lord. Not worrying is a form of worship. For it means that you are completely dependent upon God and fully trust in His will for your life. Consequently, you glorify Him and affirm His sovereignty over all things.

So “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2 Present yourself daily to the Lord as one who is Kingdom minded and “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”-Philippians 4:8 Be assured that your name is written in the book of life.

Don't Worry God's Peace

 

The Apostle Paul recommends the remedy of all disconcerting and distracting anxieties which is simply, prayer. Yet, it pains my heart to see several who are nominal in the faith and won’t take the necessary burdens of joy to pray to the One who knows what they need. Worry is sin and folly. It leads to disease and death. Some say “Yes, I’m a Christian,” but they walk according to the flesh and not of the Holy Spirit.

Consequently, their mind runs wild thinking of maddening things that are not fully in their control. “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” – Romans 8:5-6 For “do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” – Amos 3:3

A right relationship with Christ will confirm your daily purpose and spur you on to enduring joyful duty. For when we come to him in prayer, we not only thank him for the good in our lives but for the mercies in which we have received day after day. Sure, we have wants and desires but we need not waste much time in expressing them for he knows them better than we do. His desire is that we value His mercy and demonstrate our sincere dependence upon Him. What is the peace of God but that comfortable sense of being reconciled to Him and now having been favored He imparts revelations of that future hope of heavenly blessedness which is greater than we can ever imagine.

So “don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”– Philippians 4:6-7 Amen

-Jason

Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to spread throughout the world and believes it is a Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively. To learn more about the organization for which Jason volunteers, please visit www.HaitiChristianity.org.

Learn more about Jason M. Alexandre here.

 

 

No Other God

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

“I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” –Daniel 3:15-17

As the annual mission trip for Haiti Christianity Inc., quickly approaches, we ask that you keep us in fervent prayer. Prayers are always needed when our brothers and sisters in Christ are traveling to foreign lands with the intended purpose to encourage believers and carry out the Great Commission in spreading the Gospel to unbelievers. This July in Haiti, we will evangelize, conduct vacation bible school and professional skills conferences and bring an array of children’s clothing, shoes, medical and educational supplies. We thank you in advance for how your prayers will add to the blessing of empowering us through the Holy Spirit to carry the mission to advance the Kingdom of God. Now you may be wondering why this week’s devotional scripture comes from the book of Daniel and how it relates to anything I just mentioned. Let me explain.

This past February, I traveled to the beautiful and rich in history country of Thailand also known as the “land of smiles.” My experience in Thailand was nothing short of amazing. It was everything I envisioned it would be. Although this was not a mission-focused trip but rather a study abroad trip conducted by my former University, time of testing came to me. The Lord’s voice to me was so crystal clear and so loud within my spirit I could not ignore it. At some point during the trip, our kind native volunteers took us to one of the Buddhist temples and engaged us to participate in a worship/mediation demonstration of their Buddha golden statue.

Everything within me said “Do not participate, do not bow” and I did not. I was taken aback that other self-professed Christians with us on the trip decided to participate. I do not know whether I offended our native volunteers or not but two of them came to me and asked why I decided not to participate. I said to her, “I believe my worship and meditation should be only reserved for my Lord Jesus Christ.”

One said, “Oh you’re Christian? It’s okay I have friends who are Christians who do this along with us. It’s okay you can do it.” Once more, I told her I could not, for I knew I would be betraying the One and only true God also known as the “invisible God” or as the “Unknown God” as the apostle Paul put it.

As I close, I want to leave you with an encouraging scripture of when the apostle Paul preached in Athens.

“So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs-for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.” – Acts 17:22-26

Amen.

-Jason M. Alexandre

About Jason M. Alexandre

Jason Melchizedek Alexandre was born on November 29, 1989 in Brooklyn, New York. However, at two years old he and his family moved to Philadelphia, PA. Later, Jason moved to Limerick, PA where he now resides. Jason is currently working toward obtaining his Master of Social Work degree at Widener University. Although Jason’s career is Social Work, his spiritual passion is missions. Jason believes in actively answering the great commission call Jesus gave all Christians for the gospel to be spread from nation to nation. On a yearly basis, Jason primarily goes to Haiti on a mission trip with Haiti Christianity Inc. Each year Haiti Christianity visits different cities and/or villages in Haiti bringing children educational supplies, clothes, and medical supplies. They also facilitate conferences in which bible study, budgeting tips, financial planning and most importantly evangelization takes place. Jason is currently their public relations director. Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to be spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively.