February 8, 2011 – Stanley

Unshakeable Peace Philippians 4:6-7

Anxiety is the enemy of a peaceful life. People go to great lengths to get rid of stress: travel ads promise that vacations will sweep you away from it; gyms offer to help you “sweat it out”; and popular magazines suggest ways to lessen it by adjusting schedules or habits. The problem is that no one can adequately shift circumstances to achieve total freedom from heartache, burdens, or trouble.

However, we can have unshakeable peace during anxious times. Jesus said to seek peace in Him because He has overcome this troublesome world (John 16:33). The key is to shift our focus from the scary problem onto God, who lovingly provides whatever we need from His limitless resources and power (Ps. 50:10; Rom. 8:11).

Serenity can’t be manufactured—it’s a gift from our heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit produces a sense of calm in believers who seek the Lord’s protection against anxiety (Gal. 5:22). The Greek word translated as guard in today’s passage literally means “to garrison about.” God wraps hearts and minds in peace, effectively safeguarding both against all-consuming worry or fear. Notice that He doesn’t make problems go away—we may still be under pressure or prone to weep, but we’re cushioned against anxiety and surrounded by peace instead.

Today’s verses tell us to pray rather than give in to anxiety. These words are Paul’s orders for doing battle against the stresses and troubles of this world. Prayer keeps your mind and heart garrisoned with peace. Keep trusting in God so that your defenses are strong and anxiety cannot slip in.

February 8, 2011 – Begg

You shall call his name Jesus

You shall call his name Jesus.

Matthew 1:21

When a person is dear, everything connected with him becomes dear for his sake. Thus, so precious is the person of the Lord Jesus in the estimation of all true believers that everything about Him they consider to be inestimable beyond all price. “Your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia,” said David,1 as if the very vestments of the Savior were so sweetened by His person that he could not but love them. It is certain that there is not a spot where His hallowed foot has trod, there is not a word that His blessed lips have uttered, nor a thought that His loving Word has revealed that is not precious to us beyond all price.

And this is true of the names of Christ–they are all sweet in the believer’s ear. Whether He is called the Husband of the church, her Bridegroom, her Friend; whether He is referred to as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world–the King, the Prophet, or the Priest–every title of our Master–Shiloh, Emmanuel, Wonderful, the Mighty Counselor–every name is like the honeycomb dropping with honey, and luscious are the drops that distill from it.

But if there is one name sweeter than another in the believer’s ear, it is the name Jesus. Jesus! It is the name that moves the harps of heaven to melody. Jesus! The life of all our joys. If there is one name more charming, more precious than another, it is this name. It is the melody of our psalms. Many of our hymns begin with it, and scarcely any, that are good for anything, end without it. It is the sum total of all delights. It is the music with which the bells of heaven ring, a song in a word, an ocean for comprehension, a matchless oratorio in two syllables, a gathering up of the hallelujahs of eternity in five letters.
Jesus, I love Thy charming name,
‘Tis music to my ear.
1Psalm 45:8