Daily Devotionals

January 6th, 2023

Read Philippians 4:4-7 MSG

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Written by Ben Schoenfelder

In 2022 I chose a word for the year.  This was the first time I’d ever done this.  Encouragement from others and a feeling within my spirit compelled me to actually name a word for the year, and that word was Peace.  In the year and months leading up to 2022, I found myself at times becoming irritated, frustrated, and sometimes even angry.  I didn’t like the way I felt inside, and the way in which I was responding to others.  I felt like peace was eluding me and that I needed to search out what was happening within my heart, my spirit, and actively pursue peace.  So peace became the word for the year.

I didn’t know where to start with the whole “word-of-the-year-thing”, so I began by looking up verses in the bible that contain the word “peace” and put them in a digital note that I created.  This note quickly became the place where I recorded things that impacted me from my reading and listening.  After a few months I was amazed to look at my “note” and to see all that had been compiled.  The Scripture references, quotes, links, and notes to myself filled what would be several pages on paper.

As I look back now on twelve months of focus on Peace, and all that has been brought into my life over this year, it’s overwhelming.  I have been exposed to so much that has helped me gain a better understanding about the peace of Jesus, peace within me, and peace with others.  I never would have imagined this back in January 2022 when I chose that single word.

I feel like I’ve learned a lot this year, and through this learning, areas have been exposed where I believe God wants me to grow.  If I had to choose one thing that has impacted me in this search for peace, it’s my understanding of anxiety and the way anxiety works in me (us).  You see, I’ve learned that anxiety has a gospel – a truth or guiding principle – but the gospel of anxiety is a lie.  I get caught up in what anxiety is telling me, and it sucks the peace right out of me.  I’ve learned and I’m working on taking notice when I’m in anxiety’s grip.  When I feel the tightness in my chest, or my heart racing, or my mind spinning…

I need to pause….

And remember that Jesus is as present with me as the air I breathe.  He’s in the sunrise.  He’s in the starry night sky.  He’s in the laughter of my grandchild.  He’s in my wife’s smile.  He’s all around me.  All the time.  I just need to get off anxiety’s treadmill and reconnect with Jesus.  The one true gospel.

And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds.”
Philippians 4:7 ERV