Friday, October 20, 2017

What Do We Know about Peace?

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)

My husband and I were in the produce section of the supermarket. A man and his son were selecting fruit. The boy wanted to get a pineapple. The dad responded with, “What do you know about pineapples?”

This conversation was right at my elbow. My husband was nearby and heard what I did. When we finished our shopping and entered our car, I asked him the question that we heard about pineapple. He laughed and told me he thought the dad was talking to him. I thought he was talking to me. That question still evokes laughter at our home.

Which brings us to the discussion about peace. What do we know about it?

•True peace comes from God.
    • Jesus is peace.
     • Jesus brings us His peace.
      •It is a Fruit of the Spirit.
       •We strive to maintain it.
                                                                         •We have to keep our eyes on Jesus.
Several of my Christian sisters and brothers have felt the workings of the enemy during the past couple of weeks. We know that the enemy has stirred up these issues. They tend to bring us down. The only way we can be victorious over him is to rely on God to carry us through these days.  As Isaiah tells us, we have to keep our eyes on Jesus in order to have peace in our lives and our hearts.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Peace, If Possible

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live at peace with all. Romans 12:18 (ESV)

The Apostle Paul gives us sage advice here. I love the qualifying phrases.

“If possible,” These two words tell me that it is not always possible to live peacefully with everyone, as would like to. In Sunday school, we are studying the Christian virtue of gentleness.

“When Paul picked the word gentleness to depict an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22, he selected the word prautes. In Paul’s day, this word was linked to the medical world and carried the idea of ‘mild medication.’ We might say a gentle person is someone who is ‘easy on your stomach.’(1.) Maybe you haven’t experienced it, but sometimes we have people in our lives who cause us discomfort due to their behavior or attitudes.”

“. . . so far as it depends on you,” We can’t control other people. We can’t confess another person’s sin before God. Speaking personally, I can rarely tell someone what to do about an issue. All I can do is listen and pray.

“ . . live at peace with all.” I’m relieved that Paul saved this phrase for the end of his statement. He shows me some compassion here in that his wording tells me he is aware that we can’t live at peace with everyone. However, I believe we have times when we have to strive for peace with our relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and acquaintances.

When I started writing this, I wanted to relate the need of peace in our personal worlds. As I chose to let it 'perk' overnight, I discovered I had several oughts against someone. I had to pray about the issues this person has made worse for several of us.

1.      Think, Act, Be(lieve) Like Jesus, Randy Frazee with Robert Noland, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI. © 2014 page 211

Monday, October 16, 2017

Jesus Came and Said, “Peace”

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week,
 the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews,
 Jesus came and stood among them and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
 John 20:19 (ESV)

The risen Christ came into the midst of his followers. They locked the door because they feared the Jews and those in power. The first words He spoke were words of comfort to them, “Peace be with you.”

His followers had been turmoil, the like of which they never before experienced. All His closest followers, except one, fell away from Him. He had told them they would do that very thing. That fact that his prediction came true may have added to their somber mood.
In our present world, devout believers know that their walk with God can be difficult and they will face trying and event tumultuous times. Those believers also know that through their faith and trust in Jesus, the will find peace.

For Our Thoughts:
· Should we, as Christians, have fears about what we hear and see going on in our society today?
· What do you suppose the people in that room thought when they heard Jesus say “Peace be with you?”
·What do we need to do when we face trying even tumultuous times in our daily walk through this world?· 

This devotional essay is from my book, Times of Trouble Bring Rays of Joy. Karen Lange, at Write Now, has a Book Spotlight about my book today. Go on over and join the discussion.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...