Monday, February 18, 2019

God has done His works in us...

Isaiah 26:12:
Lord, You will establish peace for us,
For You have also done all our works in us.

This passage foretells the victorious culmination of Israel’s long and turbulent History.  While the rulers of the age would squabble and plan, prepare and bargain, with the threats all around them the Lord had a different message.  They would be disciplined by being taken off to the Babylonian Captivity but there is a time, yet future for us, when the LORD will establish peace for Israel.  That will be the full peace of the millennial Messianic Kingdom wherein God will provide all that He promised Israel, proving that all God’s promises are “YES!” in Christ.

But there is an indirect application for us in the church today.  Just as all of Israel’s best efforts to create and maintain peace were a failure on the national front, so our best efforts for creating peace in our lives will result in failure.  Light a candle, take a bath, listen to some quiet music.  All these things just provide a temporary illusion of peace.  The only true peace comes from the Lord’s work within us.  The paraphrase the Lord Jesus:  A branch can produce no fruit on it’s own…it can only stay close to the life-giving vine.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Justified Peace

Romans 5:1:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…

Justified translates the Greek word dikaiow and means to be declared righteous. This is different than being righteous.  Nobody is righteous before the Lord as all are touched by the death dripping guilt of our sin stain.  Yet a person is DECLARED righteous by accepting the perfect payment of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross.  The result of this declaration of righteousness is a complete and total peace between the Saved Saint and the Righteous God.  Bad days and good days, through all of life’s ups and downs, nothing can take the peace that comes from the eternally valid sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  We all have growing to do, and will likely walk in sin from time to time…but we can never lose the peace that exists between us and God, because we didn’t make, earn it, or maintain it…it is a grace gift of our loving God.

Monday, February 4, 2019

He Cares, He Can

Philippians 4:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

“Don’t worry about it!” The voice of the used car dealer rang in my ears as I sat by my broken-down car, wishing that I had worried about it while I was on the car lot.  The fact was that he didn’t know much about the car he was selling, nor have the care or power to fix anything.  His direction that I shouldn’t worry turned out to be especially hollow.  But when the Lord tells us not to be anxious, we should listen.  The Greek word merimnao means to be troubled with cares and we are here COMMANDED with a present active imperative not to be troubled by our cares.  But why?  What are we to do with our burdens and fears?  We are meant to make our requests known to God.  This tells us two very important things about the Lord.  First, he Cares.  Second, He can.  The Lord commands us not to be burdened with our worries – because for Him they are light, and we were never meant to bear them.  

Monday, January 28, 2019

Personal Peace

John 14:27 New King James Version (NKJV):
27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you;
not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

When the Bible uses the word “peace” it means a wholeness, fullness, or completeness.  In the Biblical concept, we find that peace is the result of having needs met and being free from want.  Interestingly, peace is not something that a person can find or achieve for ourselves.  When Jesus was getting ready to go to the Cross, He comforted his disciples by promising peace.  But He gives them some extra information.  The peace that Jesus promised is personal.  It is His peace, and he alone can give peace.  Furthermore, this peace is given in a special way.  It is not given in the same way the world gives.  The world gives with conditions and expectations, but the Lord gives His peace freely and fully to all who believe in Him.  While we may get distracted, and we may be deceived, we never have less than all that we need.  

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Peace Peace of the Lord

Isaiah 26:3 says:
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.

A peaceful time might include your favorite music, or a cup of tea while the snow falls.  But perfect peace?  Why that would have to be getting a massage on a Hawaiian beach while listening to Benedict Cumberbatch read the funnies out loud to you.  Perhaps we all have different ideas of what a peaceful day might be like.  However, the perfect peace that the Lord promises in Isaiah 26:3 has nothing to do with our circumstances.  This verse, when read in Hebrew is: Natsher samooch tithsor shalom shalom.  No, I did not repeat myself.  The Hebrew expression translated “perfect peace” is shalom shalom – or  “peace peace”  The sense of this repetition  is intensifying the meaning of peace.  When we are focused solely upon the Lord, trusting in Him through every situation, we don’t just have peace…we have peace peace.  

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

From: Family Advent: Celebrating the Journey Toward Christmas

Scripture reading – Luke 2:1-20


When God came to earth it was not with great pomp and circumstance.  He moved the great power of Rome to call a census so that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, as He had promised.  He came to a poor young Jewish girl who lived in a small village.  God chose for the birthplace of Jesus a barn, or possibly a cave, where animals were kept.  Rather than being greeted by the greatest powers and authorities of the Earth He was greeted by humble shepherds and some wise men from afar.  Jesus’ humble birth shows us something very clearly.  Jesus came for everybody.  Jesus is God’s greatest gift.