Posts tagged “peace

The Ruling Power of Peace

ruling-peace

The ladies and I at bible study have been treading around in the Fruit of the Spirit, while we splash about, we found ourselves going from knee deep – to take a deep breath here we go! We’ve looked at love, joy and this week … peace.

“Shalom!” You may hear on the streets of Jerusalem, as a greeting or as waving good-bye, the gesture stating ‘Peace unto You” in Hebrew. Meaning, prosperity to you, but not in the sense that we know today, we think prosperity, “WHAOO! I’m rich!” Prosperity is wholeness, soundness, well-being WITH God.

As a quality of God, what is peace and how do we get some! When asked of others, they all answered with pretty much the same theme, “Peace is NOT having strife, turmoil or war.” Which is true, but peace is not just what we no longer have (strife, turmoil), or the absence of something, it is what we possess.

The word Paul uses in Galatians 5:22,23 as peace is ‘eirēnē’ (a-ray-nay) This peace is the recognition and acceptance of the redeeming power and authority of Jesus in my life. In short, (in the Greek) ‘to set at one again.’ Think about the picture it paints. Something that has once been erected has toppled over. Chaos, strife, irritation even war are the results. Once it is set back, PEACE is the result; all is in its rightful place. The gap between us and the Creator of the Universe has now been bridged. Ever feel that IRRITATION – and can’t seem to identify what or why? Consider looking for what, or (may I suggest) ‘Who’ has been toppled over.

Isaiah 9:6-7 The foretelling of Peace. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” (bold emphasis mine)

The increase of peace accompanies the increase of Christ’s governing power over our lives. (read that again) Now consider Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ RULE in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Again adding emphasis) If I want peace in my heart, do I allow Jesus to RULE in my heart? He is King, yes indeed, but do I bow to Him as … King. Does my life behavior reflect my heart condition (or my words) declaring Him as King? Does He take the rightful place on the throne of my life? calm-peace-innerpeace1Do I place HIM in the very center of my circumstances? Here’s a dandy thought: We will know peace to the degree that we bow to Jesus’ authority.

In practical terms: Let’s say we put our ‘stuff’ in the middle of the room, walk around it dozens of times, call in others have them take a look at it, ask what THEY think, if we don’t like what they advise, we politely dismiss them and invite in others for another tour around our stuff. God’s way: We place it at the feet of Jesus (in the middle of the room – our lives) “What do YOU say Jesus?” And we go with what HE says. It is NOT about peaceful circumstances, it’s about the APPLIED authority of Christ. There will be times we may not have time to put it in the center and consider and pray. Ever hear that voice, you’re in a situation “OH DON’T YOU DO THAT!” Don’t you SAY that!” Do we STOP, and apply His ruling voice over us? If not heeded, you walk away and later you are unsettled? May I offer: Jesus would say, “I will minister My peace where I am in authority.” In the upset of obedience vs disobedience, His voice over our own, God doesn’t come to take sides, He comes to TAKE OVER.

How do we pray for peace? Ask Jesus to SHOW US, where something has toppled over, where we may have kicked Him off His rightful place. Once He shows us, take it and place it in the middle of the room, at His feet. Or move over, get off the throne, stop playing musical chairs and let Him back on the throne of our life.  Remember, ‘Peace is like a river…’ (Is 66:12) NOT a pond, stagnant and settled. Unlike the river, that flows from the mountain top, always moving, always refreshing, always pure. “Peace like a river.” Flow Lord!

Peace, allowing Jesus the rightful place, the ruling place of our heart.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)

 

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Peace is a Person

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Christmas. Just the word alone brings a soft glow to the soul. Images of lights, man in a red suit, baby in the manger, faint sounds of jingle bells and shiny ribboned gifts under the tree. Now let’s throw in a cozy fire, soft quilted blanket, cookies and Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey yelling “Mary!” as he runs through the old drafty house, playing on TV. A peaceful experience.  Peace.

18714_529821830362309_645176695_nChristmas peace, Luke 2:14, when the angel appears to the shepherds, he pulls in the backup singers for this declaration, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, on whom his favor rests.” Not only was God gettin some glory, but peace had come to earth. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Sound familiar? “A baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

This New Testament word, peace,  ‘eirene’ (i-ray-nay) meaning as O. T. shalom does, prosperity, quietness and wholeness. But it literally means ‘to set at one again.’ The word picture is this: picture if you will something of great importance has been toppled over, with it down, effecting life as we know it,  chaos, frustration even unrest. When it is erected again, (set at one) then all is well when it is in its place. Remember Adam and Eve sinning in the garden? Thanks guys! The original design, ‘God and man’ had been ‘toppled over.’ Gone were the days of daily walks together in the garden. Jesus came, setting things back in the right place.  God and man in right relationship.  “The Word became flesh (Jesus) and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (emphasis mine) It may not be the Garden, but God again walking with us. Emmanuel, oh IMG_3773the ‘with us’ of God!  Peace is a Person.

One of my favorite Christmas carols, ‘Hark the Herald Angels sing’, such theology dripping from these song: “Hark the herald angels sing “Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled.” Jesus, Peace, God back on earth, setting things right again. God and sinners reconciled.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, (set at one again) 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Eph. 2:13-18) Please read that verse again, slowly. We are now back where we were originally designed to be, full access to God, able to come into His presence.  Paul declares this point … “Since we have been justified through faith we have PEACE with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1    Peace is position

There are times in this God following life that even with our love for Him, our appreciation for all He has and is doing for us, we STILL mess up and for some of us, mess up BIG TIME! As a Christian our life seems full of chaos, frustration and unrest, sometimes that is a direct result of our ‘mess.’

Peace the Person, peace the position is ALWAYS available. John strongly shares “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Often this verse is used as an evangelistic tool, and a GREAT tool for the Holy Spirit, however, John did not write this to the unbeliever, he wrote it to the Christian. Many of us think, well I gave my heart to the Lord at the altar, “I’m good with the Big Guy.” Are we? How is our heart, unrest? There are times we don’t have a clue as to why the unrest. Ask as King David did, “Search me O God…” (Ps. 139:23) Then… listen. Address what He tells us.

worshipAs we ‘confess’, we are saying the same thing about it that God does.  It actually means to concede, a STRONG word, admitting that you have been defeated and stop trying to win. WOW. Does that define us or what! I am now in full agreement, I align with what You say God. In doing THIS, we are taking what was ‘toppled over’ returning to the original design and bringing Jesus back to His rightful peaceful place. THIS is a daily thing. We mess up, we get cleaned up. Peace restored. Peace is a process.

This Christmas as we sing and sway with the Hoo’s in Hooville, drink another glass of eggnog, rip open the thin paper off our packages, and read PEACE across our Christmas cards, may we pause and consider whole heartedly, we, mankind have the opportunity to be at peace, restored back to God.  Yes, Peace had indeed come to earth, and He is KING.

Peace is a Person, a position, a process.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds” ~ Heb. 10:24)

 


Christmas Peace

 

Christmas. Just the word alone brings a soft glow to the soul. Images of lights, men in red suits, baby in the manger, faint sounds of jingle bells in the distance and wrapped gifts under the tree.

Now let’s throw in a cozy fire, soft quilted blanket, cookies and Bing Crosby on the TV. A peaceful experience.

Peace. How would YOU define peace? When asked a few friends, I got a variety of answers with a common thread. An awareness of hope, rest. The lack of strife, or internal conflict. Peace, “knowing that things will turn out ok.”

Christmas peace, Luke 2:14, when the angel appears to the shepherds, he pulls in the back up singers for this declaration, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Not only was God gettin some glory, but peace had come to earth. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Sound familiar? “A baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

This New Testament word, peace, is ‘eirene’ (i-ray-nay) means as O.T. shalom does, prosperity, quietness and wholeness. But it literally means ‘to set at one again.’ The word picture is this: picture if you will something of great importance has been toppled over, with it down, effecting life as we know it. When it is erected again, (set at one again) then all is well when it is in it’s place. Um … remember Adam and Eve sinned in the garden? Thanks guys! THAT was some major toppling over! Jesus came, setting things back in the right place.  God and man in relationship.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, (set at one again) 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Eph. 2:13-18, emphasis mine) Peace

Paul declares this point . “Since we have been justified through faith we have PEACE with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ Romans 5:1

This Christmas as we sing and sway with the Hoo’s in Hooville, drink another glass of eggnog, rip open the thin paper off our packages, may we pause and consider whole heartedly, we, mankind have the opportunity to be at peace, restored back to God.  Yes, Peace had indeed come to earth, as a baby lying in a manger. 

A peaceful experience.  Merry Christmas!

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds” ~ Heb. 10:24)


Peace or a Pit

 Life. Life happens. Have you ever come out of a foggy situation, tattered, a little bruised, (metaphorically speaking) your heart aches with that familiar ache of disappoint in someone’s behavior?Their pain, jealousy, hatred and insecurity causing them to act out in anger. Pain and anger are so very closely linked, that the dividing line fades when actions are applied. If these words resonate even with some small hint of recognition, than you too can relate to Joseph of the Bible.

Recently I was looking at the life of Joseph, the events that groomed him, the people that mocked him, and the God who delivered him. One particular verse danced off the page at me. Genesis 37:4 “When the brothers saw that their father loved him (Joseph) more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.”

For many of us, this story brings back mental images of a colorful jacket, jealous brothers, a pit, and some selling of ‘merchandise’, (it’s a great read … Genesis 37) The word used in verse 4, “they … could not speak a kind word to him” seems to get lost in the translation a bit. In the Hebrew the word is ‘shalom’. The brothers due to their jealousy and hatred could not speak peace to Joseph. Peace … health, prosperity, and amazingly so, it can be rendered … ‘safe’.

Noticing on in the story of the brothers turn tormentors, they see Joseph from afar, and their deceitful plan is forever etched in history. First they plan to kill him, nope to harsh, (don’t we ALL rationalize) then they find what was convenient, a deep well. When in haste convenience seems to always trump wisdom! I try to imagine, did they just grab him and throw him in the pit?

It says that they stripped him of his robe, the very thing that ticked them off in the first place. They attempted to remove the evidence of his favored relationship, the gift from their father. I believe this was not done in silence, I bet there was a lot of taunting going on. Rude comments, jesting, a jab here and shove there. Then the final jab, leading to pit dwelling.

Jealousy and hatred withhold peace. May we think of our own lives, are ‘we’ speaking peace to and over others, are we allowing them a safe place in our life? Are we doing our part to help them prosper in their potential, staying healthy … or not? Is there someone who has what we want? Oh, it may not be the enduring love of a father, but perhaps our jealousy stems elsewhere. Are we acting out in pain hurting another due to our upset NEED for something.  Are we giving them the gift of peace or throwing them in a pit.   (ouch!)

I have heard it said, “Bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” It actually hurts us in the long run. In short, the story goes on that Joseph becomes very successful while the brothers and family live in feminine, they ultimately end up going to Joseph for their very survival.  So, who was it that ended up in the pit?  The brothers or Joseph?
 
The author of Hebrews admonishes us to peace, Hebrews 12:14 “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life … ” (NLT) Yes, work it WILL be, yet peace is what we are called to.  Paul states in Galatians that the fruit of the Spirit, the qualities of having Jesus in our life are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. (Gal. 5:22,23)   “Oh Jesus, we invite You, we need You, live in and through us, may we be Your ambassadors of peace.”
 
Peace or a pit?
 
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds” ~ Heb. 10:24)
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