August Peace throughout life!
Matthew 6:25,26 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Crazy talk! Jesus what are you telling me about how I should live my life? “Do not worry about your life”, sounds like a command. I may not worry as much as others I may know, but there are times where an emotion that could well be characterized as worry does pop its head up in my life. But Jesus, does this mean that when my brakes on my old pickup start to grind and the pedal is as soft as an over-ripe peach, that I should not worry about going down the interstate at 70 miles an hour in rush traffic?
Perchance, I think what he is really saying is “Don’t let worry become my response to circumstances out of my control. I must rely on a moment by moment on his provision, promises and plan. First, I must realize God is the source of my peace and second get my brakes fixed.
Jeremiah 31:3 – The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
The age of Jerimiah was a terrible time. Invaders from the North and the East were at the borders with threats of annihilation and captivity. Attack on the boarders was inevitable. It was a test of the whole nation, ever the more it was Jerimiah’s test. Within a very small tribe defined nation, Jerimiah the individual’s hope and faith was being put to a test. All faith and beliefs are the solitary. I do not live in the times of Jerimiah, but there are still threats to my peace. How am I to find peace in a world that seems to be upside down.
I must find a peace based upon something more than a hope of someday. Sometimes I cry in my quiet desperation, “Hey God, are you up there?” Even though I may not see God’s omnipotent hand reaching down and changing my world around me, I must acknowledge God in my past. I praise God for all the mercies shown to me. He has protected me and mine millions of times. These past mercies are great and warming thoughts. God gently whispers in my ear, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” In that assurance comes a quietness, a settled peace in the middle of the turmoil.
Psalm 34:7-9 -The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Fear the LORD, you His saints, for those who fear Him lack nothing.…
Mr. Phlugrad from my High School days was very strict in all the papers I turned in. If I had written this scripture he would be marking it a “mixed metaphor”. In these three verses, I read of a Lord that camps, is tasted, is feared, is to be seen, that delivers, is good, and is a refuge. How confusing. Never-the-less I must take off my own shoes and put my feet into the sandals of David. David’s life was never orderly. It was filled with great heights and even greater lows. His undulations of faith left him with folds of memories that overwhelmed him and caused streams of thought to be co-mingled. I have been there. I am there now.
There are other times when life is very linier, a focused straight line with a well mapped beginning and end. There are also times when a single word in a single line of a great text baffles me. I have to take that line and rip it apart and try to understand. Only then in the middle of my process can I find peace in my soul. Yet I know full well another word or sentence will fold again in my mind.
David was simply a flawed image of God and ultimately, for David and for me, the answer to peace is simply to stop and “fear the Lord!”
I Peter 4:12-13 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
These words from Peter bring two emotions. One of fear of an impending trial of my faith, and second a hope. These words tell me there is little to shadow my current joy. Yes, things will happen. Yes, there will be events in my future that could well rock my belief in my fellow man. Peter tells me don’t be surprised at the inhumanity of man. He tells me there will be events that could well steal away my personal peace and even my personal comfortableness, or what I would call, “the manner which I have become accustomed”. It will happen. It may cause strange and disturbing thoughts and even actions. Never-the-less, though the skies seem to be falling and the enemy presses hard and heavy, I will reflect the hope that never fails. I have an “inheritance incorruptible and is undefiled and will never fade.” That is my peace.
Finding Peace August- day 217 of 365 Thursday, August 5, 2021
Psalm 42:5 -Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior, and my God.
Is peace only the absence of something else? Is it nothing more than the absence of civil disturbance? Is peace only the product and ultimate end to war? For that matter, can I have peace only after I have fought some terrific war? The lack of peace may well be associated with civil disobedience, or revolt, or even rebellion. We hope for peace. We cry out for peace. “Can’t we just get along.” Peace must be more than the absence of turmoil. It must be more than living in a society where there is some sort of standard of tranquility. Why am I so disturbed, why am I so distressed, why am I so worrisome about the lack of peace? I must put my hope in more than people, or organizations, or governments. I must put my hope and expectation on the Prince of Peace. Lord, settle my soul today with your peace.
Finding Peace August- day 218 of 365 Friday, August 6, 2021
Romans 8:37 – But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The National Science Foundation reports the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those thoughts 80% are negative and of these negative thoughts 95% are repetitive. I am not average.
Our life of thought can be more than negative repetitive thoughts. Our thought patterns change our behavior. It fills us with half-truths and outright lies. It is a much easier task to find the flaws and criticize than to be dazzled by greatness.
I want peace. I crave peace. I demand peace. There must be more than the turmoil around me. I reach out in my thoughts for the better. I crave the mind of Christ. I must focus my mind on the inexpressible excellences of Jesus. It all starts with trust. When our minds do turn to fear, doubt, uncertainties, there is an alternative: Trust. We can trust in God to reveal the better, the positive, the peace. Nothing, not even our own negative thoughts can separate our peace. Peace is an evidence of trust in a perfect connection to God.
Romans 8:5-8 – For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Watching my favorite news program, I am dismayed, discouraged, and alarmed. All I hear and see are the terrible things in the world around me. There seems to be no hope, no redemption. Compounding my feelings of doom, despair and excessive misery is knowing I can’t do anything concrete about these happenstances.
There is a battle that would steal my peace. This battle is waging for my peace. I understand with crystal clarity that digging a hole in the sand jumping in will all not protect me. What I can do is “set my mind” on something else; focusing on the overwhelming love of God. Just changing the channel does not really remove from the terribleness. But seeing it all and seeing the gracious is my call now. Where I set my mind right now is my decision. The Spirit of God is now and forever fully available. Available to present to me the opportunity for life and peace. So be it. Let there be peace in my own life. Peace is doing while waiting on God!
Finding Peace August- day 220 of 365 Sunday, August 8, 2021
John 16:29-33 – Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”
“Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
There is a battle for your thoughts right now! God has a perfect plan invite you away from thoughts that plague you to a place of life and joy in the Holy Spirit. Trust him as your good and loving Father. Trust that he is always with you. Place your faith wholeheartedly in him because he is perfectly faithful and able. He has plans for an incredible hope filled future for you. Your part is to simply trust him and set your mind on him as often and as passionately as you can. May you find peace today in your thoughts through a powerful revelation of God’s abiding love. Peace is an internal thinking, not an external happenstance.
Finding Peace August- day 221 of 365 Monday, August 9, 2021
Psalm 147:1-6 – Praise the Lord! How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.
Praise the Lord. My mind in this moment is settled on Him. I bask in the light of his love and care. In my brokenness, I am bandaged and healed. I look out at night and am overwhelmed at the number of stars, each with a name. The Lord sustains me.
My thoughts, my focus is a powerful indicator of my level of trust. What I allow to fill my mind with is not on autopilot, jumping from one thing or the other without end. What I think is done for a reason. I must take thought on my thoughts. I must assess what troubles me and what brings peace and joy. When I do this, I am embarking on an important process of the renewal of my mind. Open my mind, Lord. Renew my mind. I will trust in you for my hope.
May your thoughts be a sign of your nearness and Love of Jesus.
Colossians 3:1-4 – Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
What thoughts plague you most? What thoughts seem to sneak into every conversation with God? What is it that steals your peace?
The entrance fee into heaven is nothing, but the ongoing subscription rate is everything. All the emotions that would rob us of our peace like anger, rage, malice, slander, lying, and many more are behaviors rooted in our thinking. The root of behavior are things of the world. Peace comes from setting our minds upon, or a purposeful focus of the heavenly. When we change focus, we can change our behavior. God can change you if you allow God to do it. You can’t change your own character any more than pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps or making the bed while you are still in it. Peace is God’s job.
Peace comes with the right focus.
Philippians 4:4-7 – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.
It was no easy time in Philippi when Paul wrote these words. In hard times it is very difficult to “rejoice”. Even more to “rejoice in the Lord, all the time”, without ceasing, continually, without interruption. It is simply crazy talk. How can I rejoice when the car needs tires, my children are being overwhelmed by their own trials and health situations? When I get close to anyone in any meaningful conversation, I keep feeling their pain, their struggles and, it robs me of my joy. How can I be full of peace and joy in a world that is all about division, and selfishness? Then Paul piles on with “don’t worry about anything.”
Then when life seems so frustrating and less than meaningful, we find the solution: “In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” God’s guarding peace is promised to who pray, with thanksgiving, about everything. No matter how bad or troubling is our situation, we are to pray and give thanks about it all. Then we will have peace in our situation. And this peace will transcend our ability to understand it.
Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Following up from yesterday thought; Paul writing about a Peace that is beyond understanding. God giving something that is so secure, so satisfying, so miraculous, that it become greater than I can comprehend. Peace that become greater than my circumstance. I see but a glimpse of God’s peace in my life of care and this peace becomes more than anything else.
What both Paul and again in Isaiah are telling me is there are that are without comprehension or beyond our understanding. Peace that Paul talked about in his letter to the Church in Philippi was something that cannot be understand. Here in Isaiah, there are other things we can’t wrap our heads around? The complexity and wisdom of God and his plan is simply unspeakable. The love of God is so great we will never, on this side of heaven, appreciate the nature of it. Salvation, the reason for it, the enormity of it, the depth of it, the width of it, is beyond my ability to describe. Likewise, human reasoning is incapable of fully comprehending the peace of God. Praise the Lord, I don’t have to understand it, but I can have it!
Finding Peace August- day 225 of 365 Friday, August 13, 2021
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Jesus, The Prince of Peace, at the end of his discipling of his disciples. He knew there were terrible times ahead. He knew that He could not keep them by his protecting, loving, caring, gentile, patient arm. He had to go. And if he had to go, Jesus would impart something to them and to me: Peace.
I am a believer in Jesus. I put my full confidence in a loving God. I am thankful in every circumstance because of a gift presented to me in love. I have an inner calm that dominates my soul. Only a believer will ever experience this inner peace. Despite all the cares, woes, and raging tempests around me, I have peace. No one outside of Christ will ever be able to fathom this peace. To most, it will remain a mystery. They will look and marvel at the peace that passes understanding. I pray that those who don’t have it, will come and partake in it.
Psalm 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
The peace that comes from being in a right relationship with God is not the peace of this world. There have been times in my life where I have taken a step forward only to slide two steps in the opposite direction. Peace in our current culture is vastly inferior to God’s peace. To those who don’t have God in their lives, peace depends on having favorable circumstances: if things are going well, then we feel peaceful; when things go awry, the peace quickly dissipates. Jesus made the distinction between His peace and the world’s vacillating peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives”
It is fundamentally a choice: peace with God through trust or settle for the less offered by the world through circumstance.
Finding Peace August- day 227 of 365 Sunday, August 15, 2021
Psalm 23:4 – Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
God’s comfort, God’s care, God’s gentile compassionate love is hard and almost impossible to understand. God’s supernatural peace surpasses natural understanding. A cancer patient who has come to experience just a hint of his nature and experiences a remission of the disease may proclaim, “I am so thankful to God!” That is praise. A cancer patient who is dying and in pain may calmly say, “Everything is all right, ‘All things work together for those who love God’”. Peace with God and the peace of God come at the same time. It dwells in the doctor’s prognoses of terminal liver disease report. It lives in the face of a grand kids that I may never see grown up. Listen carefully here: I have peace in my heart.” That is “the peace that passes all understanding.”
Finding Peace August- day 228 of 365 Monday, August 16, 2021
I Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Peace and tranquility are not the same thing. Tranquility is a temporary thing. Tranquility is in the lull between battles. I can, with a lot of self-control drum up a sense of inner tranquility. I can sit in the quiet of my study, away from all that would interrupt me, away from the blaring inequities of the media and for a fleeting moment be OK. But it never lasts long. There are always things I must do, things I must accomplish, things I must endure, and these things seem to destroy my moment. Tranquility is all circumstantial. I can center myself, thinking good thoughts and happy memories, but they are only fleeting moments.
Tranquility and serenity are self-interested phenomenon. It takes a very mature person to not let circumstances destroy our moments of calmness. These moments can be great and sweet times. But the more I chase something that is temporary, circumstantial, and self-interested, the less I am satisfied with the outcome. Tranquility, calmness, serenity are good things. Even so, it is not what Peter is talking about. He is saying to me right now is, “Don’t chase it, don’t seek after it, just humble myself before the God of peace, throw all the effort to find my peace amid anxiety and know, I am your peace.”
Finding Peace August- day 229 of 365 Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Psalm 30:8-12 To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
Questions haunt me. What God want from me? Like David, am I to suffer, to cry in my pain for mercy? Or does God demand my silence? To crawl off some to some lonely place and suffer in silence in some place where no one can hear, is that what is expected of me? There are plenty of sources of praise. Praise of God is a good thing. Is my calling out for mercy diluting the quantity of praise? If I am quiet about my struggle, if I am quiet about my doubts, if my “keep on, keeping on” in silence does it please God. Are my quiet sufferings proving something? Does it account for faithfulness?
I believe that my cries, shouts and whimpers are an evidence of my faith. It is the evidence in my life of the very presence of a loving and caring God. I will yell them to the ear of God. Hear me God and change my circumstance. Turn my tears into smiles.
Praise the Lord! I can suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and have a peace that passes all my comprehension. I can cry and dance at the same time.
Finding Peace August- day 230 of 365 Wednesday, August 18, 2021
James 1:2-4 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers, and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James urges us to be filled with joy when we endure trials of every kind. Hebrews says that Jesus suffered the cross with joy (Hebrews 12:2). Acts reports that Peter and the apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ’s sake (Acts 5:41).
This is just crazy talk for anyone in the slough of despond. One of the requirements of which I demand of God is peace. I need it. I crave it. It is my preference over turmoil. Yet here James the brother of Jesus is telling me my life is a trial, a training ground. I am to be filled, crammed to the brim with joy in trials. My faith is being stress tested to a point where it is counted as persistence. Don’t get me wrong here, I assume my survival will result in a better me. Even so, I don’t want a better me. I want peace. I demand of God an inner, incomprehensible, sweet peace. I don’t want suffering. I don’t want trials. I don’t want to endure. I don’t want to work at it. And there are times I don’t want to be mature. I want to shortcut to that place where I am, “lacking anything”. Lord, at least give me hope for peace!
Finding Peace August- day 231 of 365 Thursday, August 19, 2021
Jerimiah 6:23-14 For from the least of them to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; from prophet to priest, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of My people with very little care, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace at all.
Jerimiah is often called the weeping prophet. It was revealed to him, by God, that his beloved country was about to be invaded and this prophet could do nothing about it. He goes on and on in his prophecy of doom, despair and excessive misery. There would be no peace for those whom he ministered.
Why did God, the God of mercy, justice, and peace, destine His chosen people to suffer at the hands of the Babylonian King. What was the cause? The nation was a pit of uncaring and deceitful people all grasping for things that were not of God. They were full of greed. Money and possessions had become the idol on which they bowed. There was no patching it up to make it all better. There was no band-aid that would be sufficient to cover the wound. And consequently, even they were shouting “peace, peace” there was none to be had. There was no peace.
I pray, I hope, I cry out that my own nation not befall the same fate. I need a holy peace that comes with a sense of satisfaction, of contentment, that things are actually “right” with the world. AMEN
Finding Peace August- day 232 of 365 Friday, August 20, 2021
Matthew 5:9 – Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessedness: a joy filled response to God’s intercession of grace and mercy to the ultimate fate of man. The introduction to a message given on a side hill by a unique and often misunderstood Rabbi, starts with the word Blessed. He goes on in his introduction to give nine characteristics of a believer. The one that keeps hitting me in the face is number seven: blessed are the peacemakers. It seems to be the most problematic in our culture of division, separation, sides, criticality, and enmity. Our world seems to be drawing lines based on crazy criteria.
There are only two types of people; those who see others as different from themselves and those who are peacemakers. Peacemakers are the ones who live with all humanity in peace. It is a mindset of inclusion and not division. It is harmony because of the similarity and not the disparity. Those who would divide only see the culdoscope of beings as being better and priviledged or less and a victim. Peacemakers are those who would see the need for all to have peace. Blessed are those who advocate peace for all.
Finding Peace August- day 233 of 365 Saturday, August 21, 2021
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
So, what Paul is saying is that my solace, my ease, my comfort is a priority for God when I am in trouble. That gift of care and support comes directly from the Father God. That God is the source of compassion, and as a part of His driven character. God is more than a being in a nebulous grey cloud with thunderbolts ready to strike me down at my low points. That is a good thing. I approve of that because sometimes I don’t feel anything. Especially in my own personal struggles.
OK, that is a great thought. But hold on here: God now expects me to comfort, to deliver solace, care, and support to those who are also in trouble. “Lord isn’t that your job?” If you are the source, who do I have to put myself out to help others?? Are you saying that my comfort is so full, so abundant that I have some to share? Are the things you give me for my peace and comfort are so numerous that I have some to distribute? That is crazy talk. There are times I don’t feel I have enough to get through the day.
Or is it that your plan requires an intermediary? You need me as an example and a conduit for others comfort. You are the source, but I am a simple hollow pipe of distribution. And in that I can have peace. Open the spigot let it flow!
Finding Peace August- day 234 of 365 Sunday, August 22, 2021
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our LORD.
God’s love for you and I, is like superglue. We may well be a dysfunctional family. We are most often characterized by those outside of bold fold as full of petty disagreements, and sometimes outright war. We are family. I would suppose we need a binding force to hold us together. And obviously it is not the fine points of theology.
Peace with God is, at its core, a spiritual reconciliation between family members. It’s a restored relationship between Heavenly Father and earthly child, made possible simply because Jesus wanted it so—enough that He was willing to suffer, die, and rise from death for it.
Finding Peace August- day 235 of 365 Monday, August 23, 2021
Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
If I look at the long view of the Old Testament there is a reoccurring pattern. God at peace with his people, God’s people slide into neglect, God punishes. There are times I think that God is at odds with me. Things are not going like I expect. I take this seemingly lack of care to be an indication of my own neglect. It was simple: You sin. God smites you. It is easy to see God as always hostile, always watching and frowning, constantly ready to unleash war against His misbehaving kids.
In spite of this Old Testament narrative, Paul in his letter to the Roman Church proclaims a therefore. Bad things do not happen because we have been bad. No event is an expression of God’s ill will against us. On the contrary, He has promised to use every circumstance to guide His grace, hope and glory.
We are not at war with God! God is not at war with me. Peace.
Finding Peace August- day 236 of 365 Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace WITH God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Yesterday and today’s devotional is from the same scripture. Reading and re-reading this scripture again and again to let it sink into my very spirit, I was struck at a single word: WITH. We have peace WITH God. Not peace in God or even Peace of God, but WITH God.
One word that makes a big difference! That word does not mean You-and-me-and-God standing near each other or being in the same vicinity. WITH in his passage also has motion attached. WITH is an action word. Picture this: You, me, and God walking along a path together. The idea here is one of deliberate movement toward something. You, me and God moving forward, unhindered, toward a place of peace. Peace with God.
Finding Peace August- day 237 of 365 Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Colossians 3:15-17 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
With the words, “I hate you”, my daughter stormed off to her room. She was thirteen at the time and has since grown out of her rebellion with her parents. I may not have used these same words toward God, but I have thought them. Peace with God is a spiritual settlement between family members. It’s a rebuilt relationship between Heavenly Father and us, made possible simply because Jesus wanted it so.
Today I am warmed at the thought of my little girl grown up now with a daughter of her own. I cherish the new words that she spreads toward peace, “I love you dad.” We are a family reconciled and at peace.
Finding Peace August- day 238 of 365 Thursday, August 26, 2021
Luke 15:18 “I will go home to my father” ( NLT)
The story is well known. It is called the prodigal son. It is a story of a brash, ungrateful young man hatefully insulting his father, taking his dad’s money and sinfully squandering it in a foreign country. This situation ends badly for him, until one day he finally realizes his devastating circumstances are caused by his own sin. Then this thought enters his head, “I will go home to my father”.
When he gets home there is a party thrown in celebration. Why the celebration? It was because a war was over and peace came home. Because it was the son who warred against the father, and never the father at war with his son.
The lesson: You can always go home. Peace is there!
Finding Peace August- day 239 of 365 Friday, August 27, 2021
Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God”,
I can’t let this one slide by. Here is the proof in the pudding, the real test of my faith, the revelation of my belief system. It slaps me in the face: If I have been justified, I will have peace with God. It is a sweet, overpowering, incomprehensible, calming, cleansing breath type of peace. A peace where the struggle is over. It is a peace of experience, peace of knowing that I am in the family of God. The war is over. All the conflict between God and me is ended; I am at peace with him.
If you do not have that sense of peace it is impossible to restore in by working on your feelings. Peace with God is about acceptance of God’s gift. Go over the facts again, remind yourself of what God has declared. Then your faith is restored, and you can handle these doubts and fears. Then you can have peace.
Finding Peace August- day 240 of 365 Saturday, August 28, 2021
Romans 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all
The God who I serve and praise is more than a uninterested supreme being living up in some cloud. The God I find satisfying is my creator. The God I focus on every day is one of peace. God created us to have peace with him. He desires us to be at peace with everyone we encounter. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. God the author of peace wants peace with his creation. He seeks peace. My God does not rejoice in my pain or conflict. God does not sit with impunity, looking down and laughing at my stubbornness and rebellion. Peace was lost in creation with Lucifer. Peace was lost in the garden by Adam and Eve.
It my stubbornness and rebellion: my sin that destroys peace with God. It is my choice to go my own way. Further, it is my choice to relinquish and accept. It is my choice to have “the God of peace with” me.
Finding Peace August- day 241 of 365 Sunday, August 29, 2021
Romans 5:9-11 ”Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation”
Every person on this earth was born as an enemy of God. That sounds like crazy talk. What Paul is saying is that we are the ones in conflict with a peaceful God. God seeks peace. We do not. Paul goes on in his thoughts with a provision, a way for us to have peace. Jesus came as a person to a life of peace. And better yet this personhood of peace is offered to us. A provision of a path to that same peace.
Finding Peace August- day 242 of 365 Monday, August 30, 2021
Ephesians 6: 14-17 “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
I have never served in the military. I admire and pray for those who protect and serve. It is difficult to relate to the metaphor Paul was using here. Belts, breastplates, feet coverings, a shield, flaming arrows, helmets, swords are all about war. It is not politically correct to sing, “Onward Christians Soldiers, marching as to war”. Today’s church is one of inclusion, worship songs, integration with the community. The church is becoming so culturally aware that it suffers from the war makers. Where is the “Stand Firm”? Where is the armor? Where is the call to prepare for the culture war we are in. A war where truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, salvation, the Spirit, and the Word of God are the implements.
Readiness that comes with the Gospel of Peace. I pray for my fellow Christians who are ready for battle. To protect the peace.
Finding Peace August- day 243 of 365 Tuesday, August 31, 2021
John 14:26-27 “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Praise God! My sins are forgiven. I have declared to be at peace with God. God is at peace with me. Today I will experience the peace that is simply incomprehensible. I trust in a God that loves, cares, draws, forgives, restores, destroys fear, and limits trouble within my heat.
I live with peace within myself, I live in peace with one another, I live at peace with God.
We close August with a sweet peace only God can provide.