Greetings and Peace

Greetings and Peace

Circumstances in 2020 have caused us to move into an arena, we have never lived before.  This is not the worst of circumstances, and they seem to come with a special blessing, to be sure.  But, we are indeed in the storm.  However, we are not dismayed, anxious, or frightened, even though we know some of us may suffer or even die by the complications of COVID-19, by the grace of God, the One who can calm the storm is with us and gives us his peace.  He never leaves us nor forsakes us.

John 14:27, NIV

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. 

John 16:33, NIV

“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.”

If you have been reading the daily posts, you know for about a month we have focused on leaders and leadership, concluding with several reference books.  While there are numerous other good books to refer for leaders to develop their leadership, I want to stop with the short list provided in previous posts.

In this post, I just want to greet you, tell you I love you with the love of the Lord Jesus Christ as he works through me, and I do indeed want to see you excel for Jesus Christ beyond anything others might expect of you.  You may question my godly love for you, seeing I may not know everyone who reads these posts.  But the commandment is that I love my fellow man, saint or sinner.  It is my sincere desire to see you following Jesus Christ and leading others in the Way.  My love is genuine.

It is always my intent to stimulate you to higher levels of maturity and productivity in the Lord Jesus Christ.  I want to share with you two texts among many I enjoy reading that seem to be saying something different.  But of course, they do not say something different.  It is a matter of stating the point the Apostle Paul is making to his audience.  It is a fitting challenge to not proof text points of doctrine but rather rightly handle the whole Word of Truth.  Let it serve as a transition from the leadership posts to something perhaps either pastoral or unity of fellowship or being ambassadors of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of heaven.  Be a follower of me as I am of the Apostle Paul and of Christ and as others follow you in the same manner.

The Apostle Paul tells Timothy he knows he will receive a crown of righteousness, and he writes to the Philippians to let them know he is still pressing onward because he has not yet attained.  You can do the exegesis of the texts.  Let them both encourage you equally with both hope and a strong commitment to never falter.

2Timothy 4:1-8, NIV

  1. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 

  2. Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. 

  3. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 

  4. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 

  5. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 

  6. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 

  7. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

  8. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Philippians 3:1-21, NIV

  1. Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 

  2. Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 

  3. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—

  4. though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 

  5. circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 

  6. as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. 

  7. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 

  8. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 

  9. and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 

  10. I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 

  11. and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. 

  12. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 

  13. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 

  14. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 

  15. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 

  16. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 

  17. Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 

  18. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 

  19. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 

  20. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 

  21. who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Philippians 3:10-11, is my Local Church Pastor’s, Lamar Ford’s, favorite verse, or at least among them.

Know who you are, friends.  Keep these words in mind, please.

Ephesians 2:1-22, KJV

  1. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 

  2. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 

  3. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 

  4. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 

  5. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 

  6. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 

  7. That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 

  8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 

  9. Not of works, lest any man should boast. 

  10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 

  11. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 

  12. That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 

  13. But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 

  14. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 

  15. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 

  16. And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 

  17. And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 

  18. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 

  19. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 

  20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; 

  21. In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 

  22. In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.  

I become overjoyed reading such texts as this one.  Read the concluding sentence again if you wish.  Know who you are in Christ Jesus.

Greetings and peace, dear friends.

The LORD bless you and keep you,

The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you,

The LORD lifts his countenance upon you and gives you peace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *