Greetings friends and family in Jesus Christ. As your servant leader it may seem I am always a type-A personality, being driven and driving you and those you serve for growth and success in your ministry in Jesus Christ, and rightly so I do. However, over the last few months I have not shared with you as much of the devotional experiences I have in my daily meditations. Therefore, I want to take a break from the agenda I promote and offer an ointment of God’s grace as only Jesus can provide.
With the pandemic setting new records of documented cases per day here in the United States of America and around the world, with the reported news full of racial tensions, political corruption, and tragedies affecting people everywhere, today I want to shift the focus to something every believer should have and should experience, The WORD of PEACE.
This devotional thought began early in the day when my meditations took me to these verses the Apostle Paul wrote to his disciple Timothy.
1 Timothy 6:6-8, KJV
6. But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
But the thoughts began to challenge me in how we can have “contentment”. Now, there is a way to be content with one’s circumstances aside from being a disciple of Jesus. However, the pinnacle of being content comes in the confidence of salvation in Jesus Christ. Ultimately, to be truly content one must have peace within them. You likely have seen these words on a “T”-shirt, bumper sticker, or coffee mug. They almost seem trite, but their meaning is so true. “No Jesus, No Peace. Know Jesus, Know Peace.”
Among many cultures over long periods of time there has been a common greeting between people and that greeting is “peace”. The Jews extended the greeting of peace (shalom) to those whom they knew and there was specific etiquette which was to be followed in how that greeting was to be given involving to whom, where, when, and how. We practice the same in the Church greeting one another with “Peace unto you” and “Go in peace”. That expression goes in the direction of the peace spoken of in this blog. It has similarities. But the PEACE of which we are speaking is so much more sublime. There is something unique about the peace of which we are currently drawing a focus. This peace is the peace of Jesus Christ, and you can have it.
“As we Focus On Jesus And Follow His Plan”, I want to turn your attention to a verse recorded by the Apostle John containing words Jesus spoke to them the night before his final anguish began.
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.
As cited in the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you — If John 14:25, John 14:26 sounded like a note of preparation for drawing the discourse to a close, this would sound like a farewell. But oh, how different from ordinary adieus! It is a parting word, but of richest import, the customary “peace” of a parting friend sublimed and transfigured. As “the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) He brought it into flesh, carried it about in His Own Person (“My peace”) died to make it ours, left it as the heritage of His disciples upon earth, implants and maintains it by His Spirit in their hearts. Many a legacy is “left” that is never “given” to the legatee; many a gift destined that never reaches its proper object. But Christ is the Executor of His own Testament; the peace He “leaves” He “gives”; Thus, all is secure.
not as the world giveth — in contrast with the world, He gives sincerely, substantially, eternally.”
Please draw your attention to the kind of “PEACE” Jesus is giving to his disciples. Jesus calls it, “MY PEACE.” You cannot give something to someone unless you first possess it yourself.
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges offers this insight, also. “[my peace I give unto you] ‘My’ is emphatic; this is no mere conventional wish. Compare to John 16:33, John 20:19; John 20:21; John 20:26. The form of expression, peace that is mine, is common in this Gospel. Compare to the joy that is mine (John 3:29, John 15:11, John 17:13); the judgment that is mine (John 5:30, John 8:16); the commandments that are mine (John 14:15); the love that is mine (John 15:10).
[not as the world giveth] It seems best to understand ‘as’ literally of the world’s manner of giving, not of its gifts, as if ‘as’ were equivalent to ‘what.’ The world gives from interested motives, because it has received or hopes to receive as much again (Luke 6:33-34); it gives to friends and withholds from enemies (Matthew 5:43); it gives what costs it nothing or what it cannot keep, as in the case of legacies; it pretends to give that which is not its own, especially when it says ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace (Jeremiah 6:14). The manner of Christ’s giving is the very opposite of this. He gives what is His own, what He might have kept, what has cost Him a life of suffering and a cruel death to bestow, what is open to friend and foe alike, who have nothing of their own to give in return.”
A person who is about to die usually writes a last will and testament in which he leaves his possessions to his loved ones. Here the Lord Jesus was doing that very thing. However, He did not bequeath material things but something that money could not buy—peace, inward peace of conscience that arises from a sense of pardoned sin and of reconciliation with God. Christ can give it because He purchased it with His own blood at Calvary. It is not given as the world gives—sparingly, selfishly, and for a short time. His gift of peace is forever. Why then should a Christian be troubled or afraid?
The Earl of Dundonald fought with his solitary ship a line of formidable forts in South America, whose fire proved so raking that his men could not be got to stand to their guns.
Calling his wife, he asked her to fire one of the guns, and show these men how to do their duty. She did so. Instantly they returned, burning with shame, to their posts, and soon the victory was theirs. The lady, in rehearsing the circumstance, said that the thing that was felt by her to be the most terrible, was not the din of battle, not the raking fire, but the awful calmness that sat fixed on her husband’s countenance, as it seemed to carry in itself the sure presage of victory. This we can all understand. Every moral nature feels that settled calmness in the face of dangers and deaths is the loftiest example of the sublime. Of this we have one peerless example in the man Christ Jesus, who, on the eve of His agony, utters these words. – The Bible Illustrator
John 1:1, KJV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The WORD, JESUS CHRIST, gave us from within himself, PEACE, the finished work of the gospel in his death, burial and resurrection (the gospel), another Comforter which is the Holy Spirit, a firm promise of his return, and finally good cheer, the gift he gives of HIS PEACE is not as the world gives with selfish motives, but is sincere, substantial, and eternal, PEACE without end, there is no need to be afraid. The suffering is but for a moment in time and peace reigns eternal.
Today, you and I have the WORD of PEACE. Rejoice and be glad in thanksgiving, even for the day of tribulation and sorrow, for within you who are in Christ Jesus, he has placed HIS PEACE. The PEACE you can share with one another. This PEACE dwells within in you and is nothing less than the PEACE OF JESUS CHRIST who has given it to you to own, to share with others, and to be comforted and not be afraid.
The LORD bless you and keep you,
The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you,
The LORD lift his countenance upon you and give you PEACE.