Pleasure in Our Love for Him

Today’s reading is Psalm 147.

I have to admit I began reading this chapter in preparation on the Bible app on my phone while sitting at my niece Delaney’s graduation. There were 401 in her graduating class. I also have to admit that while I was very happy to be there and very proud of her..our last name starts with the letter B. So, she was announced very early on and then after what seem liked quite a while later, I said to my brother, ”Ugh…we are only in the D’s still!” Shortly thereafter I read Psalm 147. I was reminded again how different God is from me and the humans he created.

The Lord builds up Jerusalem;

He gathers the outcasts of

Israel.

He heals the brokenhearted

and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:2-3

Every single one of those graduates matter immensely to God. He created each one of them. He knows their story and every little and big thing about their past and their future. And most importantly, despite their past or future missteps or mistakes He loves them more than they can imagine…every single one of them. Jesus said in Matthews 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns and your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more of value than they?”

During creation, God said about each day that it was “good.” But, on the sixth day when He created us, he said in Genesis 1:31,”…behold, it was very good.”

The graduation recognized those for their accomplishments through notations in the program and attire worn such as medals, pins, and colorful stoles. And those students are deserving of that recognition for their hard work, but what is so unfathomable about God is that He loves all those graduates and us the same regardless. And what He takes pleasure more in than all their accomplishments is when they love Him.

His delight is not in the

Strength of the horse,

nor His pleasure in the legs of a

man,

but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,

in those who hope in his

steadfast love.

Psalm 147:10-11

As humans, we are attracted to those that have the best grades, best personality, are the most athletic, or the best looking, but that doesn’t matter to God. In fact, He may have taken the most pleasure in the boy or girl who graduated 401 out of 401 in the class because they love Him. It is so comforting throughout the Bible how we see how God uses the meek and the lowly and some of the worst sinners for His purpose. As Romans 11:33 says, His knowledge, wisdom, and ways are unsearchable. This should give us so much peace if we feel we have messed up or not had the worldly success we wanted or met the expectations others had, or we had for ourselves. All that matters to God is that we love Him. And if you are reading this and you haven’t loved Him yet, or at least not as much as you think you should, God tells us yet that’s ok in Romans 5:8, “but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He does not care about your past. God wants your heart, and He wants it now. And it’s never too late.

I am extremely proud of my niece Delaney. She was Homecoming Queen and has had success both in the classroom and on the lacrosse field. She is beautiful both inside and out. What I am most proud of though is the woman of faith she has become and her love for the Lord. I wish her all the success in the world. No doubt her future is bright. But, in the real world we know their will be challenges for her because well..that’s just life here on Earth. However, I have no doubt she is ready to face the future because she is strong in the Lord and has put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-11).

Do You Want to Be Healed?

Today’s reading is Psalm 126. Here the psalmist writes of successes or fortunes after challenging times.

Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.

Psalm 126:5-6

Have you had an opportunity to watch The Chosen series? If not, I highly recommend it. It is a multi-season series about Jesus available for download on your phone or tablet through the app store which you can project to your TV.  Although made for adults, our kids ages 8,5, and 3 love it as well. Season 2, Episode 4 came out a few weeks ago which was about John 5:1-17 where Jesus heals the man who had been a paralytic at the pool believed to heal the first one who could get into the water when it bubbled up for 38 years. This is my favorite story in the Bible for a couple reasons. First, probably because if I was born during that time I could be the paralytic because I would eventually be paralyzed due to spinal stenosis without modern medicine. Secondly, I believe these verses are packed with life lessons which I believe God is speaking through their interaction in these verses.

Jesus could obviously could have just healed the man, but what does he ask him first in John 5:6, “Do you WANT to be healed?” If you are going through challenges right now you are probably saying…”Chet..of course I do!” However, if we really go deeper..how many times do we find ourselves responding to our challenges like the paralytic in John 5:7, “Sir…I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I’m going down another steps down before me.” This is what my former business coach calls the trap of the viable excuse. We all have excuses which all have an element of truth in them. The problem with that is that when we give one excuse it can lead to another and another..all of which have an element of truth in them. However, will giving those excuses actually improve our situation in any way? We have to stop giving excuses and first truly want to be healed.

Next, Jesus says to the paralytic in John 5:8, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” The paralytic could have asked Jesus if Jesus was crazy and that he was paralyzed and had been there for 38 years. Get real…don’t you know my problem, Jesus? C’mon! But, what did the paralytic do? He had faith and believed that Jesus could and would heal him and he stood up and walked! God can heal us…but…we have do our part to have faith AND then take action. As my brother in Christ Brian McClure  says, “We have to be fully submitted AND committed to God’s calling for our life.” Another way to put it is faith AND action. If we look at Jesus’ miracles like this one, nearly all not only required faith, but a human element of us to do our part and take action in faith. God wants to see our faith and belief through action. Again…fully submitted to His plan for our life, whatever it is, AND committed to do our part as well..faith AND action.

Here are a few questions for you today..are you in a season of life where you are sowing in tears as the psalmist says and taking action? Keep sowing with faith. Or..do you need to do your part for God’s healing to take action in faith? What miracles can God do in your life if you are fully submitted AND committed where in God’s timing you can eventually “come home with shouts of joy, bringing sheaves..?”

And let us no grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Ephesians 3:20-21

Whom shall I fear?

The Lord is with me, I will not be afraid; what can anyone do to me? 7. It is the Lord who helps me, and I will see my enemies defeated.  8 It is better to trust in the Lord than depend on people. 9 It is better to trust in the Lord than depend on human leaders.

I’m not sure what you have planned today.  Maybe you’ve just had a chance to read this, and your day is coming to a close.  In either case, you, as I reflect on Psalm 118, I’m reminded that as we believe and trust in the Lord, it is quick to lose sight that no matter time of day or task at hand, our Heavenly Father is always on our side.  When you truly believe and trust Him as the center of your life, you can live without fear. How awesome it is to know right now we can live every moment without any worry when we live in obedience.

Often, my lack of trust and wisdom throughout years and even in recent moments have led me down many dead-end roads. Times of complete self-absorption that goes opposite of where the Lord is asking me to be. He takes me through hills and valleys that remind me of my desire and need to put more trust in Him for every aspect of my life. Along this journey that includes being a parent, He has led me to a daily prayer asking the Lord to have His will with my life and to help me to show His love for Him in my actions and words. More Him, less me!

I think of the father in Mark that was asking Jesus for help with his son. He says in Mark 9:24 Immediately, the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”  — Help me in any unbelieving time Lord. Or times where I think I have it figured out without your

The people-pleasing days and moments can come calling daily.  Pray, Listen, and take the next step. He is by our side!

Have a blessed day.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Hebrews 11:6

1 Corinthians 2:5

Always With You, Never Changing

Today’s reading is Psalm 102 with the title in my Bible reading, “A Prayer of One Afflicted When He is Faint and Pours Out His Complaint Before the Lord.”

This Psalm begins very sad with the psalmist saying the following…

Hear my prayer, O Lord;

let my cry come to you!

Psalm 102:1

For my days pass away like

smoke,

and my bones burn like a dry furnace.

My heart is struck down like

grass and has withered;

I forget to eat bread.

Psalm 102:3-4

If those verses don’t tell you enough about what a sad state the psalmist is in, read all of Psalm 102:1-11.

What gives you strength in tough times? What provides you comfort in challenging moments? Where does your sense stability come from even during “normal” times? Many may say it’s from a relationship with a spouse, a parent, son/daughter, or friend. This could be good for a period of time, but the reality is it won’t be permanent. We, as well as those we have relationships with, are human…meaning we and they are prone to sin so these relationships could weaken and even end, or they will end because we or they pass away. There is a saying out there about “having faith in people.” Those who know me well have said I tend to always try to find the best in people, and I do like that saying. However, if taken literally and too far…it will eventually leave us feeling let down, lonely, and sad if we rely on people alone.

The psalmist realizes and reminds himself and us there is only One who is truly ALWAYS there for us and will never let us down.

He regards the prayer of the

destitute

and also does not despise their

prayer.

Psalm 102:17

He says a few verses later…

Of old you laid the foundation of

the earth,

and the heavens are the work

of your hands.

They will perish, but you will remain:

they will all wear out like a

garment…

Psalm 102:25-26

And again in verse 27…

But you are the same, and your years have no end.

Psalm 102:27

We see public figures let us down and mess up. We hear about pastors who were not really men/women of God, and we even find out family members who we revered made mistakes because they are well..human like us. Only God will never let us down. Only He is perfect. Only He has always been and always will be there for us. You may be reading this and saying my life is not going as I planned and blaming God, but that’s not because of God..that’s because we live in a world filled with sin which was not in God’s original design. Despite all that’s happened to you, God has been there with you the whole time. He hears your groans, and He cares.

When Jesus called Nathanael to be a disciple in John 1:46, He says “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit.” When Nathanael asked Jesus how he knew Him Jesus says in John 1:47, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” When Nathanael hears this, he immediately calls rabbi or teacher. Some scholars believe Jesus comments hit Nathanael between the eyes because he may have been sitting under the tree not only by himself where only God could have seen him, but also possibly saddened about a recent event or misunderstanding  where he was incorrectly blamed for something and was crying out to God because He had done no wrong. Jesus comments that He not only saw Nathanael, but that He knew there was no deceit in him were not coincidental which is why Nathanael immediately knew He was the Messiah and called Him teacher.

What’s the point? Jesus was there with him. Jesus knew. Jesus cared. Jesus is with you. Jesus knows. Jesus cares. Lean on Jesus. He will always be there for you. The world and people change and will let you down. Jesus won’t..ever.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

Revelation 21:4

One Name

Today’s reading is Psalm 54.

In whom or in what do you trust? In whom or what do you put your faith and hope in?

Last year brought us arguably the most hyper partisan election in U.S. history with each side claiming the other would end democracy as we know if the other won. With the election result nearly a 50/50 split, half the country was really happy with the outcome and half the country was really disappointed.  Unfortunately, most who voted looked at their candidate to solve our country’s problems and also many to fix their own problems and to rescue them so to speak.

If you did not put your hope and trust in one of these leaders, or even if you did, we can likely find ourselves putting our hope or trust in other political figures, leaders, athletes, or celebrities. We can also find ourselves putting our hope and trust in our careers, money or belongings, or even our spouses, parents, or children looking to them to solve our problems. Sadly, most of us we form our identity or measure our self-worth based on our career, our money or belongings, or relationships. The problem is we end up finding out politicians do not solve all our problems, careers end unexpectedly or due to retirement, money does not bring happiness and can run out no matter the amount, and relationships can end due to death or falter no matter how good of a job we do to nourish them because we are all sinful humans who make mistakes. All these things are futile and end.

As I read Psalm 54, what kept coming to my mind was….one name.

“God save me by your name

and vindicate me by your might.”

Psalm 54:1

Life is short..even if we live 90 to 100 years. There is only one thing we should really fear and that is death. There is only one name that can save us from death and give us eternal life through His sacrifice on the cross. In only Him should we put our hope and trust.

“It is better to take refuge in the

Lord

than to trust in man.

It is better to take refuge in the

Lord

than to trust in princes.”

Psalm 118:8-9

Ross Blumhorst wrote in a Bible Journal post back in January, “God is always right, we never have to guess if He is right or wrong, and you that makes me rejoice-how thankful I am that there’s something in this crazy world I can always know to be true!” Wow..powerful words that are so true. Thank you, Ross. I posted this quote to my social media and my Mom reminded me of this great verse.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8

Thanks, Mom. How great it is to know this in our messed up world?!

Earlier I asked the questions, in whom or in what do you trust? In whom do you put your faith and hope in?

We should strive to constantly remember the words of David here in Psalm 54.

“Behold, God is my helper;

the Lord is the upholder of my

life. “
Psalm 54:4

“For He has delivered me from

every trouble…”

Psalm 54:7

Let us then respond as David does…

“..I will give thank to your

Name O Lord, for it is

good.”

Psalm 54:6

By only one name are we saved. Only one name should we call on and put our faith, hope, and trust in. By only one name should we form our identity. And only in one name should we give our thanks, glory, and praise. That name is Jesus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ypXUd_vGmI

 

 

Keeping It Real

Today’s reading Psalm 42.

I have to admit I struggled a little bit to understand exactly what the psalmist was saying here, as it seemed like he was contradicting himself. Come to find out after reading studying up a bit more, he is.

In fact, I bet as we read this more closely we can all greatly relate to the psalmist struggle.

In Psalm 42:3, he says…

My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”

In Psalm 42:5, he says…

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?….”

Again, in Psalm 42:9….

“Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”

Lastly, in Psalm 42:11…

Why are you cast down, O my soul, why are you in turmoil within me?

Can’t we all relate to complaining to God about our circumstances? There are times in our life, or even just certain areas of our life over longer periods (or even our whole life), where things just don’t seem to go our way. When we ask God, “Why?” We cry out to God, “Can’t one thing just go my way? Where are you when I need you? I’m doing everything I think you want, but I just can’t seem to catch a break! Are you still there, God? Do you really love and care about me?” And worse yet, sometimes you feel like there may be others that are happy about your challenges and problems as the psalmist describes in his situation (Psalm 42:3,10.)

Then, in his next breaths he seems to be praising God though…

Here in the 2nd part of Psalm 42:5…

“Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation, and my God.”

In the 2nd part of Psalm 42:11….

Hope in my God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

He talks about in Psalm 42:4 how he would lead the procession to praise God, and then in Psalm 42:6 he remembers past successes God has helped him. Do you remember Psalm 42:9 where he complains from above? Well, he actually calls God, “my rock” in 42:9 before doing so.

The psalmist is facing the struggle I believe nearly all of us face where we are going through tough times, yet we try to still praise God but our heart is just not in it sometimes they way it should be. When we try to say we know God is in control, and He’s got us…yet maybe we wonder or doubt. He’s trying talk himself into coming back to what He knows to be true. He’s trying to remind himself that God loves him. God has him and to trust Him. God is in control. And God has a plan and His will is perfect.

The psalmist is as some would say, ‘keeping it real,” with how many of us feel or have felt at times. Are you feeling this way right now? If so, I would encourage you to check out Romans 8. If you’re in a good spot in your walk with the Lord currently, put a bookmark in Romans 8 because you may want to come back to it in the future. I would love to unpack this more but that’s just too much for today, and I really think these few verses say all that really needs to be said anyway.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with graciously give us all things?

Romans 8:31-32

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?…

Romans 8:35

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who love us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39

The Advent Path for God’s People

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 40:1-5

40 Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.

3 A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord[a];
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.[b]
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Happy Tuesday Bible Journal family,

December 1st, 2020. Our last month of this very different year! Let’s continue our daily journey through Advent and the promises found in Isaiah that point to the celebration of the birth of our Lord.  In verses 1-2 written by Isaiah, it provides us a promise of hope and comfort in a time of unease. How are you feeling today?  Anything have you uneasy this morning? I know I could share a few things if you had time. But instead of letting these feelings grab hold of me and pull me under I can find some timely rest in the assurance of our Lord who promises hope, joy, peace, and comfort while already paying the price for all our sins. Romans 5:8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

In twenty-five days, we will celebrate the birth of our Lord through Christmas.  We can celebrate today and every day to come the victory has already been won through His life, death, and resurrection.  Our comfort can be found in the words spoken to Israel and us. He reminds us “comfort, comfort, my people“.

Isaiah 40:3-5 provides us with a visual and a reminder about preparing a way in our lives it’s the holiday season to focus on the greatness of our Lord.  We are not alone right now or ever.  Does it feel like you are metaphorically walking around a desert (even though today’s weather by me would feel like a tundra), are you in a valley seeking to try to peek over a horizon? Possibly you are standing on the top of a mountain now wondering how will I ever get down? Or maybe just this year has felt like you have been traveling down a rough path.  Take a deep breath.  Take time to read through these promises we are finding every day in His words.  Promises that say that even in 2020 God has us.  That we have traveled some roads during this time and made many mistakes.  This advent can be a reminder that Jesus came to this world born in human form to live a life for an example of us, but also died for us to live and one day be again with Him in His presence.  This advent more than ever before can provide hope and comfort that our Lord is right by your side every on every rough path, valley, or mountain saying prepare the way. I’m coming back one day for you! What obstacles are standing in your way? Don’t try to face them with our own pride.  As children of God, we must prepare a way for Him.  What an opportunity we have to show others our love, hope, and trust in Him this advent season.  Proclaim the coming of our Lord this start of advent! Have a blessed day.

Dear Lord,

We are all in need of comfort. We know that our only true comfort comes from you. As we live out each day in this Advent season help us to recognize and praise you for the love and sacrifice you made for us.  We love you and pray for us each to draw closer to you and the comfort of your love for us.  Amen

Enjoy this song on this brisk morning.

A Living Stone

What goes into building a strong structure? Time, energy, and a strong cornerstone. Together as the Church, we are all one strong structure that is supposed to uphold our faith with Jesus as our cornerstone. That means that we must see ourselves each individually as small building blocks.

As a stone to uphold a structure, how are we able to be good enough to work together as the church and have Christ as our cornerstone?

It may come to a surprise to some of us, but we are not perfect. Our Heavenly Father made us in His image, but sin has made us broken. When we are born into this world, we are made to be broken because of sin. How do we overcome sin and be in a relationship with Christ? We can’t, we can only believe in what God has done for us to be saved.

It is by faith alone through Jesus Christ that we come to know true salvation and the presence of the Holy Spirit. As we come to a relationship with Christ, He calls us to believe in Him. That means to believe that we are made broken and in need of a Savior. Jesus is that Savior, fully God and man. He is eternal with the Father and Holy Spirit. Because God loves us and wants to be in relationship with us, He brought His Son down to Earth to preach the “good news” and to become an eternal sacrifice for all. Therefore, Jesus came to Earth as a baby, died on the cross as a man, and was resurrected to give us eternal life.

When we believe in this, there is a change in all of us. We see lives to start changing and go toward the Word of Jesus. In 1 Peter 2:4-5, Peter says, As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”. We come to Jesus broken and with a past. None of us are perfect or are called to be perfect when you come to a relationship with Jesus. We need a Savior and He wants us to be with Him.

Jesus makes us into living stones, building blocks, that will be rejected by others, but will make us into one whole structure. This structure is a royal priesthood that is in a relationship with Jesus. This structure is constantly growing and will continue to do so. The Church is unlike other structures or buildings, it will continue to transform each and every day. It will add more building blocks and become more refined, but always have a perfect cornerstone that allows the structure to never fall.

As the Chruch, let us grow more towards living like a royal priesthood and sharing the good news of the Gospel. Never forget that God’s grace is a blessing and gift towards us, that is worth sharing with everyone!

My Song

“The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.”

Psalm 118:14

Even though most of our family does not have much musical talent, with the exception of my mom, uncle, and late grandmother, for as long as I can remember music has been a big part of our lives. While riding in the back of my parents’ car at a very young age, my Dad would quiz me on what the name of oldies songs were and who sang them when they came on the radio. I even had to know the back story of the song or band. For example, not only who sang “For What It’s Worth” (no…the name of the song is not…..’Stop..hey…what’s that sound’) which is Buffalo Springfield..but my dad would ask, “Where did the band get their name?” To which I would reply, “Off the side of a steamroller..” and roll my eyes. I remember one time in high school biology our substitute teacher was doing random trivia questions when he asked, “Who sang the one hit wonder from the 60’s called ’96 Tears’?” To which I shouted out from the back, “Question Mark and the Mysterians!” He was in awe and said never ever in of all his years of substitute teaching had anyone answered that one correctly. Well…not only was knowing the name and artists of songs a big deal in our family anyway, but that one just happens to be my Dad’s favorite song. In fact..as soon as he started out with “Who sang this one hit wonder from the 60’s….” I had feeling he was going to ask that song before he even finished his sentence. I love music so much I often say it’s good that God didn’t give me even one ounce of musical talent because if He did I would probably be traveling the US trying to make it as an artist with little to no chance of doing so.

Up until about 10 years ago when we started going to a church that played contemporary music, Christian music unfortunately was not a part of my life though. I thought of Christian music as being something with an organ which I was not into and just didn’t connect with so to speak. Then, I began to really get into contemporary Christian music and sing along just like I did with my favorite rock or country songs. Who knew that Christian music and singing about God and His love for us can be “cool” and fun, too? Now, it’s about all I listen to. I don’t think it’s a coincidence with music being such a big connection in my life that I would also say that’s when I started to connect with God more, too.

Have you ever noticed how impactful music in general and often times a specific song is to people’s lives? We often crank up our favorite song after a great day or week or connect with a certain song to help us get through tough times as well. How about the joy of watching a very young baby or child move and dance to music? If that doesn’t bring a smile your face, I’m not sure what will. It seems as though God has wired us from birth to connect with music. He’s also wired us to seek a connection and relationship with Him. Our words to describe Him today from Psalm 118:14 reference earlier is “my song.”

Can you imagine life without music? I don’t know about you, but I feel it would be pretty boring and just downright depressing. That’s what a life without a connection and relationship with God is like..empty. He is our song….our joy…our happiness…despite whatever is going on in our lives.

The following verse in Psalm 118:15 says, “Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous…” None of us are righteous and without sin…but through His blood and faith in Him we are. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God.” When we have faith and a relationship with Him, we are righteous and it changes us. Knowing we are free from sin through His sacrifice brings us true and everlasting joy. The song that plays in the “tents” of our heart is Him and His salvation as Psalm 118:15 says.

Today, I would encourage you to read the rest of Psalm 118 and embrace how it describes that “His steadfast love endures forever…” Psalm 118:6 also reminds us, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” If you’re going through a rough time, try connecting with Him and making Him your song and joy.

Maybe you haven’t gotten into Christian music yet, but love country. Here’s a new one from Chris Tomlin featuring Florida George Line and Thomas Rhett you may not have heard yet to get you started. Or maybe you’re already into Christian music. Either way, I hope that any time we all hear it now it will be a reminder that He is our “song.”

 

Our Peace

Our world has changed over the past few months. Currently, we are dealing with social and racial issues that are splitting the country apart. COVID-19 has changed the economic, physical, and emotional tides of the country. Each day, in the United States, we hear on the news about everything that is going wrong in the world around us.

Many of our families live in fear and dismay over the COVID-19 pandemic and all the other concerns going on. Each one of us is shaken and made to rely on something in their lives for hope and peace.

During all the uncertainty, I keep listening to Christians and Non-Christians’ uncertainty of what the future could be. Each one of us depends on some type of faith. I believe that during all this time, that Christians should portray a peace that passes understanding.

Ephesians 2:14 is our verse today. It says, “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility”. Paul is speaking to the Ephesian church and is addressing the disagreements within the church. He addresses this issue by saying that, Jesus is our only true peace, and He is the only thing that can solve all their issues going on. Also, in Christ Jesus, we are made brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, as brothers and sisters, we must represent the sacrifice that Christ has made for us and rally together around that.

How does this disagreement that the church in Ephesians helps us understand peace?

Dictionary.com defines peace as “a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations:”. As stated above, we can see that we are far from peace in this country and world. There is only one way to obtain true peace, by putting your hope and faith in Christ Jesus for your salvation. Jesus says in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you that in me you have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world”. Our peace is found in Jesus!

Each day we fight, disagree, backstab, and worry all out of the fear of the future. We are looking for some type of utopian society. Because of sin, that isn’t possible, but with Christ, we do have a peace that will surpass all understanding. See Jesus paid for our sin on a cross to provide us the peace in our hearts that we yearn for. The peace that Jesus provides, is the understanding that we have a Savior and God, who loves us so much that the Father sacrificed the Son to pay for all the sin in our lives so that we can live with Christ in eternity.

In the current season of life that we are all living, Christians need to unify under one banner, the cross of Jesus Christ. I encourage each of you to keep your hope in Jesus Christ. Life isn’t easy and there will always be some amount of uncertainty. However, when we are able to band together as believers, we gifted with the Holy Spirit that strengthens us. In Galatians 3:28, Paul says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” There is no distinction that Jesus makes.

Our peace is stronger together as Christians. I encourage you, now is the time to reach out to Christians and Non-Christians, that you know you disagree with on topics. Pray with them, share the Gospel with non-Christians and Christians alike, share a meal together, and overall be together and unify under Christ Jesus, who provides a peace that passes all understanding.