Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Peace And The Cross

Thriving spiritually, emotionally and physically are mine in Christ no matter what is going on around me. This is an inside job. The externals affect me, but they do not hold my peace as a Christian. Peace is tied to me taking up my cross daily...that means something precious to me will be crucified. There is a self sacrifice cost in pursuing peace. Jesus plainly told us in this passage what to expect in living the Christian thriving life: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me” (Mt. 16:24).

I must remember daily that the peace that Christ promised does not mean the absence of trials, suffering and persecution; but on the contrary a peace in the midst of them, for they occasion sacrifices through which love is expressed. One will never find the peace that Christ promised by running away from trials and hardships of life, but rather by bearing them in a spirit of faith, and trust and love.

I can give an impression of confidence to people who don't know me well. Those close to me know there are times when my knees knock together and my heart races rapidly. But all of us humans have our times and our issues. I am becoming convinced the recognizing and confession of these human frailties is the beginning of God working His power to overcoming these issues in Christ.

John Piper speaks on peace in regard to people running after their own desires instead of God's best, "The reason there are so many angry and hostile and militant people in the world, is because there aren't very many people who really believe that the living God is at work in every situation for the good of those who trust him. And yet the great prophet Isaiah said, "No eye has seen a God besides Thee, who works for those who wait for Thee" (Is. 64:4).

And Jesus said, "Don't be anxious; your Father knows your needs; seek first his Kingdom, and he'll give you what you really need" (Mt. 6:31-33).

Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers" (Mt. 5:9).

St. Paul said, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" (Rom. 12:18).

And the apostle Peter said, "Seek peace and pursue it" (1 Peter 3:11).

Over and over in the Bible God is called the "God of peace"" (Rom. 15:33; 16:20; Phil. 4:9; Heb. 13:20; 1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:16).

Jesus is called the "Prince of Peace" (Is. 9:6).

His message is called the "gospel of peace" (Acts 10:36; Eph. 6:15).

And in the new age, which he promises to bring, "justice and peace will kiss" each other (Psalm. 85:10).

After several weeks of spending all my spiritual devotional time on peace I come today to know the pursuit of peace:

  • Is tied to me taking up my cross daily

  • Can only be mine when I surrender to God's best

  • Is worth all cost of pain, submission and loss of "my stuff"

  • Is God's best for me and He will most assuredly give me peace if I believe in Him wholeheartedly

  • Can be mine no matter what is going on anywhere, anytime, by anyone

I love the one verse today, "Justice and Peace will Kiss each other!!!"

Ps 85:10


sailorcross said...

"Justice and peace will kiss each other"--Love this verse!!

So many times I feel that I may have been taken advantage of in situations in my life. Is the justice (really revenge) mine to seek?

No, it is not. It is for the Lord to seek revenge, and He will punish all those in the last days that have not sincerely sought His forgiveness.

You are right--the peace that Jesus speaks of is the peace that inside of us--despite what is going on around us.

I have a friend who recently went through treatment for breast cancer. She was certainly upset at first. Then she sought God's wisdom in this, giving all of this to Him. She remained peaceful and confident throughout her surgery and treatments--knowing that God was in control of the situation--no matter what the outcome.

Being a Christian does not mean the easy life--that everything will run smoothly from the moment we accept Christ until we die. It means that we have the ability to seek and pursue HIS peace in spite of the situation--in spite of what we have lost or are being asked to give up--

Peace--in spite of


Chatty Kelly said...

I've really been thinking about your "peace" posts alot! On one hand God's peace is the peace that passes understanding - the peace that says even though you "should" be upset by what's going on, you aren't because you have faith.

By the same token, I beleive that sometimes God does "disturb" us when he wants us to act - giving us a sense of discomfort until we do what he wants us to do.

Certainly following God doesn't mean that we'll always have peace by worldly standards, yet the peace comes from knowing that God is control in every situation.

Great writing as always, Kay.

© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.