Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is Peace Free?

                                                                     "A Franciscan prayer"
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: Where there is hatred, let me sow love, Where there is injury, pardon, Where there is doubt, faith, Where there is despair, hope, Where there is darkness, light, Where there is sadness, joy.  
..............For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is dying that we are born to eternal life.

Barriers Broken-
The classical Greek word "eerie" means " peace", and its root meaning is the breaking-down of barriers.
The Hebrew word "shalom" means... " to bring completeness" or " to make whole". When you have peace- you are open to others and your surroundings, and most important you live a life of joy.. a joy with God!
While on earth, Jesus proclaimed and demonstrated the peace of the Kingdom of God. As he preached, healed, gave love- he revealed and lived out the peace of God's reign.
In offering himself on the Cross as a sacrifice for us, he broke the barriers, between us and God- with these barriers broken- we were given to right to claim " PEACE".

Peace is-
A Gift.................... Peace is not a thing to be struggled for, or a state for which we strive. Peace is a gift from God. Peace comes as a natural gift from a way of  a life submitted to God.
ll  Thessalonians 3:16-
" Now may the Lord of peace himself give you Peace at ALL times and in EVERY way. The Lord be with all of you."
The Christian has no guarantee of a life removed from conflict and strife.  The Christian may find that discipleship of necessity involves struggle and opposition- Matthew 5:10 says.... " Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven".
Peace of a Christian continues,,,, even in the midst of strife, a peace, " not as the world gives." In the midst of trouble- the Christian finds God- cries out to God- and HIS peace will come to you!!!!!

The bible makes it very clear... that Peace is the mark of a Christian.
Hebrews 12:14-
"Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord...."
Romans 12:18
" If it is possible, as  much as depends on you, live peaceably with ALL men. "

regardless of how others treat us, we are to have peaceful relationships with others. In the beatitudes, Jesus- the Prince of Peace- says:  "those who are peacemakers- will be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9

Philippians 2:3
" Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself."
James 3: 17-18
"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."

The opposite of conceit and selfishness is humility. Humility is necessary to properly deal with people- difficult ones..... We want others to be patient with our shortcomings, so.... guess what?  yep... we should be patient and understanding of others shortcomings. When we strive for peace- to make peace- we are exercising humility.
When Christ says for us to go two miles with someone- when they ask us to go one- he is saying that we need to do whatever it takes to have peace!!!!

This is huge-------- Instead of letting a problem continue to escalate, we need to immediately make peace. Addressing the problem early- may prevent bigger problems later.

" A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" Proverbs 15:1

     I have found so many scriptures about peace, obtaining peace, outcomes from peace, spreading peace! Wow... when you are open to HEAR what God is saying through is word- you receive it- you receive peace.
I recently had a situation at work- an argument with a co-worker.  Of course both of us thought they were right. I, being a christian, should have made peace right away, but this time.. I was right so I was not going to give in.  Guess where that got me? No where    Actually I went backwards. I was angry, and when you are angry- you can not hear from God. This.. "Not Speaking to each other" last a couple of weeks. I was spiritually drained. I need God. So the Holy Spirit intervened and allowed me to feel humility again. I made peace with this person... I said, the dreaded words, " I'm Sorry". When I look back now, I could have done things different- If I would stay in God's word and talk with him more- I would not get to the point where I am drained- where I am angry.

Following God's law is the key to peace. When we live by God's ways, we learn the way to peace.
So to answer the question is Peace Free?
Jesus paid the price for us! All we have to do is receive and believe.
It is that simple.
Father make me an instrument- an instrument of peace!

"Perfect Peace" by Laura Story