I Give You Peace.

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In the night, I was thanking God for the wonderful blessing of peace.   This is not something to be expected from the world or our personal circumstances.  It is a wonderful kindness of God to gift us with this blessing.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.   John 14:27

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.   John 16:33

This peace comes to us as we open ourselves consciously to it, looking not to our own resources to face our circumstances, but to our loving, all-powerful Father God.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.    Philippians 4:6-7

Thou dost keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusts in Thee.   Isaiah 26:3

This peace springs from the assurance that our Creator who loves us also forgives us, no longer held off from us by our habitual sin, and that He will certainly take care of lesser things, like the details of our lives, just as He has accomplished our reconciliation.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.          Romans 5:1

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?       Romans 8:32

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Who Do We Reflect to People?

Moses' Face

Moses had a very close relationship with God during his wilderness service.  80-120 years old during this stressful time, he had learned dependence on God.  Speaking to God often in the Tent of Meeting as a friend (Exodus 33:11), it might be assumed he received regular instructions from Him as to His plans for the people.  (May we also pray for such direct and clear guidance for our personal service!).  He was then invited to come up again onto Mt. Sinai to see God and to receive a new, replacement copy of the 10 Commandments.  After 40 days with God, Moses descended to his flock, his face shining brightly from contact with the Living God.  (Exodus 34:29)  Applying in his day this same historical image, Paul later said, “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory (“with ever-increasing glory” NIV), just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”  NASB

Perhaps this glorious reflection of the presence of God was the answer to Moses’ prayer in 33:16, “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Thy sight, I and Thy people?  Is it not by Thy going with us, so that we, I and Thy people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”  The time we spend in awestruck worship of God, learning to earnestly desire only His will, will change us.  It will be an attractive thing that can draw them to seek and to worship God.

An example of this effect in two of Jesus’ disciples:  “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and  began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.”  Acts 4:13

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  Matt. 5:16

We are the light of the world, not to be hidden under a bushel.

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Does Our Light Shine?

lighthouse

The Lord gave Moses and the people careful instructions as to how the 7-pronged menorah should be crafted.  (Exodus 25:31-40)  This is the lampstand that gave light to the otherwise dark, interior of the Holy Place in the Tabernacle.  It is the centerpiece of the miracle of Hanukkah, where, by tradition, oil never ran out during the rededication of the Temple in the Maccabean revolt in 166 B.C., despite an impossible scarcity.  It is also thought that this lampstand might have represented God’s intended purpose that Israel should be a light to the gentiles (Isa. 60:1-3  “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.  For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the people, but the Lord will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you.  And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”  God would make them to be this light to the gentiles through His sending of the Messiah to them.

Isaiah 9:1-2  “But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish . . . The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.”

Jesus Messiah is life and the light of men.  “And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it. . . There was the True Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.”   John 1:4, 5, 9

Does God give us the same charge that He issued to Paul?   “. . . to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”        Acts 26:17

Lord, enlighten us, bring healing light to the darkest corners of our lives, so that we can shine into the darkness around us, bringing healing, light, peace, and joy to the distressed, distracted world around us.

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Powerless and dependent

Half Dome at Sunset

It is a periodic revelation to me that I cannot obey God in my own power.  My white-knuckling attempts at being godly in my own strength do not please Him.  I need to repeatedly learn the lesson that I must acknowledge my own powerlessness to obey (as in 2 Chronicles 20:12), then plead with Him to do in me what I cannot do on my own (Galatians 2:20), and cling to Him as though my life depended on it (Deuteronomy 13:4).  Then watch with humility,  satisfaction, wonder, and worship, as His Spirit works out His will in me.  Like a Hand-in-glove.

“For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”     2 Chronicles 20:12

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”        Galatians 2:20

“You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.”    Deuteronomy 13:4

 

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Who is Grateful?

Richard is grateful for the Faithful Shepherd who has patiently led him along in a very happy and fulfilling life.  Discovering a relationship with God, he has moved from a life characterized by worried performance to one of grateful resting.

He is a retired physician who has lived in Indiana and Texas, the married father of two adult men and four Montana grandchildren.  Scripture memory and meditation upon it have changed his life, and he wishes to add value to the lives of others through his writing.

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Humility

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“Now Jesus started on His way with them; and when He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof; for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”   Luke 7:6-7 NASB

The Roman Centurion whose slave was sick had a very high view of Jesus and the Jewish nation.  Accordingly, he did not feel “fit” or “worthy” of Jesus’ attention and favorites.  This humility Jesus found very attractive, quite rare among Israel, He marveled.

Lord, give me this kind of humility, this fear of You that puts my sinful state in the proper perspective.

“But to this one I will look,
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”  Isa. 66:2 

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”       Proverbs 9:10

“If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;”    1 Peter 1:17

 

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