Now let me say at the outset of this series on Seeking the Peace of Christ that I passionately believe that you and I can have personal peace with God through Christ. Time and again the rest of the New Testament echoes his high regard for peacemaking: Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification (Rom 14:19; NIV). It could be that the most effective way for us to minister to the souls of our neighbors is to pray for everyone, including our neighbors, our leaders, and all who are in authority. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace” (Col 3:15). The Bible uses "peace" in two ways. Second, we bring God’s peace to the world by holding up the cross of Christ as an example to emulated. I do not give to you as the world gives. Perhaps these four “first of all” habits of prayer will help: Prayer is by definition an invitation for human beings to turn our attention to God. What an astounding reality! His peace would address the root cause of human suffering. I can’t begin to resolve these complex issues here. Early in his 79th year, however, his health began to falter. taking the form of a slave, How can you be a peacemaker in your church? We start with some peace-building actions one can take among neighbors, then consider what one can do to strengthen school programs and workplace initiatives, and lastly suggest ways to support policies that promote peace in your broader community. In September 1938, the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, in partnership with French leaders, began negotiations with Hitler. If you are going to make peace within your church, you must “make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit” (Eph 4:3). As Christians we should promote peace instead of conflict, remembering that by our own actions, complete peace will never be achieved because of the fallen state of man. Then, turning his eyes to Czechoslovakia, Hitler and his generals drew up a plan to take over that sovereign nation as well. What a marvelous promise! to the glory of God the Father. This is what Christian … The Bible tells us, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” (Colossians 3:15). May the Lord of peace himself always give you peace no matter what happens. Wherever there is conflict, whether inside individual hearts, or within families, or among brothers and sisters in church, or between different ethnic groups, or even between warring nations, Christ “wages peace” as his disciples wield the paradoxical power of the cross. Now I don’t mean to suggest that you rush unthinkingly into some long-term commitment. Did it model and proclaim the peace of Christ? Phone: (202) 547-8105 But patience is necessarily for all the little things others do that aren’t sinful, but just bothersome. Seeking the Peace of Christ: Christianity and Peacemaking, Thanksgiving: Not Just a Day, But a Season, The Colors of the Christian Year – Part of Series: Introduction to the Christian Year. More, 901 Commerce Street, Suite 550 Others found the strength to stay away from risky involvement with gangs. Thus, we who profess the cross of Christ must live cross-shaped lives if we seek to extend the peace of Christ into the world. The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he was to avoid completely (Gen 2:16-17). Peace is one aspect of that which the Spirit produces in our lives (Gal 5:22). In biblical perspective, therefore, the absence of conflict is only the bare beginning of peace. I grew up focusing on Christ’s provision of peace with God, within my own soul, and with my closest companions. Thank you. They are shaped by our human experience, our family background, and our religious convictions. Husbands and wives have substituted nice-making for genuine peacemaking, thus storing up bitterness against one another. Yet she continued to live actively, especially in her song writing ministry. Notice, too, that peace among people is not limited to a few close relationships. I know lots of people who would readily agree: the mom with young children who cherishes those rare moments when her kids are asleep and the house is quiet; the harried manager who takes an extra minute in the stillness of his car just to calm his soul after work; the high school student whose jammed schedule allows no time for sleep. Cry out to him for help. I’ve seen children forgive a father for his years of alcoholic abuse. Like a river glorious, Is God’s perfect peace, Over all victorious, In its bright increase; Perfect, yet it floweth, Fuller ev’ry day; Perfect, yet it groweth, Deeper all the way. Forgiveness doesn’t turn us into human doormats, and it doesn’t take away the need for wrongdoers to confess and repent. Spend time with him on a regular basis. He is perfectly holy, and he is unlimited in love, power, and wisdom. Until He comes to renew the world and bring true peace, world peace will remain little more than a dream. Revisited, The Mission of God and the Missional Church, The Piazza del Popolo in Rome and Its Augustan Obelisk, The Seven Last Words of Christ: Reflections for Holy Week, The Stations of the Cross: A Devotional Guide for Lent and Holy Week, Was Jesus Married? (Psa 29:11). The Church of Jesus Christ is indeed a mighty fortress, against which the gates of Hell cannot prevail. But that is not the end of the peace-making. For others, Christian values required that we free the South Vietnamese from the domination of communism. But, you and I are called to be peacemakers within our churches, to preserve the unity and seek the wholeness of Christian community. All those who take up the sword will perish by the sword." Notice that we are to live peaceably with “everyone,” those inside the church and outside of the church, those in our families and those at our workplace, the servers who wait on our tables with extra consideration and the “stupid idiots” who cut us off in the parking lot. Invest yourself in doing that which God obviously favors, without spending all your time debating the difficult issues and doing nothing tangible. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah, for example, had a vision of divine peace conquering the whole world: In the last days, the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem will become the most important place on earth. Don’t ever brandish the “I might leave” threat unless you’re facing a major issue of intractable heresy or unrepentance. There creation is pictured as a garden both beautiful to the eyes and filled with delicious food (Gen 2:8-9). And the sea was also gone. Those views, however, do not emerge in a vacuum. But all too often well-intentioned people think about all the good they could do in the world without lifting a finger to make a real difference. By Ven. (2 Thess 3:16). The Lord will settle international disputes. Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace. Christianity is the religion of the people who follow Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord who, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, is the Triune God. And then when Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he pointed out the hypocrisy of some religious leaders who used prayer and fasting as an opportunity to promote themselves. Through Ezekiel, the Lord looked forward to such restoration for his people: And I will make a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting covenant. Today I’ll offer two additional aspects of peacemaking in the world. In my experience in a mainline denomination, so-called peacemaking often goes hand in hand with vigorous, partisan criticism of the United States. This, it seems to me, misses the essence of truly Christian peacemaking. They taught young people academic skills and they taught them about Jesus. Our faith remains in God and Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Their ministry was multi-faceted. I realize that this way of thinking about people and God will seem strange to most of us. Where you see the beginning of division, snuff it out. Knowing peace each day is, therefore, a blessing from God: The Lord gives his people strength. We share life with our Christian brothers and sisters, sometimes loving each other as Christ has loved us and sometimes clobbering each other like a bunch of squabbling siblings. So far in this series I’ve shown how God intended his creation to be full of peace. Obviously, I have not yet confronted the imminence of my death. My experience with Tim illustrates that genuine forgiveness not only preserves peace, but also makes it better. After affirming my ministry and reassuring me of God’s call to be pastor of the church, he would tell me what was bugging him. I also believe that one result of this peace is deep, inner tranquility and a sense of well-being, the of God “which surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7). Their question – and perhaps your question as well – gets right to the point: How can I really know divine peace each day? Right? While not denying the central importance of peace with God or the blessings of inner peace, Tom spoke passionately of the broad dimensions of biblical peace. This word is usually translated as “righteousness,” referring not only to doing morally correct deeds, but also to living rightly in relationship with others. God’s people have looked forward to this time for centuries. Washington, DC 20002 As a result, the leadership of our church was stronger. Yesterday, I suggested that we make peace in the world, first of all, by announcing the peacemaking work of Christ on the cross. This Servant suffers, not because of his own sins, but so that we might be forgiven for our sins. When it comes to the matter of Christianity, peace, and peacemaking, we encounter several perplexing problems. I vividly remember lying awake one night, envisioning the worst case scenario for my family. What kinds of peace can we expect to experience through believing in Jesus? Though we face the pain of this world head on, we don’t surrender to it. My dad lost his job and remained out of work for many months. City Dwellers is not alone among Christian ministries in its “whole gospel” approach to ministry. His Eminence, Francis Cardinal Arinze has urged Christians to always be at peace with one another. TRUE Christianity promotes peace. Fax: (615) 242-0065, 505 Second St., N.E. Quite the contrary. His doctor, who regularly visited his bedside during the last days, described Wesley’s attitude in the face of death: He possessed that state of mind which he had been always pleased to see in others — unaffected humility, and holy resignation to the will of God. Top Answer. If possible, so far as it depends on … So far in this series I’ve shown that God created this world with the intention that it be full of peace. . But human sin twisted God’s creation, so that brokenness now pervades that which God had intended to be so peaceful. (Phil 4:6-7). The Old Testament conception of peace is closely related to the New Testament notion of fellowship. It flourishes to this day, now as part of, City Dwellers was, in part, a response to God’s word through Jeremiah:”But seek the peace [, Members of the City Dwellers team moved into one of the neighborhoods in the city of Hollywood, a barrio of filled primarily with lower class immigrant families. Jesus promised to give his followers supernatural peace: I’m leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. If two church members are stuck in disagreement, help them to understand each other. peace. Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blessed; Finding, as he promised, Perfect peace and rest. For example, in 1961 President John F. Kennedy signed the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, which expanded the federal government’s ability to issue farm loans. I believe it is peace in our time.” Of course we know the rest of the story. What To Do If Someone Sins Against You: The Teaching of Jesus,, his commentary on this New Testament book. In the Old Testament God promised to mend that which had been lost in the Fall by reinstituting peace on earth. God will not obliterate his creation, but renew it to match his original intention. When we receive the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice through faith, we can have peace with God: “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us” (Rom 5:1). In my book, After “I Believe,” I showed that the New Testament Greek word for fellowship, koinonia, might better be translated as “intimate fellowship.” When we have peace with God, we live in intimate fellowship with him. They sought justice for people whose ignorance of American society and the English language made them easy targets for oppressors. When Christians seek justice for the oppressed, or when World Vision mobilizes the church to care for victims of famine, or when churches in a community get together to build a house with Habitat for Humanity, you catch a glimpse of the peace that lies ahead. As I grow in Christ, I’m learning to live my faith at home first and foremost, not last and least. Hence, Islam was regarded as the ‘paths to peace,’ (5:16), since submission to Allah was an essential belief. Christians have held diverse views towards violence and non-violence through time. May the Lord of peace himself always give you peace no matter what happens. What did they sing? Many in our world today confront life-threatening violence in their communities. He came to bring peace, not only between God and people, but also among people. Peace is such a precious jewel that I would give anything for it but truth. Christianity can promote peace quite simply. And we do that most powerfully through “first of all” praying—the kind of praying that cares for souls, seeks the peace of our communities and our nation, and makes room for the gospel to take root in the hearts of the neighbors across the street and around the world. They shepherded children and encouraged parents. The great hymn writer Charles Wesley, who wrote such beloved songs as “Hark! It transforms the relationship between Jews and Gentiles. What a joyful sight at Jay’s wedding, where several of these young men were dressed up in their tuxedos, truly Jay’s brothers in Christ. I have seen Paradise . Ask God for the grace to set your mind upon Him, and you will come to know his peace. It’s crucial that we pay attention to what Paul is teaching here because sometimes we get so excited about the personal relevance of the cross that we neglect its corporate implications. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. In Jack’s woodshed there weren’t any switches, just abundant peace and lots of wisdom. Don’t begin with breathing exercises or soothing rationalizations. How did this terrible thing happen? God’s grace enables us to forgive, genuinely and fully, what we could never do on our own. It impacts races, ethnicities, and even nations. But he never even tried to do it. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple . Throughout my years as a pastor, I have witnessed deeply moving examples of forgiveness in families. Jesus’ statement about strife and division should warn us not to equate the absence of conflict with true peace. Many advocates of social causes, including many Christians, do not ground their efforts in God’s Word. No kidding!). But there’s a tremendous difference between the relationship of Christianity to the K.K.K. He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. The sow seeds of division by their selfishness. 2. It’s not that we are wrong in what we believe about God’s peace, but that we believe far too little. Frequently, they shatter because members seek their own good, rather than the benefit of the community as a whole. The Lord blesses them with peace. In desperation I cried out to God for help. When Jack and I finished our meetings, I always felt encouraged. There are families, for example, which appear to be peaceful only because the head of the household is a tyrant who uses emotional and sometimes physical violence to institute order. Now in our present political environment as divisions widen on over public policy, as bickering has become a national past time, and as anger is often the currency of public debate, it could be that the most effective way for us to minister to the souls of our neighbors is to pray for everyone, including our neighbors, our leaders, and all who are in authority. Frances Havergal lived in the mid-19th century. Peacemaking is not just something that happens “out there.” It begins in our closest relationships, in our homes and marriages, in our families and friendships. They comforted mothers whose children were shot in drive-by shootings. They did this conscientiously, believing that their efforts would further the cause of peace in the world. The Bible tells us that God hears the humble cries of his people; that God forgives and restores sinful, broken, wayward people; and that God turns weeping into laughter. The word "peace" in the Bible, from the Greek word (eireinei), refers to a mental attitude of tranquillity based on a relationship with God in the Christian Way of Life.It is a word which describes the result of a person's correct response to God's Grace. With a similar picture in mind, the Psalmist looks forward to a time with God’s salvation pervades the nation. Working with Neighbors. A Careful Look at the Real Evidence, What is Advent? This theme appears throughout the Scripture. Was it social action? The inner peace given by God isn’t like the peace provided by the world, according to Jesus (John 14:27). I felt embarrassed and awkward. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians lays the spiritual foundation for peace among people. “But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. Violence, crime, poverty, injustice – all were common in “the neighborhood.” They sought God’s shalom for that community. World Vision touches millions of people throughout the world, backing up the message of the gospel by providing food for the hungry and seeking justice for the downtrodden. As we have seen, Jesus made peace by reconciling us to God through his death. That same picture is confirmed and clarified in Genesis 2. The creation accounts in Genesis reveal the peaceful dimensions of God’s masterpiece. . well, sort of. Christianity and Inner Peace Yr 12 SOR II- Religion and Peace Date Monday, 28 June 2010 2. I didn’t always think of God’s peace in this way. I will teach all your citizens, and their peace will be great” (Isa 54:12-13, literal translation). Peace: Peace With God and the Peace of God. Is it possible, then, that negativity among God’s people is the sin that oppresses our neighbors and our nation more than any other? Notice that Christ’s emptying of himself serves as a paradigm for our own behavior. Immediately after they disobeyed God’s command, Adam and Even felt shame about being naked. When she was eleven, her mother died. How can Christians promote peace? We tend to like our own opinions a lot and to defend them vigorously. Note: You may download this resource at no cost, for personal use or for use in a Christian ministry, as long as you are not publishing it for sale. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, the home of God is now among his people! 2015-12-14 15:24:28 2015-12-14 15:24:28. and the relationship of Islam to Muslim terrorists. If we were self-sufficient and possessed complete understanding, praying to God would be unnecessary. Peace with God and peace within our souls do not exhaust the potentialities of peace through Christ. Not a good peacemaking plan! Hitler did promise, however, to resolve all future differences through consultation rather than military action. Bind yourselves together with peace (Eph 4:3). Peace with God includes intimacy, blessing, and the unimpeded flow of divine love. Yet God had a plan to restore his shalom on earth, a plan focused on the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, the one who fulfilled the role of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah. When I arrived at the church, I quickly noted that Jack also had a room named after him, the only room in the church named after any person, living or dead. They shared the gospel and their possessions with their neighbors. Tomorrow I’ll begin to lay out the biblical vision of peace by starting at the beginning. In March 1938, Germany absorbed Austria under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. When we look for peace, we must keep before us the concept we find throughout Scripture. His death dealt a fatal blow to sin, the root cause of human brokenness and separation from God. Church and ministry leadership resources to better equip, train and provide ideas for today's church and ministry leaders, like you. Second, I must confess that I can also let the experience of God’s peace slip away from me. Jesus maintains the Jewish interconnection of righteousness, justice, and peace. Prayer reminds us of our personal limitations. God doesn’t try to sweep them under the rug of religious pretense, and neither should we. The Nigeria cases describe training religious leaders in peacemaking, and mediating between Muslims and Christians successfully in Plateau State to … Frances’s stepmother came between her and her father, causing deep hurt to the girl. But let me offer a few words of guidance. Even though the relationship between Christian peacemaking and political activism can be confusing, we may not forget about it. People of faith who have little faith in God do not serve our neighbors very well. 1. 17. The Lord blesses them with peace. Today, Tim is one of my dearest friends, even though we live half a country apart. Over and over again, our Christian siblings will hurt us. This good news invites others to renounce their sin and to be reconciled to God. Why Does It Matter? Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the Temple of the God of Israel. He had gathered a group of Hispanic boys around ten years old. Most translations refer only to God’s “righteousness,” but the Greek word carries both connotations. Sad, yes; horrified, indeed; but not surprised. They won’t serve actively enough. It that day one will proclaim, “Unfailing love and truth have met together. When two sides in a war come together and sign a treaty, then peace has been achieved. Similarly, the biblical slogan “Peace on earth” doesn’t mean much unless God deals with the basic human problem of sin. And there are nations that are not at war, but in which wholistic peace cannot be found. As Christians, we live fully in this world, facing its brokenness head on, but not trapped forever within it. Whereas God intended humans to live forever in his peace, now they would die, both physically and spiritually (Gen 3:19). There the prophet describes God’s Suffering Servant, “a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief” (Isa 53:3). An Introduction to Advent. There is no peace in the border lands. Don’t think too highly of yourself, but consider others better than yourself (Phil 2:3). And, indeed, those who don’t know the Lord may be seekers. But they are also, in a profound sense, both separated from God and opposed to God. Fifth, allow your Christian community to help you discern where to invest your energies as a member of God’s peacemaking team. K. Sri Dhammanannda Malaysia. There can be no doubt about it. This vision also motivates us to be peacemakers, even when our notions of peace and our approaches to peacemaking seem naive to a jaded, worn out world. by Rev. But this doesn’t mean she should simply stick around and take the abuse. Linda and I left voluntarily, however. A Christian leader I know has a terrible temper. After almost 20 years in ministry, Daryl became the Senior Pastor of Green Hill Church in April 2012. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a beautiful bride prepared for her husband. (Col 3:13-15). Everything I have said about peacemaking in church applies equally to family life. I am always impressed by how much more peacefully I take on the problems of the day when I have begun that day with Christ. My father worked as a computer analyst in the aerospace business in Southern California. Perhaps no term better describes God’s perfect paradise than “peaceful,” a world full of wholeness, righteousness, justice, and prosperity. The prophet Isaiah brought a message similar to that of Ezekiel: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns” (Isa 52:7). That is the reason that although the government cannot establish religion, the religious convictions of the citizenry most certainly influence public policy. Church unity is not something you can take for granted, but it is something to be sought with vigorous effort. God’s promise of blessing to Israel through Isaiah uses similar language: “I will make your towers of sparkling rubies and your gates and walls of shining gems. Site by, Christian Women at Work: Starting Fresh in the New Year, What Isaiah’s prophecies can teach our children this Advent season. Thus it opens the door so that they might begin to live in God’s peace and to join the ranks of divine peacemakers. Instead, he always used his power in a Christ-like manner. In October 1938, Neville Chamberlain returned to jubilant crowds throughout Britain, announcing that he had achieved “peace with honour. Indeed, God’s peace often comes when events or reasons would provide just cause for worry. Equip us to prepare the way for its coming by building relationships of goodwill among all people of every race, religion and language. More importantly, I was beginning to teach Nathan how to be a person who admits his mistakes and who forgives others. How can we bring God’s peace to the world? Inspire us with the good news that your reign has come in the Christ child, and by your Holy Spirit it comes anew each day. Shortly thereafter her father remarried. 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