Malankara World Journal
Chapter - 16
Peace That Exceeds Understanding by Chuck Swindoll
Christian Endurance and Christ's Peace by Pope Francis
The Character of A Peacemaker by Ralph Bouma
Peace With One Another by Ralph Bouma
Christ Is Our Peace by John MacArthur
What About the 'Sword' of the 'Prince of Peace'? By Wayne Jackson
The Prince of Peace By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Chapter - 16
by Chuck SwindollPeace. Whisper the word to yourself and you can almost feel your heart relax. When you're at peace, you feel an inner confidence that things are not running wild — regardless of the circumstances. Your mind is at rest. Your heart doesn't flutter with anxiety. Your focus is clear. But far too often, peace is like that elusive butterfly. Even Christians chase after it and find it just out of reach. Perhaps the rarest of all virtues, real peace comes only when you decide to take God at His word. So, if God promises peace, let's discover how to find it on our most stressful days! Look carefully — resting on the edge of Isaiah's prophecies sits that elusive butterfly:
"The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,Let's break down that promise and discover the secret to peace. Steadfast means "to lean on for support." Of mind means "to frame or to form." Together, this phrase means God will give complete peace to you if your "frame of mind leans on and is supported." On what should you be leaning? On God, as the verse says: "The steadfast of mind...trusts in You." When you trust Him, you "throw yourself down" — just as you do when playing that trust game, falling backward into the waiting, ready arms of those behind you. When you trust God, you refuse all other crutches and lean your entire weight on the One who gives stable support. Can God hold you up? Yes. As verse 4 says, He's "an everlasting Rock." And how will He hold you up? In two ways: He will "keep" you, meaning He'll "guard or watch over" you, and He does this with "perfect peace," which in Hebrew means shalom. Literally, God will guard you with shalom — an unending security, an uninterrupted rest, and a complete calmness. Did you notice where that complete calmness comes from? Not from you, but from God, whom you lean upon and trust. No wonder humankind's frantic search for peace leaves them empty-hearted — they're looking in the wrong place! Paul said God's peace "surpasses all comprehension" (Philippians 4:7). It's not found in mind control or managed situations. The secret to shalom is trusting God. Want a good summary of our Bible study above? God gives complete rest to those who lean on Him for support - to those who trust Him as an unmovable and strong Rock. So, in what circumstance do you need peace today? Are you facing a frightening situation? Lean on Him. Do you feel panicked, unsure of what to do? Trust Him with it. Are you worried about your job, someone you love, or a situation outside your control? Give it to God. He promises you shalom if you lean your full weight against Him, not yourself:
Trust in the LORD with all your heartToday, choose one thing that distracts and disturbs you. Intentionally give it to God. Release your grasp on it, and let it go. Who knows? In its place, you might find a butterfly resting in your open hand. Adapted from "Peace That Exceeds Understanding," Insights (April 2001): 1-2.
Copyright © 2001 by Insight for Living. All rights reserved worldwide.
by Pope FrancisA Christian who constantly complains, fails to be a good Christian: they become whiners. Christians should endure their difficulties in silence, in patience to bear witness to the joy of Christ. Commenting on the first reading of the day, Acts chapter 16, Pope Francis said even in troubling times, Christians are full of joy and never sad, like Paul and Silas who were persecuted and imprisoned for witnessing to the Gospel. They were joyful, he said, because they followed Jesus in on the path of his passion. A path the Lord travelled with patience: "Being patient: that is the path that Jesus also teaches us Christians. Being patient ... This does not mean being sad. No, no, it's another thing! This means bearing, carrying the weight of difficulties, the weight of contradictions, the weight of tribulations on our shoulders. This Christian attitude of bearing up: of being patient. That which is described in the Bible by a Greek word, that is so complete, Hypomoné, in life bearing ever day tasks; contradictions; tribulations, all of this. These - Paul and Silas - bear their tribulations, endure the humiliation: Jesus bore them, he was patience. This is a process - allow me this word 'process' - a process of Christian maturity, through the path of patience. A process that takes some time, that you cannot undergo from one day to another: it evolves over a lifetime arriving at Christian maturity. It is like a good wine. " The Pope recalled that so many martyrs were joyful, such as the martyrs of Nagasaki who helped each other, as they "waited for the moment of death." Pope Francis recalled it was of some martyrs that "they went to martyrdom" as if they were going to a "wedding party". This attitude of endurance, he added, is a Christian's normal attitude, but it is not a masochistic attitude. It is an attitude that leads them "along the path of Jesus": "When the difficulties arrive, so do temptations. For example, the complaint: 'Look what I have to deal with ... a complaint. And a Christian who constantly complains, fails to be a good Christian: they become Mr. or Mrs. Whiner, no? Because they always complain about everything, right? Silence in endurance, silence in patience. That silence of Jesus: Jesus in His Passion did not speak much, only two or three necessary words ... But it is not a sad silence: the silence of bearing the Cross is not a sad silence. It is painful, often very painful, but it is not sad. The heart is at peace. Paul and Silas were praying in peace. They were in pain, because then it is said that the jailer washed their wounds while they were in prison – they had wounds - but endured in peace. This journey of endurance helps us deepen Christian peace, it makes us stronger in Jesus. " Thus, concluded Pope Francis, a Christian is called to endure their troubles just like Jesus, "without complaint, endure in peace." This patience, “renews our youth and makes us younger". "The patient is the one that, in the long run, is younger! Just think of those elderly people in the hospices, those who have endured so much in life: Look at their eyes, young eyes, they have a youthful spirit and a renewed youth. And the Lord invites us to this: to be rejuvenated Easter people on a journey of love, patience, enduring our tribulations and also - I would say – putting up with one another. We must also do this with charity and love, because if I have to put up with you, I'm sure you will put up with me and in this way we will move forward on our journey on the path of Jesus. Let us ask the Lord for the grace of Christian endurance that gives us peace, this bearing things with a good heart, this joyful bearing to become younger and younger, like good wine: younger with this renewed Easter youth of the spirit. So be it. " Source: Radio Vaticana
by Ralph Bouma
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."In Paradise there was a beautiful and a perfect peace - peace between man and God - peace between man and man - man and wife - peace between man and creation; there was no killing. When self-centered sin entered into Paradise, man, the crown of God’s creation, became a peace-breaker instead of a peacemaker. ROM 8:22 tells us, "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." Speaking with a divided tongue resulted in the fall. The divided tongue of the serpent in paradise lied and told man that he could be as God. Satan said, "Yea, hath God said..." but he was speaking with a divided tongue. Speaking with a forked tongue is such a devilish thing. We must set our face as a flint against anything that would break the peace. ISA 50:6-7 says, "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed." A peacemaker must set his face as a flint against anything that will break the peace. This is looking unto Jesus. We must first be pure and then peaceable. JER 48:10 says, "Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood." In JER 15:19 we read, "...if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth." What is more precious than truth? What is more precious than to bring forth the blessedness of the peacemaker? What is more vile than error? "...if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth." This is speaking of a tongue that speaks for the honor of God. The peacemaker, while distinguished by his character, still has a human nature. We must understand this. In JAM 5:17 we read, "Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are [When he was on Mount Carmel, the Lord brought down fire from heaven in answer to his prayer.], and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months." This man's prayers were heard, but he was, however, a man of like passions even as we are. A peacemaker is also a man of like passions. He has all the capabilities of having Satan seed discord in his soul. The difference is that this man has the renewed heart. The renewed heart does not feed on evil thoughts but abhors them; he pulls down the strongholds of Satan. EPH 4:26 says, "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath." You can be angry. We are all human, and we all get upset at times. We must, however, pull down the strongholds of Satan. Forgive, take up the cross daily, and follow Christ. LUK 9:23 says, "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Taking up our cross daily means never going to bed with bad feelings. The strongholds of Satan must be crucified before going to bed. In MAT 5:44 we read, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." This is the peacemaker. We must rather suffer wrong than bring reproach. Look at the example of Abraham in GEN 13:7. "And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land." This means that Abraham saw the Canaanite and the Perizzite would not look upon him and Lot as Christian brothers if they were contending with each other. They would bring a reproach upon themselves and upon the name of God. "...and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land." In other words, we may not be a reproach before the heathen. Abraham would rather part with Lot than strive. GEN 13:8-9 says, "And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left." PRO 21:9 says, "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house [or in society]." The woman is a type of the church. You can much rather part, than to go to a church where there is contention and strife. It is so important that we seek peace because God has called us unto peace. "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God," MAT 5:9. Amen. That man is blessed, who fearing God,
From sin restrains his feet,
Who will not stand with wicked men,
Who shuns the scorner's seat. Yea, blessed is he who makes God's law
His portion and delight,
And meditates upon the law of love
With gladness and delight. That man is nourished like a tree
Set by the river's side;
Its leaf is green, its fruit is sure,
And thus his works abide.
by Ralph Bouma
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."To live peaceably with all men is to season the earth with salt. MAR 9:50 says, "Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another." When we are living in separation of feelings with a Christian (it doesn't matter if it is our husband or wife, sister or brother, or any member of the church) we are not reflecting the Spirit of Christ; we are not being the salt of the earth. "Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another." Christ is our peace. Frustration is a grievous sin. The Lord Jesus Christ taught us such a beautiful lesson on this in the Garden of Gethsemane. In LUK 22:42 Christ said, "...Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." In that cup Jesus saw that Judas Iscariot was going to betray Him to death. Who was Judas Iscariot? He was one of Jesus' own disciples. Judas was one with whom Jesus walked in sweet company to the House of God. Jesus saw that Judas Iscariot was coming, but when he came, "Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him," MAT 26:50. Jesus saw that the coming of Judas was of the Father's sending, and He felt no frustration. He was in total submission to the will of His Father. If we are going to be like Christ, we will never be frustrated. Frustration is unbelief. If you are in total submission to God's will, there is no place for frustration because He controls every trial for our good. Not one hair shall fall from our head without His will. We must be peaceable. "Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another." We can become judgmental and pass judgment on others because we think we know what they are thinking. We think we know the purpose behind their actions and become the judges of their motives; yet, we may be 180 degrees off. By being judgmental, we destroy the peace. If we are able to act without frustration, we are able to keep the peace by being the salt of the earth. Do you know what that means? It means we are going to salt every word and thought with the Spirit of Christ. Love "thinketh no evil." In love the Lord Jesus Christ looked upon Peter when he stood cursing and swearing. What did that look of love do? It melted Peter's heart. Sometimes a look of love can melt the hardest heart of the bitterest enemy. We must reflect the Spirit of Christ to use salt to keep peace. Using salt to keep peace means purging out every evil thought. Love "thinketh no evil." This is a precious thought. In 2TI 2:22-24 we read, "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart." We must seek peace with those that call upon the Lord out of a pure heart. Many have a tendency to judge their neighbour. We have to look within our own heart and follow righteousness, faith, charity, and peace with all those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. This does not mean that we seek this same peace with the world. See the distinction. We have to seek peace with all those who call on the Lord with a pure heart: those who are of the body of Christ. JAM 4:4 says, "...know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." We don't seek peace with the world on the same basis as we do with the body of Christ, but we must live in peace with all men as much as possible. ROM 12:18 says, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." 2CO 13:11 says, "Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you." We shouldn't be declaring war on the world. Living peaceably with all men means that we are not to be in strife with every person of the world just because we don't seek their friendship. We are not to be contentious with the world; we still must live peaceably with all men as much as possible. To set an example with a Christlike spirit is to season the earth with salt. In 1PE 2:21 we read, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps." We are going to suffer shame and loss of the flesh. We will suffer the cutting off of the evil hand and the evil foot. The evil eye will be plucked out, and the tongue which is a world of iniquity will be cut out. We will suffer loss of these things when we follow Christ's example. "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, [From the standpoint of human reasoning we are going to suffer the loss of all these things.] that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth [His speech was seasoned with salt.]: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously," 1PE 2:21-23. This blessed example of Christ is seasoning our conversation, and we are thereby becoming the salt of the earth. When we follow the example of Christ, when we are reviled, we revile not again. When people persecute us, we never threaten them; we take it patiently. One time a judge ruled against me in a most unjust way. Afterward, he came over to shake my hand and to say, "I wanted to make sure that we have no hard feelings." I answered him, "Sir, I will not pass judgment. I will leave that between you and the Lord. I will commit you to Him who judges righteously." The man looked so astounded because he had never heard that before. No one had ever told him that he was going to be called to an accounting. This is exactly what Verse 23 was talking about. We do not become revengeful, but we commit them to Him who judges righteously. Verse 24 says, "Who his own self bares our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." If we are truly the salt of the earth, we will follow in His footsteps. We will walk in His steps and follow His examples. Verse 25 says, "For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls." We will return unto Him as our Bishop and Shepherd. This means that we are going to walk in His footsteps; we will follow His examples. He is the Bishop of our soul, i.e., He is the one who has taught us the Biblical principles by which we are to walk. Amen. While contests rend the Christian church,
O may I live the friend of peace;
The sacred mine of Scripture search,
And learn from man, vain man, to cease. O teach me, Lord, thy truth to know,
And separate from all beside;
This I would guard from every foe,
Nor fear the issue to abide Be mine to recommend Thy grace,
That sinners may believe and live;
That they who live may run the race,
And then a crown of life receive. Lord, search my heart; o search me through!
Detect, destroy what’s not Thy own;
Whene’er I speak, whate’er I do,
O may I seek Thy praise alone. Gadsby selection, 1838, Kelly
by John MacArthur
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God"Christ’s atonement made it possible for man to be at peace with God. After World War II the United Nations was created to promote world peace. But since its inception in 1945 there has not been a single day of global peace. That's a sad commentary on man's inability to make peace. In fact, someone once quipped that Washington D.C. has so many peace monuments because they build one after every war! It hasn't always been that way. Prior to the Fall of man peace reigned on the earth because all creation was in perfect harmony with its Creator. But sin interrupted peace by alienating man from God and bringing a curse upon the earth. Man couldn't know true peace because he had no peace in his heart. That's why Jesus came to die. I once read a story about a couple at a divorce hearing whose conflict couldn't be resolved. They had a four-year-old boy who became distressed and teary-eyed over what was happening. While the couple was arguing, the boy reached for his father's hand and his mother's hand and pulled until he joined them. In a sense that's what Christ did: He provided the righteousness that allows man and God to join hands. Romans 5:1 says that those who are justified by faith have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:20 says that God reconciled all things to Himself through the blood of Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Yet on the surface, the scene at the cross wasn't peaceful at all. Pain, sorrow, humiliation, hatred, mockery, darkness, and death were oppressively pervasive, but through it all Christ was doing what He alone could do: making peace between man and God. He paid the supreme price to give us that precious gift. In the future, Jesus will return as Prince of Peace to establish a kingdom of peace that will usher us into an eternal age of peace. In the meantime He reigns over the hearts of all who love Him. Let His peace reign in your heart today! Suggestions for Prayer Thank God for the peace of heart that comes from knowing Christ. For Further Study Read Philippians 4:6-9. What must a person do to know God's peace? Source: Grace to You.org
By Wayne JacksonHow do you harmonize the Bible passage that supposedly represents Jesus as the "Prince of Peace" with Christ’s own statement, "Do not think that I came to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sword"? Let us consider each of these passages within its respective and immediate context. The former is from the book of Isaiah. Sweeping across seven centuries of Hebrew history, the man of God prophetically declares the following concerning Jesus of Nazareth:
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."In this text, the Son of God is characterized in several illustrious ways, one of which is by the phrase "Prince of Peace." The expression embraces several important ideas. Jesus is the avenue by which human beings, alienated from the Father by their sins, may enjoy reconciliation, hence, be at peace with their Creator.
(Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:13-14; Col. 1:20). Knowing that we are on peaceable terms with the Lord, Christians are blessed with an inner peace, a tranquility of spirit, that allows us to live a contented life, even when the world around him is mad (Phil. 4:7). Christ also provides for his people the motive to work for harmony among various cultures of men who, by longstanding tradition, are hostile to one another.
(e.g., the Jews and the Arabs — see Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14; cf. Lk. 2:14 — ASV, ESV). In view of these facts, it should be no surprise that Jesus Christ should be designated as "Prince of Peace." The latter text, however, is perhaps more challenging. Here are the intriguing words from the Savior.
"Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law: and a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."This text comes more sharply into focus when one recognizes the idiomatic language that is employed for the sake of forcefulness. This passage is designed to emphasize the consequences that could follow when one commits to an unqualified loyalty to the Son of God. Jesus was sending the twelve disciples on a preaching tour to the "lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Mt. 10:6). He warned them of the dangers of rejection; they would be like "sheep in the midst of wolves" (Mt. 10:16). The apostles would be opposed by political dignitaries, and even family members would react against them with violence.
"And brother shall deliver up brother to death, and the father his child: and children shall rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death."The cause of truth is so great and Christ’s mission and message are so vital, that no sacrifice is too great to make. Eternity is in view! Thus, employing vivid imagery (not uncommon in biblical literature), the Savior, substituting the active voice for the passive (thus stressing the permissive will of God) declares that he is "send[ing]" a sword (of demanding dedication) that will, in many instances, separate the dearest of loved ones. It is not that the "Prince of Peace" actively desires such fragmentation, but that such inevitably will result as the consequence of unqualified dedication to him. When the foregoing facts are understood, there is absolutely no conflict between Isaiah 9:6 and Matthew 10:34ff. SCRIPTURE REFERENCES Isaiah 9:6;
Matthew 10:34 ©1998 – 2017 by Christian Courier Publications. All rights reserved
By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.The Messiah is referred to as the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6. Although the text translates to "prince," the original meaning of the word embodies the power of the king. The prince here has the full authority, delegation and dignity of the king. And the Prince of Peace gives peace like no other.
Jesus said: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."We can know eternal peace because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. We can find peace with God the Father because of the work of our Prince of Peace. We can find peace in a unified church that glorifies God, no matter our backgrounds. The Apostle Paul explains:
"For he himself is our peace, who has made the [Jews and Gentiles] one and has destroyed the barrier . . . His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit."Prayer: Prince of Peace, thank You for the eternal peace that I have because of Your sacrifice on the cross. Thank You for being my Prince of Peace! I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen. "The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace" (Psalm 29:11). Source: My Devotional; © 2012 Leading The Way
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