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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

peace ...

"Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons (children) of God." (Matthew 5:9)

During September, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's devotional insights have to do with Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7.

I considered, what is a peacemaker? Someone subdued ... calm, anti war, a quiet spirit?

Does a peacemaker only have peace, be at peace or must there also be an attitude and action of creating peace in our surroundings?

What is peace? Is it the absence of war, the absence of fighting, the absence of hatred for all we oppose? How do we create peace? Can we ourselves?

Bonhoeffer says the children of God "are not only to have peace, but also to create it. ... they renounce violence and revolution ... the disciples of Jesus keep the peace because they would rather suffer themselves than cause others suffering. .. they preserve fellowship where others break it; they renounce self-assertion and are not provoked by hate and injustice. They overcome evil with good."

Peace .... Romans 12 tells us to 10"Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another. ... 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. ... 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. ... 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. ... 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." 

Jesus is our peace.

You without Christ
have no hope
No future promise
made complete
through His death
on the cross.

You without Christ
face bitterness
and despair.
you are
to cross the bridge
Jesus himself
was and is.

You mourn
and are not comforted
You hunger and thirst
and are filled or satisfied
You fight against neighbor,
friend and foe.

Jesus is our hope
Our promise
Our peace

God the Father created all, even us, all of us, every single one of us. God created us. God created animal. God created human. Through Adam and Even's choices, division came and as a result, God created laws/commandments for His people to follow, to bring them to a relationship with Him. Many people did not see the commandments as a relationship tool, but as a painful rule. Couldn't do this, couldn't do that. They didn't want to follow. Didn't want to obey. They were going to do whatever they wanted, disregarding anything else.

God the Son
came and lived
and taught and
the bridge
dividing us.
He broke down the wall.
He died
for us.

Not for himself.
He died for us.
He became our peace
He became and IS the way.

We can be reconciled with God the Father
Through Jesus
Our Savior, our lifeblood, our hope, our promise, our tomorrow

Peace... found only through faith and obedience in and through the Lord Jesus.

"...You who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ. For He himself is our peace, and has broken down the middle wall of division between us, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two (Jew and Gentile or unbeliever), thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity." (Ephesians 2:13-16)

Peace is not here, yet it is here.
Jesus is peace.
But until all
bow to Him alone
the peace of Jesus
is only here
for a few ... His followers ... the children of God
and not always then.
Obedience is not always sought after even by God's own.

No violence
No revolution
From the 1960s,
I remember,
'make peace, not war' or was it 'make love, not war'
A John Lennon song

Those who refused to go to war, to fight, were called pacifists. The government and others frowned upon them.

I wonder.
Perhaps their cause
was Jesus.
Perhaps Jesus
was their peace
and they were trying to create
His peace for the rest of us.

It seems it is an ongoing struggle.

Peace is not the same as security. Peace is not the protection of self. Yet, if we are obedient to the commandments of God, if we do what is right and true and place our whole body and soul into into the hands of God and His will, thereby allowing Him to be our anchor and our pivot point,we can have peace ... and security.

"Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." (Psalm 61:2)

My Lord
is my rock
my protector
my salvation
my defense
my strength
my refuge
my confidant
my instructor / teacher / guide
my all.

He is the pebble that slew Goliath
He is the stone you stumble over
He is the rock that defeated Satan!

Peace ... only through Jesus forever and ever ... when will we want it enough?

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6