Wrestle with the Grinch that stole peace?
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
How are we going to deal with "The Peace that Passes All Understanding" Today???
And I took a class at PACN on Evangelism. Telling us only tell about Jesus for the pure Joy to tell about Loving Jesus. Effectively.
So... Then I wanted to kick this out there and do this and... I met a young woman who told me she had been raised with Religion and wanted none of this. Her best friend is a Pastor's wife. She smiles. The light of her face is pure. I just found I liked her and I wanted to tell her about Jesus.
And Baby, I rammed Jesus right down her throat and wiggled on her tonsils. I told my friend, who said, "Man, that one is not coming back." Well. She is. She was really gracious and said that made sense.
This the True Challenge to what our culture is seeing.
Not something exactly new, but our younger people do not see a reason
to follow the Faith of the Fathers.
Surely, not a new concept even to the last generation, which had the aftermath of World War II simply quit Church.
We have to have empathy, people find the possibility of Peace as positively frightening. As if we would all be preparing to die grinning like hyenas.
Really... we need to think upon this...
If Scripture is going to follow us around and bother us - and you are faithful - this one about "The Peace that passes all understanding" might do that. I've seen a woman with serious cancer cry because she is worried and Jesus would be so disappointed with her. When Reverend Francis MacNutt talks about the miraculous healing of people he has witnessed, he tells us Father God is so gentle when we are healed, and in this Father God is like the mother of a foal trying out new legs. Reverend Francis MacNutt is a Harvard man.
The person who is healed becomes ginger and gangling trying to see if the miracle is permanent. Finding Father God delights with them in their amazement and joy in His Generous, Loving Miracle.
This is what the group walking with Jesus saw in the Jesus they threw down their lives to follow:
They were now on the way up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were filled with awe
Christian radio has a song proclaiming we really believe Jesus has a gavel in His Hand. Many times in Scripture the word "Yar" is used, which actually means "reverence" and not fear
We know the Disciples became, grew, matured and died. We are pretty sure, this might be God's plan for our lives and worry. The Disciple John had perfect peace and did not worry before being handed to the Emperor and what to say to Emperor Domitian. Who promptly threw John, not to the lions, that might elevate John, but to the dogs to tear him apart. Which didn't work. The dogs wouldn't attack. So bring our the smoking oil.
So one... Phenomenal Event of Peace Passing ALL Understanding leading to a Blessing of
Tertullian in the 36th chapter of "The Prescription of the Heretics". Also John Foxe, 1583 'Book of Martyrs' in the early Church martyrs section. And early Church Father Jerome referenced Tertullian and the Eusebius.
Emperor Domitian had John brought to him, and proposed to make a spectacle of John murdered. Other sources say it occurred at the Latin Gate, and not in the Coliseum. Domitian decided to have a vat of oil heated up to boiling or smoking. Christian persecution were not going as well as planned, and were not a crowd pleaser back in those days of the not yet very converted Roman Empire. We all have the meek to die knowledge as Christians were painted as cannibalistic villains and disrespecters of the various Roman gods. And supposedly the paranoid Caesars.
But, when introduced into the boiling vat of oil John did not react as expected to the torturous heat. He was preaching as he was introduced to the oi and went on preaching about Jesus. And as the seconds became more seconds and I suppose minutes, it became clear that John was not in agony....or pain....or discomfort. He just preached.
Many converted to Christianity because of what they saw.
Saint John in Oils Chapel.
***A chapel named 'San Giovanni in Oleo' stands in Rome. The Saint John in Oils Chapel standing today is not so ancient, but is definitely the Latin Gate. Yet it is unlikely that a chapel could have been built within the Coliseum.
As for John, he was removed unharmed from the oil at some point, and Domition's plan 'B' was to have John sent to the isle of Patmos to work at hard labor.There John eventually was given the visions becoming the Book of Revelation. And Different from all other Bible books specifically stating a blessing to whichever Churches read it aloud together.
Scripture loves to repeat! Very similar to the miracle experienced by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3, when King Nebuchadnezzar threw them into the furnace for refusing to worship him. Domitian had the lion idea nixed for the lions looked grand. And really surviving dogs in the Coliseum was not a huge spectacular deal. However, surviving oil and twice - That - was a Huge Event.
Now, today, IF we want to tell about Jesus'
Love, Joy, Comfort and Plan
WHY? To encourage us to come home, and to tell the NEXT Generation to make them WANT To Know Jesus.
We have to understand that basic knowledge of Christianity says this:
We meet people who sincerely do not want to smile all the time like Homer Simpson's Neighbor. They want to look like they have a clue. And they surely do not want to die and not think in advance of what to say.
This concept is Frightening. And really inside our Nation, the highest martyrdom event I know is Cassie Bernall (November 6, 1981 – April 20, 1999) the girl killed in the Columbine High School massacre at age 17. The shooter asked if Cassie believed in God moments before she was fatally shot. She answered, "Yes"
WE HAVE A SALIENT POINT WE FORGET HERE.
80% of our Culture does Pray.
BELIEVING IN GOD.
But Most To the Point in Our Culture Today:
Father God does not need us to give people the smile of the frozen chosen, who well understand that these doubters are doomed and uninformed. Because we are one step up on the Ladder to Heaven today.
Yes. WE HAVE A SALIENT POINT WE FORGET HERE.
80% of our Culture does Pray. BELIEVING IN GOD.
It's the don't grow me - I'm gonna get there of WHY WOULD WE WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS JESUS.
Remember with me
Tell about Our First Love for the Lord.
What is the Point of Scripture...
To choose what is good. Building up ourselves to a life of meaning and creating a culture wanting the more difficult path - choosing what is Good. Believing God will help us. God will reward us and Heaven and earth will see the difference.
John's Patmos Dwelling. The view is still very much the same! God is still working and He is still caring for us.
The astonishing thing about "Peace that Passes All Understanding is" This valid and necessary tool happens again and again and again because, when we see our loved ones who love Jesus passing to the Heaven of God's Kingdom, we see this Peace. And it's needed!
Now for the most part, Peace is not going to grow us.
And Father God sent us on this quest, this adventure to bring our soul home and show Father God what we have made of this place called Soul.
All these people experienced this Life, this ongoing River of Life, that pushes and perplexes and asks us to twist or go the straightened paths were clear thinking and good choices can remain to make the framework for our soul to keep the Fruits of the Spirit = Love, Joy, Laughter, Peace, Comfort, Rules of Conduct, Patience and endurance with characters of Faith, Hope, Love.
These people did not walk around with Peace allllll the time. Scripture IS ABOUT THE MESS OF LIFE AND HOW TO OVERCOME !!!
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”[c] 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.
23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.
31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.[d]
32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again.
Seek God and we will find... GOD. Simply prayer and reading Scripture is going to place us as Children of Willing, Loving, Able Father God.
And when we have that Comfort, the Holy Spirit says this is COMFORT. We are going to want to get the kids to Church to experience what is Love and Nourishment to Our Souls.
If we throw out part of the Scripture that draws discomfort, we have missed a rounding out, necessary point, we have failed to see the ripple effect of Truth.
God's Word is Living and Active. God loves Wisdom and asks us to use our gifts and talents to find the Word of God that applies to this situation. GOD's Word is far from a glorified and sweet journey of life. God tells us of all the hair-pin curves, the horror, the violence, the sweetness, the ups and perpetual downs of getting used to even our blessings.
When we dig to discover the Word of God, we are going to be given wisdom, sometimes. The Bible goes on to tell us Wisdom is not always happiness. And Yet, Wisdom is Truth. And Truth provides the framework where GOD will dwell. And what we learn dwelling with GOD, we learn, we can go places, do things and be confident of God dwelling in us - that whatever Tomorrow brings - God is going to be with us Today and in Today - We can DO what GOD would like us to Do with Today.
This Framework is a balance Joshua and Romans 8 bring us. This is the Balance of Truth and Spirit and Worship in John 4. And in displaying God's Mercy we find God's Framework is where we want to always Dwell - Bringing Glory to GOD - where gratitude is fruitful.
We are not bringing out one single hair shirt - the Bible does not even own one hair shirt - we are bringing out the tools that God would place in our hands - to make Life Meaningful - not missing out on HIS GLORY.
This is the Balance, the goodness, the wonder of GOD we want People to Quest for.
Joy. And His Highest Name is - Jesus the Lord.
Your Scriptures are alive and active. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Jesus appeared in the flesh,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.
Jesus will one day say to us all, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. We will join Him in the Holy City of God.
And in that day, let me be in the Numbers of The Saints Come Marching In.
Knowing All our prayers have been heard, listened to with care, with Love and Decisions. Lifting up prayer again in gratitude, David knew God would put forth the Blessing merely because this delights Our Father. For those who are ill, and worried, for those in new circumstances and for those with prayers to be fulfilled in His Time.
nd Father God, let the family live together in beauty and peace of the generations. The people we love, and are given. We pray for our work places, Churches honoring Jesus and believing Scripture, our States and Nation. We lift up mankind to You, knowing Your Mercy is to draw all to You.
A God sized work. For His Glory. Amen in Jesus.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †