Gift of Peace

Peace can seem like an elusive aspect of faith. We are meant to live in peace with one another and to do that we must have peace within ourselves. We are not left to our own devices to find this peace. We don’t have to search to find it. It is a gift that is given to us.

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.
And always be thankful.
Col 3:15 nlt

Jesus gives us peace freely without hesitation but it is up to us to let it have the dominate role in our heart. We must let it control our hearts. There is only one way that peace can regulate our responses and that is to trust the One who gives it to us.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Isa 26:3 nlt

Peace is not just an emotion of our hearts it is also the thoughts of our minds. If we allowdove-41260_640 the confusion, turbulence, and anger of the world to take precedence over our thoughts we will have no peace. Jesus is to have first place in our hearts and minds. That is the only way peace will have the power to work in us and through us in this world. We have to claim the gift of peace and use it for His glory.

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.
Jo 14:27 niv

Jesus gives us peace for all time. He doesn’t give it then take it back. It is ours to keep. What we do with the gift is up to us. We can hide it away, we can ignore it, we can even claim we never received it or that we lost it but that won’t change the truth. We won’t have worried or fearful hearts if we understand the simple truth that peace has been given to us by the Prince of Peace and it is ours forever.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Agape

We are told by Jesus to love one another. I have been thinking and praying about this lately.  There are three perspectives of love;

  • storge–the natural affection of family members
  • phileo–friendship of individuals, mutual affection, and understanding
  • agape–love given requiring nothing in return, deliberate principled and moral, not impulsive or from feelings or emotions

Storge is the first love we experience. Most of us are born into loving families. Some families are small some are large but all are united in the caring for one another. True, we may be closer to some family members than others but there is the common bond of belonging to each other.

Phileo is a love we develop over time with people who come into our lives as strangers that we find some interest or belief that ties us together. These are our friends. Friendships can be shared for a lifetime or be for a brief period or season of life.

These two types of love are the loves that nurture and teach us, comfort and strengthen us. We live, work, and play with these people sometimes in complete harmony and other times with disagreements and arguments. These two aspects of love are purely human and imperfect and they can come to an end. They can end in anger or by agreement, with respect or disdain. Or they can come to an end because of simple changes of life, the distance brought by a move,  passage of time or the change of interests.

Then we come to agape. This is the love God has for us. It is given to us though we don’thttps://pixabay.com/en/infinity-infinite-repeating-loop-1837430/ deserve it and it never comes to an end. We come into this world loved by God and we will leave loved by Him. Whether we acknowledge Him or even know Him doesn’t change the fact He loves us. It is a perfect love and it has no end.

When we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior there is something so important to Him that He commands us to do this;

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.
Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
John 13:34 nlt

I don’t know about you but I struggle with this. He says that just as He loved us we should love each other. I would like to say I have mastered this. I have not. There are just some people I find difficult to love or to be honest I just don’t love them. There are people I can say I love with my whole heart without reservation. But there are others I cross paths with that Jesus and I have some serious talks about. One of the things He said to me is that He wants me to love these people but it’s ok not to like everything about them.  I know there are more than a few things Jesus doesn’t like about me but still, He loves me. I have a lot of work to do!

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Live in Harmony and Peace

I consider myself pretty even tempered and easy to get along with. I rarely get angry to the point of raising my voice or interrupting others when they are saying things I don’t agree with or like. I try to listen and consider what others have to say before I respond. When no agreement can be reached to a mutual satisfaction I can agree to disagree and not be mad or hold a grudge.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Jas 1:19-20

However, this has been tested recently and I have had to talk to Jesus about an issue that concerns many people and is causing conflict among friends and neighbors. Tempers have flared and angry words exchanged. I have my opinion that tends to align itself with one side of the conflict but I understand the concerns of the other side. Conversations have become contentious…and loud. I have done fairly well keeping my comments fair and quiet, but I have been complaining! Jesus is clear about this,

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.
Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, 
Phil 2:14-15a

Interesting that I can pat myself on the back for being so reasonable and able to see bothheart-1463421_640 sides of the issue and yet complain about the advocates on both sides. Seems I have some work to do on my attitude.

In a few days, this will be decided. Some will be happy and some not happy. All will be well in the eyes of those who have their thoughts confirmed and those who do not will be upset and angry. I wonder what the cost of this controversy will be. Loss of friendliness and goodwill, cordiality and peace?

Live in harmony with each other.
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
Ro 12:16a,18

To live in harmony understanding of our differences is needed and to live in peace acceptance of our differences is needed. Jesus tells us how we are to do this and I am praying that we will listen and take to heart what He has to say.

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.
Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
Jo 13:34

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

All scripture from the
New Living Translation

Respect and Authority

There are times when I look around and wonder what people are thinking. When did people begin to think they can do whatever they want? When did they begin to  think they do not have to answer to anyone?  When did etiquette and common courtesy become something to be ignored? When did authority become a thing of no value to be ridiculed?

These questions have been twirling around in my head for a while. At first, it seemed that these thoughts and actions are new to society, but are they?  Probably not. Then I thought that these behaviors seem more prevalent because we now have access to news media from around the world 24/7, but is that true? Maybe to some extent. When I gave all the chess-404841_640questions serious consideration I came to the conclusion people haven’t changed much since the beginning of time. No one in the past wanted to have someone over them who tells them what to do and how to live, In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever was right in their own eyes. (Judges 17:6) and it’s the same today. Everyone wants to be king and queen. Being common folk is not what anyone wants for themselves. And I admit I often have a bad attitude when it comes to authority and having to answer to someone else. But what does Jesus have to say to me about this?

Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters.
Fear God, and respect the king.
1Peter2:17

It isn’t always easy to respect authority but there are reasons “kings” are put where they are whether they are good or bad.  When Jesus was before Pilate, Pilate asked Him if He didn’t realize that he had power over Him? Jesus said,“You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above.” (John 19:10-11)  Do I understand? Not really but I am trying.

Blessing this day of grace,
patricia

Image:pixabay