|The Town of Odyssey
|Devotions - Wednesday, June 6th, 2007
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|Author:||Blipadouzi [ Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:45 am ]|
|Post subject:||Devotions - Wednesday, June 6th, 2007|
Reading: Psalm 109, Psalm 110, Psalm 138; John 16
Good morning Church,
Peace is not the absence of conflict around us but instead the absence of conflict within. There was an artist who was asked to paint a picture that represented peace. So he painted a picture of a raging storm. When he was challenged about his failure to do as he was commissioned to do the artist pointed out a small nest at the bottom of the painting. In the nest was a baby bird fast asleep being sheltered from the storm by the mother bird. This was the artist’s portrayal of peace.
People will spend most of their lives running after the perfect life that will be absent of conflict. What a waste. Someone needs to tell these people that such a life is a thing of children’s stories and make-believe novels. Even as Christians this fact glares with the ugliness of the truth as Jesus makes it plain:
In this world you will have trouble. (John 16:33)
So many of us are willing to compromise the essence of our faith for a tiny moment of peace but this is not what the Word of God tells us to do. Instead the Spirit instructs us through Paul as he writes:
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:9-18)
What does he mean by this, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you”? It means that there are some moments and situations when you will do your absolute best to avoid conflict and to remain in peace but the situation or person’s heart is against you. There is nothing more you can do. The storm will rage all around you but it does not have to touch your inner place.
People will chase after an oasis of peace as they are chasing after an earthly kingdom but neither exist because these are things that must exist within our hearts. The storms of conflict rage all around us but within us Jesus hovers over us and whispers:
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. (John 14:27)
As a new creation through the work of Jesus Christ we must see things differently. Our teenagers will push against our defined rules, husband and wife will sometimes be divided, co-workers may fall into misunderstandings, children will get sick, finances will crumble, life will happen as we must live in the world, and Jesus says:
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.
As we face today the storms of life in this fallen world take heart because the “lover of our soul” has declared to us:
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
May the realization of his peace and grace be upon you, within you and around you today.
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