Archives For peace

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As a mom, I am helping my family "grow their peace" this year

I know I won't be able to control all their circumstances or even all their life stressors....any more than I will be able to control my own.

But this is the year I am committed to learning to grow our peace even in the midst of a world swirling around in chaos.

So my first strategy this month was a Bible study on the word "peace." The word peace is used 230 times in the Old and New Testaments, so I was not without scriptures to study.

A simple word search in the Greek (using all the easy tools available to us online :)) led me to find 6 different usages of the word peace in the New Testament. From the absence of war to safety and security, to a blessing pronounced at death as "may they rest in peace," I certainly found a wide ranges of usages of the word.

I was particularly interested in finding the places where peace is promised to us as Christians. And I did find many verses that gave me new hope.

Jesus is named in Isaiah as the Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6) and at His birth the angels boldly and clearly declared peace on earth had come (Luke 2:14).

But Jesus also made it very clear that….

He did not come to bring all forms of peace

Uh oh. That was not what I wanted to put on my list to present to the kids!

Check out these verses from Matthew 10: 35-39:

For I have come to turn " 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Wait a minute! I thought Jesus was going to help us with our peace! That is what the angels said. How could He be declaring here that He is “not come to bring peace?"

The answer is very simple. When Jesus entered the earthly scene, His very presence separated light from darkness, sin from righteousness, truth from lies.

He did not come as Santa Claus, a fairy tale or a soft cuddly teddy bear. He came as the King of Kings as well as the friend of sinners. But His entrance would divide those who received Him....from those who rejected Him.

In other words, He is not just a peacekeeper. He is Lord.

Many today would miss this side of our Savior. They are trying to put Him in a glass box like a museum piece, or put Him in their hip pocket as a good luck charm.

But we cannot isolate Him from His full nature.

So at His name nations will rage.

Companies will argue.

Politicians will scoff.

And families will split.

Not because He wants it that way. Just because some will not receive Him for who He truly is.

I needed to remind myself of this as I look to grow our family's peace this year. False peace is not real peace. For what fellowship does light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14).

It would not be right for me to promise my kids:

Hey, just follow Jesus and everyone will like you and every day will be an easy, smooth journey.

No, we are not promised that kind of peace. Matthew 10 makes that very clear.

But the story does not end there. I did discover anew that there is a peace that we are promised.....and I cannot wait to tell you next time what I found!

turmoil 2341242491_2023d46b93_zWe were having our annual Family Vision Retreat when I made a discovery about my family:

We need more peace in 2015 than we had in 2014.

We were reading 2 Timothy 1:2 where Paul wished Timothy three specific things: Grace, mercy and peace.

Doug, as he was leading our discussion, asked each of us to rate our own personal level of all three during the year of 2014. One by one we ranked ourselves with a number between 1 and 10.

And person by person we seemed to hear the same diagnosis: the one we ranked the lowest in was peace!

Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised that this would have been this group's greatest need. For as I looked around the circle, I noted young adults who had each walked through some challenging seasons.

I knew something of their heart commitments to the Lord. They are passionate people yearning to know Him more intimately every day.

But somehow the pressures and stresses of daily living had squelched their blessing of personal peace that the Bible so clearly promises.

So I became a mom on a mission. I just decided that 2015 would be the year of greater peace in all of our lives.

Now, you may be wondering if that is something a person can just "decide."

Can we have greater peace even if the bills still need paid, the healing has not yet come and the house is still not clean?

Can we have greater peace when ISIS is holding the world hostage and little children are still dying from infectious diseases?

Is it really possible that no matter what happens in this new year, we could look back in January of 2016 and say.....2015 was my year of greatest peace ever?

My answer most definitely is yes.

God is in the business of rushing peace into the hearts of His children once again. He is not withholding His promise, waiting for us to get our acts together and work a little harder. He is the Prince of Peace. He is our Shalom. He is our Daddy God.

My quest on behalf of my loved ones has led me to go back to the foundations of God's word. And what I re-discovered......well, it is setting us at peace again!!!

May I share it with you over the next few posts?

Lisa

Image: Marcusrg “Turmoil”   via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

 

 

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I love the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. Now is the time for me to catch up on all that stuff that has been bugging me for months but I just could not get to.

Maybe it says something about my personality, but I find great pleasure in lightening my load by clearing things out.

Not that I don't enjoy all the blessings that come our way....but sometimes too much is no longer a blessing. It has somehow become a weight.

As I have been tackling this project in my natural environment the Holy Spirit has been nudging me about my spiritual environment.

This morning our family enjoyed a fruitful time of prayer casting off some of the weights and worries and stresses that had entangled us.

College decisions, end of year studies, relationship disappointments, and financial pressures. It was time. We needed to pitch them on the Lord and clean out our minds (1 Peter 5:7)

So how about you?  Do you need to do some house cleaning and drop some junk in the natural....as well as the spiritual?

Are your kids looking for the freedom of summertime but weighed down with cares of this world?

We as Frontline Parents must help our families maintain order. Our kids are looking to us to learn how to manage our lives so that peace and order drive out stress and chaos. Why not let the Lord start with us.....today??

-By Lisa Cherry

Image: Sara V. “Stress level: Midnight”
License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)