Tag Archives: peace

Referee of Peace

Father, the weekend has been much fuller than I had planned. With my father-in-law taking a fall and us all spending the last two days in the hospital schedules have been a bit askew, to say the least.  We are so grateful that things have turned out much better than we thought they might. He is not totally out of the woods yet but we are placing our trust in You.  Thank You for Your watch care over us all.

Colossians 3:15 (<<click here)

Lord, yesterday we looked at a harmony of love and today’s verse begins with “and” so it continues that progression of thought. When we do the clothe ourselves with love we are called to “let the peace that comes from [You] rule in our hearts.”

Now, Lord, You know that unlike many of my friends and family, that when it comes to sports I am a take it or leave it kind of guy. But I do think Paul, the writer of Colossians, liked sports. According to my NLT Application Study Bible, the word rule is “from the language of athletics” and it’s saying that peace, Your peace, should rule in my heart – peace is to be the umpire or the referee when I “play” with others, if you will. Even I know the importance of officials in sports. They make sure the rules are followed, they settle disputes and they do all of this while in the middle of all the action.

So Your peace, wrapped in Your love, should be the guiding force in all I do – period. By nature (as You well know!) I quite often want things my way and it’s quite easy to follow that train of thought but from experience that is not the way of love or peace. If I let this mindset carry me along I will have some pretty blatant “personal fouls” along the way but usually, it is subtle. I quite often will bend the rule of peace to get my own way; to get what I want. I try to get away with it hoping nobody notices. But when I do that, my garment of love slips off and peace is shattered.

Lord, help me to keep love securely in its right place in my life – enshrouding my whole being. And with that in place may peace be my rule and my guide – not the world’s shallow and temporary peace but Your peace – eternal and secure.

So many times in my life my choices are made with split-second decisions. The good I could do is either ignored or it is outright shoved out of the way for selfish reasons. Sometimes my actions are subtle, many times no one has any idea what I have done or not done. Sometimes my actions are blatant and people get hurt.

Jesus, please rule in all things of my heart even in those split-second decisions. Give me a bent to the right, give me a leaning to love. Help me to place others before myself. They will truly know I follow You by my love and by the peace that rules my actions.

June 24th, 2015, Wed, 6:15 am

Why Me? Will It Ever Stop?!

Father, today has been a good day. I am so grateful for everything You do for me.  Helping me to focus…especially to focus on You…helps me to keep myself on the straight and narrow, which is the only place to be. All praise to You!

Philippians 4:7 (<<click here)

To worry less – pray more! Lord, doing this will bring about a peace found only in You and as the old translation reads, it will be a “peace that passes all understanding”– from the world’s perspective, it makes no sense!

Something has been rattling around in my head for some time – as Your children, how do we respond to the absolutely horrific thing’s this life thrust upon us? Death, disease, heartache, financial woes, loss, and rejection – the list goes on and on. We cry out, “Why me!?” “Will it ever stop?!”

Now Your Word tells us in Romans 8:28 that “… in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  So the question we deal with then is, how does all of this gel? If You love us why do we experience so much pain in life? And how does pain which is included in the “all things” of Romans 8:28 work for our good? Again going to Your Word tells us in order to stress less we must pray more and that will bring about a peace that is beyond comprehension.

First of all, You do not bring about the pain. We, the whole of humanity, have brought that upon ourselves. Eve’s yielding to sin started it and every one of us since has perpetuated that sin – our depravity knows no end. Our great propensity for wondrous creativity from being created in Your likeness has been pushed to all limits by our perversion and wickedness. We have so polluted the world with our rebellion that inevitably we encounter pain.

Secondly, because You love us so much – which is proven by the fact of how far You went to bring us back into right relationship with You – the giving of yourself to the point of a horrific death at our hands – because You love us so much You can take all that is ugly and revolting about ourselves and our lives and make it good! The impossible becomes possible!

Lord, most of us would have no problem acknowledging these two points through most of the ebb and flow of life. But when those times of pain and suffering are so intense that we feel like we are going down for the count, is the answer to worry (which seems like an awfully small word in this context) less and pray more? ‘That’s it?’ we yell? ‘With all Your power and might and “love”, that’s all You have to offer?’ And Your answer is…a resounding ‘YES!!’

We absolutely cannot wrap our minds around it, but giving ourselves over to You and praying in place of worrying brings us peace – not peace of the world which is shallow and, oh so temporary, but Your peace. Your peace is deep, and rich and most importantly – never ending!!

Miraculously, You take the absolute worst of our lives and bring the absolute best out of it! From a worldly perspective – it makes no sense at all, but Your peace is not of this world. Being Your children, whom You love, You give it to us freely and in abundance!! Lord, all the praise goes to You for this awesomely overwhelming gift!! In the midst of the hurricanes of life – You are there – solid and strong- FOR US!!

Help us, Lord, to trust in You – to throw ourselves into Your mighty arms. Give us Your peace we plea! When we do so the glory will be given to You! Others will ask how we do it and we can proclaim that it’s only because of You!! You are our only answer to everything this old world has to throw at us!  Even if death is what is thrown our way, yes, even death, You are the answer – being escorted into Your presence, what could be better?

Praise You, Lord!! Strengthen us!  Enable us!  Empower us!! Use us through all of life to hold our lights high, showing the world that there is HOPE and LIFE found only in You! AMEN!

June 2nd, Tues, 8:07 am

A Fine Line

Thank You for our talk this morning, Father. I needed that time of quiet interaction. May I be sensitive to Your presence throughout all the many tasks of this day. Amen.

Matthew 5:7-12 (<<click the green)

Lord, as I read through these verses it is no surprise whatsoever that though You spoke them two thousand years ago, they are so applicable today in the here and now. The world in which I live today is so divisive! It’s so defensive! Anymore it doesn’t take much tip people over into a fit of rage over almost anything.

What bothers me most is the fact that even those who follow You follow the same track. Where is mercy? If we are truly people “whose hearts are pure” wouldn’t we also be those “who work for peace”?

Is it any wonder we struggle to find Your blessing? We surely don’t deserve it…

I totally understand that we are called to firmly stand for what is right, that we should hold up the cause of the downtrodden. And here is where we must walk a fine line. We are to stand strong but why must we pair it with hatred? Why do we despise those who are in opposition to what we hold to be true?

When I read verse 11 the beginning of verse 12 slaps me in the face.

11“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12Be happy about it! Be very glad!”

Our world is in opposition to Your Church and Your kingdom seemingly more than it ever has been. Your Church is mocked. Your Church is persecuted. Your Church is lied about. People say all sorts of evil things against Your bride. …and are we happy about it? Are we glad? …I don’t think so…

We are livid! We are angry! We are retaliatory!

Where is the love? Where is the mercy? Where is compassion? Where is grace? Where are the tears for those who are lost? Where is the “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing”? (Luke 23:34)

Lord, I pray for Your hand to fall heavily upon Your Church. May we take to heart the life You lived before us. May we take upon ourselves Your humility. Make us merciful…and pure…and those who work for peace. May we do what is right in Your eyes, not our own. Amen.

Oct 11th, Wed, 8:37 am

We Strive to Divide

With a meeting out of the area this morning, Father, I am just now sitting down to write. I am being distracted by many things. Help me to place my attention on You. Amen.

Revelation 5:6-10 (<<click the green)

Lord, You continue to show the Apostle John the sights of the throne room of heaven. There are many in attendance here and they are giving You the honor You rightly deserve. Verse 9 speaks to me.It speaks of Your worthiness to open the scroll, to break its seals. Yes, You are the Lion of Judah but You are also the Lamb of God. You willingly gave yourself to be slaughtered and “your blood has ransomed people for God” and here is what speaks volumes to me. “…your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

Um…anyone left out there? …Nope! The word used there is “every”. Not one person is excluded! Because of what You have done, Lord, we have “become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And [we] (every single one of us who follow You) will reign on the earth.”

At this point in time (as well as many others I am sure) we are an absolute mess! We look for ways to segregate ourselves. We strive to divide ourselves. Much of humanity’s sole endeavor is to make sure we are broken down into camps of every imaginable disunion.

And even that is not enough! If we each crawled into our own holes that would be bad enough but, no, we must make sure that we express our hatred for whatever other unit that is not like ours or at the very least hatred for those who don’t agree with our viewpoint! It…is…insanity!

We scream for tolerance! …but there is no tolerance… We scream for acceptance and love! …but there is no acceptance or love… We clamor for peace! …but there will be no peace…

We will only find love and peace when we give ourselves over to You, Lord. Then, and only then, will that be the fruit of our labors. Oh, Lord, help us! May Your followers do everything we can to be like…You. I may cost us everything…but it is the only answer. Oh, Lord, help us….

Aug 17th, Thurs, 5:26 pm

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us…”

This is a Throwback Thursday post from June 17, 2015. It is my very first blog post. Two people viewed it. Hey, you have to start somewhere! 

Father, thank You for Your concern in regards to my spiritual well being and development. Increase my eagerness to join with You each day.

Ephesians 1:1-14

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us…”

It’s wonderful to see this amazing statement, which I have often proclaimed, firmly set in Your Word. To know that You loved us from eternity past should fill us with great peace and eradicate any doubt as to whose we are.

Help this to be foundational in how I think of myself and how I think of all others, even those that “Christians”* tend to reject. Father, help me to see people through the lens of Your perspective.

April 19th, Sun, 6:45 am

*A little expounding on my use of this term in this way might be helpful. So called “followers of Christ” have gotten a nasty reputation in latter years. Far too often we are haters and that’s not just a label others have put on us – many who bear the name of Christ are haters. If “sinners” don’t agree with us and they take a stand for what they believe, we don’t love them, pray for them or try to live lives before them that draw them to Christ. Instead, we blast them, berate them and out-and-out condemn them! In the Old Testament and the New, we are told over and over again, “Love your neighbor as yourself…” Read the Gospels and you will not find one example of Christ condemning a “sinner”, he loves them, forgives them and commands them to “go and sin no more” but, in no way, shape or form, does he hate them. On the other hand, He does condemn the spiritual leaders of His day. They were two-faced (hypocrites) and self-serving. They had the Law and they knew the Law but chose not to obey. I for one am grateful that he does not condemn sinners  for I wholeheartedly agree with Paul when he wrote in 1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.” Father, help us all to see people through the lens of Your perspective.