Last night we enjoyed hosting a group at our home to hear the scripture memory ministry of Rod and Jenni Carlson. (see picture) Their Living Logos Ministry (www.livinglogos.org) really does allow God’s Word to come alive. Jenni quoted the Book of Ruth and Rod quoted the Sermon on the Mount and the first two chapters of Philippians. Using the word “quoted” doesn’t do justice in describing the impact of their presentation. As one our guests commented, “you share scripture from the heart, not your head.”
This morning Rod called me to let me know that a long time friend of ours David McPherson had suddenly passed away. David and His wife Cheri have lived for several years in Colorado Springs and have been involved in several aspects of ministry over the years. David has experienced some health challenges in recent months but his passing came as quite a surprise.
For me it has been a good day. I needed a little more rest time this morning than usual, but did get in about an hour work out that included some time in the swimming pool. We have been experiencing some colder weather and rain so it all goes together with the sun setting earlier and the coming winter season.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Tribulation and peace seem an “odd couple” of concepts for Jesus to be sharing with His disciples just before His arrest, trial and crucifixion. But there is no greater assurance that can be given in the face of persecution and tribulation than to know that Jesus is with us and He will provide a supernatural peace to accompany our lives.
In John 14 begins with Jesus addressing the “troubled hearts” of the disciples in assuring them that if He leaves them, He will return. And until He returns the Holy Spirit will be with them to teach and empower just as Jesus had during His earthly ministry. Then He gives them these words of assurance.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
During His ministry Jesus was able to live with a sense of “divine peace” because He knew that He was in the Father’s care and was doing the Father’s will. The same would be true for Jesus’ disciples. This divine peace, “…the peace of God that passes all understanding…” (Philippians 4:7) would also characterize their lives. They might know conflict on the outside, but they could experience inward peace, knowing they were connected to Jesus “the vine.” (John 15:1)
As Jesus continues to teach the disciples He shares with them that if He doesn’t “go away…the Holy Spirit can not come…” (John 16:7) After Jesus shares about the work of the Holy Spirit, He tells them, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace…”
The two arenas of life can never be greater in contrast. Living in the world, trusting in the world for peace, and placing your hope in Jesus Christ and finding true peace. To live in the world is to experience tribulation, but Jesus through the peace He gives allows His followers to overcome the world, just as He has.
We live in a world of uncertainty; from terrorist attacks to the fear of Ebola and other diseases. We see uncertainty politically and in nature itself. All of these are issues that arise that can bring fear, unrest and even panic. That is why the peace of Jesus is so critical in our day. Remember in Jesus you have peace.