Category Archives: Peace

Do realize there is an answer that will solve the world’s problems? Do you realize it is more than the wind in our sails but rather the rudder to direct our path? …(The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 17])


Do you realize that Mahatma Gandhi discovered it when he said “When your country and mine shall get together on the teaching laid down by Christ in this Sermon on the Mount, we shall have solved the problems not only of our countries but those of the whole world.

Imagine if everyone used the teaching from the Sermon on the Mount as the rudder for their lives rather than just their sails that pushes them along? Having the teaching be what directs them rather than was keeps them moving. Imagine a world where people were trying to live their lives based on this teaching.

It’s interesting how even though Mahatma Gandhi was critical of Christianity, he admired Jesus and was able to use that knowledge in his conversation with the British. He provides an example of what peaceful demonstrations look like which inspired many other peace activists like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was an anti-Nazi pastor as well as Martin Luther King Jr. who was an American civil rights leader.

The reading for today that speaks into this truth comes from Matthew 5-7.

The Sermon on the Mount

1Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

The Beatitudes

2And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

13“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.19Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Anger

21“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

Lust

27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Divorce

31“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths

33“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

Retaliation

38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Love Your Enemies

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Giving to the Needy

1“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

The Lord’s Prayer

5“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
14For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Fasting

16“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

19“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
24“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Do Not Be Anxious

25“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Judging Others

1“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
6“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

Ask, and It Will Be Given

7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

The Golden Rule

12“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

A Tree and Its Fruit

15“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

I Never Knew You

21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Build Your House on the Rock

24“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.25And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

The Authority of Jesus

28And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

I know it is a lot of information. It is information necessary though for us to allow be the rudder of our lives. It is the directions we need to follow in order to solve the world’s problems.

In this world we will have troubles but we can take heart because Jesus overcame the world! Thanks to Jesus, we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of any kind because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that by letting perseverance finish its work we will be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Will you allow God’s Word to be your rudder? Will you be like Mahatma Gandhi and take hold of the Sermon on the Mount in order that we can see transformation in our world?

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible in the area of Acts of Mercy, is the topic of Mahatma Gandhi and the impact of Matthew 5-7 on and in and through him.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I ask Lord that even as Your Spirit is the wind in my sail to keep me moving forward for the glory of Your kingdom, I ask Lord that Your Words from the sermon on the mount will be the rudder that directs my path. Help me Lord to take hold of the truths from the beattitudes. Help me Lord to be salt and light. Help me Lord to not allow anger to have a foothold in my life. Help me Lord to resist lustful desires of my flesh. Help me Lord to build up and strengthen my marriage by controlling my eyes and my thoughts. Help me Lord to let me yes be yes and my no be no. Help me Lord to not allow my human nature to be how I respond but to respond as You command by turning the other cheek. Help me Lord to walk out my life in love to everyone who You bring across my path. Help me to be generous in giving to the needy. Help me Lord to take time in prayer and fasting to reset and realign my life with Your will and Your plan. Not only forgiving but being an abassador of peace. Lord help me to be more focused on storing up treasures in heaven than on this earth while being a good steward with all the people and resources You have added to my life. Help me Lord to not lean on my own understanding and not become anxious but rather to lift up every need, concern, desire up to You. Help me Lord to see people through Your eyes and not be judgemental. Help me to treat others as I would like as well as how they should be. Lord, help me I pray to walk out my life with You so that I won’t ever need to hear the words that You never knew me. Lord, I give my life to You and build it upon the rock of my salvation, Jesus Christ my Lord. So Lord, I give this day into Your hands and pray that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

How can you help bring unity?


How can you do things that help bring people together? How can you do things that will heal fractures? How can you do things that will mend broken hearts? How can you do things that will bring reconciliation? How can you do things that will unite? How can you speak words that will build up? How can you speak words that will encourage? How can you live a life of love? Let’s lead with love! Let’s build with love! Let’s unite in love!

Today’s reading comes from Ephesians 2 and speaks to the unity that comes through Christ…

‘Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. ‘

–from Ephesians 2:11-22

The key is to bring Jesus to the center. To the center of all of our relationships. To the center of our marriages. To the center of our nation. By putting Jesus in the center it draws us to Him and so closer to each other. It helps bring unity. His gravity will help us stay united.

Today’s devotional speaks to a radio address done by President Ronald Reagan marking the holidays of Passover and Easter in 1983. It pulls from today’s reading and in particular verses 17-19 where it reads

‘And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, ‘ — from Ephesians 2:17-19

He speaks of how through common faith in God, people from different backgrounds are able to be united in their efforts to promote peace and freedom.

Today’s devotional quotes from the speech and I found a copy of it and share it here:

“This week as American families draw together in worship, we join with millions upon millions of others around the world also celebrating the traditions of their faiths. During these days, at least, regardless of nationality, religion, or race, we are united by faith in God, and the barriers between us seem less significant. Observing the rites of Passover and Easter, we’re linked in time to the ancient origins of our values and to the unborn generations who will still celebrate them long after we’re gone. As Paul explained in his Epistle to the Ephesians, He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. So then you were no longer strangers and aliens, but you were fellow citizens of God’s household.’ “


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I lift up this day to You Lord and offer it and my life up to You as a living sacrifice. Help me Lord to be an ambassador of peace. Help me Lord to be one who tries to bring people together in unity. Help me to be one who helps people find the hope that is from Jesus. Help me Lord to live a life that will lift You up bringing You the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Things feeling like they are spinning out of control?


Being faced with challenges, struggles, issues, problems and wondering what is going on? No matter what they are don’t lose hope and don’t give up! Remember how much God loves you! Remember that He has a plan for you! So draw closer to Him and press in to what He has planned for you and His purpose for your life!

Remember when things seem like they are falling apart that they may just be aligning to fall into place! Then consider your part in going with it! What is required of you? What is it that God wants you to learn and grow in and through this time? How will you walk out stronger on the other side?

Let’s look beyond here and now! Let’s look up to eternity and how it will be! Let’s not lose hope when things get hard but rather let’s lean into God more and allow Him to work in and through us! Let’s lean in and be held by God! God know the beginning and the end! He is able to bring peace in the storm! He is able to calm our hearts within the storm! He is able to calm the storm! Either way don’t lose hope but trust in Him and lean in to Him and be held!

Jesus told us it wouldn’t be easy when we are living on this earth but He also encouraged us!

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 NLT

God’s Word tells us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because there is a plan and there is a purpose and it is for our good…

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

James 1:2-4 NLT

Today’s devotional closes with a quote from A. W. Tozer which I am going to include here too…

‘God is love and God is sovereign. His love disposes Him to desire our everlasting welfare, and His sovereignty enables Him to secure it.’

–from Day 341: Bible In One Year 2018


Is God Really in Control?

Day 341: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. The Lord reigns from conception to deathPsalms 139:11-16
  2. The Lord reigns over every area of your life3 John 1
  3. The Lord reigns over events and historyZechariah 1, Zechariah 2, Zechariah 3, Zechariah 4

Today’s reading from God’s Word…

Will you walk out the plan God has for you?


Will you walk in the peace that goes beyond all understanding through the highs and the lows of being obedient and walking out God’s plan? Will you walk in the joy that goes beyond happiness for a moment by walking out obedience knowing that you are in the will of God? Will you walk out the plan God has for you trust Him and continuing to follow Him even when you get to experience the mountain top highs or the valley lows? Have you had an encounter with God yet? Have you started your life long relationship with Jesus yet? Have you received direction? Have you received confirmation? Have you seen the signs and wonders? Will you align with the voice of truth?

Will you walk out the plan God has for you and your life?

What vision has God given you? Will you take hold of it and pursue it? Will you seek His wisdom and discernment to be able to go for it? How will God use you to transform your community? How will you bring Jesus to the people God has brought into your life? How will you share the love and joy of Jesus with the people around you? Will they notice the difference? Will they experience God’s presence in and through you?

Without vision the people perish! Do you see where you are at? Do you see where things could be? Will you share the vision with the people around you in order to help lead them forward into the presence of God?

Will you take it beyond a dream or a hope by putting your vision into action? Will you take the vision and take action in order to transform the world around you? We need God’s vision because without God’s vision, action is leading to nightmares!


Today’s devotional:

From Vision to Action

Day 336: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Importance of vision … Proverbs 29:10-18
  2. Power of vision … 1 John 2:28-29, 1 John 3:1-10
  3. Fulfillment of vision … Daniel 8:15-27, Daniel 9:1-19

Today’s reading from God’s Word

 

 

 

Beyond the storm, beyond the darkness…


Fear not, just believe! Call on God and He will answer! Allow Him to bring peace in the midst of the storms of life – whether He is calming your heart or calming the storm around you! Allow His light to shine in the darkness that through His light the darkness will flee! Resist the devil and he will flee! Allow the peace of God that goes beyond all understanding to guard your heart and guide your life!

Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! No matter what happens, put your trust in God!

We know that in this world we will have troubles and we know that we can have hope because Jesus has overcome the world! We know that we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance and that when perseverance has completed its work in us we can be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Will we face struggles? Yes! Inward struggles and outward struggles! The key through them all is that we have Jesus with us and our trust and faith in Him will and can get us through it all! Don’t try to do it alone! Don’t try to do it all in your own strength! Remember God isn’t out there somewhere, He is Emmanuel – God with us! So call on Him in your day of trouble and He will rescue you and you will give Him praise!

Is it easy? No. But in our weakness, God’s strength is revealed! On our own we might not be strong enough, but with God all things are possible! Walking out life with Jesus we have the benefit that in the midst of it all His peace that surpasses all understanding will get us through it all! Allow that peace to cover you! Allow that trust to encourage you! Allow His presence to comfort you! He didn’t send us the Holy Spirit for nothing, He did call him the comforter remember! Don’t worry for worry changes nothing! Instead, pray and bring your request before God!

Today’s message from the daily devotional closes with the following reminder:

‘Perfect peace’ (Isaiah 26:3) makes me think of a beautiful, calm summer’s day, sitting by a deserted lake with not a care in the world and no temptations, no problems and no difficulties to cope with. ‘Perfect peace’ in such circumstances would not be at all surprising or extraordinary. Yet as we read the Bible, it is clear that this promise of ‘perfect peace’ is not dependent on circumstances. God’s peace comes to you even in the dark places – in the midst of your most difficult struggles and challenges.

–from Day 253: Bible In One Year 2017


Peace in the Dark Places

Day 253: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Temptation … Psalm 106:32-39
  2. Trials … 2 Corinthians 11:16-33
  3. Trust … Isaiah 24:1-26:21

Today’s reading from God’s Word: