Tag Archives: kingdom living

The Surrendered Life

The Surrendered Life

Living for Christ

In my faith walk, I must constantly remind myself that “I am not my own.”  My new life in Christ was purchased with the precious blood of Jesus Christ (1 Corin. 6:19-20).

This life brings new responsibility as we share Jesus’ message of reconciliation  Jesus died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. (2 Corin. 5:15) Living for Christ requires that we live a surrendered life.  It is not by accident or happenstance.  It is intentional.

Understanding surrender

In his book, Immortal Diamonds, Richard Rohr shares a glimpse into the secret of living a surrendered life through the contemporary example of the Amish.

The Amish people know they are connected to and a part of a much larger divine reality which looks naïve to the rest of us.  On the foundation as to what is real and what is passing, they are experts.  It also explains their peace, happiness and contentment.

Understanding begins when we seek and prioritize God’s plan for our life.  It is in God that we live, breathe, and have our meaning (Acts 17:28).  Our worldview is based on the reality of God, the certainties of faith, and the “end game” that leads us to eternity with the Lord (1 John 5:13).  The surrendered life begins with denying self and the world.  It begins with Jesus as our priority.

Surrender begins with denying

Jesus in His teaching on the cost of discipleship was brutally honest about His expectation of His followers.  There was no mincing of words to make the offer more appealing to His listeners.  Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matt. 16:24) Jesus’ ministry continues today with us as His disciples.  His expectations have not changed.

Deny has two meanings: (1) to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone and (2) to lose sight of oneself and own interests.  Matthew uses the second definition to explain Jesus’ rebuke to would-be disciples unaware of the cost to follow Him.

As we deny our own interest and forsake our past self, we must also reject our love for this world— “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16).  All these create within us a divided heart which cannot love Jesus well nor surrender to His leading.

The surrendered life

The world, Satan, and our flesh are not big on “denying”.   They encourage us to place our desires above the Lord’s.  They deceive by whispering, “You can have it your way right now.  Jesus can wait another day.”  Jesus replies, “I am The Way” (John 14:6) and offers instead His love (John 3:16), salvation (Heb. 2:10), forgiveness (Ep. 1:7), freedom (Ps. 146:7), and peace (Col. 3:15).

The goal of the Christian life can be summed up by Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Such a life of surrender is pleasing to God, results in the greatest human fulfillment, and will reap ultimate rewards in heaven (Luke 6:22-23).[1]

The surrendered life in Christ results in great joy and wisdom.  There is great confidence in knowing we have made the best choice by seeking “the Pearl of Great Price” (Matt. 13:46). To give up other offers, by comparison, is a surrender of the lesser.

[1]   Got Questions, “What does it mean to surrender to God?”

Clarion Word Classics: The Dangers of a Shallow Faith

 

What are Clarion Word Classics?

The Clarion Word Classics (CWC) is a learning series WordBytes has launched to share faith writings that will strengthen and enrich our spiritual lives and faith walk.  Some of our classics come from sage theologians.  Others introduce contemporary writers who offer spiritual answers to the challenges of 21st century living.

The word “clarion” comes from the Latin word that means “clear”.  Used as an adjective, it means “loud and clear”.  Our intent with this quarterly series is to make “loud and clear” what is ours in Christ (Rom. 8:17) and the relevancy of our faith for this present generation (Matt. 24:34).

This quarter CWC, will introduce A.W. Tozer, a self-taught theologian, pastor, and writer whose powerful use of words continues to grip the intellect and stir the soul of today’s believer.  He has authored more than 40 books, the best known are The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy.  The Dangers of a  Shallow Faith is a never-before-published compilation.

How does it connect with our faith walk?

Lethargy is a lingering tiredness that is constant and limiting. Spiritual lethargy may be defined as a state of indifference or inertia with regard to one’s own spiritual growth and vitality.

The Apostle Paul urged the Thessalonians to avoid succumbing to spiritual lethargy: “so then let us not sleep as others do but let us be alert and sober” (1 Thess. 5:6).

Tozer describes this condition well: “there is little communion and little joy in the Lord. To have a cold heart with little pity, little fire, little love and little worship is spiritual lethargy.”[1] 

Some of the most common symptoms include any combination of the following:

  • Chronic indulgence in sinful thoughts and actions
  • Little or no desire to pray
  • Engagement in exclusively Christ-less entertainment
  • Avoidance of personal accountability
  • Decreased appetite for Bible study
  • Selfish and materialistic orientation
  • Reluctant and sporadic church attendance

Spiritual lethargy renders us “unserviceable” in God’s Kingdom.  Deceived by Satan’s lies, tempted by the world, and weakened in our flesh, we are, as the mothers of the church would say, “no earthly good.”  Satan’s most successful strategy is not to kill our faith but to silence our witness.

Tozer’s insights

Tozer urges us to be aware of the times in which we live.  We are to “gird the loin of our mind, be sober and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:13).   While Tozer’s dangers were centered on the evangelical church, its application is “spot on” for us individually as we move from “glory to glory” in our walk of faith (2 Cor. 3:18).

In the Word Ministries provides CWC in our effort to “inspire authentic communities of faith, fellowship, and learning.”  It is in that spirit that we share this book.  This is not an endorsement or agreement with the views shared.  Here is an introductory reading  from The Dangers of a Shallow Faith:  Awakening from Spiritual Lethargy. 

[1] The Dangers of a Shallow Faith:  Awakening from Spiritual Lethargy. 

Our Faith Walk: Who Are You? Part 1

Who are you?

Who are you?

In the story, Alice in Wonderland, we are told of a young girl drawn into a world of contradictions and challenges to her way of thinking.  How did it start?  She chased a rabbit with a watch.  In the process, Alice falls into a “proverbial rabbit hole”, entering a new reality that tests everything she claims to believe.  My favorite character is the plump caterpillar who, positioned on a posh pillar, asks of Alice, “Who are you?”

Joseph, being sold into slavery by his brothers, found himself in new and perilous circumstances that challenged his faith and godly beliefs (Genesis 37-39).  Daniel and his comrades, exiled in Babylon where continually tested and dared to “hold fast to their confession of faith”, even at the potential loss of their life (Daniel 1-3).

One of the challenges in living in the 21st century is understanding, “who we are”.   Our identity.  Why is it important?  Who influences the choices we make daily?  There are rabbit holes, temptations, and risks to life we must acknowledge as we continue our walk of faith.  That’s why it’s important that we hold firm to our identity as followers of Jesus Christ.

Who do you identify with?

Identity is the set of characteristics that constitutes individual personality.  It is our essential self and our personal uniqueness.

Our identity is shaped by personal traits, talents, values, and beliefs. External factors such as friends and family, social groups, and cultural heritage also shape who we are.

While identity deals with personal uniqueness, it also describes a person’s sameness with others.  For example, one’s identity may be tied to a particular area (Midwesterner, New Yorker), a certain group (Boomers, Gen-Xers), or a cause (Save the Whales).  It can also be tied to a political affiliation or religious denomination.

Our world is daily challenging us to “choose” who we identify with.  The results are that we, as a society, are experiencing an identity crisis.

Identity crisis, in the psychosocial sense, is a condition of disorientation and role confusion as a result of conflicting pressures and expectations.   Identity crisis seeks a clearer sense of self and acceptable role in society.  Spiritual identity crisis is very similar, in that it occurs because of the conflict exerted from Satan, the world, and self.[1]

Unfortunately, rather than celebrating our God-given uniqueness, the world and Satan is using our identity to polarize us and to weaponize who we are.

Identity and our faith walk.

For believers, our identity is rooted and grounded in Christ Jesus (Col. 2:7).   Through His work of redemption, we have been reconciled to the Father (Rom. 5:10).

Satan challenges our identity in Christ Jesus by first targeting our mind.  He uses as his weapon, lies.  These lies are designed to deceive and discourage.  Satan’s purpose is to make us ignorant of God’s will and plan for our life.

The world also attacks our mind and our body.  It creates an insatiable desire for “all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16).

Lastly, self contributes to identity crisis by demanding freedom to exercise its personal will.  The desire to rule self and operate independent of God leads to self-promotion, self-elevation, and selfishness.  Left unchecked, man’s attention shifts from “what God desires” to “what feels right.”

In Christ we are now sons and daughters of God (John 1:12), endowed with a new identity and power.  Through spiritual regeneration (2 Cor. 5:17), we have become partakers of His divine nature, the Holy Spirit, who is daily conforming us to the image of Christ (2 Pet. 1:4).

We must continually be on the watch for social, political, and yes, religious “rabbit holes” that challenge our identity in Christ. Next week, we will continue our discussion on identity and its importance in our faith walk.

[1]   https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/identity-crisis

 

In Response: Living the Resurrected Life

Living the Resurrected Life

Last week’s teaching on Eastertide and “Living in Resurrection Power” has led to many questions from you with regard to its application for 21st century living.

In response,  I invite you to a  follow-up  WordBytes entitled, “Living the Resurrected Life.”   I am pleased that we are continuing to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord (2 Pet. 3:18).  His plan of salvation continues even into this present age.  Hallelujah!

Throwback Wednesday: Living in Resurrection Power

Throwback Wednesday: Living in Resurrection Power

Easter, for Christians, is  more than a one day event.  It is a 50-day celebration. The season of Easter, or Eastertide, begins at sunset on the eve of Easter and ends on Pentecost (see Acts 2).

Eastertide, is also, an excellent  opportunity to expand our  understanding of the power Christ’s resurrection continuous to offer, even in the 21st century (Eph. 1:19-20).

That being said,  we offer for your reading, “Living in Resurrection Power”.   This is an excellent follow-up to our series, “Spiritual Blessing for Victorious Living.”

Spiritual Blessings for Victorious Living: Begin with the End in Mind

 

Spiritual Blessing for Victorious Living: Begin with the End in Mind

The Possibilities

A child gazes into a new box of Legos and begins to fantasize about that special robot they have always wanted.  A young lady searches for that one “special” dress.  She knows the silhouette, color, and fabric.  She has already envisioned wearing it on Saturday.  I stare at the picture of shrimp and grits.  Reviewing each ingredient, I imagine its succulent taste in my mouth.  All three of us with our own unique desire will bring into reality what we have each imagined by beginning with the end in mind.

“Begin with the end in mind” is one of the principles from Steven Covey’s best seller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  Covey puts forth the idea that by clearly seeing the goal we desire at the beginning, we will more likely be able to accomplish that goal in the end.

Before the foundation of the world, God had a specific end in mind.  It was two-fold:  first, to redeem mankind, and secondly, to restore the Kingdom of God.  Both purposes were fulfilled and will be fulfilled through Jesus Christ (Is. 9:6-7).

Having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.  Ephesians 1:9-10 (NKJ)

The mystery has been made known.

The mystery (musterion) of God’s will can only be known because of God’s willingness to make it known.  The word literally means “to shut the mouth” and in this context, it refers to a truth once hidden but now made known (Rom. 11:25; Col. 1:26).

The mystery “was made known” when Christ came in the flesh (Titus 2:11) and the long-awaited plan of redemption was initiated according to God’s good pleasure.  God knew what was needed to resolve the issue of sin.  He “purposed in Himself” a plan that was to be carried out in Jesus Christ, His Son.  This mystery has now been revealed “to us”—His Church.

The purpose realized—in part.

Dispensation refers to the management or oversight of other’s property.  God gave Christ oversight over all the elect, not only in the physical world, but also those already in heaven.  The Apostle Paul revealed to the church at Ephesus God’s eternal purpose to “gather together” not only them, but all who have by faith accepted Christ.

This “gathering together” began with a chosen people who ultimately became a nation called Israel (Ps. 132:11-13).  This “gathering together” continued with a rejected people, the New Testament Church (1 Pet. 2:10), who became heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

The “fullness of times”, however, is yet in eternity future, when Christ begins His reign in the Millennial Kingdom (Rev. 21).  Then the purpose which God began before the foundation of the world will be realized in full.

What about us?

What has God purposed for our life?  It’s much more than “living happily ever after”.  God has gifted us with spiritual (and material) blessings to bring into reality what was always the plan for mankind and His Kingdom.

Let our life “in Christ” be centered “on Christ”!  This season of Lenten is a great time to realign and reprioritize our plans with God’s vision for our life.  Let us remember to keep the “main thing the main thing.”

Spiritual Blessings for Victorious Living: To the Praise of God’s Glorious Grace

Spiritual Blessings for Victorious Living: To the Praise of God

For God’s Praise

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.  Ephesians 1:4-6 

Last week we explored the meaning of “in Christ”.   In Christ describes our identity with Christ and our position before God the Father.  Our new identity incorporates the personality of Christ by the Holy Spirit indwelling our heart.  Being in Christ makes available to us everything that Christ has:  His righteousness, privilege, resources, position, and power.    This week we’ll continue our discussion of spiritual blessings by focusing on its primary source:  God.

Go to the Source

The source of spiritual blessings is God, The Faithful Creator and Sustainer of Life.  These blessings are available through God’s plan of salvation for those who by faith are in Christ.  God’s plan was not “Plan B” or an afterthought as a result of man’s fall in The Garden (Genesis 3:15) but was created in eternity before the foundations of the world.  “With the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.  He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Pet. 1:19-20).

The Old Testament prophets declared the plan of God to redeem and restore His people for their sake and for His glory (Isaiah 43:21). The Lord proclaimed through Jeremiah: “I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.” (Jeremiah 33:8)

Believers are receivers

God chose man from Creation to be the recipient of His great love, desiring to be in continual relationship with His most beloved creature.  However, the nature of God, His holiness, specifically, demanded that believers be “holy and without blame” before Him (1 Pet. 1:15-16).  God declared, therefore, the means by which man would be able to meet His requirement for holiness:  His Son, Jesus Christ.

Through God’s predetermined plan, He adopted those in Christ to become His sons (and daughters) (Rom. 8:15-16).  By God’s act of grace (being chosen and adopted) and mercy (Christ’s substitutional death for sins), we are now clothed in Christ’s righteousness (imputed), making the pursuit of holiness (blamelessness) possible.   With the addition of the Holy Spirit’s presence, we are able “to both will and do God’s good will” (Phil. 2:13).

God’s affection for us speaks to the true heart and nature of God.  It expresses God’s goodness.  While God’s goodness includes, His love and His mercy, Paul speaks of the “glory of God’s grace” (charis) expressed in the free gift of His Son.  God’s grace, resulting in our salvation and justification (rendered righteous) before God (Rom. 5:1O), deserves our highest praise.   Hallelujah, we are now acceptable to God through Jesus Christ!

Blessings from a Sovereign God

In Ephesians, we are reminded that God as Sovereign of both heaven and earth does all things “according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:5) and “according to the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11).

God sovereignly rules over all things—present and future.  He rules with wisdom, justice, and mercy, therefore, we can trust our present and our future in His hands (Rom. 8:28) regardless of what is happening in our external circumstances (2 Cor. 4: 18).

Chosen by God.  Holy and blameless in Him.  Adopted as sons.  Accepted by God.  These are the beginnings of the spiritual blessings God has lavishly given to us who are in Christ.  Taken individually, we can begin to understand and appreciate the privilege, power, and promise that flow from each (2 Pet. 1:3-4).  With each action of God, we are invited to respond by participating in the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth and in witnessing to others about the Good News of Jesus Christ.   Let everything that has breathe praise the Lord for all He has done and continues to do for us who are in Christ!

Advent Revisited: A Psalm for Advent

 

A Psalm for Advent

A Time to remember

One of the things I love to do during the holiday season is to find a quiet place in the house and reminisce on how my family prepared for Christmas.    After Thanksgiving, we would receive the “Sears and Roebuck” Christmas catalog.  We called it “the dream book.” Now Christmas displays begin to appear before Halloween.

As believers, we have the liturgical calendar to help us “mark” the different aspects of this most holy season.  It begins with Advent and the practice of waiting.  It culminates with Christmas, a time of celebrating the arrival of our Savior, Jesus the Christ.

This Advent, I invite you to join us as we reminisce and revisit Advents of the past through our WordBytes devotion.  We have chosen three (3) of our most popular Advent WordBytes from past years.  We hope they will fill your hearts with hope, peace, joy, and love.

“A PSALM FOR ADVENT”

In Search of Peace: When will we find it?

In Search of Peace: When will we find it?

We seek peace.

What peace are we seeking and when will we find it?  Because of God’s grace and mercy, we experience various degrees of peace even in this fallen world.  We are no longer in enmity with God because of Jesus’ gift of life (2 Cor. 5:18).  We on occasion see glimpses of peace between nations and groups divided because of preference, politics, or social agendas.  However, even that peace is tenuous and subject to change with the next difference of opinion.

The search for peace is a pursuit that will continue until we transition to eternity.  So why are we trying so hard to achieve it now?  Because it is God’s desire that we live in peace with each other and experience peace within.  Without peace we will be hindered from accomplishing our divine purpose which includes glorifying God.

Peace was God’s First Choice

When God and man lived in the Garden of Eden, their world was designed to accomplish a specific purpose.  God would provide for His creation—food, clothing, shelter.  Man in turn would be obedient to his Creator and reverence God.  They would enjoy an intimate and harmonious relationship. There was peace.   Of course, we know what happened to the plan of creation.

Although many attempts have been made through the institution of covenants and laws, man has always been troubled with contention, strife, and war (Hab. 1:3; James 4:1; Rom. 2:8).  The biblical text relates attempts by God’s prophets and priests to bring peace, but none could be found—externally nor within.

Only Jesus Christ, the Promised Messiah, could bring the “peace” that would reverse the ravages of sin that resulted in broken relationships and shattered hearts (Isa. 9:6-7; Mic. 5:4-5).

Peace is a hard issue.

Early in our study we defined peace as a stress-free state of security and calmness, everything co-existing in perfect harmony and freedom.  Let’s be real.  Man cannot orchestrate this kind of peace while we live in this fallen world.   And this is the world we must live in right now.   The peace described in this definition will be possible when Jesus Christ returns and rules physically during the Millennial Age.

However, right now God’s peace is guaranteed by His unchanging promises and can be found through faith in Jesus Christ.  It is possible spiritually through the Holy Spirit living within us. The Holy Spirit fortifies us as we live in this fallen world.  He sustains us even in the most desperate of circumstances (Gal. 5:22).

Peace that passes all understanding.

The Apostle Paul, while imprisoned in Rome, appealed to the church in Phillipi, to “rejoice in the Lord”.  Strange message considering Paul’s situation.  But while experiencing the backlash of living in a fallen world, he found peace in his situation.  He offered the same to them (Phil. 4:6-7, NLT).

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Chrysostom, Eastern church father and archbishop of Constantinople wrote these words on “how this peace—God’s peace—passes all understanding”.

The peace of God, which He imparts to us, passes all understanding. For who could have expected and who could have hoped for such benefits? It transcends every human intellect and all speech. For His enemies, for those who hate Him, for the apostates—for all these He did not refuse to give his only begotten Son, so as to make peace with them. The peace which will preserve us is the one of which Christ says, “My peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.”  For this peace passes all human understanding. How? When He sees that we should be at peace with enemies, with the unrighteous, with those who display contentiousness and hostility toward us, how does this not pass human understanding?[1]

God’s peace is what we need for 21st century living.  Peace that will not only exceed our expectations but also guard our hearts and minds, from fear, anxiety, hopelessness, and despair.  Our “call to action” as believers is to, like Jesus’ Disciples and the Apostle Paul, become agents of peace and ministers of reconciliation to a “peaceless” world.  In the world’s search for peace, let us be the light to show them where they can find it (Matt. 5:9).

[1]  Ancient Christian Commentary of Scripture, New Testament VIII, Mark J. Edwards

In Search of Peace: What is Peace?

 

In Search of Peace: What is Peace?

The Pursuit of Peace

With all the chaos in the world, contention in our country, and personal stress in our life, it is no surprise that one of the things people want most but can’t seem to find is peace.  Whether we’re talking about world peace, peaceful relationships, or peace-of-mind, there just never seems to be enough peace.

What is peace?  A biblical counselor asked their patients to work through an exercise which has them lists the qualities and characteristics of peace.  The results with both Christian and non-Christians are to help people understand that, many times, the peace they seek is “situational, temporary, and experiential”.

It (peace) is seen as the absence of conflict or the removal of hinderance to personal happiness. “When I’m not fighting, when I’m appreciated, when I’m happy, when I’m financially secure.”[1]   

What does OUR list look like?  Take a minute and write down what you think peace looks like.

Do we want peace?

Silly question!  Who doesn’t want peace?  Well, of course, Satan doesn’t want it.  Whether it’s peace in the world or peace of mind, Satan loves confusion, conflict, and division.  So do Satan’s followers: “principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness of this world” and “spiritual wickedness in high places”, i.e., political, commercial, social, religious (Eph.6:12).   Before we answer the question of do we want peace, let’s agree on what it is.

What is peace?

A general definition of peace is a stress-free state of security and calmness that comes when there is no fighting or war, everything co-existing in perfect harmony and freedom.[2]  Is peace a feeling?

Webster adds to this definition by highlighting the “freedom” aspect of peace: “freedom from disturbance, from war, from civil disorder, and even freedom from disputes and dissension between people.”  Is peace based on our circumstances?

I am enjoying this study on peace.  From a biblical perspective, it gives me an opportunity to closely examine the words that were “carefully” chosen by the Holy Spirit to best represent God’s intended meaning of peace.  It becomes a point of spiritual clarity for me.  Whether it is Greek or Hebrew, the word meaning adds to the “precision” I need to know what peace really looks like.

Peace by any other name!

The biblical concept of peace is larger than what we might read in our modern dictionaries. It rests heavily on the Hebrew word root (slm) which means “to be complete” or “to be sound”.  The verb peace conveys the meaning—”to be complete or whole” or “to live well”.  It is from this root that we get the more familiar word, salom or shalom. 

In the Old Testament, this fine distinction of peace can be grouped into four general categories of shalom:

  1. Wholeness of life or body, i.e., health. (Ps. 34:18; 147:3; Jer. 33:6)
  2. Right relationship or harmony between two parties or people, often established by a covenant. (Numbers 25:12-13; Ezek. 34:25-26)
  3. Prosperity, success, or fulfillment (Lev. 26:3-9)
  4. Victory over one’s enemies or absence of war (Isa. 9:6-7)

The New Testament word for peace, eirene, has been greatly influenced by the Hebrew use of shalom.  It occurs in each book of the New Testament.  Eirene originally referred to the orderly, prosperous life that is possible if there is no war.  Only much later did philosophers begin to apply the concept to an inner, personal peace.

In many ways, the two renderings of peace overlap, especially regarding relationships and harmony between people and nations.   It describes:

  1. Harmonious relationships (Luke 14:32)
  2. Freedom from harassment (rest from war) (Luke 11:21; Acts 9:31)
  3. Order, rest, and contentment (Matt.10:13, John 14:27)
  4. Harmonized relationship between God and man (Acts 10:36; Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:14-17)

Shalom is still used in both greetings and farewells.  It is meant to act as a blessing to the one to whom it is spoken.

Where is my peace?

In answer to my earlier question, “do we want peace?”  Of course, we do! So, if we all want peace, why don’t we have it and why is it so elusive?  As stated earlier, many times the peace we seek is situational, temporary, and experiential.  If we base our peace on the things of “this world, our peace is tied to an unstable, ever-changing world (1 John 2: 15-17).

Unfortunately, we often allow this type of peace to dictate our feelings and our emotions.  We may feel safe, secure, and calm; that is until there is a change in circumstances.

Peace may appear to elude us because we don’t know what REAL PEACE looks like.  That is the purpose of this series to better understand what real peace looks like.  Once we have a clear understanding of what it looks like and its true source, we will find shalom as we navigate the tumultuous waters of 21st century living.

May your life be filled with health, prosperity, and victory.

May it be filled with God’s shalom.

[1] The Pursuit of Peace, Samuel Stephens, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, April, 2020

[2] Vocabulary.com