Monday, August 6, 2012

Sweet Peace

John 14:27 (NIV) “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.  I do not give as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

When Jesus was telling this statement to his disciples, it was not long before the temple guards came to arrest him, just prior to his trial and crucifixion.  He was preparing them for what would soon happen.  I’m sure the full meaning of all he was saying was not weighing in on them, not until everything began unfolding before their eyes.  They have walked with Jesus, shared and talked with Jesus, been taught and discipled by Jesus for three years.  They all loved him dearly, all except Judas.  I wonder if Judas had already decided in his heart that he would betray Jesus at this point.  He may have already made a deal with the high priests and may already be counting his money in his head as Jesus spoke these words.  Knowing the betrayal to come, Jesus still made this promise – I do not give as the world gives, I give you my peace!

How does the world give?  The world gives only when it benefits the giver – “I’ll scratch your back if you will scratch mine”.  The world gives until the receiver disappoints in some way, then the world takes it back.   The world gives only to its favorites.  The world gives only to the popular.  The world gives only so much, never giving all.   Jesus gave it all.  Only Jesus gave up his crown in heaven to be born on earth in a lowly manger.  Only Jesus gave all of his love, mercy and grace to any and all who would receive.  Only Jesus gave his life through a cruel death.  Only Jesus!

“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  Jesus is still telling his disciples this today.  If you have Jesus in your heart, if you serve him, if you love him, if you are a Christian, he is speaking to you.  Philippians 4:7 (NASB) “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  The peace that Jesus gives to us is a supernatural peace, it passes our natural understanding.  This peace guards our hearts and our minds.  If there’s ever been a time that mankind needs strong hearts and sound minds it is today!

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