Jesus said,] “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”John 14:27
A Gift of Peace – Jesus knew that as long as we live on planet Earth, there will be things that can disturb our peace and cause us to be troubled or afraid. All we have to do is turn on the news or open a newspaper to see countless reasons for us to be troubled. Remember the scares related to Y2K, and UFOs, and mad-cow disease? violence, terrorism, and the threat of biochemical warfare?
The hormones doctors thought would protect women’s hearts have been shown not to do so. Food is tainted with pesticides. It’s easy to see that this world and its circumstances won’t give us the peace our hearts long for. But we don’t have to live in a state of despair. Jesus has left us with a great gift—peace of mind and heart right in the middle of this troubled world. It doesn’t come from positive thinking or repeating affirming mantras but from the person of Jesus Christ, who said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We can enter into his peace because he has already provided a way through the Cross.
JESUS, thank you for the peace of mind and heart that you provide for me. In the midst of my circumstances, I want to receive your peace for my life. I love you for overcoming the world through your work on the cross. Help me to keep my eyes fixed firmly on you and to enter into your peace.
A GREAT MANY PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO MAKE PEACE, BUT THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE. GOD HAS NOT LEFT IT FOR US TO DO; ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS TO ENTER INTO IT.D. L. Moody (1837–1899)
The One Year Bible Readings for today are 2 Samuel 7:1–8:18; John 14:15-31; Psalm 119:33-48 and Proverbs 15:33.
If the slothful are to be condemned, who do nothing, much more those that do all the ill they can. Observe how such a man is described. He says and does every thing artfully, and with design. His ruin shall come without warning, and without relief. Here is a list of things hateful to God. Those sins are in a special manner provoking to God, which are hurtful to the comfort of human life. These things which God hates, we must hate in ourselves; it is nothing to hate them in others. Let us shun all such practices, and watch and pray against them; and avoid, with marked disapproval, all who are guilty of them, whatever may be their rank.
Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.
Proverbs 6:16–19 (ESV)
16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
19 a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.
We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.Ephesians 4:15
Marriage experts have discovered some common communication patterns that are detrimental to communication. One such pattern is what is sometimes called the Dove. In this pattern, one partner placates the other in order to avoid his or her wrath. It’s the “peace at any price” syndrome. Typical statements from a Dove are “That’s fine with me” or “Whatever makes you happy makes me happy.”
Doves are always trying to appease the other person, often apologizing for things that may have upset the partner, no matter how insignificant. They almost never disagree with their spouse openly, no matter how they feel. Often the Dove pattern grows out of low self-esteem. The placater may think, My ideas are not worth anything, so why express them? He or she may also fear the spouse’s response to disagreement.
It should be obvious that this pattern of communication does not build authentic marriages. Honesty honors God and reflects his image. Psalm 31:5 even refers to the Lord as “the God of truth” (niv). We must learn to speak the truth—with grace and in love, to be sure, as the apostle Paul encourages in the verse above—but we must speak the truth.
Lord God, it’s clear from Scripture that truth is of paramount importance to you. Help us as a couple to commit to speaking the truth to each other, lovingly. Let me not be afraid to say what I think or what needs to be said.
Devotional of the day
Great Expectations – Have you ever had a teacher who expected a lot out of you? What about a parent or relative who assumed that you would act responsibly and morally? People who believe in you usually expect a lot of you—your conduct and your work. Although it may be frustrating to have someone hold you to such high standards—not to mention trying to live up to them—it can be very…