The Journey Thoughts

December 21, 2016

Isaiah 9:6 tells us that the Messiah is called the "Prince of Peace."  In
John 14, Jesus says, "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do
not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or
fearful." v27  Yet, in Luke 12, Jesus is quoted as saying this: "I came to
bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already set ablaze!  But I
have a baptism to be baptized with, and how it consumes Me until it is
finished! Do you think that I came here to give peace to the earth? No, I
tell you, but rather division! From now on, five in one household will be
divided: three against two, and two against three." Luke 12: 49-51  Is Jesus
being duplicitous? Absolutely not! You see Jesus is our  peace, yet before
He came on the scene, one that the Father and He had planned since the
beginning, the world was not at peace.  There may have been times of lack of
wars, but there was never peace.  When God was silent for many years before
the advent of the Messiah, people were lulled into a life of struggle,
persecution, and trials, yet they endured.  They were under oppressive Roman
rule, yet learned to live it, just like the persecution in Egypt many years
before.  They just got used to being in bondage.  Today, the world is still
used to being in bondage, and is comfortable with it, and when something
comes that changes that, there is even more conflict.  For instance, take
our recent elections.  Our nation seems to be fairly split between
conservative thinking and liberal thinking. When a leader is chosen from one
side, the other is in conflict. Now the tides have turned, and those
thinking that they were finally comfortable are now on the losing side, and
they don't like it.  I have heard things such as, "There is no more hope!"
Or, "The nation is now going down the tubes."  Yet, when peace is looked for
in the absence of strife, it is never found. But peace in not in the absence
of strife but rather in a person, in our Lord and Savior Jesus.  When He
came to His ministry around thirty years old, He turned the religious
establishment upside down.  He Himself, did not find peace within the land
toward Him, but remember, He is peace, and even though He brought with Him
hope, those of the "other" side opposed Him, for what He stood for.  He
stood for love; for servant leadership, for compassion, for forgiveness, for
thinking of others before self.  He brought peace to those who believed in
Him, for they received the peace that passes all understanding, while those
who refused to believe, had no peace, and not only had no peace, but who
railed against Him, and wanted to kill Him.  So He still sets the world
ablaze, and we see it every day.  We can see it in the hate that is
expressed toward Christ, and toward those who believe in Him.  They think
that we are intolerant, and hateful, because we don't or cannot accept the
behavior that God hates.  So the war rages on, and will until Jesus comes to
restore everything.  But in the meantime, let's remember, once again, that
this precious gift that God gave the world, is the gift of peace in a world
of unrest.  He is our peace, and that is not as the world gives.  So even in
the midst of strife this holiday season, with everyone preparing to
celebrate the Birth of Christ, those that have made it into a commercial,
and not a celebration of the Messiah, still live within the stress and
anxiety of the season. But you have a wonderful opportunity to be the peace
of Christ, to a world gone mad.  You have the opportunity, because you have
Christ in you, so you are the peace that should pass all understanding.  I
pray we are up to the wonderful task at hand.

Pastor Andy.

Our Lord, Messiah, Yeshua, Emmanuel, You have given us Your peace, and
forgive us, as, at times, we still seek another type of peace within this
world. But help us remember that there can never be total peace until all
the enemies of God have bent their knees to see You, and they will realize
that You, Jesus, are Lord, and King.  I pray for Your peace to be within us,
and that we live by Your peace.  I pray that we are especially peaceful
within the anxiety and strife that fills this season.  Help us to show the
true reason for the season, and that reason is You, and the peace that You
give to those who believe in You. I pray Father, for: Don, please comfort
him; for Dwight that You would also comfort him; for Carol, Michele, Pam,
William, Carrie, Ada, Rheba, Mary, Veronica, Douglas, Fritz, Dan, Dillon,
Tara, Kristena, Kristen, Carolyn, Gene, Terry, Angie, Isabel, Don, Sammie,
Lynn, Mike S., Barbara, Candace, Meredith, Abe, Ramona, Ben, BJ, Ida, JV,
Eva, Kelly and her son, Corbin, Robert, Pat, Ryan, Fred, Dotty, Scott,
April, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah, Japheth, Mike, Megan, Jeff, Laura, Matt, Liz,
Matt, Bethany, Tim, Carmello, Kaitlyn, Alex, Ken, Lynette, Patrick, Kathy,
Jennifer, Montella, Nancy, June, Pastor Berkey, Harriet, Shelbi, Fisher,
Marlaina, Cynthia, Loren, Mike, Pam, Clara, Jerry, Gary, Diane, Nada. I pray
that this season be a season of refreshing, and that we will draw closer to
You and keep watch for Your coming. I pray in the name of Yeshua.

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