Peace and Harmony

 

These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. Titus 2:15-3:2

Paul ends the section that he began in v. 1:5 with these words. It seems clear at this point that his purpose was that Titus lead the people in a way that resulted in peace with everyone, in love and in congeniality. Yes, that means that there may need to be rebukes from time-to-time, but these were to be made so that everyone might participate in the fullness of Christ and never to be unkind or harsh. Of course, people being the way we are, Titus would need to ensure that nobody took advantage of other people or behaved in a hurtful manner.

Finish at: https://lifeprojectblog.com/2021/07/01/peace-and-harmony/

Romans 12.17-21

Don Merrit

Romans 12:17-21

In 12:1-16 Paul has discussed our response to grace with a series of short statements that stem from the theme of sincere love, but in 17 ff. he seems to focus on one particular subject: Revenge. While the previous section can be said to deal mostly with our relationships within the Body of Christ, this section would seem more (hopefully) to deal with those outside of the Body of Christ. Paul set up his new theme in verse 17:  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. Our natural human inclination, when we have been harmed or insulted, is to strike back, to get even, but that is not the reaction of sincere love, and it has been rendered obsolete by grace.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone (12:18). We are not to stir up trouble or carry on in a provocative manner with other people, we should not be tossing insults and unkindness around, nor should we be looking for disputes, for our response to grace makes that kind of living hypocritical. God has forgiven us; He has shown love and mercy to us- do we honor Him by stirring up trouble with other people?

The rest: https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2021/05/30/lesson-3-concerning-revenge-4/

How can we learn contentment? 

(J.R. Miller, “The Hidden Life” 1895)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” Philippians 4:11

How can we learn contentment? 

One step toward contentment, is patient submission to unavoidable ills and hardships. No earthly lot is perfect. No mortal ever yet in this world, has found a set of circumstances without some drawback. There are . . .
trials which we cannot change into blessings,
burdens which we cannot lay down,
crosses which we must continue to carry,
thorns in the flesh which must remain with their rankling pain.
When we have such trials, why should we not sweetly accept them as part of God’s best way with us?

Discontent never made . . .
a rough path smoother,
a heavy burden lighter,
a bitter cup less bitter,
a dark way brighter,
a sore sorrow less sore.
It only makes matters worse!

One who accepts with patience, that which he cannot change–has learned one secret of victorious living.

Another part of the lesson, is that we can learn to moderate our desires. “Having food and clothing,” says Paul again, “let us be content with these.” Very much of our discontent arises from envy of those who seem to be more favored than ourselves. Many people lose most of the comfort out of their own lot–in coveting the finer, more luxurious things which some neighbor has. Yet if they knew the whole story of the life they envy for its greater prosperity, they probably would not exchange for it their own lowlier life with its more humble circumstances. Or if they could make the exchange, it is not likely they would find half so much real happiness in the other position, as they would have enjoyed in their own.

Contentment does not dwell so often in palaces–as in the homes of the humble. The tall peaks rise higher and are more conspicuous–but the winds smite them more fiercely than they do the quiet valleys. And surely, the lot in life which God makes for us, is always the best which could be made for us for the time. He knows better than we do, what our true needs are.

The real cause of our discontent is not in our circumstances; if it were, a change of circumstances might cure it. It is in ourselves, and wherever we go–we shall carry our discontent heart with us. The only cure which will affect anything, must be the curing of the fever of discontent in us.

A fine secret of contentment, lies in finding and extracting all the pleasure we can get from the things we have–the common, everyday things; while we enter upon no mad, vain chase after impossible dreams. In whatever state we are in, we may find therein enough for our needs.

No earthly misfortune can touch the wealth which a Christian holds in the divine promises and hopes. Just in the measure, therefore, in which we learn to live for spiritual and unseen eternal realities–do we find contentment amid earth’s trials and losses. If we would live to please God, to build up Christlike character in ourselves, and to lay up treasure in Heaven–we shall not depend for happiness, on the way things go with us here on earth, nor on the measure of temporal goods we have. The earthly desires are crowded out by the higher and spiritual desires. We can do without childhood’s toys–when we have manhood’s better possessions. We desire the toys of this world less, as we get more of God and Heaven into our hearts.

Paul knew this secret. He cheerfully gave up all that this world had for him. Money had no power over him. He knew how to live in plenty; but he did not fret when poverty came instead. He was content in any trial, because earth meant so little–and Christ meant so much to him. He did not need the things he did not have. He was not made poor by the things he lost. He was not vexed by the sufferings he had to endure–because the sources of his life were in Heaven and could not be touched by earthly experiences of pain or loss.

These are hints of the way we may learn to be content in whatever circumstances. Surely the lesson is worth learning! One year of sweet contentment, amid earth’s troublous scenes–is better than a whole lifetime of vexed, restless discontent! The lesson can be learned, too, by anyone who is truly Christ’s disciple; for did not the Master say, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you.”

The artist painted life as a dark, storm-swept sea, covered with wrecks. Then out of the midst of the wild waves, he made to rise a great rock, in a cleft of which, high up, amid herbage and flowers–he painted a dove sitting quietly on her nest. It is a picture of Christian peace in the midst of this world’s strifes and storms. In the cleft of the Rock, is the home of contentment.

Having peace when anxious

“Peace” is a strong theme throughout the Bible, but what does “peace” mean for our anxieties … or any mental or emotional pain?

Before the cross Jesus said …  John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” 

After the cross Jesus said … John 20:19

“… when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace be with you!'”

In response to anxiety and praying from our position in Christ, the Apostle Paul said … Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

God knows we will have experiences – situations and conditions – that cause “troubled hearts” and fear (anxieties). So, His peace is given to us, being with us, and always of Himself (secure and sourced) … therefore …

… being IN CHRIST, He is the “peacekeeping” fortress guarding over our hearts and minds, being surrounded by His lovingkindness (see Ps. 32:10 & Ps. 125:2) 

There’s way more we can explore … and I’m sure you have way more insights, too! Anyhow, just something to think about. For more, see this article (link below) to discover what “peace” means when we feel anxious.

“Experiencing Peace in the Midst of Anxiety.”

See what you think, share it, and talk about it with someone else!

“grace changes everything!”
Joe Padilla
The Grace Alliance | Cofounder & CEO
www.MentalHealthGraceAlliance.org

How to Deal with Anxiety

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

Nothing dispels our fears like a renewed understanding of the promises and presence of God. Today, R.C. Sproul gives insight into our fears and presents the Bible’s means of acquiring peace.

4 Misconceptions about Contentment

Wandering in Unbelief

One of our greatest struggles with contentment is that we often have an incorrect picture of what it means to be content. It’s helpful to understand what something is not in order to have a more correct understanding of what it is. Paul learned contentment, but we can gain a better picture of what that really looked like from what he shared about his life with the churches to whom he wrote. From Paul’s letters, below are four things contentment is not.

The blog to read is at: https://www.crossway.org/articles/4-misconceptions-about-contentment/

Is Peace Possible in Bad Times?

John 16:28-33 28 “I came from the Father and have come into the world. I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” 29 His followers said to Him, “Now You are talking in plain words. You are not using picture-stories. 30 Now we are sure You know everything. You do not need anyone to tell You anything. Because of this we believe that You came from God.”

31 Jesus said to them, “Do you believe now? 32 The time is coming, yes, it is already here when you will be going your own way. Everyone will go to his own house and leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with Me. 33 I have told you these things so you may have peace in Me. In the world you will have much trouble. But take hope! I have power over the world!”

Contrary to popular belief, peace is not attained by manipulating circumstances. People think that if they could just rearrange their situation—find a new job, overcome depression, stop a spouse from filing for divorce—then life would be wonderful. But that kind of self-reliance is both misleading and unbiblical. We might arrive at a temporary calm, but fixing a problem outside of the Lord’s will won’t provide lasting peace.

The truth is, God’s peace is available no matter how painful and hopeless your situation seems. A tranquil heart comes from trusting Him. Though warning that believers would have trouble on this earth, Jesus assures us that He has overcome the world. In other words, we can have peace in the midst of our trials because the Lord walks alongside us. Our relationship with Christ provides all we need to face difficulty—including courage, wisdom, guidance, and comfort.

Jesus promised peace for those who trust in Him, and He delivers on His promises. Our part is to take one day at a time and believe that He will carry us through. Our Father wants to see us demonstrate faith; we can depend on Him to meet our needs and bestow the divine peace that surpasses all comprehension (The peace of God is much greater than the human mind can understand. This peace will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:7).

How to Have the Perfect Peace of God in Your Life

By Frank King

We are all being challenged by the times in which we currently live. As I pen this post, nearly 2000 persons are dying in a 24-hour period from Covid-19—in the United States! Moreover, many businesses are struggling to survive and so are millions of Americans. The jury is still out on what the toll of this nightmare will be when the dust settles.

It should be understandable that many people today are being shaken to their core as a result.   The question is, how can we have peace in such a turbulent world as ours?

We know that peace cannot come from this world. For everything in it that can be shaken is being shaken.

There is some good news on the horizon, however. At least three effective vaccines will be available to the public, starting as early as next month, according to the makers of those vaccines. But even in the most ideal set of conditions, we may not see a return to some sense of normalcy until the latter part of 2021.

The above scenario underscores the importance us not relying on the peace that this world may give us. Such peace is uncertain and temporal at best.

So, what is the solution? The Bible commends to us the peace of God. Accordingly, in the book of Isaiah, we find these words: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).

This verse refers to the peace of God as perfect peace. That means His peace is not temporal as that of this world. It also means, His peace is not subject to the state of the affairs of this world; rather, it is complete in and of itself.

How We Experience the Perfect Peace of God

Read it at: https://frankking.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ef3dad51ba84b72543f3a8b22&id=17203adbc7&e=835ca99655

The Shadow of Death

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

I seem to be doing more funerals as the years mount – and more of the deceased are friends and family. Not too long ago I celebrated four funerals in a five-day period. It is an honor to help families celebrate the life of a loved one. Most funerals I celebrate are from folks in our community – folks I have not had a previous chance to minister to or with – and I just try to bring them a measure of comfort for the short time I have with them. I usually talk with them on the phone and meet them on the day of the service. I often read the 23rd Psalm at the service.

I love today’s portion of the 23rd Psalm. One of the great hopes and blessings of our faith is that we do not have to fear death. I can usually tell people of faith versus people will little or no faith when I share at funerals. The way we face death is telling.

Read the rest of Ray’s blog at: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2020/06/09/the-shadow-of-death-2/

Joy & Peace

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

As we grow in grace, we begin to understand what we should be happy about as Christians. Today, R.C. Sproul inspects the spiritual fruit of joy and peace.