Jesus

Peace

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I admit I am quite troubled by what is going on in the world. When I talked with Pierre recently, he referred to what is happening between the US and China as a crisis, which is adversely affecting the economy in his part of Africa. I did not know this, but it now troubles me for the people I know there.

Then there is what is happening with the Kurds in Syria, the internal issues in NW China with imprisoned minorities, the unrest in Hong Kong and the political issues within the US. All of these have an impact on my “peace” or really, lack of it.

The last few days I have spent some time reflecting on Jesus’ words:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Perhaps you are like me and need to back up and take some time to calm down, gain perspective from Jesus’ point of view and trust Him that, as the King of Kings, He really will come again to set things straight. In the meantime, His words bring comfort to me.

List some of the things causing you anxiety. Take moment to reflect on Jesus’ words.

Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus)
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Wisdom

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Last week I began a slow journey through Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. They were a fleshly group of people who melded their faith in Christ with many values from the culture – wisdom being one of them. Take a moment to read Paul’s words.

“And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;” (1 Cor. 2:1-6)

Consider these questions:​

  1. How do you evaluate a speaker or one who ministers in the name of Jesus?
  2. How does Paul suggest we should evaluate them?
  3. In your ministry, what do you rely on?

Take a moment to offer your thoughts and reflections to the Lord.

Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus)
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The Lord is My Shepherd

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I spent some time pondering and reflecting on Psalm 23 while flying to Denver. I read it a number of times and thanked the Lord for the fact that He really is my shepherd.

Take a few minutes to read and reflect on this passage:

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
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.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.”

What thoughts come to mind as you read this? Take a few minutes to thank the Lord.

Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus)
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The Center of Attention

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Ever been around someone who can’t stand to be second or who always wants to be the center of attention? The Apostle John, the one Jesus loved wrote about such a person, named Diotrophes. Here’s what John writes:

“I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.” (3 John 9-11)

Take a minute to reflect on this brief passage.

  1. How have you seen the Diotrophes effect played out in churches or ministries?
  2. Imagine the Apostle John coming to your church or ministry. Would he be allowed to speak? Why or why not?
  3. How does this passage impact you?

Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus)
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