UNDERSTANDING HOW TO SERVE THE LORD: Through His Peace

 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  (John 14:27)

“PEACE”.

Except for the name of Jesus, there is no other word in the English language that can calm and soothe a worried heart like that word. There is also no other word that can cause such a longing in our soul when we are without it.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)

Ever since the angel of the Lord proclaimed that message to shepherds abiding in a field, men have sought after “peace” like men dying of thirst seek for water.

There have been wars fought to obtain it, demonstrations held to demand it, and protests to bring attention for the need of it. Governments have sought to enforce it while neighbors and families have tried to keep it, much to no avail.

Genuine and lasting “peace on earth” apart from God will never happen.

The message the angel brought when he announced the birth of Christ had nothing to do with peace between men, but it was a message of peace and good will toward men.

Even Jesus declared that He came not to bring peace between individuals, but rather division.

“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:” (Luke 12:51)

Until Jesus Christ returns to earth and establishes His earthly Kingdom, there will never be lasting peace between men or between nations.

Although this may sound like dismal news, it only seems dismal to those who don’t know what real peace is.

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philip. 4:7)

There is an abiding peace so deep and full, that it cannot be understood. There is a peace that will find and keep us instead of our trying to find and keep it. There is a peace that enables us to remain calm, full of faith and hope, even though the world and our lives may be in turmoil.

It is the peace of God.

“O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:” (Isa 48:18)

True peace cannot be found through diplomacy or legislation. It has nothing to do with worldly relationships or earthly possessions. It even has nothing to do with the end of violence and turmoil that may surround us.

There are many who believe that if their situation would only improve, then they would finally have peace. However, better circumstances only bring peace for a moment, for new problems always arise to replace the old ones.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

True peace comes from within, from our heart, the place where the Holy Spirit dwells.

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)

“(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:39)

The Lord told His people through the Prophet Isaiah that if they had only hearkened to His commandments then He would have given them peace like a river.

The word “hearken” in the Hebrew literally means to “prick up your ears” or “pay attention to”. Besides loving God and our fellow man, the greatest commandment of all is to hear or “pay attention to” the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in Him.

“While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Matthew 17:5)

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)

Once we have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and have received the Holy Spirit, then the indwelling Spirit creates within us “peace like a river”. It’s part of His “fruit” or His “produce”.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” (Gal. 5:22)

No longer do we seek to find peace in those things that are around us, but we seek and find peace from the Spirit within us.

That peace is like a river. It is ever flowing. However, if we never draw from it we will continue to thirst. That peace is like a fruit, but if we never eat of it, we will continue to hunger.

How do we draw from the river and eat of the fruit?

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Just as love is the opposite of hate, peace is the opposite of fear. In the same way that we can’t love and hate someone at the same time (James 3:12), we can’t have peace and fear at the same time. Peace is the absence of fear.

This doesn’t mean that we’ll never be afraid. Unexpected situations and circumstances will always arise that can cause us to be surprised and have sudden fear, or to be temporarily afraid.

But there is a place in Christ where the mind numbing, heart gripping state of fear cannot exist. This is when we are walking in the peace of God.

The apostles were a good example of this.

Before the Holy Ghost came on the Day of Pentecost, the disciples were always finding themselves in situations where they were fearful.

Whether it was a storm on the sea, the announcement of a child’s death, or the unexpected appearance of Christ walking on the water, Jesus was always reminding them to not be afraid.

“But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” (Matthew 14:27)

However, after the Day of Pentecost had come and the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost, they began to walk in a new found state of peace that only the Holy Spirit could produce.

This peace was so powerful that fear could not exist in its presence.

The night before Peter was to be executed, instead of being filled with fear and worry, he fell into a deep and peaceful sleep. The angel of the Lord had to slap him on his side to wake him up before he could miraculously remove his chains and rescue Peter from the prison cell. (Acts 12:6-7)

Paul and Silas also dwelt in this state of peace. After having been beaten and thrown into the dungeon for their testimony of Christ, they sang songs and hymns at midnight.

Their peace was so great that instead of escaping, they and all the prisoners continued to stay in their cells after God sent an earthquake to open all of the prison doors.

Upon witnessing this miracle of peace, the jailer and his whole household accepted Christ and were saved. (Acts 16:23-33)

This kind of peace was not only for the apostles, disciples, and the early church. The same Holy Spirit that indwelled them and produced this miraculous condition is the same Holy Spirit that comes and lives inside of us today.

“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39)

The same river of peace that flowed inside the apostles is flowing inside of every believer today who has been born again and received the Holy Spirit.

However, there are many who have yet to discover the keys that will unlock the gate and allow the river to not only flow inside their spirit, but also fill their hearts and minds.

In other words, that this peace would not only reside within them, but would also be manifested in their lives.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

Next- UNDERSTANDING HOW TO SERVE THE LORD: Through Faith in His Love       

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

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