John 20:21 Not Judgment, But Peace

Lion and Lamb

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21

After Jesus had risen from the dead, He began to show Himself to different people. The disciples were in a locked room when Jesus first appeared to them. They were scared, but His first words to them were to be at peace. Then He sends them out to do a work for God.

When a person is going through a difficult time, the last thing he wants is for all of his friends to reject him, or walk away. He needs the help and support of his friends.

While some get the needed support, many have a lot of friends who walk away. They do not support. This is especially true if the situation is very negative.

Very often when a person is accused of a major crime and sentenced to prison, most of his friends reject him. They do not understand how he could have done such a crime. Many people do not want to be associated with someone who has committed a major crime.

People who have been abandoned by another person in great time of need, will often come back later with accusations against that person. He will be angry for being rejected and left alone to suffer.

Jesus did not do that with the disciples. Every disciple had abandoned Him as He was being accused, beaten and crucified.

Later when Jesus rose from the dead and met with them, the first thing He told them was to be at peace. He was not angry with them for abandoning Him. Jesus forgave them and gave each one a chance to start over. There was no accusation or blaming done at all. They were forgiven.

You may have had a friend who has hurt you or abandoned you in your time of need. Instead of throwing accusations and judgment upon him, forgive him and make peace with him.

There may also be times you have let God down and abandoned Him. Allow Jesus to forgive you and make peace with Him. He is there to bring peace, not condemnation and judgment.

God wants you to have peace in your life with Him. Do not be afraid to meet with God after making a mistake and sinning. He is there to forgive you and restore the peace.

I pray today that you will know the peace Jesus brings; that you will go to God when you make a mistake and sin against Him; that you will not fear approaching God; and that you will make peace with those who have done wrong to you.

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John 18:36 No Physical Fight

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Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” John 18:36

Jesus had been arrested and was going through a trial. The leaders did not believe that He was who He said He was. They were asking Him if He was the king of the Jews. Jesus points out that His kingdom is not one of this earth, it was not a physical kingdom, but one from somewhere else.

There has been times that Christians have been known to be violent in standing up for Christ. During the middle centuries, the church went on crusades in order to kill of the believers of false religions. It was a physical effort to build God’s kingdom on this earth.

In more recent times, there have been some “Christians” who have been extremely violent against unbelievers. Some have been known for blowing up abortion centers in an attempt to stop the sin going on there. In the process people are killed and not given the chance to believe in Jesus and change.

Jesus did not use any physical violence in the process of building His kingdom. He never harmed any person, no matter how good or bad that person was. His method of building His kingdom was using love.

Love is something that is not of this world. This world is ruled by the devil, who does not believe in love other than the love of self. The world claims to show love, but it is selfishness and hate for others.

People will not be won over to Jesus, by striking them and cutting them down. They can only be won over by showing love, mercy, and grace. These are the very same things that Jesus showed you.

The kingdom of God is from heaven. It is filled with love, not violence. You do not need to use force to get people into His kingdom.

Jesus did not need physical protection, because He was in God’s hands. In the same way, you do not need physical protection. You are in God’s hands and are of a different world.

Since you are from a different world, the ways of doing things are different. Live the life of love, mercy and grace as you reach out to build God’s kingdom, not force.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will use God’s love to reach the lost; that you will not fight in the physical against this world; and that God will strengthen you to show His love to this world.

John 16:33 How To Find Peace

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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus is giving His last minute warnings about what is about to happen to the disciples. He lets them know that He is about to leave for a time and that there will be much trouble in the world. Jesus lets them know that He told them these things so that they could have His peace because He has already overcome the world.

It is very easy to see that there is trouble in this world. Turn on any news channel and one will see very little outside of troubles. Very few people are not have troubles in their own personal lives. Trouble with jobs, relationships, addictions, bills, marriages, families, and the list of troubles never seem to stop. There does not seem to be any peace.

Then the believers look at the world and see even more trouble. Refusal to believe in Jesus, promotion of more sin than ever before, persecution of Christians on the rise and, again, the list goes on. There does not seem to be any peace to be found.

Many believers are worried about finding peace in this world. Yet, Jesus said He told believers things so that they would have peace. He had already stated that there would be trouble, but they could still have peace. That peace is found in Him. He has already overcome the world.

If Jesus has overcome this world, there is nothing to worry about with all the troubles that one may have to see or go through.

Believers are to be excited, because Jesus has overcome the world. He said, “Take heart!” He told you what was going to happen before it did. He also stated that He had overcome the world. If one statement is proving true, the other one will be true also. This can give you peace.

The peace is not that everything appears to be going perfectly in this world, but that everything is happening under God’s control, just as He said it would. If all these things are happening as He said it would, that also means Jesus will return as He said He would.

As a believer you have an eternity to look forward to in heaven with God. Take heart and be at peace!

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will believe the words of Jesus; and that you will know the peace Jesus gives to you.

John 14:27 Unusual Peace

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“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.” John 14:27

As Jesus is giving His last words to the disciples, before being taken captive and crucified, He tells them that He wants to give them peace. This is a different type of peace and so the disciples are not to be afraid.

Talk of peace is something that is common around the world. Very few people are really against having peace. Many countries are talking about wanting peace, sometimes in their own country, other times between two other nations. Peace treaties are discussed among nations all the time. Yet, true peace is never found.

The majority of the people in this world see peace as just the absence of conflict or trouble. The look at a calm lake with no ripples in it and think of peace. While this is true to a point, that is not the peace that Jesus was giving the disciples.

Jesus gave a peace that an individual can experience between himself and God. In that peace it can be one of no conflict or struggles.

God’s peace is unusual. He never promised that there would be no other conflicts or struggles. In fact, Jesus promised that a believer will have trouble in this world. He said that believers would be hated and persecuted. To the normal mind, this is not peace, but trouble and fear.

The peace that Jesus gave was that God is with the believer and that no matter what happens, God is still in control and will win in the end. The believer can have peace knowing that in the end he will win because he is in Christ Jesus and God is on his side. That brings a peace that the world cannot understand.

As you are going through struggles and troubles in this world or are seeing the conflicts in this world, look to God. Seek His peace. Rest in His promises that He would keep you, guide you and be with you always. Know that God will win in the end and you will win with Him.

Knowing these things will bring an unusual peace, despite the troubles this world can show or cause. Do not be anxious or worried in fear. Accept God’s peace.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your life; that you will trust God is in control; that you will allow God to guide you in this life; and that you will be ready for when Jesus returns.

 

Luke 2:14 Peace…For Some

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“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14

The night that Jesus was born, some angels appeared to some shepherds in a field nearby. The angels told the shepherds that a savior had been born and how they would be able to find Him. They also began to praise God and proclaimed peace on those whom His favor rests.

The portion of this verse that is commonly quoted is “peace on the earth.” People like to hear about there being peace on this earth. This is even more encouraging to people who in an area of much turmoil or war.

Christians, along with many other people are desiring peace around the world. They want to see and end to war and fighting. This is a good thing to desire, but the angels never proclaimed peace all over the whole earth.

The angels proclaimed peace only upon those whom His favor rests. Not everyone on this earth has God’s favor. Not even everyone inside a church has His unmerited favor. Any person who has not repented of their sins and chosen to follow Jesus is an enemy of God. Where there are two enemies, there can never be peace.

Two enemies are always at war with each other, as long as they are enemies. God will always be at war with anyone who does not follow Him or obey Him. There are some who do not follow Jesus, but do not openly speak against Him, they are still enemies with God. If one does not follow and obey God, He does not love God, thus an enemy.

The peace the angels proclaimed is to be with those on whom His favor rests. God gives favor to those who love, obey and follow Jesus. Only those who have chosen to turn away from their own sins and self are truly following Jesus and thus receive His favor and peace.

As long as you are at war with God, you will not know peace.

If you are looking for peace, draw closer to Jesus. Become more like Him in following and obeying Him. It is then that God’s favor will rest upon you and you will know His peace. This is a peace that is peaceful regardless of what is going on in your life or in this world. A peace not everyone has.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will live at peace with God; that you will love and obey God with all of your life; and that you will share that peace with others.