Meditation for 08/29/2019
“Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am a man of peace; but when I speak, they are for war.” (Psalm 120:6-7)
Isolation in a foreign land often brings a feeling of persecution and a desire for revenge. The psalmist met the challenge by leaving revenge to God and experiencing a reaffirmation of dedication in peace.
Beloved, the only hope to end war is for God’s people to love peace even in a world clamoring for war.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, it is not Your desire for us to continue to clamor for war. Every good soldier prepares for war, they train for war, but they pray for peace. Let this thought come to the forefronts of our minds, Abba, that we might seek and find peace not only in our country, but in every country. Let Your will be done, not ours. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Cross has become the ladder to heaven.”
“During Jehoiakim’s reign, Nebuchadnessar king of Babylon invaded the land and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. But then he changed his mind and rebelled against Nebuchadnessar. The Lord sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him. He sent them to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed by his servants the prophets. Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord’s command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of Innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord was not willing to forgive.” (2nd Kings 24:1-4)
Ironically, because of the moral decadence of he people of Judah, God used the same kind of judgment (war from an invading army) as He did to deal with the Canaanites centuries. God does not play favorites. He exercises His wrath in the way he chooses to get rid of idolatry and lead people to worship Him only. If our focus is truly on God and His will, then we won’t fall into the trap of following our own will, instead of God’s.
Christian Ethics, War and Peace: (Jeremiah 33:1-9)
God’s intention is to bring peace to His people. At times He must act in wrath and judgment to discipline and purify His people before He can act to bring peace. Peace involves a secure homeland, a cleansed, forgiven peace dedicated to God’s glory instead of their own, and a lie of prosperity and meaning. Peace attracts attention from all nations, and a desire to experience its impact and joy on all people.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father; a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ ‘Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me, is not worthy of me.’ Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)
Jesus’ message will not be received by everyone, for the gospel runs at cross purposes with the values and vision of the world. Thus, in some cases it will cause conflict. Its call reverses worldly priorities so that God takes first place even before family relationships.
Family members who do not accept Christ’s invitation to the cross will fight against those who do. Jesus did not intend to cause conflict, but the natural reaction of the unbeliever is to oppose all who live out Christ’s message. This is important, beloved, and must be understood.