Peace

John 20:19 NASB “Now when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were together due to fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, “Peace be to you.”

I am getting on in years and my mind doesn’t work like it used to. I used to be able to clearly focus and zero in on whatever Biblical or current cultural topic I was looking at, but I find now that I can become distracted or even somewhat overwhelmed, when the numerous variables and their intricacies that surround the topic I am looking at, start to appear and I become acutely aware of the advancing limitations of my own mind. The razor sharpness has been replaced with a smoother edge.

And coupled with this mental limitation realization is the comprehension that the black and white contrast that I used to so easily discern, is not as black and white as it used to be. What used to be so simple and straight forward just doesn’t appear as that straight forward anymore. And the primary reason for this diminishment of clarity in contrast, is that life experience and God’s Word have changed my perception and the words that come out of my mouth and the reactions that I feel and the judgements that I make, now appear to be sifted, with a more Biblically based picture of myself. In other words, the warts that I did not always previously see in myself, I am now more clearly seeing.

We’re all familiar with the teaching that Jesus gave us about removing the log from our own eye before we go about removing twigs from other peoples eyes. And of course, it’s not a teaching that advocates not making judgements, but rather a teaching that advocates making judgements without being hypocritical or for lack of better words, don’t accuse others of what you yourself are still guilty of.

I see a lot of anger, contempt and self righteousness being voiced by some in Christian circles these days, where the “they” they speak about, are portrayed as being wicked, demented and liars etc. And of course, there are undoubtedly some individuals who exhibit these characteristics. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of individuals who seek to mislead us and enslave us to their way of thinking. But I have also learned, along the way, to differentiate between a particular group, ideology or concept and the individual, because Jesus showed us that He did this Himself, the Pharisees being a case in point. 

Jesus had some pretty accusatory things to say about the Pharisees as a collective group but He also accepted invitations to their homes and spoke to them individually on occasions, Nicodemus and Simon, a Pharisee, where Jesus accepted an invitation to share a meal in his home, being cases in point (Luke 7:36). I’m curious why it is that we forget that.

There is a distinct difference between agreeing with someone who advocates that we disagree with a Biblical principle that we do agree with, and just talking to that individual as one human being to another. All of us should be mindful that but for the grace of God in our lives, where we have come to accept Jesus as the Messiah and our Lord and saviour, we are no different than any other sinner. One does not have to break each and every one of the Ten Commandments to be a sinner, just breaking one will do it, which is really the whole point, isn’t it? There is no righteous person, not even one (Romans 3:10). I’m thinking that is pretty well all inclusive.

If Jesus, who was dead set against all that the Pharisees represented, could take the time to speak to them individually and actually go into their homes, who the heck do we think we are, when we slam the door in anyone’s face if they reach out to us? Are we better than our Master? 

And yes, I know the verses where the Bible says that light has no fellowship with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14) and a whole slue of other Biblical admonishments that advocate our separation from their thinking, but these verses are talking about becoming like them. Did Jesus become like the Pharisees when He spoke with them and went to their homes? Of course He didn’t. 

I find it interesting that when Jesus reappeared to His disciples, He greeted them with His peace. And Jesus explained His peace to them before He went away.

John 14:27 NASB “Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.”

Not as the world gives. And how does the world give? Do we honestly ask ourselves that question?
How about you and I can have peace when you agree with what I want. Is that how the world makes demands for peace? Or better yet, is that how we think?

Jesus is our peace. He has already conquered the world. There is nothing to fear, which includes entering into dialogue with those who oppose us, if they ask that of us and are willing to do so. 

If Jesus, who always followed the will of the Father, entered into dialogue with those that would ask Him, who are we not to do likewise? And we would enter into that dialogue after much prayer, asking God to guide us and sustain us in the power of the Holy Spirit, that His will might be accomplished. And when entering into that dialogue, we would be mindful of what we used to believe and who we used to be. Attitude sets the tone and tone (how we say what we say) can change everything.

I am convinced that often times we hinder what God would have us do, by closing doors that He has not closed and allowing our will to over ride His. We are the clay, He is the potter and far too often, we forget that. 

Worthy is the Lamb. Blessings!

24 comments

  1. Wow! So very well said. I’m heading in the same direction, age wise. I understand.

    Jesus does bring peace to us. Now that is some good news.

    Love this: “I am convinced that often times we hinder what God would have us do, by closing doors that He has not closed and allowing our will to over ride His. We are the clay, He is the potter and far too often, we forget that.”

    Blessings from mighty King Jesus.

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    • I did that this morning with my prayer time, things I had to take care of. I did say prayers but only after I had addressed what needed to be addressed. Grasping the reality of supreme priorities is not my strong suit. …sigh.

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  2. Hi Bruce. If you would allow me to ask you a few questions. What do you call a political ideology that supports and pushes the murder of babies, the immorality of homosexuality and the destruction of God’s design for gender, and who wages war against God and His Word? Do you agree with that ideology? Are you a socialist? Do you believe the liberal lies of “social justice”? God calls that ideology and people who support it wicked for that’s what it is and that’s what they are. Are we not as Christians to call out evil for what it is and expose the darkness as Ephesians 5:11 says? Are we not to come out from them and be separate? Yes, we should always speak the truth in love, but we have no fellowship with the darkness. We are living through dark times where people call good evil and evil good. Many Christians in other countries have fallen for the lies of socialism. Your country is socialist. Do you agree with socialism? Socialism and communism are built on atheism. Many of those Christians love to point their fingers at Americans and call us racist, and I am tired of it. We are not racist for loving our country. I was involved in another conversation today where the writer wrote a post trying to label us Americans who love our country as racist. They like to use terms like “white evangelicals” and they paint American Patriots and Trump supporters as evil. My race has nothing to do with my faith in Christ or my American Patriotism. Who do these Christians think they are pointing their fingers at us and judging us like that? Their judgments are based on liberal lies from liberal media bias. We are fighting real evil in our country. The globalists worship satan and they want to destroy our country with communism. Just look at how they are persecuting us and trying to destroy our free speech. We must stand firm in Christ against the darkness and speak the truth, and that is loving. We must not ever bow to the darkness or agree with evil. I will never stand with people who murder babies and wage war against God. I will call them what God calls them. They are wicked. Thank you for allowing me to comment. God bless you.

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    • I just got home from work so I will have to get back to you on this one. I’m not sure if you are asking me questions or giving me a lecture but I will give it a shot at answering your questions later.

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      • I’m asking you real questions and I would love to hear your answers. You just call it a lecture because I’m a younger man, and I don’t appreciate that arrogance. Do what you want with my questions. Just be sure to get your Canadian socialist finger out of my face sir. You really do hate American Christians, don’t you? Guess you weren’t sorry after all.

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      • Ryan: You started this exchange out by asking me the following: “Hi Bruce. If you would allow me to ask you a few questions.”

        I am assuming that this has to do with this particular post that I authored on my blog entitled “Peace”. I had just got home from work and was making supper for my wife and myself so I sent you the following response:

        “I just got home from work so I will have to get back to you on this one. I’m not sure if you are asking me questions or giving me a lecture but I will give it a shot at answering your questions later.”

        Evidently you didn’t like that because you then sent me the following: “I’m asking you real questions and I would love to hear your answers. You just call it a lecture because I’m a younger man, and I don’t appreciate that arrogance. Do what you want with my questions. Just be sure to get your Canadian socialist finger out of my face sir. You really do hate American Christians, don’t you? Guess you weren’t sorry after all.”

        So without further ado, let me take a stab at answering your questions.

        Question: What do you call a political ideology that supports and pushes the murder of babies, the immorality of homosexuality and the destruction of God’s design for gender, and who wages war against God and His Word?

        Answer: Well, I am assuming that the only correct answer to you would be anyone who is a Democrat in the United States.

        Question: Do you agree with that ideology?
        Answer: Based on your definition, the answer would have to be no.

        Question: Are you a socialist?
        Answer: No I am not.

        Question: Do you believe the liberal lies of “social justice”? 

        Answer: No I do not.

        The following is NOT a question so I would assume you do not need me to respond to this. This is one of the parts that I initially defined as you lecturing me and since that was not your original request, it should be safe for me to just let this go unanswered.

        “God calls that ideology and people who support it wicked for that’s what it is and that’s what they are. Are we not as Christians to call out evil for what it is and expose the darkness as Ephesians 5:11 says? Are we not to come out from them and be separate? Yes, we should always speak the truth in love, but we have no fellowship with the darkness.”

        You can correct me if I am wrong but the following two additional statements you dovetailed into these questions do not really qualify as questions either, so once again, no response is required.

        “We are living through dark times where people call good evil and evil good. Many Christians in other countries have fallen for the lies of socialism. Your country is socialist.”

        I know you did not ask me this particular question but you will pardon me for providing you with a more accurate status on our form of government: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-type-of-government-does-canada-have.html Our current Prime Minister has definitely been leaning towards some socialist concepts as of late and there is a very good possibility that he will not be re-elected during the next elections that we hold. And as an unsolicited added bonus, no, I did not vote for Trudeau and no I will not be voting for him in the next election.

        Question: Do you agree with socialism?
        Answer : No I do not.

        I’m pretty sure you slipped into the lecture mode here again so, once again, no response is required.

        “Socialism and communism are built on atheism. Many of those Christians love to point their fingers at Americans and call us racist, and I am tired of it. We are not racist for loving our country.”

        I do have to admit that it is awful tempting to question some of your undefined wording but I will stick with the questions and responses request.

        The vast majority of the following paragraph contains no questions that I can see, although you did slip an open ended question in there and then you basically answered it yourself.

        “I was involved in another conversation today where the writer wrote a post trying to label us Americans who love our country as racist. They like to use terms like “white evangelicals” and they paint American Patriots and Trump supporters as evil. My race has nothing to do with my faith in Christ or my American Patriotism. Who do these Christians think they are pointing their fingers at us and judging us like that? Their judgments are based on liberal lies from liberal media bias. We are fighting real evil in our country. The globalists worship satan and they want to destroy our country with communism. Just look at how they are persecuting us and trying to destroy our free speech. We must stand firm in Christ against the darkness and speak the truth, and that is loving. We must not ever bow to the darkness or agree with evil. I will never stand with people who murder babies and wage war against God. I will call them what God calls them. They are wicked.”

        As you are probably aware Ryan, I also interacted with the female author (Laura) who is an American Christian Pastor, on the conversation you had today, where she was providing information on “Christian Nationalism”, that you took exception to. That would be the one where you inferred that she was a coward and dishonest if I recall correctly. Beautiful example of loving others as Jesus commanded you to (direct quote of yours). Here’s the link in case you think I am misrepresenting how you interacted with her: https://lightenough.wordpress.com/2021/01/11/what-is-christian-nationalism/

        And just to refresh your memory, you and I had a bit of a set to a few months ago when I made some comments on your blog about an article that you wrote, that you did not like and you let me know that my comments were not welcome and that I should stop following you and that you would be filtering any further comments I made on your blog, directly to the trash. So we parted ways. Then just a short time ago, I happened to read a post of yours about how we should forgive one another so I submitted a comment into you which read as follows on your “2021 Enter In Forgiveness” article :

        ”Hi Ryan, not sure if you remember me but you and I had a bit of a disagreement a few months ago. It had to do with politics and in hindsight it probably would have been prudent for me to keep my opinions to myself and I apologize for my intrusion into your space. Since our exchange, I have made it a point to not to discuss politics at all on my blog articles, so that is a plus. No criticism here, I personally could have handled our “discussion” better than I did. Anyway, in light of your topic, I am extending an olive branch and asking for your forgiveness and letting you know that I have already reciprocated. Trusting that you and yours will have a blessed New Year. – Bruce”

        And you responded as follows:
        ”Thank you, sir. I appreciate that. No hard feelings. It was a hard political season for sure, and I too need forgiveness for that, so thank you for your forgiveness as well. God bless you and your family, and Happy New Year.”

        And upon that mutual forgiveness, you and I started following one another again.

        I would like to point out that I have NOT directly sent you ONE derogatory comment on ANY articles that you have written on your blog since then, but not only do you seem to feel justified in demanding answers from me about my articles but you also give yourself license to lash out at others where they publish something that you disagree with. You might want to take a look at the log in your own eye Ryan.

        And then we have your last comment to me:

        I’m asking you real questions and I would love to hear your answers. You just call it a lecture because I’m a younger man, and I don’t appreciate that arrogance. Do what you want with my questions. Just be sure to get your Canadian socialist finger out of my face sir. You really do hate American Christians, don’t you? Guess you weren’t sorry after all.

        You don’t appreciate my arrogance. Duly noted. Check that log in your eye again.
 Get my socialist finger out of your face. That obviously can’t refer to me because I am not a socialist.
        And no Ryan, I do not hate American Christians, which many Americans Christians who follow me can attest to.
        And you guess that I wasn’t sorry after all. I did not submit one negative comment on any of your posts Ryan but apparently you cannot say the same thing, so in truth, who do you think wasn’t really sorry after all.

        Let me know if I answered your questions to your satisfaction Ryan.

        Blessings. – Bruce

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      • You still have not answered my question. Yes, I am speaking about the Democrats. What do you call their political ideology? Do you call it righteousness or wickedness? In this post you talk about Christians in “some circles” calling them “they” and “wicked.” You obviously didn’t like my post titled “No Fellowship With Darkness” and you are taking an underhanded stab at me about it in this post. So again, do you call their ideology righteous or wicked? That’s what I meant. But again, do what you want with my questions. I’m tired of talking to you. I will leave you in peace and never come to your blog again. I do forgive you. I don’t understand why you take jabs at other Christians in your posts & not just confront directly, but whatever. I don’t need to deal with you. I have a wife and 2 kids and I’m plenty busy.

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      • Ryan, as I pointed out in my “Peace” article, Jesus also had many derogatory things to say about the Pharisees as a group yet He still spoke to them about spiritual truths and accepted a meal at their home. Deny that. How about the Samaritans? Fellowship means becoming one with them, accepting their standards as your standards, no one asked us to do that, especially Jesus, but He did not give you license to just automatically write off complete groups of people as being not worthy to even talk to. And you indicated that we have nothing in common with non-believers. Oh yes we do and it is called sin, you know, that thing you do on a regular basis, like inferring that Laura was a coward and dishonest and not apologizing, only difference being, we are forgiven when we confess our sins and they, the non-believers, are not. You Ryan, unfortunately have an awful lot to learn. I sincerely wish you well. Blessings to you and yours.

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      • You still have not answered my question about whether you consider it righteous or wicked. God calls it wicked and there’s nothing wrong with calling out evil for what it is. I know I am a sinner and I know how much grace and mercy and forgiveness I need. Laura was hiding my comments and was being disingenuous about it. That’s why I said what I said. Her article was ridiculous and I’m sick and tired of people calling us racist just for loving our country. You can think whatever you want about it. I know who I am in Christ, and I will obey God and not be yoked with wickedness.

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      • What did Jesus say about the Pharisees, He called them liars, like their father satan, of course it is wickedness BUT He still talked to them of spiritual truths and accepted a meal in their homes. Jesus stayed with the Samaritans for two days. And Laura was not hiding your comments, she explained that thoroughly. And yes, you do at a minimum owe her an apology for your unjustified and untruthful accusations about her being a coward and dishonest. That’s called false witness Ryan, and that is a sin. Blessings.

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      • She was hiding my comments. She didn’t approve them until that guy Nate started talking to me and I called her out. You don’t know what you’re talking about because you were not involved in the conversation we were having. Again, get your finger out of my face. Her article was a false witness and an untruthful accusation and completely unjustified. We Americans are not racist for loving our country. She was stirring up hatred by talking about white people and Americans who are Patriotic, and I’m sick and tired of it. We are dealing with so much hatred against us in this country and her article just added fuel to that fire. She is the one who should be apologizing. She also said it was producing bad fruit because I spoke truth about Biden, his son, and the Democrats. Sad. Seems she stands with lies over truth. I’m not apologizing for speaking the truth.

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      • I have repented of all my sins. All my sins are behind the Lord’s back & He remembers them no more. I stand forgiven and free in the Blood of Jesus Christ. Get behind me with your hypocritical judgmental comments.

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