Archive for the ‘what I really want…peace’ Category

Peace vs. Strife

“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” Prov. 17:1

Does the to-do list for your upcoming weekend look like mine, by any chance? Schedules to shuffle…many places to be…maybe play catch-up on work stuff…laundry and chores to accomplish…errands to run. Oh, and it is the weekend, so it is time to get with family and friends. Right! Is there any peace and quiet on the schedule? Didn’t think so!

This proverb struck me as very funny when I first read it. In fact, it still makes me smile to think of offering my family a dry crust for dinner just to see their reaction. But, deep down, I know this statement rings true!

“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.”

As it applies to my next couple of days, and as it applies to my family, I know for sure that we will not have a pleasant/peaceful weekend if my focus is on the current scheduled “activity” of the weekend, whatever that may be. No, I don’t think “dry crust” is on Saturday’s menu for us. I think I can pull off at the very least a pizza. But I need to focus on the idea behind this proverb:

Some things are more important than a to-do list…like high quality time with those we care about.
Some things are more important than the fun and the party and the feasting…like space to emotionally and spiritually breathe.
Some things are more important…like peace and quiet!

Where would God adjust your priorties this weekend?

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Can Monday and “peace” co-exist?

Several Monday’s ago, in the middle of a recent illness and while laying flat on my back on an operating table, I experienced peace. And, no, it wasn’t the anesthesia, though I did appreciate that also. I had peace because God brought to my mind a passage of Scripture I memorized as a child…the 23rd Psalm. While concentrating on those words and what they really meant to me regardless of my current circumstances, I was given the gift of calm, the gift of peace, that “passes all understanding”.

Read through this beloved passage and meditate a moment on how peace can look for you today…even if it is a Monday!

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

4 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.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

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“Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” Ps. 119:165

The first word that jumps out at me from this verse is  the word law. When related to spiritual things, this word can have negative connotations…especially to someone with a slight rebellious streak like myself. But another way of saying law in this passage is instruction or revelation.  That description is somehow easier to swallow and I can relate to that from personal experience!

Years ago, I went through a time of great personal struggle. For about half a year I rarely looked at the Bible, let alone any other spiritual pursuit such as church. Of course I “loved” the Bible…I just didn’t read it much. Peaceful would have never made the list of words I would have used to describe myself at that time. Stumbling, on the other hand, like in the verse above, would have been a great description.

On an impulse one morning, I decided to open my Bible every day and meditate on His Words, journaling my thoughts as I went along. And gradually, though many of the circumstances around me didn’t change, my heart did. As I look back at that period of time, I am in awe! That desire to read the Bible daily for His revelation and instruction was really God whispering to my soul to draw near to Him–the Perfect Source of Peace. God’s law, His revelation and instruction, pulled me from a very murky place eventually landing my heart firmly in a place of peace.

What words describe your heart today? Would peaceful make the list?
Are there murky areas in your life where you are stumbling, not able to take firm steps forward?

Consider the above verse for today. Let’s meditate on how we can better love God’s revelation to us through His Word in the Bible. Let’s wait expectantly for His promise of peace.

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Blessing of Peace

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

Read through these words again. Isn’t there a sweetness to this prayer of blessing? It is utterly unselfish.

Can you imagine someone you love and respect praying these words of blessing over you? Can you hear the sincerity in their voice? Feel the warmth of their hands clasping yours?

These are the exact words God specifically asked the spiritual leaders to use as they blessed the people of Israel so many years ago. It reveals God’s deep heart and His desire for his people to enjoy well-being. And God does not change through the ages. This blessing of peace is still His heart’s desire for His children. It is His heart’s desire for you!

Is there someone in your life that you can use these words of blessing for? It doesn’t have to be out loud or even in person…God loves for us to follow His example by praying for others, desiring for them to experience good things like His peace.

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True Peace

“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

The word “peace” was a common Hebrew greeting for Jesus’ first audience,  just as we use the word “hello” today.  But in the above verse, Jesus uses this word of greeting to point to something deeper than mere good wishes.  True peace, His kind of peace, is a unique gift. 

His peace is peace at its highest, the gift that only Jesus can give of eternal life… peace between us and God.  His peace is peace at its most accessible, always available to us since He is always with us.  His peace is peace at its most practical, soothing the troubled and fearful heart.

Are there certain circumstances that distract you from connecting with this perfect peace?  Is there fear in your heart that seems to shake you to your core?  Take a moment to pray for God’s help in not being troubled today by those circumstances.  Ask Him to remind you of  His perfect promise of peace in every circumstance.

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