photo by: Shirley/Oklahoma/September 2010
Peace of Christ
originally written 17 Aug 10
posted 7 Oct 10
Recently I found myself in a conversation where I referred to the peace that only Christ can give and someone retorted with the scripture that says Christ didn't come to bring peace but a sword.

Knowing that the Scripture is God-breathed Truth and that God doesn’t contradict Himself, I had to do a bit of prayer-covered research to
reconcile this mystery in my mind and heart.
I do not claim to have all the answers, and I hope my brothers/sisters in Christ will correct me if I stray from the Truth…
but I do trust God’s word when He says
that anyone who asks Him for wisdom will receive it. (James 1:5)
It is the Holy Spirit that must reveal these Truths to us. (John 14:26)
I am thankful that the Holy Spirit speaks to us even today!

In Isaiah 9:6 Christ is referred to as the “Prince of Peace”
 and verse 7 says that His peace will never end.
Isaiah 26:3 speaks of those who trust in God having perfect peace.

These next two verses hold the key to this "mystery":

“I will listen to what God the LORD will say;
he promises peace to his people,
his saints— but let them not return to folly.”
Psalm 85:8

"’There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’"
Isaiah 57:21

God promises peace to His people…
but to the wicked He does not make this promise.
He offers His peace to everyone who chooses to love Him,
but not everyone will choose to follow the Creator's instructions.
Those who love Him also obey Him and He grants them peace.

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace
to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:14

Then Peter began to speak:
"I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but
accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right
You know the message God sent to the people of Israel,
telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.”
Acts 10:34-36

 "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
into this grace in which we now stand."
Romans 5:1

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Romans 15:13

I’ve always found this next one very interesting.  : )

"The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet."
Romans 16:20a

"For God is not a God of disorder but of peace."
1 Corinthians 14:33

His Peace has a purpose!

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:7

The person who tried to counter my statement about Christ giving us peace was right on one fact.  Christ did, indeed, say that He didn’t come to bring peace to the earth but a sword.
Indeed, if you look at just the one verse (Matt 10:34),
it seems to contradict His very name (Prince of Peace).
However, if you read the entire chapter,
step back and look at the bigger picture,
you will understand His meaning more clearly.

The sword Christ brings is the Sword of Truth.
The Bible is described as a sword:

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.”
Ephesians 6:17

“For the word of God is living and active.
Sharper than any double-edge sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.
Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of
him to whom we must give account.”
Hebrews 12-13

Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and
will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Revelation 2:16

Jesus is the Word.  He was with God in the beginning
and He became flesh at the appointed time.
(see John 1:1-18)

Jesus declared Himself to be Truth.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
John 14:6

Those who embrace this Truth…Christ Himself…
will have a peace that the human mind cannot fathom.
The world rejects Truth, but it cannot change nor overcome Him.

“’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

There is a spiritual battle, whether recognized or not, that rages all around us.
When Truth enters a world (or a home) accustomed to embracing lies,
there will be conflict.
(I believe this is what Christ speaks of in Matthew 10:21-39.)

Those who accept the Word of God cannot be negligent in sharing what they know to be Truth.  Those who prefer to remain in their sin and choose to live a life ignoring the commands and wise guidance of God
will not be happy when they hear the Truth.
This brings strife, not peace.

No one enjoys correction.
When the Spirit starts to convict people of their sin,
oftentimes there is friction…
and many times the friction is between
the family members who believe the Word of God
and those who do not believe.

Those who embrace God’s Truth know the peace that comes from their security in Him is a greater and more lasting peace than the false peace of keeping silent while watching family members travel a swift course to hell without saying a word about what they know.
God’s peace is worth whatever strife there is on this earth.
It is truly a peace beyond our human comprehension.

Christ’s purpose is to save the lost…
but not all who are lost will accept rescue.
We who choose to follow Christ must do so knowing that even if
every person we have ever loved turns against us because of Christ…
it is a small price to pay for the eternal love and grace
that is being offered to us by our Creator.
If we are unwilling to exchange the temporary for the eternal,
something is seriously wrong.
Because Christ lives in us, His desire that all come to know Him, to experience this "peace that passes understanding," also becomes our heart’s desire.
We cannot be silent.
We must counter the lies of this world with the Truth of God.

”If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, 
who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
James 1:5

  “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you
of everything I have said to you.”
John 14:26

 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. 
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and
upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  
The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”
Isaiah 9:6-7

 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.”
Isaiah 26:3

Matthew 10
Jesus sends out the twelve

 1He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 
 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. 
 5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep. 
 11"Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 
 17"Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 
 21"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 
 24"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household! 
 26"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 
 32"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. 
 34"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 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 - 
    36a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' 
 37"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; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 
 40"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. 42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."

John 1:1-18
The Word Became Flesh 
 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 
 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 
 6There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 
 10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. 
 14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 
 15John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' " 16From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

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