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Tuesday-Peace

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Philippians 4:6,7

 

It’s no mistake that the first word of verse seven is the word “and.” Verse seven comes right after verse six. You can’t just land your bible drone on verse seven and then take off. You also can’t just parachute down on verse seven, especially when it starts with an and.

 

The peace of God isn’t like some food truck. You know how they weren’t there the other day and then, poof. They come out of nowhere and sets up shop. And just as quickly, the food truck is gone.

 

You get to verse seven by driving through verse six and the rest of the letter. Yes, you can and should memorize verses. Yes, you need to claim God’s protection and provision through individual verses. But never forget where that verse is, or you can get yourself and your faith into all sorts of trouble.

 

As we think more about the peace of God, it doesn’t require some special place. When we make our requests to God, it’s not like we have to go to some holy spot to find him. He’s not just in a church, in a mosque, a temple, a synagogue.So, what is this mysterious peace of God. Well, first of all it’s not like other kinds of peace. It’s not the peace offered by any political or religious organization. God’s peace doesn’t come at the end of a course of pilgrimage. It doesn’t appear after a fast either.

 

God’s kind of peace is his because he’s the only one that can give it. God’s peace is really unique. It’s special. It’s only available from him. Looking for God’s peace isn’t like going to a store and trying on all kinds of jeans. From different brands. Some made in China. Some from Vietnam. Some from the USA. There are jeans with different cuts and fits. Different colors. Some with holes.

 

God’s peace is a one-of-a-kind peace that only he can give. His peace starts right where we are. Broken. Separated from God. Like a rope that’s been pulled so tight that the threads break. And then a knife cuts the rope in two.

 

That’s where we are when it comes to God. He made us and connected himself to us. We were tied with a rope that linked us to him. But we tugged at it. We tried to break away. And we’ve cut all ties with him through our deciding to live life on our own. Without God.

 

But God didn’t just let us hang out there on our own. By ourselves. In Jesus, he’s paid for and offers a way back to him. He’s ready to repair our relationship with him. He’s ready, willing, and able to reconnect each and every fiber in that rope that we destroyed. And what do we have to do to earn this? What great accomplishment do we have to complete? What mountain do we have to climb? How long do we have to meditate to get to this place?

 

Nothing. That’s right, nothing. Zero. And why? Because God has paid for it. He’s done everything for our Heavenly Father connection with God to be brought back together. Not just retied but remade good as new.

 

And if that doesn’t transcend all understanding, I don’t know what does. It’s so far above and beyond any other philosophy, ideas, or set of rules. It’s not just different, but it’s above any other religion or faith on the planet.

 

I want to be respectful to other religions, but this kind of peace is really superior to all other faiths. Christianity is the only faith where reunion with God is provided by and paid for by God. All others make us work for it. And when we’re honest, we know deep down inside that we fail at getting back with God.

 

When we receive this kind of peace, something happens deep down inside our heads and hearts. It protects us from the overwhelming attacks of guilt and shame. God’s peace walks around our minds and hearts, keeping out the old habits of feeling guilty for anything and everything. He acts like a soldier walking guard duty around a camp. Providing protection to everyone inside.

 

Yes, God’s peace isn’t just something passive. It’s not just a destination that, when we arrive, it just sits down. Oh no. God’s peace is always active and alert. It’s looking for attacks from the enemy. Keeping them out. This certainly isn’t like any other peace. Is it?

 

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

 

Jesus alone gives this kind of peace. This depth of peace. His peace is unique, not like anyone or anything else. Like salvation, it’s a gift. One that’s been bought by him with his own blood. He left it for us. He’s made it available for you and me. It’s right there in front of us. And yet, so often we turn away from it because we want to earn it. But we can’t. So accept his peace and watch him guard your heart and mind like no one else can.

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • How is God’s peace different than the kinds of peace we see all around us?

  • What’s your reaction to the fact that God’s paid for all our sin? Why?

  • Why does belief in Jesus sound exclusive? Why do people react to that?

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