Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Perfect peace

December 30, 2017

john-16-33

The Verse of the Day for December 30, 2017, the last Saturday of the year, offers words from the Lord Jesus Christ found in John 16:33 (AMP):

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]

In John 14:27 (AMP) the Lord makes another reference to peace:

Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

These verses also bring to mind Isaiah 26:3 (AMP):

You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

To emphasize the concept of peace, the phrase “perfect peace” is used, whereby the word for peace is repeated in the Hebrew text, literally meaning “peace, peace.” God provides a “double portion of peace” to those who trust in Him.

While it is important to maintain the peace of God, we also want the peace of God to increase in our lives, as the Bible uses the expression “peace be multiplied unto you.”

The peace that Jesus speaks of goes beyond the usual definition which refers to “the normal non-warring condition of a nation, a group of nations or the world. . . a state of harmony among people or groups; cessation or freedom from strife or dissension.”

In contrast, the Biblical definition encompasses a state of untroubled, undisturbed well-being, expressed in the Hebrew expression shalom. According to Strong’s Concordance, shalom means “completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.” It is an inner reality, for the peace of God indicates being free from anxiety and care, as we experience the grace of God and know intimately His mercy, while being kept in perfect peace:

Grace, Mercy, and Peace: A Three-fold Cord

Blest be the tie that binds

Our hearts in Christian love;

The fellowship of kindred minds

Is like to that above.

 Dr. John Fawcett

  

 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son:

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father

and Christ Jesus our Lord

 2 Timothy 1:2

 

Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.

These three traits never diminish but only increase.

Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

 

Grace: a priceless gift that no one on earth can afford.

God’s great grace abounds toward us and shall never decrease.

Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as three-fold cord.

 

That God is truly merciful cannot be ignored.

Streams of the sure mercies of the Lord shall never cease.

Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

 

Peace cancels all strife, but we must live in one accord.

All those who are bound the Word of the Lord will release.

Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.

 

All who seemed forsaken, God, our Father, has restored.

As we seek God, we find that in His will is our peace.

Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

 

Boundless love and favor are waiting to be explored,

For we are so designed to shine as God’s masterpiece.

Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.

Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.    

The Verse of the Day along with other scriptures related to the peace of God reinforce the comforting and reassuring message expressed by Jesus Christ in whom we can have peace in an even greater measure as we trust him. John Waller sings “Perfect Peace,” a musical composition blending words of the Gospel of John and Isaiah 26:3:

Grace, mercy, and peace

November 21, 2016

1-corinthians-1-4-8-kjv

From 1 Corinthians 1: 4-5 in the New King James Version comes the Verse of the Day for November 21, 2016:

[Spiritual Gifts at Corinth] I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge,

To gain an even  more comprehensive view of this opening salutation, let us take a look at the preceding verse as well in the Amplified Bible:

1 Corinthians 1:3-5:

Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, so that in everything you were [exceedingly] enriched in Him, in all speech [empowered by the spiritual gifts] and in all knowledge [with insight into the faith].

In reflecting on these verses, 1 Peter 1:2 also comes to mind, as the verse ends with the greeting “Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

2 Peter 1:2 indicates the source of this multiplication:

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

Jude 1:2 goes on, adding two more virtues:

Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

In thinking about grace, mercy and peace, lyrics to an original song also come to mind:

Grace, mercy, and peace,

From God the Father

From God the Father

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father

And the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.

 

Gracious Lord, gracious Lord, gracious Lord,

Full of grace and mercy

Gracious Lord, gracious Lord, gracious Lord,

Where sin abounded, grace prevailed freely.

Without amazing grace, where would we be?

 

You bless with grace, mercy and peace.

We speak peace and the storms of life shall cease.

Lord, God who protects His own.  You are Jehovah Shalom

The peace of God from the God of peace.

 

You are gracious, Lord.

You are gracious, Lord.

You are gracious, Lord.

 

The theme of “grace, mercy and peace” also inspired this poem:

 

Grace, Mercy, and Peace: A Three-fold Cord

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Dr. John Fawcett

 

To Timothy, my dearly beloved son:

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father

and Christ Jesus our Lord

2 Timothy 1:2

 

 

 

Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.

These three traits never diminish but only increase.

Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

 

Grace: a priceless gift that no one on earth can afford.

God’s great grace abounds toward us and shall never decrease.

Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as three-fold cord.

 

That God is truly merciful cannot be ignored.

Streams of the sure mercies of the Lord shall never cease.

Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

 

Peace cancels all strife, but we must live in one accord.

All those who are bound the Word of the Lord will release.

Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.

 

All who seemed forsaken, God, our Father, has restored.

As we seek God, we find that in His will is our peace.

Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

 

Boundless love and favor are waiting to be explored,

For we are so designed to shine as God’s masterpiece.

Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.

Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

 

 

We close with “Out of the Grey” who offer this tender reminder: “Grace, Mercy, and Peace.”

We are confident that God’s grace, mercy, and peace are multiplied to us this day and every day of our lives.

But seek first the kingdom of God

September 27, 2016

matthew-6-33

Revised and re-posted are comments based on Matthew 6:30-33 in the Message Bible, the Verse of the Day for September 27, 2016:

30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

From this passage verse 33 is often recited as a reminder of what our priorities should be as believers:

Matthew 6:33 (Amplified Bible):

33 But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

Here is the familiar rendering from the New King James Version:

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

In light of the Gospel of Matthew’s portrayal of Jesus as the King, the expression “the kingdom of God” is used four times in the first book of the Gospel writers: Matthew 12:28; 19:24; 21:31, 43. In its simplest form, the term is translated from the Greek word basileia, referring to the reign, rulership, the authority or dominion of a king.

In the Old Testament the Hebrew word malkūt generally refers to the authority or to his rule of the heavenly king. The Psalmist declares: “They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and tell of thy power.… Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endures throughout all generations” (Psalm 145; 11, 13) “The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all” (Ps 103:19). Ultimately this sovereign rule of God, which Jesus Christ initiated with his earthly life and ministry will be fulfilled when “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” (Revelation 11:15).

The Verse of the Day and other references to the Kingdom of God remind us that we are all

Living in the Realm of the Kingdom of God

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;

but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Romans 14:17

 

In the place of transition where God makes covenant

We find the comfort that we seek and the sweet release

Of the Jubilee extended to a bondservant.

Though turmoil surrounds us, we are kept in perfect peace

With a blessed assurance that we are ever secure,

Abiding under the shadow of the Almighty,

But we must wait with patience and not faint but endure.

While pressing toward the mark for the prize triumphantly

We living in the realm of the Kingdom of God,

As we submit our lives to Kingdom authority

And respond to each fiery trial with the Word of God.

No longer in bondage, we are redeemed and set free.

“It is written”: the true standard where we always find

Strength to triumph, transformed in the spirit of our mind.

The Maranatha Singers offer Matthew 6:33 as part of a medley of commands from the Lord Jesus Christ: Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

Ron Kenoly provides a lively reminder that “Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost” are the essential elements of the Kingdom of God.

Beyond race relations: Make peace with one another

July 29, 2016

Romans 14--19

In recent blog posts instead of examining the Verse of the Day, we have been continuing  the series based on the concept “It’s all about relationships,” the theme from a conference attended three years that related seven principles that can be universally applied to “launch, challenge, and grow relationships.” These principles can be universally applied in achieving and maintaining successful relationships, but they can also be specifically applied in an area of race relations, a critically important area in America today.

These seven principles are related to verbs that connote action when specifically applied in terms of what should be done to “one another.” The reciprocal pronoun used in the plural carries the notion of a group of people acting upon themselves, i.e., upon one another. For example, we are to “love another and so forth. . .”

1) Love

2) Honor

3)  Forgive

4)  Encourage

5)  Admonish

6)  Serve

7)  Make peace

Earlier posts have discussed the first six principles, and today we will look at the seventh:

Make peace with one another

In the midst of our war-torn world, we find a desperate yearning to experience “peace in our times.” Events occurring since September 11, 2001 have catapulted the world into a state of anxiety and fearfulness.  We are increasingly more aware of the absence of peace, as the United States is now entrenched in the war on terrorism which continues to consume the thoughts of many citizens. The world is seeking relief from the turmoil and strife of these troubled times, crying out, “Peace, peace, and there is no peace.”

Translated from the Hebrew expression shalom, this priceless concept encompasses a state of untroubled, undisturbed well-being. According to Strong’s Concordance, shalom means “completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.” It is an inner reality, for the peace of God indicates being free from anxiety and care; it is not dependent upon outside conditions.

The peace of God comes from the God of peace, and it is only possible to obtain it through the Prince of Peace, who declares this truth:

John 14:27 (AMP):

27 Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]

The Lord Jesus Christ also spoke these word about those who make peace:

 Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

“You are the salt of the earth,” one of the striking metaphors used by the Lord, describes those who follow him. Salt, a remarkable change-agent, facilitates the process of change. Such an agent of change appears on the scene and influences the total environment. Jesus Christ elaborates on salt and makes reference to peace:

Mark 9:50 (AMP)

Salt is good and useful; but if salt has lost its saltiness (purpose), how will you make it salty? Have salt within yourselves continually, and be at peace with one another.”

Peace, one of the fruit of the spirit, should be evident in the lives of believers today. As we sow the seeds of peace, we shall reap an abundant harvest of the same, according to James 3:18:

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Romans 14:19 (AMP) reminds us:

So then, let us pursue [with enthusiasm] the things which make for peace and the building up of one another [things which lead to spiritual growth].

Fruit produced from applying the principle of making peace should be especially evident in the Church. Prior to and during the times of Jesus Christ, Jews and Gentiles did not socially interact. The separation was comparable to the practice of segregation experienced by African Americans in the Deep South in the early 20th century. Jesus Christ, however, through his sacrifice on the cross and his subsequent resurrection, obliterated those barriers that separated these two cultural groups, unifying these factions into one body, the Church, known as the Body of Christ.

Ephesians: 2:14-17 (NLT) speak of the accomplished work of Jesus Christ, the savior of the whole world:

14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.

15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.

16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to dEeath.

17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near.

In Ephesians 4:3 (NLT) we find another exhortation of peace:

Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace [each individual working together to make the whole successful].

As our thoughts turn toward the peace that the Lord gives and our desire to abide in peace, words from the Medieval Italian poet and philosopher, Dante Alighieri, come to mind, a line that introduces the following poetic prayer:

Peace

In His will is our peace.

Dante

                       

O, Lord, make us instruments of your peace, we pray.

From our lives may there stream heavenly melodies.

As consummate virtuoso compose and play

Upon our soul, inspire glorious harmonies.

In such measured moments of sweetest quietude

Arrange serenades of praise. Let grace notes resound,

As our lives crescendo in songs of gratitude,

From heart to heart, where your grace and mercy abound.

Orchestrate aubades, nocturnes, songs at eventide;

Complete cantatas of peace within us, align

Our desires and your pleasure. Here we abide,

Saxophone and soloist, communing by design.

Knowing our purpose, we remain quiet and still,

Composed in perfect peace, the center of His will.

The essence of the intent of the seventh principle and related scriptures is also expressed in the song “Instruments of Your Peace,” recorded in Johannesburg, South Africa.

 

We conclude our discussion with these words:

As agents of change we transform our environment;

We give no offense and remove every stumbling block.

We have salt in ourselves, and make peace with one another.

 

 

 

Unflappable 2: more in store

May 30, 2016

Psalm 1--3

A couple of days ago, instead of sharing the Verse of the Day, I chose to share the Word for the Day on May 27, 2016  when we looked at the word  “unflappable” and noted how it applied to us. After reviewing my notes and upon further reflection, I have chosen to continue the discussion of this distinctive adjective and other related terms. We, thus, have “Unflappable 2—more in store” on the Word for the Day on May 29, 2016.

Take a look at this definition of the term on  YouTube:

The previous blog entry also mentioned the term “unflappability”, a character trait demonstrated by those who remain composed and having sound judgment at all times, being impossible to fluster. An individual described as being unflappable exemplifies “unflappability”: remaining composed and level-headed at all times, being impossible to fluster.

Other related terms include the adjective “un·flapped,” meaning not upset or confused, unperturbed. Some additional forms include nouns “unflappability” and “unflappableness,” along with the adverb “unflappably.”

Following the initial post on “unflappable,” I reviewed some notes from a previous teaching that I had heard, and I came an acrostic that I had composed in connection with four attributes of spirits of wickedness: Fear, Lust, Anger, and Pride.

Often when these negative emotions are stirred up in situations that believers encounter, we become anything but “unflappable” under circumstances where we should remain confident and assured, unmoved, but we fail to maintain our state of “unflappability.” In such situations we need to respond to the tactics of the adversary of our souls and “unflap” the enemy by moving in the opposite spirit. Although you cannot find the verb “unflap” in the Official Scrabble Dictionary, I am coining the term and using it in a spiritual context.

We “unflap” the enemy by learning to be unflappable. To come out of the cave—those dark caverns of our minds that the enemy constantly seeks to lure us into, we must move in the opposite direction and “FLIP the FLAP.” When we encounter Fear, we move forward in Faith; In situations where Lust abounds, we respond with Love; Where we find “Anger” we walk away “In Peace”; Where Pride seeks to dominate, we counter with a “Pure heart of Humility:

Fear to Faith

Fear is said to be the only thing that defeats the promises of God. In a recent blog entry posted on Friday the thirteen, I commented that expression, “Do not fear” or some variation of “Fear not” occurs 365 times in the Bible, corresponding to a daily memo from God to have no fear. When we encounter the precursors of doubt and worry that too often culminate in fear, recall the comforting exhortation to Philippians 4:6

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

We, of course, recall the acronym for fear: “false evidence appearing real” recognize that evidence is something that is seen Instead of reacting in fear, based on what we see, as believers must learn to act or move out in faith which is defined In Hebrew 11:

Hebrews 11:1, 6

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Lust to Love

In the ongoing spiritual battle that confronts believers every day, we endeavor to walk in the spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.  Titus 3:3 (NLT) reminds us:

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.

1 John 2:15-17 (NLT) offers this reminder of the source of lusts or inordinate affections, excessive inner yearnings that draw us away from God’s heart:

15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

In the same way that love is the perfect antidote to fear, in that perfect love casts out all fear, Love also counters Lusts.

Anger to abiding  “In Peace”

In the midst of times of intense pressure and opposition, situations that we encounter may arouse anger within us, but the Psalmist exhorts us:

Psalm 4:4

Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah

Psalm 37:8(NLT) repeats this message:

Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.

How about this statement from Ecclesiastes 7:9 (HCSB):

Don’t let your spirit rush to be angry, for anger abides in the heart of fools.

James 1:19 (NIV) offers these words of wisdom:

[Listening and Doing] My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

When we find ourselves in midst of situations that generate anger, we counter anger when we walk “In Peace.” The lines from the spiritual assure us:

We shall walk through the valley in peace;
we shall walk through the valley in peace.

Refrain:
If Jesus himself shall be our leader,
we shall walk through the valley in peace

The first blog entry discussing “unflappable” spoke of maintaining the peace of God in stressful situations whereby believers learn to “Hold Your Peace.” Without question, the peace of God only comes from the God of Peace through His Son, the Prince of Peace.

Pride to “Pure Heart of Humility”:

Pride, the most dangerous of emotions, if left unchecked, can lead to destruction, as indicated in the closing lines of “Dangerous Emotions”:

Each deadly emotion yields deadly consequence.

Pride, described as the most dangerous of them all,

Leads to destruction and goes before a downfall.

In thinking about pride, I recall the first poem that I wrote, long before I recognized my poetic inclination and seriously pursued developing the poet’s craft and art. As a sophomore in college, I enrolled in a poetry appreciation course taught by a well-known poet and teacher who asked the class to write a couplet, and these two lines came to mind:

Beware, Pride locks the heart and keeps the key.

Take care that Pride has not a lock on thee.

Among the seven negative attributes that God hates, “indeed, seven are repulsive to Him” . . .  the first being “A proud look [the attitude that makes one overestimate oneself and discount others], (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Those who walk in pride are despised in God’s eyes, but those who walk with a pure heart in humility bring a smile to God’s face: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Proverbs 18:12 tell us:

Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.

More than 40 years after the first couplet that I wrote regarding pride, I wrote another two lines with this message:

We know that when we touch the heart of God,

We show that true humility is the key.

As believers each time we “flip the flap” and move in the opposite spirit when confronted by Satan and the forces of evil, we “unflap” the enemy and score a victory: Now thanks be unto Christ who always causes us to triumph in Christ, thus being “unflappable” each time.

To close out our discussion of “unflappable” here is “Tree” by Justin Rizzo, inspired by Psalm 1, the first passage of scripture I ever committed to memory and which expresses my ultimate desire and prayer to be like the man so described:

 

 

 

 

Instruments of peace on earth

December 23, 2015

Luke 2--14In the continuing account of the birth of Jesus Christ from Luke 2:11-14 (AMP), we find the Verse of the Day for December 23, 2015:

For this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (the Messiah). And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find a Baby wrapped in [swaddling] cloths and lying in a manger.” Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host (angelic army) praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest [heaven], And on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.”

In the closing declaration of the passage the heavenly host offer this resounding benediction:

“Glory to God in the highest [heaven], And on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.”

This expression brings to mind a recent blog entry entitled “Let the peace of God rule: Hold your peace,” which spoke of the peace of God. The following excerpt comments on this concept of ever-increasing importance:

Beyond the generally accepted definition of peace as “the normal non-warring condition of a nation, a group of nations or the world . . . a state of harmony among people or groups; cessation or freedom from strife or dissension,” the Bible speaks of peace as a state of untroubled, undisturbed well-being. It is an inner reality . . . the peace of God indicates being free from anxiety and care; it is not dependent upon outside conditions.

In the midst of a world ravaged in war and rumors of war, there is a notable absence of peace. The entire world is still seeking to find “peace in our times.” Despite the desperate cry for peace, peace, there is no peace. Events subsequent to September 11, 2001 have catapulted the world into a state of anxiety and fearfulness. As Americans, we are aware of the absence of peace, as the United States and other nations are engaged in the war on terrorism which continues to consume the thoughts of citizens across the globe.

Our war-torn times bring to mind the words of the Psalmist, who encourages us:

Psalm 34:14

Turn away from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.

Once more we are reminded that the God of peace desires that the world may experience the peace of God that He has given through His son, the Prince of Peace The passage from Luke 2 brings to mind the following poem inspired in part by a line from Dante Alighieri, noted Italian poet: E’n la sua volontade e nostra pace, which is translated: “In his will is our peace.”:

Peace

E’n la sua volontade e nostra pace.
Dante

Lord, make us instruments of your peace, this we pray:
That from our lives may stream heavenly melodies.
As consummate virtuoso compose and play
Upon our souls, inspire glorious harmonies.
In such measured moments of sweetest quietude
Arrange serenades of praise. Let grace notes resound,
As our lives crescendo in songs of gratitude,
From heart to heart, where your grace and mercy abound.
Orchestrate aubades, nocturnes, songs at eventide;
Complete cantatas of peace within us, align
Our desires and your pleasure. Here we abide,
Saxophone and soloist, communing by design.
Knowing our purpose, we remain quiet and still,
Composed in perfect peace, the center of His will.

“Lord, Make Us Instruments of Your Peace” expresses this deepest yearning of our hearts for peace.

We close our entry on peace with another song from South Africa, as Lionel Peterson offers “Peace”:

The tender mercy of our God

December 19, 2015
The passage from Luke 1:67-79 known as the Benedictus or Zechariah’s song is inscribed in Hebrew on these tiles on display at the church of St. John in the Mountains, said to be the birthplace of St. John.

The passage from Luke 1:67-79 known as the Benedictus or Zechariah’s song is inscribed in Hebrew on these tiles on display at the church of St. John in the Mountains, said to be the birthplace of St. John.

The Verse of the Day for December 19, 2015 is taken from Luke 1:76-78 (AMP):

“And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord (the Messiah) to prepare His ways; To give His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins, Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise (the Messiah) from on high will dawn and visit us,

Known as “Zechariah’s Song,” the entire passage is based on Luke 1:67-79 where Zechariah, the priest, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesies concerning of his own son, John, the Baptist, and the Jesus Christ, the Messiah. This prophetic declaration is also referred to as “Benedictus,” the first word in the Latin version of the passage. Here Zechariah speaks of “the tender mercy of God.”

Without question, one of the awesome attributes of God is that He is a God of mercy. In a real sense, He is a God of justice, who tempers justice with grace and mercy. Justice has been defined as “getting exactly what one deserves.” Whereas grace is said to be unmerited favor or getting something that one does not deserve, and mercy is defined as “withholding merited judgment” or “not getting what one deserves. God ever displays His mercy toward His children, as expressed so passionately throughout the Psalms which make known the extent of God’s mercy:

Psalm 119:64:

The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.

Psalm 57:10:

For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

Psalm 69:13:

But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.

Psalm 103:17:

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

I recall that the favorite verse of my late father-in-law and one of my favorite verses is repeated throughout the Book of Psalms:

Psalm 100:5 (KJV):

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Lamentations 3:22-23 also remind us:

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

“Great is Thy Faithfulness,” one of the most popular hymns of all times, is inspired by this passage and mentions “new mercies” in its chorus:

Throughout the writings of Paul in the New Testament we find references to grace and mercy which are often found the salutations of that open these letters. In Titus, 1 and 2 Timothy, and 2 John “grace and mercy” are linked with “peace.” The blending of these three qualities became the inspiration for this poem:

Grace, Mercy, and Peace: A Three-fold Cord

Blest be the tie that binds

Our hearts in Christian love;

The fellowship of kindred minds

Is like to that above.

Dr. John Fawcett

To Timothy, my dearly beloved son:

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father

and Christ Jesus our Lord

2 Timothy 1:2

Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.
These three traits never diminish but only increase.
Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

Grace: a priceless gift that no one on earth can afford.
God’s great grace abounds toward us and shall never decrease.
Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as three-fold cord.

That God is truly merciful cannot be ignored.
Streams of the sure mercies of the Lord shall never cease.
Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

Peace cancels all strife, but we must live in one accord.
All those who are bound the Word of the Lord will release.
Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.

All who seemed forsaken, God, our Father, has restored.
As we seek God, we find that in His will is our peace.
Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

Boundless love and favor are waiting to be explored,
For we are so designed to shine as God’s masterpiece.
Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.
Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

We close our discussion of God’s mercy with two moving musical selections:

“Because of your tender mercy” which is based on Zechariah’s Song:

Don Moen—reminds us the wide expanse of God’s mercy: “Great is your mercy”:

Grace, mercy and peace: A three-fold cord

November 21, 2013

1_Corinthians_1-4

The Verse of the Day for November 21, 2013 is found in I Corinthians 1: 4-5

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

As I reflected on these verses, I thought of 1 Peter 1:2 which ends with the greeting “Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

2 Peter 1:2 indicates the source of this multiplication:

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

Jude 1:2 adds two more virtues:

Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

In thinking about grace, mercy and peace, I recall the lyrics to an original song:

Grace, mercy, and peace,

from God the Father

from God the Father

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.

 

Gracious Lord, gracious Lord, gracious Lord,

Full of grace and mercy

Gracious Lord, gracious Lord, gracious Lord,

Where sin abounded, grace prevailed for me

Without amazing grace, where would I be?

You bless with grace, mercy and peace.

We speak peace and the storms of life shall cease.

Lord, God who protects His own.  You are Jehovah Shalom

The peace of God from the God of peace.

 

You are gracious, Lord.

You are gracious, Lord.

You are gracious, Lord.

2 John 3

The theme of “grace, mercy and peace” also inspired this poem:

Grace, Mercy, and Peace: A Three-fold Cord                                        

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Dr. John Fawcett

 

 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son:

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father

and Christ Jesus our Lord

2 Timothy 1:2

 

Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.

These three traits never diminish but only increase.

Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

 

Grace: a priceless gift that no one on earth can afford.

God’s great grace abounds toward us and shall never decrease.

Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as three-fold cord.

 

That God is truly merciful cannot be ignored.

Streams of the sure mercies of the Lord shall never cease.

Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

 

Peace cancels all strife, but we must live in one accord.

All those who are bound the Word of the Lord will release.

Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.

 

All who seemed forsaken, God, our Father, has restored.

As we seek God, we find that in His will is our peace.

Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

 

Boundless love and favor are waiting to be explored,

For we are so designed to shine as God’s masterpiece.

Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.

Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

 

Fernando Ortega provides a tender reminder of the source of grace and peace:

We are confident that God’s grace and peace are multiplied to us this day and every day.