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  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on November 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: beheadings, , , , , , peace, please the LORD, , , tortures,   

    (#105) The Proverbs of Solomon 16:7-Real “Peace Accords” 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 16:7: “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

    Obeying God’s Will toward our “enemies” is the straightest, simplest, most successful method for producing “peace” than any and every plan and method ever tried before in the history of mankind! Under Moses’ Law: “Three times in the year all your men shall appear before the Lord, the LORD God of Israel. For I will cast out the nations before you and enlarge your borders; neither will any man covet your land when you go up to appear before the LORD your God three times in the year” (Exodus 34:23-24). Israelite men had to journey three times a year to the place where God’s sacrifices were to be offered, but God promised no one would “covet” (and therefore steal) their land while they were gone to do God’s Will! After the Israelites had settled in the Promised Land, had kings, then divided, the king of the Southern Kingdom knew “the fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat” (2 Chronicles 17:10). Under the Law of Jesus Christ, though persecution had arisen against the church of Christ (Acts 8:1-4), there came a time when “the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied” (Acts 9:31). Truly, “peace” exists when God’s people obey His Will, not when world rulers sign papers!

    An “enemy” is defined in the last verse in the Bible where the term is used: “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). Anyone who is antagonist against God, God’s Will, and God’s People is an “enemy!” Surely one must not rely upon encouragement from an “enemy:” “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6).

    In complete contrast to everyone who follows the worldly way of human power, war, and control, all Christians who follow God’s Will would respond with good for evil, which is never better stated than when Jesus Christ taught it in His Sermon on the Mount: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matthew 5:43-46) The best way to get rid of an enemy is to show him/her a better way of behavior, like God, Who gives even the wicked some blessings!

    What Solomon taught is applied to Christianity by the Apostle Paul: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the LORD will reward you” (Proverbs 25:21-22); “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:18-21). The wisest way to dispose of enemies is by returning good for evil! Any enemy with conscience cannot ignore the Christian’s response to his/her ugliness. However, it is prefaced with the understanding this may not work in every case when he said, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you.” This hallmark of Christianity is easily distinguished from Islamic beheadings, Catholic tortures, or Socialist destruction.

    Clearly, no one should rise up haughtily when something bad happens to an enemy: “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, And He turn away His wrath from him” (Proverbs 24:17-18). God can punish pride from His children today by misfortune passed from enemies.

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

  • TFRStaff 6:44 am on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , peace, Peacemaker,   

    Peacemaker or Peace-Breaker 

    Percival Wilde once described a man with these memorable words: “He made enemies as naturally as soap makes suds.” Think about soap and suds for a moment. You don’t have to work very hard to get soap to make suds. Just mix a little water with the soap and agitate it slightly — and presto — out come the suds. Some people are like that. They make enemies easily. Agitate them ever so slightly and they are ready to go to war, if not with weapons at least with words. It just seems to be in some people’s nature to make and see other people as enemies. Thousands of years ago the psalmist found himself living around people who didn’t care about getting along with others — “My soul has dwelt too long with one who hates peace. I am for peace; But when I speak, they are for war” (Psalm 120:6-7). Sadly, daily headlines and simple observation reveal that our own world is populated by far too few who are for peace and far too many who are for war. The proof of that is all around us. The God Christians worship is called the “God of peace” (Romans 15:13). The Christ Christians seek to follow was described by a prophet as the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). And the gospel Christians preach to the world is referred to in the Bible as the “gospel of peace” (Romans 10:15). All the more tragic, then, that we live in a world at war. Unless you are from another planet and just arrived today, you know there is war between nations. And here at home in America there is a lack of peace on our streets. The FBI “crime clock” reports a violent crime is committed every 23.5 seconds (huffingtonpost.com, 1/16/13). We are disgusted and stunned that violence now frequently enters the hallways and classrooms of our public schools, turning them into war-zones and killing fields. TV programming is saturated with violent acts. In many homes in America children and spouses are abused and even murdered. And thanks to “a woman’s right to choose,” violence has invaded and destroyed even the peace of the womb, making the womb, statistically, the most dangerous place to live in America. As some anonymous wag has noted, the most amazing thing about someone being arrested for disturbing the peace these days is that they found any peace to disturb.

    How challenging, then, the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called the children of God.” God’s children are known for trying to make peace. Now, while there is more to being a child of God than being a “peacemaker” (see John 3:3-5; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38, etc.), there certainly is not less. That’s why an inspired writer directed us bluntly in Hebrews 12:14 to “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” To be God’s sons and daughters is to take on His nature. And the gospel forcefully demonstrates His nature is to make peace, even when the cost is supreme (see Ephesians 2:12-17 and Colossians 1:20). It is no surprise then that Romans 14:19 lays down this directive to Christians: “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” Christians must seek to make peace, even as we wage “the good warfare” and “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 1:18; 6:12). Get real and search your heart: are you making war or peace? Are you a peacemaker or a peace-breaker? Think about it.

    Dan Gulley – Smithville Church of Christ

  • Michael Summers 10:51 am on May 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , peace, , , reunion   

    It’s Memorial Day and I’m Home 

    It’s Memorial Day and I’m home. Last year, I was in Afghanistan. Already, I had prayed over the bodies of Soldiers assassinated in their offices and worked alongside medical teams from two other nations in trying to identify remains after a helicopter crash. Soldiers had committed suicide, leaving stunned comrades and grieving families behind. I’m home and I’m glad to be alive. I rejoice that finally I can eat steak again. Elsewhere, families still grieve and comrades still grapple with the absences of those with whom they worked. I pray for those families and friends who grieve that God will comfort them. Sometime today I will call a cousin whose father died in Vietnam. I pray for peace. Most of all, I pray that all will be reconciled to God through Christ. I’m home. I don’t see my grown children as much as I would like, but we’re all alive. My wife is here with me. It’s Memorial Day and I’m home.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:39 am on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Conversion to Christianity, , , , peace,   

    Where’s the Peace? 

    I was a young, young child when it aired but even I know the restaurant commercial that’s had such a lasting effect with the lady asking, “Where’s the beef?”

    The emphasis, or point, was about how the talk didn’t match the walk, and now the punch line is used to make the same point on various topics. This morning I’d like to take the word “beef” and replace it with the word “peace” when it comes to the topic of Islam.

    There’s a story out there (which isn’t getting a whole lot of press attention due to something about the IRS, Benghazi and something else about the AP and wiretaps, but you can read the story here if you’d like) about two men who may be asking, “Where’s the peace?” One man has been sentenced to receive 300 lashes with a whip and a 6 year prison term, and the other man has been sentenced to 200 lashes and a 2 year prison term. And for what? For helping a woman “convert to Christianity” and escaping the country to find asylum in another nation. With a reaction like that, I “wonder” why she had to seek asylum somewhere??? Hmmm.

    I do not completely agree with the doctrinal stance of the two men or with the stated theological experience given by the woman as a part her conversion, but placing that to the side for a moment I can’t help but ask, “Where’s the peace?” I guess it all depends upon one’s definition of peace.

    When one leaves “Christianity” it’s tears that get shed by others (Philippians 3:18), not blood!

    So where’s the peace? The peace is found in Jesus and in no other.

    May peace be with you; my peace I give to you: I give it not as the world gives….” (John 14:27 – BBE)

  • Ron Thomas 7:00 am on April 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , fault finder, peace   

    Fault Finder 

    Last Sunday evening we studied Matthew 7:1-6 in relation to judging and those who find fault with others. We noticed that there is a standard that is applied by the fault finder that is not in accordance with the Holy Spirit and, unfortunately, there are some fault-finders who identify themselves as Christians guilt of the same.

    A fault-finder is one who is blind to that which he (or she) is actually guilty of. It has been said that the fault-finder is rather quick at finding fault in others because they are guilty of the same; they know for what to look. Whether that is true or not in every respect, I don’t know. I can, however, see it being true in many respects.

    We can overcome guilt any one of us have in this area by recognizing the evil of such behavior and making a point to look at (or find) the good in another. That change of focus allows us to see a white sheet of paper (representing that which is good in a person) rather than a single black dot on that sheet of paper (which represents some bad in another person). All to easy it is to single out the smallness of the bad more than the largeness of the good.

    If we are the victim of an overly critical person, implementing the Lord’s approach (1 Peter 2:21-23) and the Holy Spirit’s exhortation (Romans 12:17-21) will bring much peace of mind. RT

    • Esther Lee 8:56 am on April 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Amen!! This is a much needed post !! I was studying these exact scriptures yesterday for my class on Sun evenings. Thank you for posting Ron.

  • John T. Polk II 4:46 am on April 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , heavenly Jerusalem, , , , peace, ,   

    Psalm 122 Jerusalem, the Holy City 

    There is uncertainty regarding the author, time, or circumstances of these Psalms, but it is apparent Psalms 120-134 work together, and are called the “Songs of Degrees,” and sometimes “Songs of Ascension.” This Psalm appears to have been written by David, and sung when Israelites went to Jerusalem 3 times a year (Deuteronomy 16:16).

    Verses 1-5 show why Jerusalem is the Royal City;

    Verses 6-9 show how Jerusalem is the Holy City.

    Verses 1-5: (Verse 1) True worshippers are “glad” to “go into the house of the LORD.” The “house of the LORD” under Moses was the Tabernacle, until Solomon built the Temple where sacrifices were offered to God in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 3:1). Before the Temple was built, David, when his child died, “went into the house of the LORD and worshiped” (2 Samuel 12:20). In the New Testament, the “house of God” is “the church of the living God” (1 Timothy 3:15), “the temple” “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:19-22). (Verse 2) How privileged worshippers were to be in that city. In the New Testament, how privileged worshippers are to be in “the heavenly Jerusalem.” “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:22-24). (Verse 3) Jerusalem was fortified when built (2 Samuel 5:7-9), and walled when rebuilt (Nehemiah 12:27). The church of Christ, as the “new Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:2), is walled by obedience which keeps the corrupt people out of it until they repent and are baptized into Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:9-27; Acts 2:38).  (Verse 4) Jerusalem was a place for uniting the “tribes” of Israel who obeyed the “Testimony of Israel” and gave “thanks to the name of the LORD.” The people were one as a people, in obedience, at worship. Isaiah prophesied about the church of Christ in Isaiah 2:2-3: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:2-3). (Verse 5) Jerusalem was the place for “the thrones of the house of David.” Solomon was on that throne (1 Kings 2:24); and other Kings of Judah, until Coniah to whom God promised “none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah” (Jeremiah 22:24-30). Jesus Christ was preached on Pentecost, in Jerusalem, by the Apostles: “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption” (Acts 2:29-31).

    Verses 6-9: (Verses 6-7) Jerusalem was to have been ruled by “peace,” they “prayed” for, “prospered” under, and were ruled by in their “walls” and “palaces.” The church of Christ must “let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).

    (Verse 8) The customary greeting from the Jews is “Shalom” (Peace to you). The Apostle Paul in the New Testament repeated this constant desire for brethren (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; Philemon 3). (Verse 9) “Because” God’s House could draw His people together at times, they were able to “seek” each other’s “good.” The church of Christ assembles to “hold fast the confession of our hope,” and “consider one another” (Hebrews 10:23-25). When this is not the case, the Devil has prevailed, just as he did in the Old Testament.

     All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

  • Richard Mansel 9:06 am on September 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , great physician, , , peace,   

    If the message in this photo is correct, what’s the point in going on? Where is hope? Where is peace? Depression would be the only logical answer.

    Thankfully, it is a lie straight from Satan’s blackened heart (John 8:44). We can help ourselves in minor ways, but we must depend on God when we do so.

    “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). 

    • Eugene Adkins 10:04 pm on September 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hard to pull your self up by the bootstraps if you don’t have any boots, huh?

  • Eugene Adkins 6:55 am on May 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , peace,   

    Peace, Be Still 

    If you have ever visited the ocean then you know about the raw power it contains. Other than its shere size, the other thing that sticks out in my memories about the ocean is the sound. The strength and sound of the waves are truly something to behold! There’s no confusing it with the traffic noise from across the street. Can you hear it?

    In Psalm 65 David describes the power of God by saying, “Who established the mountains by His strength, Being clothed with power; You who still the noise of the seas, The noise of their waves,…” (Psalm 65:6,7). David says the power and noise of the ocean waves become silent at the command of its Creator.

    When I read those verses I couldn’t help but wonder if the apostles would have thought about them after Jesus stilled the raging wind storm on the sea that’s recorded in Mark 4:35-41. In the midst of fearing for their life Jesus told the storm, “Peace, be still!” and it listened. What a sight, or rather, what a sound that would have been to have witnessed that voice still the noise of the stormy sea and its waves.

    The same God who stilled the noise in the Psalms is the one who stilled the noise of that stormy sea from that little boat. That’s the confidence and faith Jesus wants us to have in him. The next time you visit the ocean, let that thought bring you peace and make you be still for a moment, for this God whom we read about in the Bible can still bring peace to our lives in the midst of terrible storms.

    Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (Mark 4:41NKJV)

    • J. Randal Matheny 8:57 am on May 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Tremendous thought, Eugene. Our Lord controls the vast and powerful ocean, quiets its sound. He can quiet my heart as well.

  • Ed Boggess 8:14 am on April 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , peace,   

    War is all around us. Names like Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Caucasus, Nepal, Syria and Yemen, to name a few, remind us that we live in a world full of wars and rumors of wars. All over the world, there are battles & skirmishes & conflicts & fighting insurgencies and civil disturbances & combat and wars both hot and cold. This is the day of atomic bombs and nuclear warheads. We live every hour of every day on the brink of destruction and on the edge of world-wide devastation. But frankly, the principles of peace do not rest upon disarming the superpowers. The principle of peace rests on changing people’s hearts. We could sink every battleship, blow up every powder factory and junk every warhead, and still men would go at each others throats, with their bare hands if necessary, so long as greed, and hate, and lust, and malice, and bitterness fill the hearts of mankind. This is Just-a-Minute with Ed Boggess

  • Eugene Adkins 6:46 pm on March 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , peace   

    “War and Peace” 

    Can a person understand peace without understanding conflict? They can no more understand it than they can appreciate it. Peace with God does not come from ignoring the problem of sin. Peace with God comes from confronting the problem and finding the way of reconciliation.

    Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (Romans 5:9-11)

    For it pleased the Father that in [Jesus] all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard….” (Colossians 1:19-23)

    Peace with God can only be found in one way; the hope of reconciliation with God comes only through Jesus. Is it not true that the most important peace-sign the world has ever seen came in the shape of a cross? It is if we understand the conflict. It is when we know who has won the war!

  • TFRStaff 8:04 am on June 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: peace   

    Submarine Peace 

    Several years ago a submarine was being tested and had to remain submerged for many hours. When it returned to the harbor, the captain was asked, “How did the terrible storm last night affect you?” The officer looked at him in surprise and exclaimed, “Storm? We didn’t even know there was one.”

    The sub had been so far beneath the surface that it had reached the area known to sailors as “the cushion of the sea.” Although the ocean may be whipped into huge waves by high winds, the waters below are ever stirred.

    Even though the waves of the world surround us each day, as Christians, we remain calm and secure in the cushion of Jesus — He blesses us with peace.

    (Psa 85:10)  Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.

    (Psa 85:11)  Truth shall spring out of the earth, And righteousness shall look down from heaven.

    (Psa 85:12)  Yes, the LORD will give what is good; And our land will yield its increase.

    (Psa 85:13)  Righteousness will go before Him, And shall make His footsteps our pathway.

    “Thoughts For Today To Brighten Your Day”

    From: Glenn, Mercedes & Lauren Hitchcock

  • Richard Mansel 8:28 am on April 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , peace, ,   

    Satan’s Version of Unity 

    Don Blackwell shared this photo on Facebook. It is indicative of the mindset of the religious world in our age. Satan has taken division and dressed it up in a disguise so that it appears to the uninitiated as unity. To those who accept this lie, they appear comfy and warm in their delusion. So much so, that when those who see through the ruse, warn them of the dangers, they are called haters, mockers and dividers.

    The division monster dressed as unity is therefore more popular than the true unity described in Scripture and the Lord weeps at our ignorance. Meanwhile,  Satan foments the lie and more sheep are led to their slaughter.

    Matthew 16:18, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

    1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

    Ephesians 4:4, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling.”

    When will we learn?

  • Ron Thomas 1:14 pm on September 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: man-cave, peace, , turmoil   

    I am never “hit hard” by news – at least I have not been (as I interpret the phrase). However, though never having been hit hard, I am quite reflective, perhaps overly so. I will sit in front of my “man cave” garage) with the radio on and just look out into the quiet surroundings, reflecting on many things, but one that is always on my mind – why is it that I keep failing! I know why, but I ask and reflect on the same thing continually.

    In this quiet surrounding there is peace. whatever turmoil I may feel, for a little while I am not.

  • John Henson 2:40 pm on July 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , peace   

    Peacemakers are heroes 

    What is a peacemaker?

    In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God,” (Matthew 5:9).

    We call our policemen and soldiers peacemakers, but why? It’s because they risk their lives to save others, isn’t it?

    The American Heritage Dictionary definition of “hero” is a person, often of divine ancestry, endowed with courage and strength, who is celebrated for bold exploits and favored by God. How is a peacemaker in the church someone like this? Specifically, what is a peacemaker in the church? Is it someone who extends mercy to others, or is it someone who extends the truth to others?

    There are those who teach “peace,” but not the pursuit of it. A peacemaker to them is someone who disdains conflict and seeks to approve everyone’s concept of religion. To them, it doesn’t matter what teaching is followed, as long as everyone can agree, or better yet, agree to disagree.

    These are reminiscent of those people in Jeremiah’s day who “have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace,” (Jeremiah 8:11 ASV). Israel wanted the prophets to let them alone and allow them to continue living in sin. Just insisting upon conformity and peace outside the precepts of the Bible is no peace at all.

    We must remember true peace only comes when we are doing God’s will (Matthew 7:21). How can we be happy with our lives if our conduct is ruled by “looking the other way” in the presence of sinful conduct? That’s not peace. That’s slow suicide. People in sin do not wish to see their mistakes. They want an absence of conflict. That, my friends, is not peace.

    When the Bible speaks of peace, it is speaking about reconciliation with God. Peace is made with God upon the repentance and cessation of sinful practices in God’s sight. Peace with God means getting out of the sinning business, which means we’ve got to tell people who are in sin they are serving the devil and they need to stop. They may call us unloving when we do this, but if they want peace with God, they’ve got to be told the truth.

    We’re soon beginning our Vacation Bible School to teach about the unsung heroes of the Bible. Peacemakers, heroes in the greatest sense, are not people who only extend the mercy of God to people. Peacemakers are those who tell others the truth about their sin and urge them to be reconciled to God. Such teaching takes courage, along with mercy and love. A peacemaker is a hero because he/she rescues people from sin and leads them to peace with God.

    • Mike Riley 5:12 pm on July 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      John, all of this means that a true peacemaker is not the most popular person in the church. We’re going to acquire a few enemies along the way.

  • Mike Riley 12:11 am on July 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bound, , daybreak, , , peace, , , ,   

    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

    Martin Luther King Jr., American civil rights leader (1929-1968), from his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech
  • Randal 6:18 am on July 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , peace,   

    O Lord, for you a locked door is but an invitation to bring your peace. May our closed hearts be ruptured by your invasion.

  • Mike Riley 10:05 pm on June 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , capable, , , peace, ,   

    Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.

    John Wooden, Head basketball coach for the UCLA Bruins
  • Mike Riley 11:00 pm on May 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cling, , desert, , , peace, , , sunshine, ,   

    A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.

    Washington Irving
  • Ed Boggess 12:37 pm on April 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Luther, peace   

    Martin Luther’s parable – JAM 

    Martin Luther once told a parable of two mountain goats who were traveling opposite directions on a narrow mountain ledge. When they met, neither could pass without plunging to their death. They couldn’t turn around without likewise falling. So then what did they to do? One goat laid down, and the other passed over the other’s back and both lived. If they had fought, both would have been destroyed. But when one humbled himself, both were able to live. As we pass through this life dealing with a thousand and one situations that arise ever new, may we always remember that the wisest choice is not always to meet a problem head-on. Sometimes it is better to lead with knees instead of the left. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess

    • John Henson 7:13 pm on April 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent, brother! Thank you!

  • John Henson 3:39 pm on February 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , peace   

    The from you part 

                People are so angry these days and it’s easy to find ourselves getting upset, too.

                Some are so angry about the current president they could explode. There are people so angry with the government they’re ready to lead or participate in a revolt, and sadly, there was a man so angry with the Internal Revenue System, he decided to crash his airplane into a government building Thursday.

                The child of God cannot afford to get caught up in this kind of behavior. The Apostle Paul wrote, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men,” (Romans 12:18). Greek scholar A.T. Robertson translated the phrase, “as much as lieth in you,” as “the from you part.” When it comes to my life and my conduct ― the from me part ―   I’m expected to put God first and live in accordance with his will, not as a hooligan.

                We must not allow people to force us to disobey God’s word. Peter told the Sanhedrin this in Acts 5:29. We must obey God rather than man. There will always be those who want to disrupt the preaching of the word.

                But as much as it depends on me, I won’t be the one who allows violence to become the rule of the day. When it comes to “the from me part,” I’m going to depend on God and live like he wants me to live.

    • Daniel Haynes 4:30 am on February 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      This is certainly a problem with many. I appreciate you bringing this to our attention and reminding us of the need to live a life of love and good works. Grace and peace.

      • John Henson 10:21 pm on February 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Daniel, for the encouragement.

    • Randal Matheny 11:51 am on February 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      John, I used this for our bulletin yesterday. Had to condense one paragraph, the second, to make it fit, but it’s in there. Thanks!

  • Mike Riley 1:36 am on January 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , peace,   

    Do I struggle w/facing death? No, because I know that if I’m faithful to the Lord (even in the face of death), these six things will happen to me when I die:

    1) The angels will carry me into Abraham’s bosom, a place of blessed peace and tranquility (Luke 16:22).
    2) The Lord will be with me when I walk through that valley (Psalm 23:4).
    3) I’ll be with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; cf. 2 Timothy 4:6).
    4) I’ll be blessed with rest from my labors (Revelation 14:13).
    5) I’ll receive a victory crown (Revelation 2:10; cf. 2 Timothy 4:8).
    6) I’ll receive my everlasting inheritance (1 Peter 1:4; cf. 1 Timothy 6:19).

    Then I’ll live forever with the Lord (John 14:1-3), with God (Revelation 21:3), and the redeemed of all the ages (Revelation 5:9; Revelation 21:24).

    If we are a faithful Christian, and we know these things, why should we have a struggle facing death?

  • Daniel Haynes 3:03 pm on January 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Fort Worth Lectures, , peace   

    Jesus Alone Can Bring Peace to Our Hearts 

    Willie Franklin’s lesson during the Fort Worth Lectures, “Jesus Alone Can Bring Peace to Our Hearts,” is one that you must hear. I believe it will correct, rebuke and encourage you. I plead with you to contact Brown Trail today and order a copy of his lesson. Although it is not available in the lectureship book, it is available in CD and DVD formats.

  • Richard Mansel 7:10 pm on January 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , peace,   

    Spiritual Growth 

    Spiritual growth is the process of loosening the grasp on this world and clinging to Jesus for our strength, guidance and hope. It carries the fear of ceding our control and taking a hold of something which our eyes cannot see. We must never underestimate the struggle and inherent fear involved in such a transition. However, Christ can allay our fears as faith steels our resolve and commitment.

    Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me'” (John 14:6). And, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

    The hesitancy of the human spirit to accomplish these goals is the main reason why so few people will be saved (Matthew 7:13-14). They simply cannot submit to such a challenge. It is such a pity that they cannot place Christ on the throne of their hearts and find the true meaning of peace (Philippians 4:7).

  • Mike Riley 9:03 pm on December 31, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , peace, vices,   

    Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.

    Benjamin Franklin
  • Richard Mansel 4:32 pm on November 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , peace   

    John 14:1-6 because it is the impetus for a life lived to the fullest. We know that we shall win and that Christ will come and retrieve us and we will not have to wander and worry about finding our way home. He is the way, the truth and the life and the only way to the Father. Amen.

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