Thursday, March 16, 2006

Personal Peace & Affluence - Part Four

In my last post, I refered to some scriptural principles that help us keep a right attitude regarding affluence. Now, to conclude this series, I would like to share some things that can help keep our God-given desire for personal peace in check.

Regarding Personal Peace:

Idea #1: Peace is found in a Person

People seek for peace through an assortment of ways. Nations normally secure peace through diplomatic maneovering. People secure their personal peace possibly by insultating themselves from the ugly hard realities of life, or possibly by compromising and ignoring any path that may potentially bring tension. But the Bible teaches us that peace, at its zenith, is not found in circumstances or wise manoevers. It is found in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:14-15"For he himself [Jesus] is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace" (also see Rom 5:1)

Idea #2: True Peace Can Exist When/Where We See No Earthly Peace

Jesus once said "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:3) Sometimes having real peace involves times of tribulation. The peace that lasts is not necessarily tranquility, and by looking for traquility we may very well miss true abiding peace.

An often enigmatic semi-related aspect of this is that God is describe simultaneously as the Prince of Peace and a Man of War. This dichotamy shows us the great complexity of what true peace means. Also interesting is Rom 16:20, which says "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." Imagine that! The God of peace is going to deliver a final blow to Satan. Part of God's enduring peace is the destruction of His enemies.

Idea #3: Peaceful Times, While Good Can Lull Us To Sleep

In times of peace, we are tempted as a society to grow lax and wasteful, likewise in times of personal peace, our lives often collect a lot of looes ends.

The Bible describes the last days as a time when people will say "There is peace and security" (1Th 5:3), but suddenly at that time "destruction will come upon them...and they will not escape."

We should enjoy times of peace, both as individuals and as nations. They are blessings from God. But we need to remember that it may cause us to be blinded to ever present danger and also it may make us numb to the needs to others.

Issue #4. True Peace is Never At The Expense of Our Neighbour

"Personal peace" as we know it is often paved right over someone else. In order to maintian a certain standard of personal peace and tranquility, often someone elses needs are disregarded.

But true peace does not come at the expense of others. Consider these Bible verses.

Rom 14:19 - "So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding."

Zechariah 8:16 These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;

Hebrews 12:14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

I pray that somehow, and in some way, this series of 4 posts has blessed you and helped you to understand these issues

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