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PEACE of Christmas

Posted on December 24, 2014 at 10:06 PM Comments comments (11)
Peace on Earth
good will to men

Luke 2:14 KJV
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

I stopped one Sunday morning to visit some military veterans being served at the Crawford House, that provided housing for veterans in need. They were gathered around a stump on a Sunday morning.
I confidently said to them; Glory to God, Peace on Earth and goodwill to men!
This was a voiced objection while visiting with One of the veteran setting around the stump of wisdom & knowledge, as they sometimes called it, bluntly stated “that Jesus wasn’t the son of god” because “there is NO PEACE on earth.”
I thought of another scripture of or by Jesus in the Gospels. Jesus also said: I bring not peace.
( I had no idea where that was ) the vet said, what Jesus really said was; “You think I came to bring peace?”
After looking at several scriptures we settled on Luke 12:51 as being the scripture we were both making reference too.
Luke 12:51
Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. (NIV)²
Now, need I say the conversation became more intense and very interesting. This became apologetics 101. I was going by the seat of my pants, no book I had read or verse in the Bible said; If someone says, Jesus can’t be the Christ, because the angel said “on earth peace” then you say; thus and so.
This was not really a contentious conversation yet a fair statement, I could see on the faces of the other Vets listening in, that his statement wrung a chord with them. And my reply with the reference that we agreed on was Luke 12:51. Opened up a common ground for discussion.

One of the other vets had went and got his Bible, he said here is how it reads in my Bible:
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (NIV²)
The question came up, is the Peace of God through Christ the same meaning that we consider “peace” in our vocabulary? The NIV says “peace to those on whom his favor rests”. Does that include the unrepentant disbeliever?

Matthew Henry in his commentary on this verse in Luke two, put it this way;
“God’s good-will in sending the Messiah introduced peace in this lower world, slew the enmity that sin had raised between God and man, and resettled a peaceable correspondence. If God be at peace with us, all peace results from it: peace of conscience, peace with angels, peace between Jew and Gentile. Peace is here put for all good,all that good which flows to us from the incarnation of Christ.”

In conclusion for this day was TO BE CONTINUED! I was amused as I departed, the vet that got the conversation going said, Padre! “the same bat time, same bat channel.”

The next week we had nine vets (including myself) and the same subject. I brought the following scriptures for their consumption.
John 14:27 KJV
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth , give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled , neither let it be afraid .
From here it was all them and discussion among each other, some spirited, some a little contentious. Yet for the most part a very doctrinally sound expository that proved I wasn’t the only one that had read the Bible or paid attention in Sunday school.
Now and then some one would look at me and say, what do you say? Padre!
I would just add to the discussion with something like the following;
If you are really serious about walking with God, He will teach you, and guide you, and comfort you, and yes, you will know His peace in your life. By Craig von Buseck, CBN.com Contributing Writer¹ Or add another scripture like this; Philippians 4:7 KJV
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

In the end was pretty much an agreement that the scripture was not necessarily “peace” meaning the lack or cessation of all violence for believers or nonbelievers.
I concluded with this from Matthew Henry;
This Christ calls his peace, for he is himself our peace,Eph. 2:14 . It is the peace he purchased for us and preached to us, and on which the angels congratulated men at his birth, Lu. 2:14 .2. To whom this legacy is bequeathed: "To you, my disciples and followers, that will be exposed to trouble, and have need of peace; to you that are the sons of peace, and are qualified to receive it.’’ This legacy was left to them as the representatives of the church, to them and their successors, to them and all true Christians in all ages.3. In what manner it is left: Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. That is, (1.) "I do not compliment you with Peace be unto you; no, it is not a mere formality, but a real blessing.’’ (2.) "The peace I give is of such a nature that the smiles of the world cannot give it, nor the frowns of the world take it away.’’ Or, (3.) "The gifts I give to you are not such as this world gives to its children and votaries, to whom it is kind.’’ The world’s gifts concern only the body and time; Christ’s gifts enrich the soul for eternity: the world gives lying vanities, and that which will cheat us; Christ gives substantial blessings, which will never fail us: the world gives and takes; Christ gives a good part that shall never be taken away. (4.) The peace which Christ gives is infinitely more valuable than that which the world gives. The world’s peace begins in ignorance, consists with sin, and ends in endless troubles; Christ’s peace begins in grace, consists with no allowed sin, and ends at length in everlasting peace.    Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete)
CBN also said it this way:
The peace of God is like a compass for our souls, leading us in the direction that the Holy Spirit intends for our lives. We can take great comfort in knowing that the sovereign God is so involved in our lives that He would supply us with this internal compass as we seek to do His will.¹

I pray that everyone finds the Peace of Jesus this Christmas.


² (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.

R. C. B. Lewis; 2012-14    All rights reserved

Independence Day

Posted on July 4, 2014 at 2:38 AM Comments comments (10)

Independence Day
 

 

In contrast to the 44th president of these United States of America many if not most of the previous PotUS' had conventional Christian beliefs. Admittedly not necessarily the same as twenty first century evangelicals of these times.

Records indicate that we have had:

4 Baptist, 1 Catholic, 2 Congregationalists, 3 Disciples of Christ (including LBJ & Reagan), 2 Dutch Reformed, 12 Episcopalian (including FDR,Ford,Geo. H.W. & "dubya")  4 Methodist, 7 Presbyterian, 2 Quakers, 4 Unitarian, and 6 nondenominational (including Pres. Obama) http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Religious_affiliations_of_United_States_Presidents.html

Thomas Jefferson wrote to William Short on October 31, 1819, he was convinced that the fragmentary teachings of Jesus constituted the "outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man."

A Prayer in Dark Times

"Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity..." Franklin D. Roosevelt

Oh! How we need a national leader, a person of bold, humble Faith in God and Jesus to inspire us as a nation and people to respect one another as our selves. A leader with similar qualities of states-men-ship and faith of Washington, Lincoln, and others for the future.

Lincoln is quoted saying; "I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go."

I pray that the Lord raise up the faithful, honorable person for the presidential position that will pray as the predecessors have prayed.  

"Almighty GOD; we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection, that thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States of America at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of The Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen"

 

- George Washington -                  April 30th, 1789

2014       All rights reserved.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution accords Congress the power “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

Reciprocity and the Creation of Sui-Generis-Type Intellectual Property Rights for New Forms of Technology’ [2003] 6(6) The Journal of World Intellectual Property 827-859, ISSN: 1422-2213

Yesterday, Today and forever

Posted on December 26, 2013 at 9:36 PM Comments comments (2)
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
 
 
              Jan & I hope this finds you well in this Advent or Yuletide season. We hope this year has included many blessings for you.

In one of our recent devotions was this verse:
"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am , there ye may be also."          John 14:3 KJV
How moving to realize Jesus has "prepared" a place for ALL who walk and live in the Grace of God not in sacrifice but in love forsaking the lusts of this present world with eyes focused on a promise of eternity in Heaven. Willing to suffer the disparagement of non-believers with Faith in Christ promise that He "will come again"!
As we remember during this time of Jesus' Birth we should also keep our focus on "the prize before us" as the Apostle Paul put it, is the greater gift of Christmas, eternity in Heaven. Far too much of Christendom has been preached for or about today and our present life.
I hear from media ministries of what you can have now, in this life, it sounds like all God has for us is here and now. One presentation was your best life now, I know the title is about living a Christian life in today's society. Yet it leaves the impression that the best God has for us through Christ Jesus is on this earth in this present time.  
"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." Matthew 24:9 KJV 
There are some theologians that believe this verse applies only to the Apostles of Jesus' day, just like many are persuaded that gifts and miracle in Acts by the Apostles were only given for those days and times. Yet, in Matthew Henry's commentary on Matthew twenty four He makes reference to Revelations by John whom was still imprisoned after the death of most of the other apostles.
And Henry also says: "Observe here, 1. It is called the gospel of the kingdom, because it reveals the kingdom of grace, which leads to the kingdom of glory; sets up Christ’s kingdom in this world; and secures ours in the other world."  Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete), in or of His commentary on Jesus' words in Matthew 24.
But friends & neighbors, bothers & sisters our Faith in the Saviour of all mankind must be about our eternity with Jesus in heaven! Without our promise of eternity in Glory with a Merciful and Just Creator, in the presence of Christ Who makes it all possible, we mere mortals will react to persecutions from the enemy of our souls in this life as the vile, lust and hate of the sinners that we are.
yours in Faith,
 
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."      Hebrews 13:8 KJV

© R. C. B. Lewis; 2012-13       All rights reserved.
Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution accords Congress the power “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” Reciprocity and the Creation of Sui-Generis-Type Intellectual Property Rights for New Forms of Technology’ [2003] 6(6) The Journal of World Intellectual Property 827-859, ISSN: 1422-2213
 

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