VIDEO The Calmness We Need, Supernatural Peace

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. John 14:27

Pastor Franklin Logsdon told of an elderly friend who was rushed to the hospital for an emergency operation. The man’s son arrived just as the father was being wheeled into the operating room and asked, “How are you, Dad?” The father said simply, “Even though the storm is raging without, Son, there is always calmness when the Prince of Peace is in the vessel.”

Recalling the incident, Pastor Logsdon later wrote, “The peace which our Savior gives is exclusive in its origin, for it is a peace which the world cannot give. It is exceptional in its character, for it is not what the world speaks about, fights and dies for…. No, it is something real, something restful, something refreshing.”[1]

The Bible says, “You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them” (Psalm 89:9). During difficult times we find strength in God’s faithfulness. During emergencies, we find strength when the Prince of Peace is captaining our lives.

As we pour out our bitterness, God pours in His peace. F. B. Meyer

Supernatural Peace (John 14:27)

The Reason for Writing

But these are written that you may believe .John 20:31

“The Lord is my high tower . . . . We left the camp singing.” On September 7, 1943, Etty Hillesum wrote those words on a postcard and threw it from a train. Those were the final recorded words we would hear from her. On November 30, 1943, she was murdered at Auschwitz. Later, Hillesum’s diaries of her experiences in a concentration camp were translated and published. They chronicled her perspectives on the horrors of Nazi occupation along with the beauty of God’s world. Her diaries have been translated into sixty-seven languages—a gift to all who would read and believe the good as well as the bad.

The apostle John didn’t sidestep the harsh realities of Jesus’ life on earth; he wrote of both the good Jesus did and the challenges He faced. The final words from his gospel give insight into the purpose behind the book that bears his name. Jesus performed “many other signs . . . which are not recorded” (20:30) by John. But these, he says, were “written that you may believe” (v. 31). John’s “diary” ends on the note of triumph: “Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.” The gift of those gospel words allows us the opportunity to believe and “have life in his name.”

The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) are diary accounts of God’s love for us. They’re words to read and believe and share, for they lead us to life. They lead us to Christ.

By:  John Blase

Reflect & Pray

How might it change the way you read the Gospels if you thought of them as diaries? How are you being led to the heart of Christ through them?

Gracious God, thank You for the gift of the Scriptures, written down by faithful hands so that I might believe and have life.

Always in His Presence

Psalm 139:1-12

In today’s reading, David asked, “Where can I go from Your Spirit?” (Psalm 139:7). The more he pondered the possibilities, the more he realized the answer is “nowhere.” God is present everywhere and at all times. This reality causes people to react in one of two ways—some find it a great comfort while others are filled with dread.

People who don’t know the Lord may think that He’s always judging their every move. But for those of us who belong to God through faith in His Son, His continual presence is a great comfort. We never have to walk through trials and heartaches alone, and we have complete confidence that He’s always providing, protecting, and guiding us through life.

This truth should change how we live. Knowing that God is ever-present motivates us to think, speak, and behave in ways that glorify Him. It’s a reminder to stand firm against temptations and pursue holiness.

There’s never a single moment in which the Lord is not looking out for your best interests. Nothing slips past Him into your life by accident, nor does the enemy have even a nanosecond’s opportunity to destroy you. This is the security we receive as believers, so let’s rejoice in knowing God is always with us.

The Dying Thief

“And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43)

One of the most remarkable scriptural passages is that of the “deathbed” conversion of the sinful thief crucified with Jesus. Christ recognized his repentance, forgave his sin, and offered him eternal life as he died. As reflected in the hymn “There Is a Fountain,” salvation comes to sinners who repent, turn from their sin, and believe on Him, without any works involved or strings attached.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away.

The “fountain” of blood flowing from the cross produces great rejoicing in those who have acknowledged His lasting work. “With the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19), we can be forgiven and born into His family. We receive the ability for and privilege of living victorious, holy lives. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

All have chosen sin; all deserve judgment. “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). But because of Him, we can be “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33). JDM

A Shaky Foundation

Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me. —Jeremiah 9:23-24

It is true that much church activity is thrown back upon a shaky foundation of psychology and natural talents….

We live in a day when charm is supposed to cover almost the entire multitude of sins. Charm has taken a great place in religious expression. I am convinced that our Lord expects us to be tough enough and cynical enough to recognize all of this that pleases the unthinking in our churches: the charm stuff, the stage presence in the pulpit, the golden qualities of voice….

I feel sorry for the church that decides to call a pastor because “his personality simply sparkles!” I have watched quite a few of those sparklers through the years. In reality, as every kid knows at Fourth of July time, sparklers can be an excitement in the neighborhood—but only for about one minute! Then you are left holding a hot stick that quickly cools off in your hand.   TRA032-033

Lord, confirm for each of us as pastors our divine call, that we might indeed build on a strong foundation. Then bring conviction and repentance to any in our congregations who are judging us with the wrong criteria. Amen.

We Are Called to Be a Voice

Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand…and he laid it upon my mouth. —Isaiah 6:6-7

Most surely the Church has a service of compassion to render to the world, but her motives are not humanitarian. They are higher than this by as much as the new creation is higher than the old. It is inherent in the Christian spirit that the followers of Christ should wish to minister to the bodies as well as the souls of men. But the call to give God’s prophetic message to the world is something apart.

The call to witness and serve comes to every Christian; the call to be a Voice to mankind comes only to the man who has the Spirit’s gift and special enabling. We need not fewer men to show mercy, but we need more men who can hear the words of God and translate them into human speech. GTM088-089

It is not enough that we are willing and eager to work for God, but the work itself must be of God.

… This is one of the deepest deaths that Christians are often called to die. Indeed, our work is unacceptable to God and useless to ourselves and others until it first has been bathed in the blood of Calvary and touched with the sign of crucifixion. It must cease to be our work and thus become His and His alone. CTBC, Vol. 2/359

Living in Two Worlds

Matthew 16:26

We live in not one, but two worlds. One is temporal; it is a world populated with people, in which we live and work. The other world is the one within us, an immensely private world, occupied by one’s self alone.

Realizing that there are two worlds, the vital question is how does one live comfortably in both? On one side is the tangible life of mankind, dominated exclusively by material needs, instinctual reactions, intellect, economics, science and technology. On the other side, too often ignored, kept under wraps, is the actual world of the spirit. Excursions into that tiny corner of the heart where one tries to preserve immortal spiritual values are, alas, all too infrequent.

But how to live in both worlds with integrity? That is the question and the challenge. The schism between the spiritual and the temporal has deprived man of the nourishment he desperately needs. The undeniable truth is, however, that although the spiritual may have been repressed, there is still a great yearning for it.

The existence of the soul is of no concern at all to some. To others the very idea of its existence seems absurd. It is intellectual bigotry to assume that we can only believe what can be confirmed by laboratory proof. We all know that there are many things we’ve never seen that are real, the most priceless, according to Jesus, being the soul. To His disciples it could not have been made clearer. “What good will it be for man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt 16:26).

Many were surprised when the book Care of the Soul, by Thomas More, a noted psychotherapist, remained at the top of the New York Times best seller list for several weeks. What the author claims is that the enfeebling malady of the 20th century, affecting us individually and socially, is what he calls “loss of soul.” He is speaking what the world should be hearing.

We care for the soul by honoring it, by living as much, or more, from the heart as from the head. When Christ is enthroned in the heart and life, the two worlds, the spiritual and the secular, are bridged. Sacredness then exists as much in the marketplace as in the monastery. By the grace of God all can live in both worlds, enriched within by His presence, and made influential for good in the challenging world without.

Arnold Brown, The War Cry