JESUS HAS GIVEN YOU HIS PEACE
John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you…
In Israel, Jews greet each other with the words “shalom, shalom”. Unlike the English word “peace”, “shalom” does not just mean peace of mind, but also wholeness for your entire being—spirit, soul and body. It means having a sense of completeness and soundness. In other words, shalom encompasses your provision, health, safety and total well-being.
When Jesus spoke to His disciples in John 14:27, He did not use the English word “peace”. He would have used the Hebrew word “shalom”, saying, “Shalom I leave with you, My shalom I give to you…” Interestingly, the word “leave” here actually means “bequeath”, the way a rich man bequeaths his estate to his beneficiary.
The disciples must have been excited when they heard that Jesus was bequeathing them His shalom. They must have known that to receive His shalom was to have His health because they had never seen Him sick. To have His shalom also meant never being in lack because He was never broke. Whenever He needed money, money was there. Once, money to pay the temple tax came in the mouth of a fish! (Matthew 17:24–27)
The disciples also understood that having Jesus’ shalom meant having His abundance because they had seen Him meeting the needs of thousands with plenty of leftovers. They saw him feeding 5,000 men (not counting the women and children) with 12 baskets full of leftovers! (Mark 6:34–44)
Jesus wanted His disciples to know that His peace was different from the peace that the world offers. His peace would change whatever trying circumstances that beset them. Even if it was a mega storm, it would have to bow to His peace. The Prince of Peace merely spoke, “Peace, be still!” and the winds and the sea obeyed Him. (Mark 4:39) His peace changed the mega storm into a perfect calm.
Beloved, that is the kind of peace that Jesus has bequeathed to you. Therefore, believe that His shalom which He has left with you will change all your difficult situations, bringing you from sickness, lack and mental anguish to health, provision and total wellness!
OUR HOPE IS IN ETERNITY
But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls. – Luke 21:15-22
Jesus says the disciples were betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives, friends, and some disciples were even put to death. Yet, the amazing statement of Christ is that not a hair of their head will perish. The context of this statement speaks of some of the disciples dying, so this is not a promise that no physical harm will ever come. This could only refer to the resurrection.
The Greek word for “resurrection” means “a standing or rising up.” The resurrection is a major theme of New Testament teaching. Out of the 13 sermons in the book of Acts, 11 stress or imply the resurrection.
The hope of the believer is the resurrection. The natural, earthly, terrestrial, corrupt, weak, mortal, vile body is said to be raised, changed and fashioned into a spiritual, heavenly, celestial, incorrupt, glorious, powerful, and immortal body. This is the completeness that has been purchased for all of us in Christ.
The Lord views everything in the light of eternity. Man tends to view things in the context of his brief life on earth. From man’s perspective, a person who dies for his faith in Jesus has lost a great deal. From Jesus’ viewpoint, a martyr hasn’t lost a thing. Even the very hairs on our head are numbered.
The patience that Jesus is speaking of here is the calm assurance that God knows every hurt that we feel and He will abundantly recompense us in the resurrection. This knowledge enables us to control our emotions in the face of persecution (i.e. possess our souls) instead of letting our emotions of fear dominate us.
THE KINGDOM …
…it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom – Luke 12:32, KJV
Our God is an extravagant God! He loves to do exceedingly beyond anything we can hope for or imagine. It gives Him pleasure to pour out His abundance and goodness in your life. It gives Him pleasure to give you His kingdom.
What is the kingdom of God? It’s simply God’s operating system, or His way of doing things. Throughout scripture, God reveals His principles for living the abundant life. When you do things God’s way, you get God’s results; you get His success and blessing and that’s what He wants for you!
Romans 14 tells us that the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Do you need more joy and peace in your life? Follow the Word and open your heart to His kingdom. As you do things God’s way, you will get His results and live in the blessing of His kingdom all the days of your life!
SHAKE IT OFF
‘…shake the dust off your feet…’ Mark 6:11 NIV
Here’s some good advice Jesus gave His disciples. When someone rejects you or won’t listen to you, ‘…shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.’ When you experience rejection, you have two choices: allow it to affect your confidence and self–worth, or ‘shake it off’ and move on. Now, Jesus was not talking about sincere minds that don’t understand, but proud minds that reject the truth. He was saying, ‘Don’t let it break your stride and keep you from accomplishing what needs to be done.’ When Paul was shipwrecked on the island of Malta, he was bitten by a snake while gathering firewood. Immediately the islanders said to one another, ‘…this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.’ (Acts 28:4 NKJV) How did Paul respond? ‘…he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.’ (Acts 28:5 NKJV) What did the islanders say about him then? ‘…they changed their minds and said that he was a god.’ (Acts 28:6 NKJV) Wow! People’s minds change like the wind! So don’t let their compliments puff you up, or their criticisms tear you down. God’s will is for you to help others. If they accept your help, give it. If not, go where you will be accepted and appreciated. Jesus said, ‘…I say to you, he who receives whomever I send, receives Me…’ (John 13:20 NKJV) In the final analysis it’s not you they are rejecting, but the One who sent you. Knowing that, gives you confidence and peace of mind.
BETTER THAN WAKING UP
Today you will be with me in paradise. —Luke 23:43
Have you ever felt that your life was ruined as a result of having done something embarrassing, shameful, or even criminal—only to wake up and realize it was just a dream? But what if it wasn’t just a nightmare? What if the situation was all too real—either for yourself or someone you love?
This is the situation confronted in George MacDonald’s 19th-century novel The Curate’s Awakening. It’s the story of a parish minister who discovers that he’s been speaking for a God he’s not even sure he believes in. Later, he is called to the bedside of a young man who is losing his mind and dying, haunted by a murder he has committed.
In the heart-rending struggle that follows, the minister discovers what we all need to see. The relief of waking up from a bad dream is nothing compared to waking to the reality of God’s forgiveness, which we once thought was too good to be true.
Where will we find the mercy we need? It is found in Jesus, who, from His own cross said to a dying criminal who turned to Him for help, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
We are saved by God’s mercy, not by our merit.