“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”(Jno.14:27) In this passage Jesus is giving comfort to His disciples about His upcoming death and departure from them. The disciples had spent a lot of time with Jesus so they were a little uneasy about His leaving. Jesus wants His disciples to have peace no matter what. There are so many things today that can challenge and even steal our peace. From the tumultuous and tension filled times we live in to the spiritual attacks from Satan. Satan wants nothing more than for the Christian’s peace to be destroyed. Unfortunately, when a child of God loses his peace it becomes a little easier to turn away from God. The key is for you and me to know that true peace is only found in Christ. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(Jno.16:33) Jesus wants us to have peace and in Christ we can have peace no matter what’s going on around us.
Every day I read about or hear of another tragic and violent occurrence. There has been another bombing. Another ISIS attack that claimed innocent lives and this time it took place on American soil. I’ve heard countless stories of crazed gunmen who randomly walks into public firing off his gun wounding several and even killing some. In the aftermath there are those who scream we need better gun laws or we just need to get rid of the guns. While others are saying things will improve if we’ll vote the right candidate into office this November. I don’t believe either of those solutions are the solution. We need a revival. When something is revived it’s basically brought back to life. This country needs her faith and morals brought back to life. The faith in God that our country was founded upon needs to be revived. Is it even possible for that to happen? If a worldwide or even just a national revival can happen, how will it happen? Maybe we need to take serious the directives God gave to Solomon about His people. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”(II Chronicles 7:14)
Our world is so unsettled today. There’s a different celebrity joining some protest or starting a new one every day. Our world is in a constant state of protest with ourselves. We can’t agree with anything or anyone and everyone has the right to protest anything anytime and say whatever they feel. After all, in our country today it’s all about being politically correct. I’m not the least bit interested in being politically correct. It’s past time we become Biblically correct and define what the real problem is today. Oh yeah, rights to protest, those famous, wealthy athletes need to be reminded why they have rights and freedoms and who paid for them. Now onto the real problem today. Maybe you’re thinking the protesting, racial tension and the disrespect toward our law enforcement are the real problems. They’re really not. Each of these things, as well as many others we could name, are symptoms of the real problem. If we could get the real problem under control, I truly believe it would help these other issues too. It doesn’t take a scholar to see that the real problem in our world today is ungodliness. We are plagued with ungodly behavior that we’re supposed to not only accept but also embrace. “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power.”(II Tim.3:1-5) These descriptions Paul shares with Timothy describes perfectly the current spiritual crisis in our world today. When godlessness prevails it’s because God Himself has been removed and that’s when people begin to call the good, bad and the bad, good. Godly Christian people realize the disrespect in protesting the National Anthem. Although we have rights, we know why and where our rights and freedoms came from. Christians also see no color but only the one race that exists, the human race. Christians also know from Scripture that we are called by God to obey the laws of the land (Rom.13:1-5) as long as those laws don’t instruct us against our Father in Heaven. (Acts 5:29) How do we solve our world’s problem of ungodliness? We need Christians to live out godly lives in front of others and do whatever we can to get the saving message of the cross out to the world so that godliness will prevail and the ungodliness we suffer from today will diminish.
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”(Col.4:5) I love this little passage. This is a verse that should convict and challenge every one of us. We have opportunities every day to bless the lives of others by our kind words or actions. The question is, do we do it? Do we make the most of these opportunities? Paul is specifically referring to making the most of the opportunities we have with “outsiders”. The “outsiders” are those outside of Christ and the very one’s whom we want to help to become insiders in Christ. We literally have visitors at both morning services every single Sunday. That is an incredible opportunity that we all should recognize and do something about. How do we do that? What exactly am I talking about? Be friendly to visitors who have joined us for worship. Our top priority on Sunday after worship should be finding a visitor or someone we don’t know and introducing ourselves. Even if it means leaving a conversation with someone, please do so and be kind and welcoming to the visitor. Brothers and sisters we have one opportunity to make a good first impression. Let’s do our part and make the most of the opportunities that God gives us each week.