I grew up in in a denominational church which featured a segment of the service where the congregation would move around and shake hands with one another while stating the following words; “The Peace of God be with you”. It was an opportunity to quickly exchange greetings, oftentimes with people you did not know. Those memories come back to me in the preparation of this devotional. What is the Peace of God and what are some of its benefits for our day?
Peace be Still!
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. (Mark 4:39)
In recent weeks, the nation of Israel and Gaza have been facing a tumultuous storm. This event has the potential to escalate into a worldwide crisis. People are going through great hardships while others are gripped with terror and fear. How should we as believers be praying for this situation? Since the inception of the war, I have been impressed to simply pray for God’s Shalom Peace into the situation. The example of the Lord speaking “Peace be Still” to the stormy sea is to be our template.
This also applies to the individual storms in our lives. Think for a moment what it must have been like for the disciples in the boat. The storm struck terror into all of them and yet the Lord was fast asleep in the lower part of the boat. They wasted no time in waking the Lord. They then went on to charge Him for not caring that they were about to perish. Can you relate to this scene? The Lord spoke three simple Words, “Peace be Still”, resulting in the sea becoming calm. The Lord graciously affords this treasure of His Peace to each of us. Let’s be faithful in praying God’s Shalom Peace towards the storm in Israel and to the individual storms in our lives.
The Prince of Peace
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Jesus spoke about the end-times being characterised by wars, strife, and lawlessness (Matthew 24:6, 38). Take some time and prayerfully read through Matthew 24. Is it possible that we are beginning to see partial fulfilments to what Jesus shared? What is the remedy? In a few months, we will be celebrating Christmas. It is a time where we celebrate the giving of the greatest gift ever given to mankind; Jesus, as the prince of Peace. This provides us an opportunity to share this gift of the Prince of Peace with others. It is more than words and exchanges of handshakes; it is an opportunity where we can speak “Peace be Still” into the lives of others. Speak the Mighty Name of Jesus into every situation this Christmas Season and beyond. Jesus is our Peace (Ephesians 2:14).
Peace as a Weapon
And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (Romans 16:20)
How would you answer the following question? What is the most potent weapon known to man? Some might say a nuclear bomb or state some other weapon of mass destruction. No doubt these weapons can cause worldwide damage in the natural. The Bible makes clear that our warfare is not against flesh and blood but spiritual powers in high places (Ephesians 6:12). What threatens these enemies; is it powerful bombs backed by massive armies? Consider the following battle that David was confronted with:
I have seen the wicked in great power, And spreading himself like a native green tree (Psalm 37:35).
The enemy presents himself before David as an intimidating force that cannot be defeated. These spiritual entities are strong and powerful and they go to great lengths in seeking to wear out the saints of God (Daniel 7:25). This will be a characteristic of the antichrist when he comes on the scene. How did this scenario end?
Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; For the future of that man is peace.
Our adversary is strong when he is able to intimidate the people of God. He thrives on people who are full of fear, anger and doubt. If we have the Peace of God, we have the ultimate weapon because it gives no place for the enemy to work. God’s Peace is his death blow.
This is the Peace that God gives us and it is a Peace we can share with others. Let there be God’s Shalom Peace upon earth and may it begin with us.
Monday: Ephesians 2:14
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
Tuesday: Psalm 119:165
Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.
Wednesday: Isaiah 26:3
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
Thursday: 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.
Friday: Psalm 4:8
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Saturday: John 16:33
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Sunday: Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV).
By Pastor Timothy O’Connell