Dreaming Of Peace


John 14:23-27 NASB Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. (24) "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me. (25) "These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. (26) "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. (27) "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.



One of the best newspaper cartoons of all time is Calvin and Hobbes. One day Calvin and Hobbes come marching into the living room early one morning. His mother is seated there in her favorite chair. She is sipping her morning coffee. She looks up at young Calvin. She is amused and amazed at how he is dressed. Calvin's head is encased in a large space helmet. A cape is draped around his neck, across his shoulders, down his back and is dragging on the floor. One hand is holding a flashlight and the other a baseball bat.

"What's up today?" asks his mom. "Nothing, so far," answers Calvin. "So far?" she questions.

"Well, you never know," Calvin says, "Something could happen today." Then Calvin marches off, "And if anything does, by golly, I'm going to be ready for it!" Calvin's mom looks out at the reading audience and she says, "I need a suit like that!"

Personally, I thought every mom already had a suit like that! The fact is, most of us look to the moms in our lives as that very suit. Sure, I had my mom but then there was Mrs. Walker, Mrs. Tice, Mrs. Wofford, Mrs. Welch, Mrs. Hegwood, you get the idea. We need all the moms we can get because this is one crazy world that we live in.

If there is one thing that it seems to me, moms for certain but all of us I think dream of, is peace. For if there was peace, there would be no suit like Calvin's. It was in part Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream and before him Ghandi's. And I think, we would find that all those who have known suffering, have also known the most vivid dreams of peace.

Religions have often been viewed as the bringers of peace. But we know too, that religions have often been associated as much with corruption and violence as love and peace.

I. There is the peace the Lord Gives.
How do we receive this peace? Jesus is straightforward. It is through obedience. (v. 23) It is to be a willful, decision to follow after Jesus.

There is the understanding that God's vision for all things – for our world is peace. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14:33 1Co 14:33 NASB “for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” NOT confusion BUT peace – and it seems it is a realization that God is over all things – not necessarily the cause for we have our freedom and nature has its courses – but God is very much in the details – NOT the devil.

The peace spoken of here and the context, that is the theme surrounding the use, is almost identical to the word for peace in Hebrew, known as Shalom. Yet even here, the New Testament reveals the Good News concealed in the Old Testament. Chiefly, that life AND peace are tied together in the Spirit Jesus will send to us. Paul again makes this clear in: “Romans 8:6 NASB For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace...”

II. Peace the world gives:
In our homes, like the world, we often confuse ORDER with PEACE. What do I mean by that? When the 'ruling' party has control (aka; parents or guardians), there is what passes as a 'peace.' One of my favorite commentators, Adam Clarke, has a word on that. Let me add in aside here, because you may not know what a commentator is in Biblical studies. Commentators are Biblical scholars who help make clear the intended meanings of the Biblical texts. They work and consult with other scholars in trying to help us get to the fullest meaning of the Bible.

What Adam Clarke notes is the contrast between the peace Jesus gives is “...not as the people of the world, in empty compliments. Their salutations and benedictions are generally matters of custom and polite ceremony, given without desire or design...” Think about it, what peace treaty has truly ever held? Doesn't every nation seek to gain an advantage and manipulate to their best interest? How is that peace?

MLK, Jr. was more than a civil rights leader, he was the Rev. Dr. - he pastored and he prayed before he protested. His “I have a dream speech” is rooted firmly in Scriptures. His life was grounded in faith in Jesus Christ. One cannot divorce his advocacy for civil rights from his faith anymore than I think you can miss, that his desire for justice for African-Americans was a dream for true peace – that peace which Jesus alone offers. It is a peace that assures us that we are in right relationship with God. This, Jesus says, comes from him.

Choosing the way of Jesus, turns dreams of peace into a reality in our homes and in our lives. How would treating others like you want to be treated hurt? Would feeding the hungry make a difference? Would it change your family if you chose not to let the sun go down on your anger with everyone in your home? Would it help if you finally admitted to yourself you are not God and don't have all the answers? By making the decision today, to follow the way of Jesus, dreams of peace become a reality.

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