Tag: Prince of Peace

Not peace, but a sword!

Scripture reading for January 13th: Matthew 10:24-42, Psalms 9:11-20, Proverbs 3:3-6

Jesus Christ is the “Prince of Peace” according to Isaiah 9:6!  Jesus lived a life of peace but preached a message that sometimes stirred up violent rejection and spiritual warfare.  In our reading today, Jesus was preparing His disciples for ministry in the world and the warfare that would result from spiritual conflict with the devil and those in league with him.

“”Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to turn “a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law–a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” (Matthew 10:34-36)  Jesus offers us peace with God through the forgiveness of our sins.  In order to obtain this promise, we must repent or turn away from sin (breaking of God’s law) and turn toward God through Jesus Christ.  This all comes by faith through God’s grace  freely given to those who believe. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

The message of the cross is offensive to the human ego and religion’s rules.  Our flesh wants to work for our salvation or do something to earn it.  Religion is based on man’s efforts to do enough to appease God.  Even the Jews had drifted into a works-oriented religion instead of “by grace through faith”.  Jesus wisely taught His disciples about the conflict that would happen between the flesh and the Spirit calling it a “sword”.  When we turn to Jesus and begin to move in the Spirit, some resent our new freedom and react in derision or violence.

Disciples must not react, but keep on loving God and following Him.  “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37-38)  Our love for God is demonstrated by taking up a cross!  This cross represents death to our own desires and the demands of our flesh.  Our love for God must take priority over all family relationships.  It was demonstrated by Jesus Christ as He took up His cross to completely obey His Father’s will.  We counter the “sword” by the “cross”!

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Man of Peace–Prince of Peace!

Scripture reading for April 21st: 1st Chronicles 22-27

King David had it in his heart to build a house for the Lord.  As King David approached the end of his time on earth, he sent for his son Solomon and commissioned him to build the house for the Lord.  David had begun preparations for this house but a word from the Lord had stopped him from building it. Because David had been a man of war and had fought many battles costing many lives,  God told him not to build His house. (1st Chronicles 22:8)

God told David that He would use his son Solomon to build the temple.  Solomon would be a man of peace.  God would grant him rest and peace with all his enemies.  Israel would enjoy a reign of peace and during this time, Solomon could build the temple. Solomon would become a “son of God” and God would be his Father and establish his throne over Israel forever.   (1st Chronicles 22:9-10)

David blessed his son and encouraged him to be strong and full of courage.  He assured him of the great financial resources that he had provided for the temple.  He also encouraged the people to support Solomon in the work.  Best of all, David prayed that the Lord would be with Solomon in this undertaking.  That help would make all the difference in the world!

As we reflect on this portion of Israel’s history, we can see definite parallels to the work of Jesus Christ in building God’s temple.  Jesus Christ was a man of peace–“the Prince of Peace”.  Jesus called people to come to Him and find rest for their souls.  Jesus Christ defeated all of our enemies, even death, to provide this rest!  God was Christ’s “Father” and Jesus was God’s “Son”!  God established Jesus’ throne and kingdom forever!  Jesus had success because he fully obeyed God’s commands and laws and was strong and courageous.  God provided Jesus with many “brothers and sisters” as helpers in building the true temple.  Jesus Christ would build the temple and the gates of hell would not prevail against Him!

This ancient record contains prophesy that is already fulfilled and also prophesy that will be fulfilled in the millennial reign of peace when Jesus takes the throne in Jerusalem and rules over a thousand years of peace!  (Revelation 20:4-6)  Praise the Lord for the Prince of Peace!

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Portraits of Jesus from 700 years out!

Scripture reading for July 20th: Isaiah 9-12

Isaiah lived over 700 years before the coming of Jesus Christ.  He was an ordinary man who was by grace chosen to see the Lord in a glorious vision.  He humbled himself and responded to God’s call to go and become a prophet.  As he lived his life and shared from his heart and relationship with the Lord, God used him to give prophetic pictures of His Son, Jesus Christ.  These pictures encourage us today and inspire faith and trust!

After speaking of a virgin giving birth to a son who would be called “Immanuel”, God with us, Isaiah continued to write about this coming one.  (Isaiah 7:14)  He himself had two sons who were given prophetic names that spoke to the future of the nation of Israel.   He told that the nation would go into captivity but that God would bring back a remnant.  The people were caught up in conspiracy theories and were tormented by fears.  Isaiah warned them that the Lord was the only one to fear!  (Isaiah 8:12-14)  The Lord himself would be a stone to cause the nation to stumble and a rock that would make them fall.  Seven Hundred years later, Jesus was that stumbling stone to the nation of Israel.

The coming child who would be born would honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by way of the sea, along the Jordan River.  He would show God’s light to those living in darkness there.  (Isaiah 9:1-2)  He would carry the government on his shoulders.  This child’s names signified that He would be special.  His names would be Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!  His government would be one of peace and from everlasting to everlasting.  He would also reign on David’s throne, establishing it in justice and righteousness.  (Isaiah 9:6-7)  God’s own zeal would accomplish this!  These scriptures all speak of Jesus Christ who lived and ministered in Galilee.  He did great miracles and mighty works there, bringing light to the Gentiles.  He is the fulfillment of the names given by Isaiah through the Holy Spirit!

In chapter 11, Isaiah speaks again of Jesus.  He talks of a shoot coming from the stump of Jesse that will become a Branch that would bear fruit.  After the judgment that Isaiah spoke of, the nation would resemble a stump.  God would have a remnant that would bring His Son to fulfill His purposes!  God would place His Spirit on this Branch.  It would be a Spirit of wisdom and understanding,  a Spirit of counsel and power, and a Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.  (Isaiah 11:1-3)  He would delight in the fear of the Lord!  Jesus Christ fits this description perfectly!  He was wisdom and knowledge personified!  He had wise counsel and power to heal, save and deliver!  He knew all things and taught with authority!  He delighted in the fear of the Lord in that He only did what His Father showed Him to do and always did that which pleased His Father!

There is so much more in these chapters today!  Read and enjoy and rejoice in God’s faithfulness to fulfill His Word!

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Kissing cousins!

Scripture reading for June 20th: Psalms 84-89

“Love and faithfulness meet together, righteousness and peace kiss each other.  Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.  The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.  Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.” Psalms 85:10-13

Psalm 85 is a prayer by the sons of Korah for revival after a time of judgment.  God’s people had gotten into trouble because of sins and God had shown his displeasure towards them in some obvious manner.  The psalmist began by reminding God of His past restoration of His people. (Psalm85:1-3)  God had restored Israel before and one thing known about God was that He was not a respecter of persons.  If God’s people met the requirements of repentance and faith, God would act again to bring the desired revival!

The psalmist asked God boldly to restore and revive the people of God again!  We must ask the Lord for what we want and need.  The psalmist asks God if He plans on staying angry forever, through all generations.  What a bold question from an elder who desires restoration for his children and grandchildren!  He asked that God show His unfailing love and salvation to them, reminding God of His covenant love that was never to fail.

The psalmist then states his patience to wait and listen for God’s answer.  He again remembers God’s promises of peace to His people. (Psalm 85:8)  He prays that God’s people would not return to their folly that brought the judgment and wrath of their God.  True repentance is a turning away from sin and facing  God and His ways.  When we truly repent, we draw near to God and He promises to draw near to us!  A broken and contrite heart He will not despise! (Psalm 51:17)

This psalm concludes with a beautiful picture of God’s character traits kissing each other!  Love and faithfulness go together.  True lovers never abandon one another!  Righteousness and peace kiss each other!  True peace can only come through righteousness.  There is no peace for the wicked!  On a different level, these traits did spring forth from the earth in the person of the Son of God, Jesus Christ!  God’s love and covenant faithfulness caused Him to send forth His only son to demonstrate that love to a lost world!  Righteousness and peace kissed each other in the Son of God!  He was and is the prince of peace because of His truly righteous life!  We can find peace like the world cannot give and righteousness with God through Him alone!

God did give us what was good for us in Jesus Christ!  He is our “kissing” brother!  May you enjoy the full harvest from your land as you walk in faithfulness and love, enjoying righteousness and peace!

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