Friday, November 10, 2017

Peace—future and now

Mural - Vernon, BC

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Micah 4:1-5:1

TO CHEW ON: "Now it shall come to pass in the latter days....
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore." Micah 4:1, 4

Peace. It's another prophecy for end times.

It's not clear—and Bible scholars don't agree on—whether Micah's prophecy signifies the peace after a war where the combatants have gone back to fighting with literal swords and shields or whether the meaning of "...beat their swords into plowshares / And their spear into pruning hooks" is symbolic. The scene of weapons, whatever they are, turned into farming tools and people peaceful and secure on their own property is wonderful in any case.

However, this is a prophecy that will be fulfilled not only someday on earth as nations live side by side in peace. For peace is a key ingredient in the Kingdom of God. It can rule us right now as we cultivate:

Peaceful reaction:
Jesus' instructions to people when they were mistreated was to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39-42), and to love one's enemies (Matthew 5:44-48).

Peaceful interaction:
Luke's description of the early church shows us a wonderful ideal of harmony between Christians: "Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul..." Acts 4:32.

Inner peace:
  • We have peace with God (Romans 5:1) because we were made right (reconciled) with Him through Jesus' death (Colossians 1:20).
  • This peace is available for everyone and anyone, whatever their race or nationality (Acts 10:35-36).
  • When we receive Jesus, His Spirit comes to live in us and teach us in all His ways, including the ways of peace (John 14:26-27).
  • One fruit of the Spirit is peace (Galatians 5:220.
Have we taken advantage of that peace? We can live at peace with God, our fellow Christians, even our enemies!

PRAYER: Dear God, I love the picture of weapons being turned into tools of nurture and fruitfulness. Please help me to be an eager pupil in the ways of peace. Amen.

MORE: Remembrance Day

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day in Canada.  We remember in ceremonies at cenotaphs (or watching on TV) with prayers, readings, laying wreaths, and observing a minute of silence.  In this way we honor the people, dead and alive, who fought against tyranny and oppression in World Wars I, II, the Korean War, and those who are currently active in the Middle East and international peace-keeping missions.

The Remembrance Day mural is a photograph of one of Vernon B.C.'s historical street murals painted by Michelle Loughery & team.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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